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Posts for Activities
April 10, 2017
Here’s an activity for your students when they return to school after Easter.
February 03, 2017
Ask students to say aloud words or phrases that come immediately to them when you say the word “patriotism.” List the words on the board.
Distribute a handout with the following quotations and questions. Read the first quotation and have the students write their reflections on the questions that follow. Repeat the format for sections 2 and 3.
Finally, ask the students to answer in writing the two “Final Items.” To conclude, ask the students to share their reflections either in small groups or with the whole class.
September 19, 2016
For any lesson you are doing on the Beatitudes (Matthew 5:1-11), you may wish to combine this discussion activity that helps students think about how the Beatitudes apply to their own lives.
July 08, 2016
Conduct a discussion as a way to allow white students in your class to be aware of some preferential treatments they experience because they are white. Likewise, allow students of color to discuss their perspectives of some of these experiences.
June 02, 2016
While the following “50 Questions” are part of the Send Out Your Spirit high-school Confirmation program, they serve well as a general review for students enrolled in just about any Catholic high school theology course.
August 17, 2015
This lesson—created by Sr. Kieran Sawyer, SSND—or an adaptation of it serves well for a first week introduction to your class
April 24, 2015
The Catechism of the Catholic Church clearly outlines how the Holy Spirit is represented in names, titles, and symbols:
April 14, 2015
Lead a discussion or assign the following items for your students to work on individually or in small groups on the topic of how social media is used and can be used more effectively to evangelize and inspire others around the Gospel message.
August 11, 2014
Remembering and using someone's name is a simple gesture that goes a long way. How, then, can we learn students names quickly and correctly?
July 14, 2014
Your school may be embarking on Elective Course A, Sacred Scripture, of the USCCB Doctrinal Framework. Even if you are not, Scripture study plays prominently in each of your school's required and elective courses. Correspondingly, making sure students are familiar with Bible study aids (e.g., Bible dictionaries, one-volume Bible commentaries, and Bible concordances) is an essential prerequisite for this task. Use the following exercise to introduces students to these tools.
June 16, 2014
If you have occasion to work with teens in the summer through a parish-sponsored Youth Ministry program, here's an idea that works well with both younger and older adolescents.
December 02, 2013
Ave Maria Press editorial assistant Barbara Brutt reminds teachers of some traditional Advent ideas appropriate for classroom additions and students of all ages.
May 13, 2013
What is in a name? We all know that first names are meaningful and that parents choose them carefully. It is interesting to note how many parents choose biblical names or saints’ names whether they choose them for that reason or not.
April 08, 2013
Invite at least three or four high school students to form a panel and share with younger teens—either at a parish religious education class, at a Catholic elementary school, or as part of a visit of eighth grade students to your school—some basic information on what to expect when they go to high school.
March 25, 2013
Read the words of the institution of the Eucharist from Luke 22:14-20. Take some time to explain more about some of the key words in the passage.
February 19, 2013
Before announcing his resignation, Pope Benedict XVI released his message for Lent 2013: "Believing in charity calls forth charity." Each year, the Holy Father shares some thoughts to focus the Church on certain virtues and practices during Lent. This year, in honor of the Year of Faith, the he invites us all to meditate on the relationship between faith and charity.
January 16, 2013
One of the important advantages of eBooks for education is that highlights don't have to be final. When you highlight a book with colored ink, the highlight is there forever. It is a static experience. You highlight, then you review. You can't change it.
The highlighting experience for eBooks and eTextbooks can be a much more engaging experience. One of our responsibilities as teachers is to use the tools to effectively teach students how to be better independent learners. The highlighting feature, when it allows you to have multiple colors, can be used in exciting new ways.
August 22, 2012
One of the main goals of the Catholic Year of Faith is to promote awareness and study of the Catechism of the Catholic Church on its twentieth anniversary of publication. Reading and using the Catechism can be a challenge even for adults. Use this Catechism scavenger hunt as a class activity to help familiarize your high school students with the layout and format of the text.
May 01, 2012
Your students likely know that May is the month of Mary.
Do they also know that Mary also has her own day dedicated to her in each and every week throughout the year? The tradition of honoring Mary on Saturdays goes back to the very first Holy Saturday, the day that Jesus lay in the tomb.
