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Basic Lesson Planning. Presenting Catechists information and resources for effective lesson planning. Objectives. The learner will: Understand the need for and practice of basic lesson planning. Name and describe the components of a basic catechetical learning process.

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basic lesson planning

Basic Lesson Planning

Presenting Catechists information and resources for effective lesson planning.


The learner will:

  • Understand the need for and practice of basic lesson planning.
  • Name and describe the components of a basic catechetical learning process.
  • Study different models of lesson planning.
  • Design a lesson plan using one of the various models studied.
  • Compare and contrast these catechetical models of lesson plans as presented in textbook series.

The goal of the catechetical process is to help people develop a living, conscious and active faith. National Catechetical Directory #32

why plan
Why Plan?
  • To assist the catechist in the implementation of the catechetical process.
  • To organize lesson goals and activities
  • To save time
types of planning
Types of Planning
  • Long range planning includes reviewing the year’s calendar to develop a cohesive plan from week to week covering all catechetical themes set forth in the manual
  • Short range planning involves the planning of each weekly lesson, making it comfortable for presentation.
long range planning
Long Range Planning
  • To create a cohesive plan for the year you need
    • A program calendar which covers the whole CCE year including dates when you won’t have class
    • The text
Once you have a calendar and the text you can begin mapping out what chapters will be covered each week.

This step makes the weekly planning much easier.

short range planning
Short Range Planning
  • Short range planning is more in depth and outlines goals and activities for a specific lesson
  • To create a short range plan you need:
    • Your long range plan
    • The student text
    • Your creativity
A good weekly plan will have
    • A focus or goal
      • A statement which gives the theme of the lesson
    • Learner objectives/outcomes stated in behavioral terms
      • Specific actions you want the children to be able to complete
      • Specific ideas you want the children to express or explain
    • Teaching strategies
      • The activities you will use to lead the students to lead the students to reach the defined objectives or outcomes.
elements of an effective lesson
Elements of an effective lesson
  • Preparation: prayer, lesson, copies, materials, arrive 30 minutes prior to session, info on students, i.e. telephone numbers
  • Session: preparation of content, materials needed for lesson, scissors, glue, equipment, etc.
  • Hospitality: welcoming, fondness, sincerity, sensitivity, interest, comprehension
  • Clear instructions: strong voice, clear instruction, be visible, clear articulation
Physical Environment: furniture placement, air conditioning/heat, lighting, cleanliness, no obstructions, electric sockets.
  • Time: schedule sufficient time for activities, punctuality
  • Elements of Surprise: excitement in the session, be open to the Holy Spirit
  • Routine: Class rules, equipment and storage space for materials
elements of an effective lesson12
Elements of an effective lesson
  • Variety: activities varied to fit the lesson, appropriate resources
  • Prayer: prayer corner, bible, plant, student involvement in the space
  • Decorations: in accord with liturgical year, adequate and appropriate bulletin board, plants, posters.
developing a good lesson plan
Developing a Good Lesson Plan
  • State learning outcomes in terms of what the student will know and demonstrate
    • Learning outcomes can only be assessed by observation of the learned behavior of the student
    • Teaching strategies state how the catechist will accomplish the learner objectives.


aspects of learning
Aspects of Learning
  • Each lesson should contain learner outcomes that address
    • The cognitive: Our mind
    • The affective: Our heart
    • The behavioral: Our actions
benjamin bloom
Benjamin Bloom

An educator and researcher how greatly influenced education during the 20th century.

Bloom’s Taxonomy of Educational Objectives defined the different domains and levels of learning under each domain

