Fun fun fun at the Communion retreat on Sunday with 7 and 8-year-olds. Four groups of 10 or so, 25+ minutes each time. The standard program covered the miracle of the Loaves and Fishes using step-by-step teacher’s notecards, and miraculously-expanding big paper-doll type loaves and fish. Pretty neat. Of course the kids already knew the story, so I couldn’t see spending the whole time on that one miracle. Plus they already knew other stories that tie into the Eucharistic theme. Why not connect the dots they know, and add a couple while we’re at it?
So instead of the prepared program, I presented a stripped-down version of the 6-step Bible Miracle Food Pyramid:
0. What’s a food pyramid? What’s a miracle food pyramid? (2 minutes)
1. Moses, bread and flesh in the desert. (3 minutes)
2. Elijah, bread and flesh in the desert. (3 minutes)
3. Elisha multiplies bread. (3 minutes)
4. Jesus transforms water into wine. (3 minutes)
5. Jesus multiplies bread and flesh; helpers passed out hunks of French bread for some hands-on drama. (6 minutes)
6. Jesus transforms bread into flesh; and wine into blood. This miracle continues even until today in Masses all around the world. (5 minutes)
At each step we reviewed how each succeeding miracle compared to the prior ones. As appropriate, I’d dramatize the stories and draw pictures. None of the four sessions went quite the same.
First time I’ve worked with kids this young. Their attention spans are shorter than 6th graders’, but they think as fast, and threw themselves into it as soon as I got them laughing. Nice gig.
This example is how I typically lesson-plan any new assignment. I consider allotted time, the audience, and what they probably already know. Then I figure how to cover the topic in a way that’s fun and stimulating, connects to other stuff, and leads to a bigger Catholic picture. Always: how does this bit we are discussing tie into the rest of the Bible and the Faith?
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Deanna Bartalini says
Very nice. I could see it working with older groups as well.
I’ll be doing it for an hour as part of my summer adult program.