Grades 1-5 Religious Education

Our Religious Education program for students in grades 1 through 5 is designed to strengthen the partnership between parents as the primary educators of their children and our entire parish community as supporting educators.

Grades 1-5 Religious Education Calendar (PDF)

If you have any questions, comments or concerns, please call (608-271-8081), email or stop in to talk; we love to hear from our parents.

Our elementary classes meet October through April in the parish school. Classes are held on Mondays. There are two session times: 4:00 to 5:15 p.m. or 6:00 to 7:15 p.m.

We recognize that children learn in different ways and we strive to incorporate a variety of teaching methods to meet those needs. We also recognize that this can be a very long day for most of the students, so creative and thoughtful lesson planning is done.

Reviewing the chapters at home with your child and completing homework activities helps to reinforce the material. Because children are more likely to do what we do rather than what we say, it is expected that children will attend Sunday Mass each week and that prayer will be a part of their home life.

We use the Be Our Disciples textbook by RCL. Every year, children review previously taught concepts to reinforce their faith and learn new concepts to grow in their faith. 

Our Mission is to develop a deeper understanding of our Catholic faith in your growing child. At St. Maria Goretti, we want each child to know that they are valued members of our parish community.

 

Each year, more than 100 children from St. Maria Goretti School and Religious Education receive their First Holy Communion at our church. Preparation for this sacraments is a key focus in our second grade programs. Read more. 

First Reconciliation and First Communion Handbook

First Reconciliation and First Communion Policy

First Reconciliation and First Communion Timeline

Educational Objectives
Our objectives for the school year are to ensure that each of our First Graders:

In Scripture:

  1. Tell that the stories read at Mass come from the Bible.
  2. Demonstrate respect for the Bible as God's holy Word to us.
  3. Retell the Bible stories of creation and the birth of Jesus.
  4. Relate how Bible stories tell about God's love for us.
  5. Tell that creation shows God's love for us.
  6. Tell that the birth of Jesus shows God's love for us.

In Doctrine:

  1. Recognize that God is the creator of all things.
  2. Identify that God always was and will be (God has no beginning and no end).
  3. Identify that God wants us to do good and avoid evil.
  4. Tell that choosing to do what offends God and harms others is called sin.
  5. Tell that Jesus gives us the Sacrament of Reconciliation in which we ask God's forgiveness of our sins.
  6. Identify that doing good and being kind pleases God.

In Sacraments:

  1. Identify that Jesus gave us the Sacraments as a way to celebrate and remember God’s love for us.
  2. Tell that the Sacrament of Baptism is a celebration of welcoming us into the Christian family as followers of Jesus.
  3. Witness a parish infant Baptism and afterward talk about the celebration and the meaning of the water as an outward sign of Baptism.

In Community:

  1. Recognize that the two great commandments are love of God and love of neighbor.
  2. Recognize that their own behavior affects others.
  3. Discuss how they show love of God and neighbor.

In Service:

  1. Listen to gospel stories and discuss how love of neighbor was shown.
  2. Describe ways they can provide service to others.
  3. Discuss ways to care for and respect the gift of creation.

In Prayer:

  1. Recite the Lord's Prayer, Hail Mary, and Glory Be.
  2. Participate in the Stations of the Cross during Lent.
  3. Participate in Mass prayerfully.
  4. Prepare and assume different roles in communal prayer.
  5. Share reasons why they pray.

In Spirituality:

  1. Tell ways that God shows love for them.
  2. Describe prayer as talking with God.
  3. Express appreciation for God's creation.
  4. Celebrate Mary as the Mother of Jesus.
  5. Pray.
Our objectives for the school year are to ensure that each of our Second Graders:

In Scripture:

  1. Show how the index of a Bible lists all of the books as well as their page location.
  2. Show how the Bible is divided into two main sections: The Hebrew Scripture (The Old Testament) and the New Testament.
  3. Retell selected Bible stories: God calling Abraham and Moses; the Exodus; Moses receiving the Ten Commandments; and the Birth, Death and Resurrection of Jesus.
  4. Tell how the Bible stories of: God calling Abraham and Moses; the Exodus; Moses receiving the Ten Commandments; and the Birth, Death and Resurrection of Jesus demonstrate God’s love.
  5. Recite the Ten Commandments and tell how they help us love God and people.