bloom s taxonomy
Bloom’s Taxonomy
  • The cognitive domain includes
    • Knowledge – remembering of previous learning. Verbs: define, describe, identify.
    • Comprehension – grasp meaning of material. Verbs: explain, summarize, give example, show understanding.
    • Application – Use learned material in new and concrete situations. Verbs: compute, demonstrate, predict, solve.
The Cognitive domain also includes:
    • Analysis – break down material into its parts. Verbs: understand, compare, contrast.
    • Synthesis – put parts together to form a new whole. Verbs: plan, revise, write.
    • Evaluation – judge value of material. Verbs: appraise, justify, interpret, summarize.
The affective domain includes
    • Receiving
    • Responding
    • Valuing
    • Organization
    • Characterization by a value
The behavioral domain includes:
    • Observation of understanding and a new learned response.
lesson plans should include the following design focus experience message integration response
Lesson plans should include the following design:Focus ExperienceMessageIntegration Response
steps for good lesson planning
Steps for Good Lesson Planning
  • Focus: Aim of lesson
  • Experience: Reflect on the student’s life experience.
  • Message: Content of the lesson
  • Integration: connect the message of the lesson with the student’s life experience.
  • Response: Action or response to the lesson
The focus or goal of the lesson is a statement of what you want the student to learn
    • For example: The ten commandments are about God’s law.
The objectives/outcomes of the lesson are two fold
    • The learner objective/outcome
      • What you want the student to know (cognitive)
      • How the student will form his/her ideas, beliefs, values (affective)
      • How the student’s behavior will be influenced and changed (behavioral)
    • The teacher strategy – how the catechist will teach the lesson
for example
For Example
  • Learner objective: the students will name the 4th commandment and demonstrate their understanding
  • Teacher stategy: Have students sing “This Old Man” music with the words of the 10 Commandments.
Learner Objective: The students will identify each of the 10 Commandments
  • Teacher Strategy: Have the students research the 10 Commandments in the context of the Old Testament
Learner Objective: The students will demonstrate their understanding of the 7th Commandment
  • Teacher Strategy: Help the students name their experience through the participation in a role play of the 7th Commandment
The content of the lesson can be presented in many different ways
    • the use of discussion, role play or ice breakers during the experience part of the lesson
    • lecture or a video during the message portion
    • executing a project or making a banner in the response portion of the lesson.
connecting with the student
Connecting with the Student
  • It is important that the catechist connect religious, scriptural and doctrinal themes with the life experience of the student.
  • This is accomplished by organizing the lesson beginning with the focus and spiraling out through learner objective/outcome to teacher strategies.
lesson plan models
Lesson Plan Models
  • Bernard Longeran
    • had a 4 step lesson plan.
    • a strong influence on both Thomas Groome and Richard Reichert
bernard lonergan
Bernard Lonergan
  • Step One
    • Experience – learning draws from experience. One begins with an awareness of a life experience and its meaning in light of the goal of the learning process. This experience is total – rational as well as feelings and attitudes
  • Step Two
    • Framework or Understanding – after looking at one’s own experience, the person is presented with a framework of understanding someone else’s experience. In catechesis this usually is the Church’s time-tested experience in Scripture, doctrine, liturgy and moral teachings. Provided with this framework, the person then reflects and tries to discover its meaning
Step 3
    • Judgment – in reflecting upon the experience and resulting meaning, one enters into dialogue between how the individual sees the experience and how the framework views it. One interprets the experience in light of one’s understanding, then affirms or denies what one can in each experience. A judgment is formed concerning the experience and a new meaning is shaped.
Step 4
    • Decision – with this new meaning, one must now make a decision how to implement the new insight into his lifestyle. This new meaning will bring about a change, a change that is concrete, rooted in performance, and will remain operative in one’s life.
thomas groome shared christian praxis
Thomas Groome – Shared Christian Praxis
  • Step 1
    • Present Action – Participant is invited to name his experience in light of the topic beign explored
  • Step 2
    • Critical Reflection – Participant reflects critically on why he acts, feels, believes as he does
Step 3
    • Story and Vision of the Christian Community – the faith story is presented
  • Step 4
    • Dialogue Between Stories – the participant dialogues between the community’s faith story and his own experience to appropriate the community’s story
  • Step 5
    • Implications – the participant chooses a personal faith response for the future
richard reichert
Richard Reichert
  • Step 1
    • Starting Point – the educator is aware of a person’s present manner of behaving, value system, cultural situation, readiness to learn.
  • Step 2
    • Significant Experience – an unexpected or structured experience is had that challenges the person to reflect on his present lifestyle and to reevaluate it.
Step 3
    • Reflection – an evaluation of present knowledge, values and behavior takes place by thinking, pondering and weighing alternatives, often in dialogue with significant experience. The result is a decision to alter one’s life in some form.
  • Step 4
    • Assimilation – integration happens of the new insight into one’s present lifestyle. Commitment to change one’s behavior takes place.

Groome, Thomas, “Christian Educaiton: A Task for Present Dialectical Hermeneutics,” The Living Light, Fall, 1977.

Groome, Thomas, Christian Religious Education, Harper and Row Publishers, San Francisco, 1980.

Groome, Thomas, Sharing Faith, Harper and Collins, 1992.

Moran, Gabriel, Religious Education Development, Winston Press, MN, 1983.

Warren, Michael, ed., Sourcebook for Modern Catechetics, St. Mary Press, Winona, MN., 1983.

Marthaler, Berard L., “The Development of Curriculum from Catechism to Textbook,” The Living Light, Winter, 1996.

Reichert, Richard, A Learning Process for Religious Education, Pflaum Press, Dayton, OH, 1975.

Ries, Peter, Catechists in Formation, Benziger Publishing Company, Mission Hills, CA., 1994.