Friday, October 24, 2008

Lesson Plan- Church & Respect (1st grade on up)

Church & Respect

Objectives: The students will be able to
- explain what church is and what we do there
- explain why and how to act in church and what it means to respect others (parents, teachers, and others).

Vocabulary Words: (Write words on the board and discuss with class)

Priest- he leads us to celebrate Mass and administers the sacraments. Who is our priest?
Church- a sacred building where we worship
God- Our heavenly Father, maker of all things, our creator
Respect- to show consideration or thoughtfulness
Behave- to be good
Crucifix- is a cross with the image of Jesus on it
Bless- to ask that the power of God’s goodness come upon a person or object
Worship- to praise God
Genuflect- to bend the right knee in adoration
Holy- sacred; related to God


Prayer, Take Home Sheet, and vocabulary from last week’s lesson and also Objects Used as Mass cards (Show each card to the students and have them identify the object.)

If the students need help:

*Give them a clue such as saying out loud the first syllable of the word.

*You can lay all the pictures out and ask a question about the object. Have the students point to the object and say the word.
Example: What is the name of the wooden bench you sit on at Church? (Pew)
Have the students point to the object and say the word. Have them repeat the word after you say it if necessary.

Plan: What is the Church? Lesson Plan

Lesson 1: The Church Is God’s House (Children Discover the Mass by Mary Doerfler Dall, page 8). Click to look inside book and see activity.


1. Why don’t all the churches look the same?
2. What is a church? It is a place where we come together to worship the Lord and it is a place where Jesus lives and the Blessed Sacrament is kept.


We act differently in different places. How do we act at a playground? How would you act in a store? How should you act in church? How should you behave? What do we do when we come into the church? (Have students tell you exactly what you should do from start to end of Mass: Sign of the Cross after you dip your fingers into the stoup, genuflect before you sit down, stand up and kneel during Mass, listen, sing, and pray during Mass, what to do when you go up to receive Holy Communion, what you do when you leave church, etc.)

Read story: Church and Respect

Then ask questions:

1. How should we behave in church? We should be at our best behavior in church.

2. How should you dress when you go to church? People were nice, clean clothes when they go to church.

3. How can you respect others at church? By treating church like God's house and listening to your teachers and parents, by walking instead of running and using your quiet voice instead of your loud voice, etc.

4. Where are we supposed to be good besides church? Everywhere.

5. Why should we be good everywhere? Since God is everywhere he can see how we treat others and if we are making them happy or sad.

6. How should we treat others? We treat them how we would like to be treated.

Or We Learn About Mass Teaching Edition: Handbook for Teachers and Catechists by Gerard Moore (for second through fifth grade)

Or Catholic Etiquette: What You Need to Know About Catholic Rites and Wrongs by Kay Lynn Isca


How To Show Good Manners At Church

For those who have forgotten what it means to have manners in church, here's a brief refresher course on what used to be called respect and reverence.

Dress Respectively- No one wants to see 6 inches of someone’s underwear peeking out of their pants or too much skin at church.

Go to the bathroom- Before you leave home, be sure to go to the bathroom. The continual stream of adults and children who repeatedly jump up and down to go to the bathroom during the sermon is annoying and distracting. Granted, there are legitimate reasons for having to use the bathroom during Mass. However, I think that some children have just gotten into a routine: during the homily, go to the bathroom; during Communion, get the drink of water. If you must go again, duck out when everyone is standing up and singing.

Arrive on time for Mass- Leave home with time to arrive at church before Mass begins, preferably about five or 10 minutes. Doing so allows everyone to have a few moments for prayer and to be ready to participate in the Mass.

Enter the church quietly- When entering the church, be sure to make the sign of the cross with the holy water; this gesture reminds us of our baptism and does dispel evil. Before entering the pew, be sure to genuflect, an important act of reverence to the presence of our Lord in the holy Eucharist in the tabernacle.

The sanctuary is not the place to catch up on friendly gossip and race tips, telling jokes or hauling out family photographs. Save the chatter for coffee hour, and keep it quiet in the sanctuary itself. By gossiping in the sanctuary you are interrupting conversations between other parishioners and God.

No gum chewing, candy crunching or eating- Ever. Gum chewing and snapping is noisy, distracting and just plain rude. Plus, it should never ever be allowed to intermingle with the Body and Blood of Christ.

Bow your head during prayer- Show reverence and respect to God.

Turn off your cell phones- This also goes for pagers, iPods, iPads, wristwatch alarms, Game Boys, Kindles, Nintendo DS, etc. Anything electronic should be left in the car.

Do not kick the pews- Refrain from kicking the pews in front of you, resting one's feet on the kneelers, and drumming the fingers on the benches. This type of movement set up vibrations that are felt all the way down the pews, which are highly annoying to those around you.

Say prayers in unison- When it comes time to say communal prayers, such as the Lord's Prayer or Apostle's Creed, recite and/or sing the prayer with the rest of the church instead of racing ahead. No one's going speed up their prayers just because someone else is in a hurry to get to the end.

Worship- In worshiping, participate in the songs and prayers, follow the readings and listen attentively to the homily.

Holy Communion- When receiving holy Communion, always do so reverently. We should be very conscious that we are receiving our Lord. If receiving on the hand, the hands must be clean and held like a throne for the Lord. After receiving, one should consume the Sacred Host before turning around to go back to the pew. Holy Communion must not be reminiscent of a cafeteria line experience, but rather of an encounter with the Lord.