March 19, 2012
Odds are good that your high school students have already seen the Kony 2012 video. It went viral in the first week of March being viewed roughly 80 million times in only five days. In fact it is now considered to be the most viral video in history defeating the likes of Susan Boyle, Lada Gaga, Justin Bieber, and Miley Cyrus.
February 01, 2012
The season of Lent always come so fast! Before we can really get the Christmas season out of our minds, it's time to begin our Lenten fasts.
We're probably all a little guilty of waiting to the last minute to declare our Lenten commitments for the year. Prepare your students for Ash Wednesday by getting them to think about their Lenten commitments ahead of time.
January 03, 2012
Julia Letts, a former BBC reporter and producer, has facilitated many oral history projects with students. In addition to the value of the information gained from the interviews themselves, she has seen oral history projects create rapport between generations, teach various skills, form friendships, and promote goodwill. Oral history need not be technical but rather involves creating an opportunity for students to speak with people from different generations.
August 29, 2011
During an introduction of the topic of Salvation History, review the plot structure diagram with students. Connect this story diagram with salvation history. Invite students to fill in as much as they know of the story of salvation history.
July 12, 2011
If you use one of the Ave Maria Press Teacher Wraparaound Editions, you'll notice that most of the time we suggest that teachers assign reading for class as homework to free up valuable class time. The problem, as most teachers know, is that it is a challenge to get the kids to actually do the reading. This list of reading strategies should go a long way in helping students read and comprehend their textbooks. The strategies should give students concrete ways in which they can engage with the textbook.
January 07, 2011
Three New Classroom Icebreakers. Icebreaker for Lesson on Discipleship, Icebreaker for Lesson on the Trinity, Icebreaker for Lesson on Communion of Saints
November 12, 2010
“Thou shall not steal” is an important commandment that has broad implications in both one’s personal life as well as society at large.
October 28, 2010
There are many events in the Old Testament for students to keep track of in a course on Scripture. Consider using the following activity suggestions for creating timelines and the websites that might provide helpful information.
October 07, 2010
As the Month of the Rosary, October is an excellent month to catechize teenagers with the Rosary.
September 20, 2010
On Sunday September 19, 2010, Pope Benedict XVI beatified Cardinal John Henry Newman, Catholic convert and exceptional apologist.
September 17, 2010
How can you help teens have handle on some of the large issues facing the Church today while also considering ways to participate in some solutions for change? Share with them these 10 Challenges for the Church of the Twenty-First Century.
July 28, 2010
Listed below are some sentence starters (from Time Out: Resources for Teen Retreats by Kieran Sawyer, SSND) for the start of a school year.
June 28, 2010
Listed below is a short demonstration to help teens understand more about how they can encounter or meet God in their lives.
June 23, 2010
John the Baptist is connected with the prophets of the Old Testament while at the same time he acts as a model for the new Kingdom of God.
June 10, 2010
The following lesson is an adaptation of an activity that appears in Our Catholic Faith, a textbook for Introduction to Catholicism courses.
May 27, 2010
Prezi (www.prezi.com) is a creative alternative to your typical run-of-the-mill slideshow presentation.
May 18, 2010
Wordle is a fun web tools that allows you to create “word clouds” from texts that you create or cut and paste into the system.
May 12, 2010
In a Webinar presented in May 2010, Ave Maria Press’s Adolescent Catechetical Specialist, Jared Dees, offers numerous examples of ways theology teachers can implement technology into their religious instruction.
April 23, 2010
April 29th is the feast of St. Catherine of Siena, Doctor of the Church.
April 16, 2010
Here are some tips and activities for teaching about the Book of Revelation and its symbols and meaning.
April 01, 2010
What can we know about Jesus’ resurrection based on the Gospel similarities and differences?
March 23, 2010
Below are some suggestions for teaching about the new Health Care Law in the context of Catholic Social Teaching.
March 15, 2010
Enjoy the time of March Madness with your students but also allow some opportunities to talk about the benefits of attending a Catholic college as well as some of the interesting facts and stories surrounding higher Catholic education in the United States and the religious communities that have founded these schools.
March 12, 2010
These activities will be nice reminders for most of you veteran teachers and youth ministers, but they are tried and true.
March 08, 2010
Unlike the other evangelists, John focused on seven of Jesus' miracles, which he calls "signs."
