Teaching CCD


Looks like I’m going to teach 2nd grade CCD at my parish. :eek: Other than being a Girl Scout co-leader for a year, I have ZERO experience. The positive side is that I’ve been doing a LOT of self-education in the Catholic faith recently (learning to refute some anti-Catholic sentiments) :slight_smile: so, I’m feeling fairly confident in the catechism side, but not real sure about KID side! :smiley:

I’m going to have 7 2nd graders. Does anyone have any great advice or words of wisdom they’d like to share? I could sure use the encouragement! :o


I just finished teaching the 8th graders at my parish…it was like hearding cats; I can’t even imagine what 2nd graders would be like. Wish I had some advice…but I don’t.

Good luck, and God Bless,


thank you for responding to the call of the Holy Spirit to share your faith with children and youth of your parish. God bless you.
Make use of your catechist guide. it is full of things like, characteristics of 2nd graders, suggested activities to enrich the lesson, additional resources books, songs, videos etc. it may come with a video from the publisher telling you how to use it.

prepare lesson plans, for each unit if not for each chapter. use the suggested syllabus guide from your parish. your catechist manual has a sample lesson plan if your DRE does not provide one.

plan to spend at least 1/2 hour planning for every hour of teaching (more for older grades)

it this year preparing for sacraments? if so are you responsible for the sacramental program (usually another book) or the basic textbook? who handles parent meetings?

when planning lessons if you only have 15 minutes, read the scripture suggested for the lesson and meditate on it. if you only have 30 minutes, read the scripture, and the catechist citations for the lesson. Pray and meditate with them. after you have done that, begin to plan how you will introduce, develop, wrap up, and review each lesson.

get to class early and have the materials and supplies you will need on hand. don’t scurry around looking for crayons, scissors etc. after class begins.

the purpose of all arts & crafts, songs, videos, drama, movement and other activities is to reinforce the lesson and the concepts, and they should be chosen for that goal, not as busywork or time fillers. if you do choose any of these, try them out first, don’t use your students as guinea pigs (you already know this from GS or brownies). If you, or the parent, does the activity for the child, they are not learning.

Teach one or two basic concepts each lesson, don’t get too complicated.

the textbook is a guide, not a bible.

have the children come up with classroom rules together, write them in positive mode on a poster, keep them simple, enforce them.


Oh you guys … thank you SO SO much! Your advice is worth gold! I am very excited about this opportunity, albeit apprehensive. :slight_smile:


Are the sacraments of Reconciliation and First Communion taught at this age in your area? I did this class for 2 years. We prepare for Reconciliation in the Fall/Then First Communion for the following year around May or when the pastor says so.

Do you know if this is the sacraments class you will be teaching?



Yes, I believe so and I believe it is done very much the same – Reconciliation in the fall and then they will all do their First Communion in late spring.


I just volunteered to teach 9th graders. I don’t know how many are in the class, though. It should be interesting because we can potentially cover some topics in an in-depth fashion…I hope!

A friend of mine has been teaching the 8th grade so I know they got a lot of good solid info last year. Whether they retained it or not, I don’t know…


consider yourself lucky…I get the JUNIOR HIGH KIDS



I get some kids who are in their own “special class” because they are too disruptive in the regular class. Please pray for us.


HEY, you got the best class of all!! :smiley:

Check out my resources at logicalbutterflies.com/StPiusX/ and also read carefully the message above about planning ahead, good discipline, etc.

TIP for you: you have 30 seconds to grab their attention when you first walk into the classroom - if you make good use of that 30 seconds, you will have the best class ever, but if you blow it by turning your back on the kids or riffling through your planning book looking for today’s stuff, you’ve had it.

What I do is before they get there, I put a word puzzle that contains today’s vocabulary words at each student’s place, and I leave a box of pens at the front of the room that they can take. 99% percent of kids will do the puzzle without being told to.

Then, when all have arrived, I have them all rise and recite the Apostles’ Creed, and then I give them a short summary of the lesson that we are about to do. “Today we are going to learn that Jesus created each of us uniquely, and for a purpose. We are going to look at some Scripture verses that will help remind us how much God loves us, and then we are going to do a gifts inventory to see what kind of talented people we are, here in this room. So let’s get started, by turning in your Bibles to Psalm 139 - who would like to read that out loud for us?”

Also, don’t forget to pray. Pray for the kids before and after class, and pray with the kids during class - at the beginning, at the end, and any time there is a disruption in the class. Use distractions to your advantage, and turn everything over to God in prayer, out loud, and with the kids - get them involved, too. “For what should we pray at this moment?” If a kid now mentions a prayer intention, you say “…we pray to the Lord.” 80% of the kids will respond automatically, “Lord, hear our prayer.” (Thank God for Catholic homes and families!! :slight_smile: )


Don’t worry. They’ve never been to 2nd grade Catechism, either. :wink:


I have no doubt you will do a good job.
Some things I taught:
To recevie the sacrament of Penance worhily I must:
(this is to be done on one hand so they can remember the 5 important things)

  1. Find out my sins
  2. Be sorry for my sins
  3. Make up my mind not to sin again
  4. Tell my sins to the priest
  5. Do the penance the priest gives me

Also, we said the Act of Contrition together at each class and I told the parents to practice at home also.