In Doctrine:

  1. Explain that sin is an offense against God and neighbor.
  2. Tell the difference between Original Sin, Mortal (serious) Sin, and Venial (less serious) Sin.
  3. Tell that the Holy Spirit is the spirit of God and is our helper sent to us by Jesus.
  4. Describe how the Holy Spirit can help us.
  5. Tell that we remember the life, death and resurrection of Jesus and receive his Body and Blood when we receive the Holy Eucharist.
  6. Describe how sin hurts us, others, and our relationship to God.
  7. Know that the term "salvation" means to be saved by the love of God.

In Sacraments:

  1. Recall that Sacraments are signs of God's love for us through which Jesus becomes truly present and helps us in our lives.
  2. Identify the term grace as a gift of God's love which enables us to live good Christian lives
  3. Talk about the Sacrament of Reconciliation as an opportunity to say we are sorry for our sins and receive God’s love and forgiveness.
  4. Describe the Sacrament of Eucharist as an action in which we thankfully receive Jesus and remember His life, death and resurrection.
  5. Recall the story of the Last Supper.
  6. Tell that at the consecration in the Liturgy, the bread and wine are changed into (the real presence of) the Body and Blood of Christ and offered to us as a sign of God's love.

In Community:

  1. Recite the two great commandments: love of God and love of neighbor.
  2. Describe how participation in Mass and prayer unites us as one in the Body of Christ.
  3. Examine the effects of their own behavior in family and group settings.
  4. Discuss and practice ways to stand up for what is right.
  5. Describe how inappropriate behavior interferes with their relationship with God.

In Service:

  1. Discuss ways they can put their love for others into action (service).
  2. Participate in a group service project that provides service to those in need.
  3. Take actions that show their love of God's creation.
  4. Discuss different service ministries.

In Prayer:

  1. Recite an Act of Contrition.
  2. Recite an example of a spontaneous prayer.
  3. Understand the meaning of the Lord's Prayer.
  4. Prepare and assume different roles in communal prayer experiences in the classroom.
  5. Describe the difference between public and private prayer.
  6. Understand the meaning of personal prayer.
  7. Describe how prayer is essential to their relationship with God.
  8. Compose a personal prayer.

In Spirituality:

  1. Listen to scriptural stories that describe God's love and power.
  2. Express their love of God through prayer and action.
  3. Listen to and discuss the story of Mary saying "yes" to God.
  4. Suggest ways in which we can say "yes" to God.
  5. Express their love for Jesus through the reception of the Sacraments of Eucharist and Reconciliation.
Our objectives for the school year are to ensure that each of our Third Graders:

In Scripture:

  1. Recognize the list of Hebrew Scripture (Old Testament) Books and the list of New Testament Books found in the index of a Catholic Bible.
  2. Describe the Old Testament as writings about God's relationship with his chosen people, the Hebrews
  3. Describe the New Testament as writings about Jesus who shows us how to love God and love others.
  4. Locate passages in the Bible according to books, chapters, and verses.
  5. Retell the stories of creation, the life of Jesus and his Passion, Death, and Resurrection using word, art, and/or drama.
  6. Identify how the writings in the Bible help us to better know, love, and serve God.
  7. Recite the great Commandment and how it applies to their lives.
  8. Identify what the Ten Commandments call us to do and not to do.

In Doctrine:

  1. Identify that God is the Trinity – one God who is Father, Son, and Holy Spirit.
  2. Describe revelation and the many ways God is revealed to us. (Scripture, the Church, creation, families, people, events in life)
  3. Recall that God sent Jesus to teach us how to live lovingly, justly, humbly, and prayerfully.
  4. Identify that Jesus is both true God and true Man.
  5. List examples of how God expresses love for us.
  6. Discuss the concepts of Heaven, Hell, and Purgatory.

