Skip to Navigation

Especially for Teachers

We've selected content from the Christian Education pages that is of special interest to Church School teachers.

Online Resource List for Parents and Teachers

The Antiochian Orthodox Department of Christian Education uses the internet extensively when planning curricula, projects and when searching for ideas and resources for our online ministry. A completely new listing of resources has been compiled by Kristina Wenger from her work with AODCE social ministry. Find the Online Resource List for Parents and Teachers under Resources.

Gleanings from a Book: “The Sign of the Cross” by Andreas Andreopoulos

A few weeks ago in this blog1 we discussed the Cross of Christ. Now we have just come through Holy Week and Pascha. As a result, the Cross is in the forefront of our thoughts. We at the Antiochian Orthodox Department of Christian Education decided that this would be an appropriate time to take a look at this book. The Sign of the Cross talks about the sign which we use every day. The sign of the cross is a very practical way in which the Cross is present in our daily lives as Orthodox Christians.

Dr. Andreas Andreopoulos' book The Sign of the Cross is an excellent read for any Orthodox Christian. There are so many reasons the cross is significant to our faith, so many grounds for making the sign of the cross, and so many things we are saying by making that sign. Parents and teachers who have children asking questions about the sign of the cross will especially benefit from reading this book, as it will give them a myriad of answers to those questions!

Dr. Andreopoulos addresses the sign of the cross from many different angles in his book. He looks first at experiencing the sign of the cross; then at the history of the sign; he then addresses why we as people even need symbols and signs; he touches on how the sign of the cross is a prayer; and he finishes with the cosmic significance of the cross. Although the book is only five chapters long, each chapter is full of information and causes the reader to think deeply about the sign of the cross. The reader comes away from the book with a deeper appreciation for this sign.

Missing Out on God

by Kristina Wenger

Lay not up for yourselves treasures upon earth, where moth and rust doth corrupt, and where thieves break through and steal (Mt. 6:19)

In this age in the United States of America (and, indeed, throughout the world), the acquisition of "stuff" is what many people embrace as their goal for life. With the forthcoming holiday season, the fight-to-convince-everyone-to-acquire-more-stuff will be intensifying all around us. But is more stuff really what we or the children in our care (such as our Church School students) need?

Preparing to Do Our Best for the Children We Teach

by Kristina Wenger, M.A.
Staff Assistant for Internet Ministry to Teachers

As a new school year approaches, it is good for us teachers to think about how to improve our teaching methods so that we can be more effective. One way in which we can become better teachers is to sharpen our preparation for each class that we teach. Thinking through our lessons ahead of time, planning them, writing them out (or at least jotting down notes), and trying out activities or crafts before we do them with students are all ways in which we can improve our preparation and thereby become better teachers.

Curriculum from Orthodox Christian Education Commission

The Antiochian Department of Christian Education partners with the Orthodox Christian Education Commission to prepare curriculum materials for all ages. Preview the materials in the catalog, and then order from the Antiochian Archdiocese Bookstore (the best price for many items) or  from OCEC's online catalog

“Let Us Attend” Now Includes a Reader Theatre Page!

New! The Sunday Gospel Program, “Let Us Attend,” now includes a Reader Theatre page! The page provides the gospel as a script for reading aloud the different parts. Taking the parts of Jesus, the disciples, the crowd, the women disciples allows the students to come closer to experiencing the presence of Jesus. The goal is for the students to get to know Jesus Christ through the gospel. Although they hear the gospel in the Divine Liturgy, it is chanted in a continuous rhythm, unlike what occurred in reality.

Here is how to use this resource. 1) Let the children read through it once silently; 2) discuss the various feelings of the characters and how they would have spoken the words they did; 3) assign the parts and read aloud; 4) discuss how they felt about Jesus’ words—did they get a different idea of Jesus from this passage?

No doubt Jesus would have paused before answering certain questions. Those who addressed Jesus undoubtedly were taken aback at some of his responses. For the older students, add three components. 1) talk about where Jesus would have paused before answering, and where the crowd would have been silent in amazement, 2) use the footnotes of the gospel to enhance their understanding of Jesus, and 3) look at the gospel passage just before the reading to find other hints as to why Jesus said/did the words/actions of the day’s gospel.

