The following lesson is an adaptation of an activity that appears in Our Catholic Faith, a textbook for Introduction to Catholicism courses.
- Open by praying together the Lord’s Prayer (Our Father).
- Have the students form groups of five. Each group is to develop a letter petitioning the principal of the school to make changes that the group thinks would be beneficial for the school. Allow the students ten minutes to come up with a draft of their letter. Explain that the letter should have four parts: 1) salutation, 2) positive things the students want to say about the school and the principal, 3) concerns the students want to bring to the principal’s attention, and 4) a closing sentence.
- After the letters are drafted, bring the students back into a large group. Have representatives from the groups describe what they wrote in each section. If time allows, hear from each group on all four parts. If not, hear from one to three groups and see if any of the other groups have anything else to add. Write the key findings for each of these four parts on the board leaving plenty of room under each part. Leave this on the board throughout the session.
- Review with them the key parts of the Lord’s Prayer. Discuss with them the meaning of each part of the prayer. Ask students to share what they think each part means.
- Ask the students to think back to the letters they wrote to the principal. What do those letters and the Lord’s Prayer have in common? They both have greetings, statements of praise, and petitions/requests. Have the students divide the Lord’s Prayer into each of the four suggested parts: greeting, praise, petitions/requests, and a closing. Make it clear to the students that when they pray the Lord’s Prayer they are bringing a letter of petition to God: they greet God, give him praise, request what they think they need, and close with an “amen”!