In Sacraments:

  1. Recite the names of the seven Sacraments.
  2. Identify that Baptism, Confirmation, and Eucharist are Sacraments of initiation.
  3. Identify that Reconciliation and Anointing of the Sick are Sacraments of healing.
  4. Discuss how Eucharist helps us remember and be thankful for the life, death, and resurrection of Jesus.
  5. Participate in the celebration of the liturgical seasons of Advent, Christmas, Lent, Easter, Pentecost, and Ordinary Time.

In Community:

  1. Recite and discuss the meaning of the two great commandments.
  2. Recite and discuss the meaning of the first three commandments.
  3. Describe how sinful acts interfere with their relationships with God, others, and self.
  4. Relate appropriate Catholic responses to situations of social injustice (homelessness, hunger, poverty)and practice ways to stand up for what is right.

In Service:

  1. Tell stories from the gospels of people serving others.
  2. Report on ways they can be of service in their families and in their schools.
  3. Plan and participate in a service activity.
  4. Give examples of different kinds of work people perform and how that work helps other people, (parents' work at home, farmers, police, artists).

In Prayer:

  1. Read an example of scriptural prayer.
  2. Participate in praying the Rosary.
  3. Describe the purpose of the Stations of the Cross.
  4. Assume different roles in communal prayer experiences.
  5. Compose prayers for different occasions (e.g. birthdays, taking a trip, beginning a new school year).
  6. Compose their own morning and evening prayers.
  7. Identify occasions of community prayer.
  8. Explain the importance of private prayer.

In Spirituality:

  1. Participate in the celebrations of the liturgical seasons.
  2. Make a prayer journal and use it to write their thoughts to God.
  3. Participate in a Lenten reflection on the Stations of the Cross.
Our objectives for the school year are to ensure that each of our Fourth Graders:

In Scripture:

  1. Analyze and compare the terms: Testament, Scripture, Bible, Salvation, Law, Prophets, Writings, Gospel, and Epistle.
  2. Identify that the Hebrew Scripture (The Old Testament) is divided into three main sections: The Law, The Prophets, and The Writings.
  3. Identify that the New Testament is divided into two main sections: The Gospels and the Epistles.
  4. Read selected Psalms and discuss how they were written as songs of praise, thanks, petition, and lament (sorrow).
  5. Identify the Epistles as letters written to various communities of people, which encourage them to follow the teachings of Jesus.
  6. Identify the Gospels as stories about the "Good News" of the infinite goodness of God who became man in Jesus and brought us to salvation.
  7. Identify the following people and describe how God worked through them to teach His people how to trust and obey God: Abraham, Sarah, Isaac, Jacob, and Joseph.
  8. Explain God's covenant with Abraham.

In Doctrine:

  1. Recognize that Jesus suffered and died for their sins.
  2. Recognize that Jesus is the visible sign of God's love.
  3. Recognize that the Church is the visible sign of Jesus.
  4. Identify and explain the Church as the "People of God" and the "Mystical Body of Christ."
  5. Explain how the "People of God" (the Church) help one another to live as disciples of Jesus.
  6. Describe how the Holy Spirit guides the Church.

In Sacraments:

  1. Identify that Matrimony and Holy Orders are Sacraments of service (vocation).
  2. Tell why Eucharist has a special and central place in the life of the Church.
  3. Tour the liturgical worship space and identify objects by name, location, and purpose (i.e. sanctuary, altar, tabernacle, crucifix, baptismal font, stained glass, sacramentary, lectionary, ambo/lectern/pulpit, Paschal candle, hymnal, votive candles, statues).

In Community:

  1. Practice the Corporal Works of Mercy (Mt. 25:31–46).
  2. List ways to apply the Beatitudes.
  3. Explain how Jesus' command to "love one another" applies to their own lives.
  4. Describe how all people are created in the image and likeness of God.
  5. Give examples or experiences of what it means to belong to the Body of Christ.
  6. Recognize that the Church has laws that help to give order to their lives and the Christian community.

