Engaging Faith: Practical lesson ideas and activities for Catholic Educators

September 3, 2007

Five Precepts of the Church: An Introduction

Here’s a lesson plan that can be used to help students learn and identify with the precepts of the Church.

Grade level: 9 - 11
Subjects: Catholicism, Christian Lifestyles

Purpose: The following lesson can help students enter into their Christian identity and get to know the precepts of the Catholic Church. It can also help them reflect on their own ways of living out their faith on a day to day basis.

Objective: The students will examine the five precepts of the Catholic Church and understand how they can incorporate them into their daily life.

Directions: Have the students write down the precepts so they have them to work with. Then have the students identify the ones they feel other youth would have trouble living. Ask them to share their thoughts on why they would have trouble. This can lead to a helpful guided discussion about what it means to be a Christian.

The next task takes the students a step deeper, if some are willing to participate. Ask the students to identify and then share about the precepts they feel they haven’t lived or can’t live. Use this opportunity to discuss the reasons why. Here could be your chance to bring other key concepts into the discussion. Often it’s enough to have one person speak and the dialogue will trigger other thoughts and comments. Feel free to let them voice their criticisms and worries as well. This helps them identify the obstacles they may have to living out their faith. You may then want to address a particular obstacle to guide them.

Lastly, have the students choose and write down two or three they would like to work on and improve on. For each one they choose have them write down a few steps they can take to achieve this. Hopefully this will become a “project” they want to take seriously and throw themselves into.

Follow up: At a later date ask them about their progress regarding the precepts they have chosen.

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