The 3 R’s of Religious Education, and I’m not talking Reading, Writing and arithmatic

In talking with other Catechists and after spending over 20 years teaching sunday school and religious education type classes I have found at least when teaching my first graders there are three things to always have in the back of your mind regardless the lesson you are teaching.

The 3 R’s of Religious Education

Real (the children must be participants in the at least part of the lesson you are teaching and this means much more than following along in their textbook!)

Relative  (the children should be given cues as to how the lesson relates to everyday experiences they may encounter)

Repetitive  (Lessons such as those taught in the Bible are not taught in one telling, but are a continuing process from which we learn valuable lessons about ourselves and life in general.   That’s why we need to review what we’ve learned and review it frequently sometimes even partially reteaching an important concept through the introduction of different materials)

but…doesn’t repetition get boring? It doesn’t have to!

I use a word maybe your word is Jesus, maybe its holy, maybe its F.R.O.G.   whatever the case we spend time reviewing everything we’ve learned so far in the year and each class they answer most of my questions(sometimes the whole class shouts out the answers sometimes they raise hands) they earn a letter and once the word is earned they get a small prize/token like a pencil, bookmark, eraser….etc…

Usually this takes a few weeks of classes for them to cue in to what we are doing but slowly they remember more and more and eventually we get to the point where I allow a few children a class to request a favorite bible song or story for the class to interact with together.


Links to my blog entry on:

The Good Samaritan

The Sower and the Seeds

So as you go out to bring the Gospel to your students whatever their age….

Remember the 3 R’s




In the name of the Father, and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit…Amen


About ellasurreau

I am a first grade religious education catechist I have been teaching for 20 years I have a BA in Religious Studies I have continued taking classes in religious studies since graduating. I grew up Methodist, and became catholic after marrying.
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