February 25, 2010
Based on the writings of St. Augustine and St. Thomas Aquinas, the Church has set forth the following criteria for a “just war.”
February 18, 2010
One way to grab the students' attention in a course on the Scriptures is to highlight the warrior-heroes and battles of the Old Testament.
February 04, 2010
February 11 is the Feast of Our Lady of Lourdes who appeared to St. Bernadette Soubirous in on February 11, 1858 in Lourdes, France.
January 29, 2010
This lesson plan is useful for anyone teaching a course on the Introduction to the New Testament.
January 22, 2010
News coverage of the March for Life rally in Washington DC.
January 13, 2010
Listed below are some opportunities for you and your students to get involved in the relief efforts in Haiti.
August 07, 2009
No matter the subject of your theology course, a good place to begin is to remind your students of the natural and insatiable human desire for God.
July 13, 2009
As teens begin a new school year, there will be many opportunities, some of them wasted, for making new friends.
June 10, 2009
Call on a student to draw a card and share his or her response to the number of sentence that was drawn.
June 01, 2009
Read each of the following quotes about the Blessed Trinity. Then write at least two of our own quotations that describe the Trinity.
May 26, 2009
As you approach the end of the school year, here is a fun and rewarding class session to engage your students in.
April 06, 2009
Sr. Kieran Sawyer SSND offers five principles to guide the use of drills and games in the classroom.
March 16, 2009
Here's an annual breakdown of the NCAA men's basketball tournament with a focus on Catholic colleges that have been selected.
March 01, 2009
This engaging warm up activity from Time Out: Resources for Teen Retreats by Sr. Kieran Sawyer works well as a fun break in any Scripture course.
December 11, 2008
A lesson plan from the exchange that took place at the Fourth Annual Teacher Enrichment Day.
August 13, 2008
In the Olympic spirit and with the knowledge that school and parish programming is upon us, consider this outdoor icebreaker as a way to bring a class or group together, raise money, and have some fun.
March 18, 2008
Here's a re-do of a post we published last year during the all-encompassing NCAA Basketball tournament.
March 11, 2008
Consider this activity to help the students recall their own Baptism and their own faith ancestors.
February 19, 2008
Listed below are three short New Testament Scripture activities that can enrich Scripture or faith synthesis courses.
February 15, 2008
As Catholic Christians we are called to choose the most loving thing in a given situation.
December 19, 2007
Teenagers should begin to realize that they have more responsibility for making the Christmas spirit come alive.
December 07, 2007
Here’s a sample of Dr. Smith Christopher’s favorite Bible Lab sample with a link to two more lessons.
September 13, 2007
My students who took the opportunity to do something a bit different by entering writing contests enjoyed the challenge and the chance to express themselves to a larger audience.
June 19, 2007
With most schools now closing for the summer, the lives of many teachers move in a different direction. For many, it's time to sloooooow down a bit!
Once you've had your vegging "fix," you might want to catch up on some reading—for recreation and spiritual renewal. It's a great part of many teachers' summer routine. It's relaxing; it's rewarding; it's recharging.
June 08, 2007
As the school year wound down, the students began to get a handle on all the year’s material and prepare for final exams. There was a lot of nervousness and worry. It was certainly a year of fun times and laughter, but also one of hard work and stress. The end of the year is a time when they look back and try to review what they have learned. So one day, as they flip back through pages of notes and seek to piece things together, I asked them to stop and reflect. I asked them to reflect on a topic which we have talked about many times: happiness. I asked to answer this question “What do you feel is the key to happiness?”
May 06, 2007
An item in this month’s issue of St. Anthony Messenger reports that, according to a survey conducted by the Center for Applied Research (CARA), only a quarter of American Catholics have read their diocesan newspaper at least once in the past six months! And almost a quarter reported that they had read one or more national Catholic publications during that time.
March 14, 2007
Once again the NCAA men’s basketball tournament is upon us.
December 05, 2006
Religious educators and catechists are always looking for good ideas on how their students might translate faith into action. Christmas is an especially good time to remind us of why and how to love
November 20, 2006
I tried this as a prayer exercise in all of my classes the day before Thanksgiving vacation.
November 15, 2006
There's no shortage of retreats for students, but how often have you heard of a retreat for teachers? This article discusses options for teacher-friendly retreats that can offer a "rehab for the soul."
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