Friday, February 13, 2009

Basic Lesson Plan

Here's a Basic Lesson Plan from Rachel Watkins....

A number of people have talked about the running of meetings. While LF doesn't have a specific 'way' of running meetings - we know you know your group and its needs better than us - here is a general outline that will probably work for every group: 
Opening the Meeting: 
Greeting all the girls (and moms) who are there. Give our special welcome to girls who you may not have seen in awhile or any new girls. Make sure everyone knows each other names. 
Begin w/ a prayer. Using the Our Father, Hail Mary, the Acts of Faith, Hope and Love as well as asking St. Therese or the patron of the virtue to 'Pray for Us'. 
If you want/need a quick and easy ice breaker for each meeting use a "Ball". Get a small ball - any size, any kind. Decide on a question for the meeting such as "What exciting happened in your family since we last saw each other?" or as simple as "What is your favorite color/season/movie/place to visit?" You start w/ answering the question and then toss the ball to someone else at the meeting. You may ask them to say their name (if they don't yet know all names) and then give their answer. This isn't a time for a long discussion on anything but just a quick warm-up. Often you might find a question that fits w/ the virtue - for example for obedience you could ask the challenging - "What is the hardest thing for you to do at your house?" You could remember their answers as you discuss the virtue as good examples. 
Body of the Meeting: 
Overview of the virtue. Given in language they can understand w/ examples of how they already do it and how they can do it in the future. Read the story of the saint and talk about how they lived out this virtue. Here you can also pick out one or more of the activities for the virtue and build your meeting from that. By doing one or more together as a group they are closer to 'earning' a petal. Almost every virtue lends itself to a skit - either made up on the spot (improv) or assigned at a previous meeting for a few girls to do. 
Craft Time: 
For some groups the hardest part as their girls aren't necessarily crafty. Don't worry. Consider doing some group crafts and doing crafts that are also a form of outreach. Giving the girls ample opportunity to take their 'faith on the road' helps fulfill Christ's call for us to 'tell the whole world'! 
For example, does your parish have an outreach program? A local VA or Children's hospital? Talk to the coordinator and see if the girls could make cards to be taken to the homebound or those in hospitals. Perhaps you could make a small quantity of them to keep on hand, ask to be contacted whenever someone is in the hospital and you could mail one of the one's you've already made (love of neighbor or charity). The same could be done for a crisis pregnancy center - making knotted fleece blankets are so very easy and you could make one or two in group to send over (industry). Granted while it is very nice to have a craft tie in directly w/ a virtue that isn't always possible, and practicing love every meeting through the crafts is always good. 
Snack Time: 
Sharing this load is always easiest. 
Game Time: Another area when you think you'd love to do a game linked to the virtue but again it isn't always possible. Learning and practicing fair play, sharing and celebrating joy and each other's skills and abilities is good. Remember that virtue builds on virtue. Your girls may have a favorite they want to play again and again or want to do something new every time. Relying on familiar favorites makes it easier on the mom in charge so don't dismiss that as a possibility. Or again - assign this job to a new girl each month - perhaps they can come w/ a family favorite (even a short, quick board game) to teach each other. The same goes for a song - it need not be specifically a religious song as everyone loves singing "Bingo" or "Down by the Bay". 
Having fun as group, being with others who are striving to be holy is a good thing so don't overanalyze or worry to much! 
God Bless, 
Rachel Watkins 

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