Catechism classes serve different purposes in teens’ lives. It is where they go to learn the core teachings of the Christian faith, to prepare for sacraments and to study important Christian texts. Although Catechism class content is often serious and significant, that doesn’t mean it can’t be fun for teens. Supplement meaningful lessons in faith with relevant, stimulating activities that engage young Christians while promoting teen interests and abilities.
Healthy, meaningful friendships are crucial to child development and encouraged by Christian faith. During the adolescent years, teens spend more time with friends than ever before, which is why social activities that encourage interaction between teens can engage and interest students. Conduct role-play activities with groups of teens so that they can interpret and synthesize important Christian lessons while interacting with their peers. Begin classes with a prayer circle, and encourage everyone to contribute a line of praise or thanks. Allow teens to pair up during Bible studies, to foster communication about passages and encourage an exchange of ideas.
Arts and Crafts
Arts and crafts allow teens to express themselves in unique and diverse ways. Encourage teens to think creatively about different beliefs, lessons and values with activities that inspire minds and abilities. Challenge teens to paint or draw an illustration of a well-known Biblical event using symbols and patterns, or make personalized rosaries with colored beads and religious charms. Encourage teens to write and share original prayers, or create three-dimensional dioramas depicting stories from the Bible.
Active learning activities directly engage learners by providing involvement and hands-on experiences. Teach teens how to actively live the Christian faith by putting lessons and messages into practice. Help teens create friendship bracelets, fabric crosses or other crafts to raise funds for the poor. Organize a youth retreat day where teens can engage in group activities that promote bonding and celebration of faith. Incorporate religious customs and traditions in the Catechism classroom, such as daily devotionals, the May Crowning and the Advent Wreath.
Enhance learning lessons with opportunities for teens that go beyond the classroom. Give teens an active role in their Christian education by granting a student the opportunity to lead the class every so often. Provide the teen with a list of topics to choose from ahead of time, and allow her to introduce that day’s class with a story, reading or activity of her choosing. Invite guest speakers to class to share their stories with teens, or organize a field trip to a special church or other place of religious importance.