Wednesday, February 4, 2015

Our Religion Lesson

Melanie, these are the pages of the Faith and Life series grade 4 Teacher's Manual for the chapter we did last week covering the first 3 commandments. 

The first page is just an overview and goes over the goals of their four lessons. I don't do it in four lessons but one, so I don't have the repetition the book does. 

I generally begin at lesson 1 reading the text for that lesson and then go over the "Develop" points. I admit we didn't go over Aquinas' 5 ways we know God exists because I thought that would be totally over their heads, but we talked about false gods beyond the golden calf to money, power, etc. Sometimes I pull from the conclusion as well and often the box below the text has helpful diagrams, cross-references and even related Saint information. 

Some of the Discuss points are things we have gone over before but they can still be really helpful reminders. I loved that the review of the 1st commandment included getting to know God and thus prayer and the Discuss went into sources of prayers, the form of prayer, opportunities for prayer, etc. I had never mentioned to them before that, every single time I carry one of them down the stairs I always pray, "O Lord, guide my steps" and have ever since I fell down the stairs carrying Cecilia when she was 2 years old. I just hadn't thought to mention it but it was a good concrete example I had never shared with them on how I pray throughout the day and it was the Discuss points that made me think of it. 

For the 2nd commandment, my girls don't know any swears with God's name but they know to only say "Oh my gosh" rather than its alternate. But I found it very helpful that the text included not making vows or taking oaths lightly and being respectful not only of God's name but all that is Holy so as not to offend Him. I wouldn't have thought to tie the 2nd commandment to proper behavior in church. 

In addition to reviewing going to Mass on Sundays and Holy Days, this commandment includes participating in Mass, which we went over the ways we do that, and receiving communion worthily, which I know might be a little lost on Felicity as we haven't gone over that yet, but it was a good reminder for Cecilia. I loved that when I read the text, "Have you learned more about how to love God than you knew before?" Cecilia, who insists she doesn't need to do religion because she already knows everything, said yes. 

This page I admit I don't use much. It is the answer key to the quizzes and activity book pages. While the girls listen and we discuss, I print out coloring pages for them related to what we are doing. So I had printed out a page of the name "JESUS" and one of a church and they colored them while I read and we discussed. I used to buy the activity pages but neither Cecilia nor Felicity liked how much writing they required. So now we just do the coloring pages, which help keep them focused and they generally enjoy, and discuss as we go along. 

If it is helpful and relevant, I keep my Ignatius Bible on hand and will pull up a text and read from that, summarizing if necessary, so that we do get real meaty Scripture when appropriate. We only do one chapter per week and generally it takes us 30-45 minutes (including the usual interruptions :) )

1 comment:

  1. This is so interesting to see! We use the Faith and Life books, but for first grade I only bought the text and the activity book, and I'd wondered in the teacher's manual that goes along with it was worth it. This makes it seem like it would be!