I bought the children the Saint Joseph’s First Communion Catechism as a gift. It has prayers and a good examination of conscience in it.

I also started frequenting the Sacrament of Pennance on a monthly basis so not only did I preach it, I did it myself.

One more thing, make sure you know and they know when and where the sacrament is available. Encourage the parents, if they aren’t already, to take the children at a time when they go. Some kids think it is just twice a year, they have no clue that it is offered weekly and any time you request. And, this is cute, YOU DON’T CONFESS THE SINS OF OTHERS…SUCH AS…MY BROTHER WAS SUCH A … AND HE DID THIS AND THIS…:rolleyes:

God Bless and Hope you have a blessed year


Thank you ALL!
The Catechists guide was dropped off this afternoon, so this evenings lesson for me will be to read it all!

It looks like we are using the Benzinger Parish Catechetical Progam materials. I’m off to google it now to see if there are any online materials that will help enhance the ideas in the book!

I’ll keep you all posted on how Sunday goes. Right now I am taking it 10 minutes at a time! :slight_smile:


Just some ideas for keeping it fun for the kids:
stories (Bible stories!)
songs & singing & dancing (they’ve probably been sitting all day at school so anything where they don’t have to sit the whole time!)
crafts or drawing a picture on a topic-things they can work on together might be more fun like a huge drawing.
role playing or puppets
field trip to the confessional. :slight_smile:


I will now be logging off to spend an hour on my knees thanking the Holy Spirit for sending catechists. When we started this morning for the first day we were missing a 1st and 3rd grade teacher, and both “showed up” in time for their sessions. We are covered (barely, I could open more classes if I had teachers and aides) and can accommodate everyone who registered. God bless all of you and guide you. Also, check the website of your textbook series, although you may need a password from your DRE, there are usually lesson plans and other helps available to you.


When I went to a Religious Education Congress, I went to a seminar entitled, “Lord, I Love 'Em But They’re Driving Me Nuts!” by Steven Ellair, a very talented and experienced senior catechist. The best piece of advice he gave was, If a student is being disruptive, instead of calling on them, first try, picking up your book, standing next to them (or near vicinity) and continue teaching as if nothing were going on. (This works best if you are already on your feet) I have found this to be the best piece of advice I have ever received and I use it in my regular job, I work in a K-2 special needs classroom.


Yes, that’s a good point - never teach sitting down - walk around the room while you are talking, and keep your eyes open for students who are having trouble, or who are thinking about making trouble. You can often head trouble off at the pass with a simple gesture (point at the place in the book that you are discussing, so they can get caught up again) or look (that “mean teacher” look works wonders with troublemakers!)

If you are having the kids take notes, and some kids aren’t taking notes, ask them why straight away - don’t just ignore it - it could be that you are not speaking loudly enough for them to hear well, or that you are speaking too rapidly for them to be able to keep up with you.

Also, if they give you feedback on your teaching style, don’t get offended - take their suggestions (if appropriate) and thank them for the good advice, or else explain to them very calmly why you won’t be following their suggestions (if they are silly suggestions).


We all survived!!!

What a complete and total mess on the first day tho! WOW! Went from 7 kids (and thinking “how bad can it be”) to 13 kids, plus 2 missing for a total of 15! HOLY COW!!! At least I have my own classroom and was able to close the door and get down to business! I did stay on my feet and this week I play to walk around and use the chalkboard.

I do have one boy who is a pistol, so that should be a LOT of fun! But, for the most part I know 1 of them and learned all their names super quick. I’m pretty confident there will be even more this week.

I am very grateful that I had my leftover Girl Scout supplies and bothered to read the teaching guide BEFORE I got there. Wow!

I think it will be good. Week 1 down … only about 20 more to go and since I got thru the first week unscathed, I think the other weeks will fly and be GREAT fun! :slight_smile:


Congrats on your first week! I am playing with the idea of helping teach CCD some day … your experience gives me something to hope for :slight_smile: Good luck in week 2! and 3, and 4, and 5…:thumbsup:


We had our first day yesterday, too. I’ve got nine kids on the list, and eight showed up for class. There are a few kids from last year who should be showing up, as well, but so far they haven’t registered yet.

We had a really good day. We started with Mass, and then we played an interview game to find out some fun things about them, and to help them get talking to each other.

We also talked a bit about rules - our rules can be boiled down to “Respect, Respect, Respect, Respect and Respect.” Respect our time (arrive on time, do assignments promptly) Respect our space (don’t leave garbage around, etc.) Respect each other (no name calling, nicknames, hitting, etc.) Respect our language (don’t swear, don’t say things we don’t really mean, and use proper grammar and spelling as much as possible), and Respect our tools (don’t draw on books or use them as building blocks, don’t break the pens, put the cap back on the glue, etc.)

I handed out their notebooks and gve them a syllabus of our coming year. Our main topic is going to be the Apostles’ Creed, this year. (We’re on a three-year cycle - next year is Morality and the Sacraments, and the year after that is the Beatitudes.)

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