After Communion, each person must give thanks for the precious gift received and allow the grace to fill our souls. How tragic it is to see people leave Mass right after Communion, not because of an emergency, but because they want to get out of the parking lot first. I can only think of Judas, who was the first person ever to leave Mass early. To give the Lord one hour — and usually less — for the holy sacrifice of the Mass is really not much of a sacrifice. I wonder how these same people would feel if someone left their own home in the middle of the meal without even saying thank you.

Do not leave early or leave a mess- After the Mass is concluded with the blessing, wait until the priest has proceeded down the aisle before leaving the pew. The congregation should disperse only after the recessional hymn has concluded. However, before leaving the pew, be sure to put the hymnal back in its holder and pick up used tissues, bulletins, or other items; otherwise, someone else has to attend to them.

Going to church is indeed a social time, a time to gather with other members of the faith community to sing, worship, and give thanks. It's also time to visit with friends and neighbors, catch up on news, share a cup of coffee and even funny anecdotes. However, when the church service begins, it's prudent to remember that we are merely guests in the House of God where reverence and respect should be the standard of good behavior instead of merely optional.


Introduce craft: Where do we come to worship on Sunday?

Make a church- Lesson 1: The Church Is God’s House (Children Discover the Mass by Mary Doerfler Dall, page 8). We Believe
Make a Mass Mobile- Grade 3, Chapter 17 (Pick the grade, type of visitor, and click on Go To. Look under Printable Activities and click on Chapters) Together at Mass
Make a booklet about Mass. Parts of the Mass
Booklet that you fill out and color. Matching Pieces Church Scroll down to: Stained Glass Window Church Craft & Stained Glass Window Community Church Building
The classic, clapboard church building with a clock and bell tower. Enlarge template for younger students to do. Teachers may need to help children put church together. Rural Church (scroll down to this). 3D fold up church that you print out and assemble. Milk Carton Easter Chapels


Introduce game: What do you do during Mass?

Parts of the Mass- Group game that the students have to work together to put the words in the correct places on the outline sheets, using the missalettes as a guide. The book includes answers, outline sheet, and key word cards to play several variations of the game. (Faith Facts for Young Catholics: Drills, Games & Activities for Middle School Students by Sawyer Kieran, page 24, 25, 68, 69, and 70).

The Parts of the Mass- Game 1 & Game 2. (100 Activities Based on the Catechism of the Catholic Church by Ellen Rossini, page 57 and 58.)

Game 1: Using cards that are provided from page 58, the teacher reads a clue from one of the cards and the students who are in teams will try to identify which part of the Mass that the teacher is describing.

Game 2: Follow the same directions, but use a missalette. Silent Activity: Shuffle one set of the cards made for Game I and have the students sort the cards into proper order.

Liturgical Objects Used in Mass- Several games posted

The Holy Mass Game (scroll down to Games)- Directions and questions.

Actions Speak Louder Than Words Game (scroll down to Games)- A fun review game about actions during Mass.

Introduce game: How are we supposed to behave in church?

What ever happened to good manners in church?- Find out if you know how to behave in church. Roll the die and move that many spaces. Follow the directions on the space you land on. If the space has a Roll Play activity on it, perform it to the best of your ability. If needed, the teacher will help you understand what to do and coach you how to do it correctly. If the space has a picture of person reacting to bad behavior that they had just seen in church, draw a Game Card and read it out loud (if the student cannot read, the teacher or someone can read it for them). Answer the question to the best of your ability (the teacher can coach the student if necessary).


Introduce snack: Where do we come together to worship the Lord? Church Sticks (scroll down to this fun snack) Hot Cross Buns

Puzzles, Mazes, Worksheets: Mind Your Manners (black and white version to color and circle) Church and Respect Puzzles (anagrams, crosswords, cryptogram, maze, word-mining sheets, word searches, etc.) Behavior in Mass
Draw a smile face next to the good things to do during Holy Mass. Draw a sad face next to the things not to do during Holy Mass. Celebrating Together (crossword)

Preparing to Receive Holy Communion- Choose the correct word or words to complete the sentences. (100 Activities Based on the Catechism of the Catholic Church by Ellen Rossini, page 20).

Receiving Holy Communion: A Practice Session- To prepare to receive First Holy Communion. (100 Activities Based on the Catechism of the Catholic Church by Ellen Rossini, page 21 and 22).

Prayers in the Holy Liturgy- In this exercise, there are three columns. On the left is a phrase from one of the prayers in the Mass. In the center, you care to write the name of the prayer or specific part of the Mass from which the phrase comes. You may refer to a missalette to find the phrase. Ten on the right, identify the prayer form of which the given phrase is an example. (100 Activities Based on the Catechism of the Catholic Church by Ellen Rossini, page 72).

This worksheet below is free, however it can only to be used for classroom and personal use. It may not be published on any websites or other electronic media, or distributed in newsletters, bulletins, or any other form or sold for profit. Reproduction or retransmission of any materials, in whole or in part, in any manner, is not permitted.

Mass Etiquette Worksheet- Write True or False in the spaces provided.

Homework: Prayers and Take Home Sheet (for younger students) or use a worksheet above for a Take Home Sheet.


*Have the students write 10 things they should not do in church.

*Have the students write what they should do when they enter the church until they sit down.

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