Teaching the Ten Commandments

Hello, I’m currently volunteering as a first grade catechist. I’m curious about your gut reaction about teaching the version which has the ‘do not worship graven images’ as the second commandment. Is that considered wholly inappropriate? And if so, why?

Also if I discover that is a huge no-no, could I please be informed about how to teach the difference between ‘Do not commit adultery’ and ‘Do not covet your neighbor’s wife’?

Thank you for your assistance.

the textbooks for the primary grades generally do a pretty good job of handling the commandments at a level the younger child can understand, and at the level at which they can understand not only how to keep the commandment, but how it might be broken by a child. They don’t need to know on an adult level at this time. your catechist guide should also have some supplemental help for those chapters.

I think I’d keep it general. I haven’t taught young people but one thing I’d stress with children as I do with adults is that the law is based on love rather than just being a bunch of commandments God felt like handing out. So that, whenever we break a commandment, in some way we’ve failed to love and chosen to act selfishly. In the case of placing anything before God, whether graven images or people or something we want, then we always end up lower than where we started out. But God forgives and promises to lift us back up to where we were if we ask Him to.

Stick with your textbook.

My DH teaches 1st Grade CCD, there is one lesson, on Moses where the 10 Commandments given. They do not go into a deep teaching on each commandment, they move on to other OT key people and events, then to Jesus’ life and learning the Our Father and Hail Mary.

10 Commandments come bit by bit in later grades

Hi there,
I am only in RCIA but I wouldn’t add in more than you need to. I was taught Catholics interpret the ten commandments differently, so I would try to keep with the Church’s teaching which I believe does not talk about graven images. As for the word “covet”, we were taught it means wanting what someone else has, like being jealous. Maybe for adultery, you could focus on how people only have one wife/husband. But as the previous posters noted, there must be teaching material that is age appropriate.

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