Before you do anything you must plan and prepare. When you go grocery shopping, you make a list of the food you want or you will buy things you don’t need and you won’t have what you want to eat for the week. You do the same thing with planning what you will teach in your CCD class. You plan what you are going to do and you prepare.
Having a well planned and prepared CCD class is essential. Without this your students cannot learn to their fullest potential. A well planned and prepared lesson plan will also help to avoid possible behavior problems that could arise in your class as well.
Tips For Planning and Preparing Your Lessons
1. Know your curriculum. Read, study, and learn. A good lesson depends on how well the catechist understands the material.
2. Prepare ahead. Take your class CCD schedule and plan for the whole year what lessons (chapters from your curriculum) you will do. It does not have to be elaborate, just jot down the chapter and/or subject for each Sunday you have CCD.
3. Formulate objectives for your lesson (what you want your students to learn). That will determine what you will teach.
4. Select what activities you will be doing with your students. Find various activities (crafts, worksheets, games, coloring sheets, puzzles, etc.) that go with your lesson. Review the objectives of your lesson to determine if the activity is appropriate for your students. Remember that the activities must relate to the lesson. Only do crafts, games, and activities that emphasize the lesson and the objectives of what you want your students to learn. These activities make your lessons more concrete and easier for the students to understand and also a lot of fun. Keeping the students busy with relevant activities also helps eliminate discipline problems that might erupt due to the students being bored.
*Be sure to list all the materials for each activity needed in the lesson plan.
5. Adjust lesson plan to your students. Be sure to take into account that every year each group of students is different and can learn differently than previous classes. What activities worked one year might not work this year. Take into account the unique needs of your students or how they learn best to make your lesson as effective as possible. Example: If your students learn better when they are in small groups, make sure you have an activity planned for your students to break into a small group and work together.
6. Have alternative activities. Sometimes what you have planned for the class does not work out so have alternative activities to accomplish your objectives for the lesson.
7. Have extra activities. Sometimes what you have planned takes less time than expected. Be sure to have other activities to fill in if you have extra time in your lesson.
8. Review lesson plan. Go over it thoroughly. Practice doing the lesson plan and picture yourself doing it. Make adjustments if necessary.
9. Make sure you have enough materials for all students. Have enough books, pencils, craft supplies, worksheets, puzzles, etc. for each student. Have a few extra for any new students or if they bring a friend to class.
10. Have materials and classroom ready before class. Make sure you arrive early to set up your classroom and to make sure all the materials and equipment you need are there, easy to access, and ready to go.