I teach kindergarten CCD (Catechism, aka Sunday School for Catholics) at the base chapel every week. So cute, right? I’m not even really a practicing Catholic these days – but I made the commitment to teach so I’m sticking with it. The kids are so sweet and their perspective on spirituality is refreshingly untainted, I love it.
The kids are all at varying levels as far as reading, writing, prior knowledge, and attention span go. The first few weeks I was teaching I tried to just follow the book directly. The problem is that the textbook is too difficult for them to use properly, and its too boring if I have to read everything to them. Rather than just pop in Veggie Tales and call it a day, I decided recently to create my own curriculum every week. I do really simple lessons, with accompanying craft projects. The goal is to get them to learn one basic concept every week.
Its been a win-win, and the kids have gone from dreading to loving my class. The happy feedback I get from parents (and how sweet and happy they are during class time) is so rewarding. And since our classroom is super plain and empty, we’ve been using the projects to help jazz up the room and add some color. The kids LOVE seeing their work up on the walls.
“Jesus Loves Us” – I literally just hand drew big bubble letters and let them color them in. I used a hole punch, some string and hooks to hang them all from the ledge around the room. (That ledge is designed to be able to hang things from and I’m just using Christmas ornament hooks to hold everything up, lol).
With this lesson I also made each student a sheet that says “Jesus loves” with a big blank at the bottom for them to write in their names.
While they’re coloring I read from the text book or use my own words to explain the “lesson.” I re-word things to express the same idea in a few different ways. Then I ask them simple questions that lead them to reiterate the lesson back to me. For this class I kept asking, “Does Jesus love me?” “Does Jesus love the cashier at the grocery store?” “Does Jesus love your parents?” etc.
The Cross – I traced and cut out crosses on white cardboard (perfect medium) and let the kids decorate both sides.
Since they’re hung up on the hooks, they freely spin around showing off both sides.
For this lesson I explained about Jesus dying on the Cross for us, and how the Cross is a symbol of Christianity. I had them make the sign of the cross multiple times during the lesson as well (Catholic component). I read out of a children’s Bible and showed them the illustrations to help them understand. We discussed that Jesus went up to Heaven after dying for us, and He lives in Heaven forever.
“God Made Everything” – This was their favorite lesson by far! I read them Genesis from the children’s Bible (and showed them all the illustrations) to explain that God created the entire world – sky, stars, plants, animals, people, everything! They were asked to draw things that God made, or draw pictures of the world that God made for us. They made the cutest little pictures of turtles, cats, flowers, rainbows, the sun, etc.
I cut out all of their little drawings and put them together on a big poster that I captioned:
I took their scenery drawings and connected them into a big poster-sized piece:
This project was such a hit that they requested to do a part 2. Five year old students asked me if they could please draw God’s creations – how amazing is that? I love it! So today they worked on more drawings. I’ll make a new post once I’ve put them all together into a poster (or whatever I end up doing with them).
Here’s a shot of one corner of the classroom:
The bulletin board there was decorated by the church, but its the only decoration in the room other than a chalk board and a supply cabinet. The posters of the students’ art is on either side, hanging by hooks from that ledge.
Finally, check out the sweet note one of the girls in my class made for me this morning. AWWW! It doesn’t get any sweeter.
Feel free to copy and use my ideas! I post everything I do in hopes that others can use/benefit from them. And if you’re a Sunday School teacher, or have your own religious craft ideas – let me know. I’m always looking for new projects.