Suggested Methods and Strategies for Grades 4-6

by Jo Ann Paradise

The NDC tells us that, "The Church's catechesis—and even more so, the catechist—must take into consideration all the human factors of a particular age level in order to present the Gospel message in a vital and compelling way" (48). More specifically, "School-age children should receive formal and systematic catechesis in a parish-based catechetical program, a Catholic school, or a program of home-based catechesis in which the content of the faith and the experience of Christian life is presented authentically and completely" (48.E.2).

To effectively help children understand the mysteries of faith, apply teaching strategies and methods based on the child's stage of development. Two specific groups follow, with characteristics and corresponding suggested strategies.

Grades 4-6 Characteristics

  • compares parents' views to other adults' views that they respect
  • belonging to groups shapes their identity
  • can think abstractly
  • strong sense of fairness; willing to act for justice
  • can place themselves vicariously into situations
  • involves all senses
  • experiential learners (hands-on, likes to "do" it to learn about it)
  • have begun to conceptualize


  • Build mutual respect; affirm the faith shared in a Catholic home, or provide a way to imagine a faith-filled life.
  • Use their need for group-identity to teach what it means to be disciples of Christ, Catholic.
  • Help them move more deeply into understanding or faith through more reflective questions and role-playing. •
  • Provide opportunities for them to build or create things together as a group, working on a common goal.
  • Help them understand the demands of relationships and how to find opportunities to practice Corporal Works of Mercy.