Engaging Faith: Practical lesson ideas and activities for Catholic Educators

Posts for Icebreaker

Seat Warming Activity on Marriage

February 10, 2017

Last week was National Marriage Week. As a seat warming activity, have your students write answers to the following questions about marriage. The first set of questions is objective questions with the answers to be summarized from the Catechism of the Catholic Church. The second set of questions is personal reflections.

Sharing News about a Religious Vocation

January 16, 2017

The discernment of a religious vocation for a young man or young woman is accompanied by prayer, questioning, and finally a decision. At some point the person tells his or her family of the choice to further prepare for the priesthood or religious life. In most cases, the person’s close family members have a sense of what he or she is leaning towards. Sometimes the decision catches some family members by surprise.

Dialoguing Principles

January 06, 2017

Small group and full classroom discussions encourage sharing among your students. Though each lesson and activity uses slightly different dialogue techniques, some general methodological principles apply to all of them. The following principles, adapted from the work of Sr. Kieran Saywer, SSND.

Catholic New Years' Resolutions

December 28, 2016

As a welcome back to class exercise after Christmas vacation, ask the students to create a list of ten Catholic New Years’ Resolutions.

A Discussion on the Sacrament of Penance

December 13, 2016

Here’s a short discussion activity you can lead prior to a fuller lesson on the Sacrament of Penance and, perhaps, participation by your students in the sacrament itself.

Thinking about the Beatitudes

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.

Catholic Olympians 2016

August 10, 2016

Several current Olympians on the 2016 United States of America team have publicly witnessed to their Catholic faith while in Rio de Janeiro. Three of the most prominent are gymnast Simon Boles, swimmer Katie Ledecky, and fencer Katharine Holmes.

Tenth Annual Catholic Colleges in March Madness

March 15, 2016

Here we are again with our tenth annual look at Catholic colleges who have qualified for the NCAA Men’s and Women’s basketball tournaments, also known as “March Madness.”

The exercise is an interesting one because many of your students are familiar with filling out brackets for an NCAA pool and you can use the current nature and popularity of the event to teach something about the traditions of the Catholic colleges participating, their founding religious community, a namesake saint, and much more.

Word of Mouth: An Outside da Box video

February 19, 2016

Outside da Box has produced a video that deals with issues of bullying, meanness, kindness, and proper Christian living as commonly presented around a Catholic high school.

Considering Catholics in the News

January 22, 2016

This exercise gives students an opportunity to research and reflect on contemporary celebrities who identify as Catholic.

New Year's Personal Inventory

January 08, 2016

The start of a new year or a new semester is a great time for your students to take inventory on their lives, looking back to the past, critiquing their present, and anticipating their future. You might use the following exercise to supplement a lesson in the early part of the semester.

God, Faith, Religion on Social Media

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.

Advent/Christmas Icebreaker Idea

December 01, 2014

This Christmas-themed icebreaker encourages students to share remembrances of fun holiday celebrations.

Getting to Know New Students & New Names

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?

Summer Fun for Youth Groups

June 27, 2011

Here are three simple summer fun for your parish youth groups with a few extra adaptations. Enjoy!

Talking About Jesus!

May 24, 2011

As an icebreaker or a way to introduce lessons on a variety of theology topics, allow the chance for your students to share some of their ideas about Jesus.

Reaction to Jesus' Miracles

February 09, 2011

As you investigate Jesus’ miracles from the Gospels, your students will notice three kinds of reactions. Some of those who witness the miracles are rightly amazed. Others are doubtful. And still others are confused. This exercise encourages contemplation of the nature of these reactions.

Four Ways for Teens to Get to Know Each Other

September 29, 2010

Listed below are four community-building activities that can help teens in a class or parish group get to know each other better.

Small Group Game: The Body of Christ

July 15, 2010

This twenty-minute game is a fun icebreaker for Confirmation classes or youth groups helping teens to make a connection with the Body of Christ and the variety of gifts that make up the Church.

Encountering God: A Demonstration

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.

Introducing the Miracles of Jesus

June 17, 2010

The miracles of Jesus were meant to bring about reaction. Play this fun mental math game with your students to solicit the same kinds of responses that Jesus often received whenever he performed a miracle.

Use Wordle to Spice-Up Your Theology Lesson Plans

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.

3 Classic Icebreaker Games

March 12, 2010

These activities will be nice reminders for most of you veteran teachers and youth ministers, but they are tried and true.

One-to-One Sharing Activity

January 05, 2010

This activity (adapted from an activity by Sr. Kieran Sawyer, SSND) will help teens to remember some of the events, people, and experiences of childhood and imagine a time when in the future when they will look back on their entire lives in the company of Jesus.

Prayer Bingo

October 21, 2009

Play a game of bingo to begin a lesson on the importance of prayer.

Sentence Starters

October 05, 2009

Use the following as an introduction to a class or youth group meeting.

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