Knowing Your Faith: Educational Standards for OCEC Curriculum

"Knowing Your Faith" is a program designed to work with the OCEC textbooks from grades K through 5. A minimum number of prayers, icons and content questions have been chosen from each text for the children to know. With repetition, these objectives can be met and progress can be made in the religious education of our youth. Parent and teacher letters, and teacher aids are included.

Learning Opportunities for Middle and High School

We've put together a comprehensive guide of many curriculum options for those who work with teens.

Download PDF Format

Download Word Format

 

 

 

 

 

 

Teaching Pics: A Resource for All Ages

Published by the Orthodox Christian Education Commission (OCEC), Teaching Pics is a resource consisting of 80 cards, 8 1/2" x 11" in size. The cards highlight visually four aspects of Orthodox Christianity, 1) Sacraments, 2) Feast Days and Services, 3) Great Lent and Pascha, and 4) the Divine Liturgy. Each features a full-color photograph on one side, with explanatory text, guidelines to encourage further study, and ideas for activities on the reverse. They are easy discussion-starters and great for reviewing units of study, not to mention illustrating lessons. Packaged in its own colorful storage box, Teaching Pics is useful as a tool for exploring Orthodoxy with Preschoolers through Adults. A sample, "Sacraments. Holy Matrimony—Procession," is provided here. On the back of this page is the Table of Contents. The set is available for $35.00. Order from the OCEC, (800) 464-2744.

 

Come Bless the Lord Icon Packet

These are useful for framing when the feastdays are celebrated, and are a valuable supplement to any educational effort. The subjects include Christ, the Mother of God, saints, and major feasts of the Church year. An accompanying instructional booklet includes explanations of the theology of the icons and the spirituality expressed in each icon. The most complete and accessible icon collection for popular use. A bi-lingual edition, Vengan y alaben al Senor, includes a booklet in Spanish with the English commentary printed on the back of the icon prints.

Saints in Times of Trouble

FREE DOWNLOAD! Although each Christian generation has its own unique challenges there were those followers of Christ – in various times and places – who suffered extraordinarily for the Faith. They gave their lives completely through sacrificial service or in death, " for the sake of Christ and the Gospel." Saints in Times of Trouble bears witness to twelve such disciples.

Saints of North America

FREE DOWNLOAD! The North American Saints Activity Book is the first in a series of online resources from the Department of Christian Education of the Orthodox Church in America. It offers biographical information about twelve saints whose lives and witness built up the Church in America.

In addition there are striking black and white drawings of each saint, based on their icons, and an array of puzzle activities which will give students a challenging and enjoyable way to learn more about each one. A special feature of the book is a map for each saint, tracing the path of his travels and witness.

 

Oriental Trading Company

Those of us who teach Sunday school to young students often face the dilemma, “What craft can the children do this week??!” A coloring page, of course, can be used as a last resort, but if you’re like me, you prefer using a variety of arts and crafts that are easy, fun, and inexpensive.

Potamitis Publishing

Potamitis Publishing publishes Orthodox children's books, in both English and Greek. Filled with lush and vibrant images, praised by His All-Holiness Ecumenical Patriarch Bartholomew the 1st, these books offer engaging stories that make Orthodox teachings accessible for little ones and adults alike.

 

 

Orthodox Church in America's Department of Christian Education

Visit the Orthodox Church in America's Department of Christian Education website at www.dce.oca.org.

Resources include:

  • Complete (FOCUS) Units. There are five units: Monasticism, Journey to Pascha, The Nativity Season, My Orthodox Family, and The Theotokos. The units consist of of 5-8 lessons written at five levels, preschool-adult.
  • Mini Units. There are 15 multi-leveled units of 1-2 lessons, including Mission, Repentance, and Champions of Faith.
  • Teacher Resources. In this category there are 182 articles, handouts, music, bible stories, tools, and activities.

Children's Bible Reader

Children's Bible Reader

We finally have an Orthodox Children's Bible Reader in full-color, and wonderful quality. The Old Testament selections number 75 and include seven of the stories of redemption heard on Holy Saturday. I was pleased to see these as they form the context for understanding Christ's death and resurrection.

Syndicate content