In Service:

  1. Explain how service is a way to respond to the gospel call to love your neighbor.
  2. Identify ways they can serve others.
  3. Plan, participate in, and evaluate a service activity.
  4. Demonstrate and/or report on responsible stewardship through the care of personal belongings.
  5. Apply appropriate strategies of stewardship for the global environment such as conservation of resources, recycling, cleaning up litter, etc 

In Prayer:

  1. Define the term creed.
  2. Recite the Apostles Creed and explain its purpose.
  3. Tell the meaning of The Act of Contrition.
  4. Define prayer, identify the four basic categories of prayer (praise, petition, thanksgiving, contrition), and give examples of each.
  5. Prepare and assume different roles in communal prayer experiences in the Liturgy of the Mass.
  6. Describe the importance and meaning of different kinds of prayer in their lives.
  7. Compose their own prayers.
  8. Make a plan or schedule that shows how they can (or do) pray on their own.

In Spirituality:

  1. Identify a patron saint and tell about that saint's life and good deeds.
  2. Describe what it means to be spiritual.
  3. Explain the rules for fasting and abstinence and their purpose.
  4. Participate in a Lenten reflection on the Stations of the Cross.
Our objectives for the school year are to ensure that each of our Fifth Graders:

In Scripture:

  1. Recognize the first five books of the Bible as describing the law governing the daily lives of the Hebrews.
  2. Recognize that the terms: the Law, the Torah, and the Pentateuch all refer to the first five books of the Bible.
  3. Discuss how God speaks to us through the stories, historical accounts, and laws found in the Pentateuch.
  4. Discuss the meaning of God's message in selected Sunday liturgical readings.
  5. Identify the following people and describe how God worked through them to teach his people how to live: Moses, Miriam, Aaron, Joshua, Deborah, Samson, Samuel, Saul, David, and Solomon.
  6. Give examples of modern day prophets.
  7. Share ways they might serve as prophets in today's world.

In Doctrine:

  1. Define the term Messiah.
  2. Discuss that Christians believe Jesus is the Son of God and the Messiah.
  3. Distinguish between Christian and non-Christian.
  4. Explain that the purpose of a Christian life is to know, love, and serve God and to live forever with Him in Heaven.
  5. Describe how the community of the Church (our families, friends, priests, religious, laity, bishops, pope) is a gift which expresses God's love and care for us.
  6. Define the term "revelation" as used by the Catholic Church.
  7. Give examples of God's revelation to the people down through the ages.
  8. Explain the meaning of "communion of saints."

In Sacraments:

  1. Review and discuss the different parts of the Mass.
  2. Examine Holy Orders as a Sacrament of service (vocation).
  3. List and explain the seasons of the liturgical year (Advent, Christmas, Lent, Easter, Pentecost, and Ordinary Time).

In Community:

  1. Discuss the consequences of sin in their own lives and in the life of their community.
  2. Share stories that demonstrate how to live their faith at home, work, school, and when socializing.
  3. Identify ways that they experience belonging to the Body of Christ.
  4. Recite and discuss the meaning of the last seven Commandments.

In Service:

  1. Describe gospel passages that show Jesus as a person of service.
  2. Develop personal strategies for providing service to their family and their neighbors.
  3. Participate in a group service project and discuss its purpose.
  4. Define the term stewardship.
  5. Discuss the ways in which service can be a career and/or a lifestyle.

In Prayer:

  1. Practice meditative prayer.
  2. Participate in praying the Litany of the Saints.
  3. Describe what prayer means to them and why they pray.
  4. Identify places where Jesus prayed and places where they pray.
  5. Discuss difficulties and temptations in prayer and strategies to overcome them.

In Spirituality:

  1. Identify various saints and describe what they most admire about those saints.
  2. Explore how Sacramentals (holy objects such as holy water, palms, candles, ashes, rosary, medals, scapulars, crucifixes, images, statues) focus their attention and help develop their spiritual life.
  3. Practice participation in liturgical celebrations.