The best projects for catechism classes are based upon two key things. First they should give opportunities for the 5th graders to learn how to apply the Gospel to real life. Second, they must give the 10-11 year olds opportunities to work together cooperatively. Classroom relationship and community building are so important to their faith development.
The following 3 catechism projects ensure both of these aspects happen.
Project 1: Create “The Way”
This wonderful 3 week project helps the 5th graders think more deeply about the path of life and how the Gospel can helps us stay on the right path. Cooperatively the whole class create a symbolic visualization of “The Way” to God on a big banner piece of paper. If desired, the project could also be done in groups of 2 to 3 or individually on smaller ledger sized paper.
The Way Part 1 first reviews how sins are our stumbling blocks that trip us up on the path. The Way Part 2 discusses how the 10 Commandments are our sign posts to guide along the way. The Way Part 3 uses the Beatitudes as the foundation of how to have a happy journey in the true spirit of Jesus.
Project 2: Build a Well-Equipped Christian with Armor of God
What is the armor of God? Wonderful connections and discoveries about that topic are made in this project in which the 5th graders make a visualization of a well-equipped Catholic Christian. They must identify specific components of the Bible and the church that can be our helmet, our breastplate, and our shield when we face the enemy of bad thoughts, harmful emotions, bad choices, and unexpected adversity,
Project 3: Teach a Pentecost Mini-Lesson to Others
Diving deep into the meaning and symbolism of Pentecost is important for our understanding of the Holy Spirit. In this lesson, the 5th graders put together a short 15 min presentation on Pentecost and and its significance. This lesson can be taught to younger students or even presented to parents. When they take the lead at teaching, they become proud of their knowledge and understanding.