Friday, July 28, 2017

Teaching About the Mass {The Multiple Intelligences in Religious Education}

Back in this post I explained the background of the Multiple Intelligence theory and why I think it naturally has a place in Religious Education classrooms.  Providing each child we teach with an encounter with Christ in line with his or her unique dignity is something all educators should be striving for.  In this post, I decided to round up some ideas for teaching about the Mass that would cater to each of the eight smarts.  Not surprisingly, I found that each of the intelligences can be found as an integral part of our participation of the Mass.  This makes so much sense because each individual plays such an important, but irreplaceable, role in the Body of Christ.  Here is a list of just a few ways to get kids learning and serving and living out the Mass.  Feel free to add your own ideas in the comments!

Picture Smart Kids (Visual-Spatial Intelligence)
-Make a poster or flash cards of the Mass Articles and their purposes (or use these awesome cards for memory and other games)
-Play with an interactive kids’ Mass set
-Tour the sacristy with a sacristan and see the real articles used for Mass
-Create a piece of art for a Feast Day or Liturgical Season to be displayed in the church vestibule
-Use books about the Mass with pictures of the different parts of the Mass in action, Mass gestures, and Mass articles

Word Smart Kids (Linguistic Intelligence)
-Serve as a Lector at Mass
-Help write the introduction or petitions for Mass
-Write a Mass reflection based on the Scripture Readings
-Volunteer to help write articles for the parish bulletin, newsletter, or website
-Interview a priest or deacon
-Study a prayer of the Mass in depth (examples using the Nicene Creed here and here and here)
-Learn about the parts of the Mass using Scripture references or quotes from the Saints using this Mass Handbook
-Use a children's Missal to follow along with the prayers and responses of the Mass

Body Smart Kids (Bodily-Kinesthetic Intelligence)
-Act out the parts of the Mass using a peg doll set or other mini church
-Set up an altar with a play Mass set
-Practice the gestures of the Mass and research their meanings
-Help train younger students about the gestures of the Mass

People Smart Kids (Interpersonal Intelligence)
-Plan a specific Mass for a cause and advertise it in the church community
-Attend a training for liturgical ministers, or train someone else in a liturgical ministry
-Serve as a greeter/usher at Mass
-Visit homebound parishioners with an Extraordinary Minister of Communion
-Let the kids be the teachers- give them a leadership role and help them plan a program, after Mass social, liturgical season event, or feast day celebration

Self Smart Kids (Intrapersonal Intelligence)
-Create a personal Mass journal as a place to write, draw, and list reflections from Mass and prayer
-Design Mass journal or prayer page a leave copies in the vestibule of the church for others to use
-Write prayer prompts relating to the Scripture Readings or Liturgical season
-Pray for the Mass intentions and those on the parish Prayer Chain

Music Smart Kids (Musical Intelligence)
-Research Mass parts set to music and compare different Mass settings
-Choose and plan music for a specific Mass using the readings and liturgy
-Sing in the choir or play an instrument during Mass
-Train with a cantor or choir director
-Listen to music (like this) to learn more about the Eucharist

Nature Smart Kids (Natural Intelligence) 
-Organize an outdoor Eucharistic Procession
-Help with landscaping around the church property
-Create flower arrangements for the altar or for honoring shrines and statues in the church (bonus points if they learn about honoring Mary through the flowers they chose)

Number Smart Kids (Logical/Mathematical Intelligence)
-Volunteer with those who help count the Mass collection
-Interview a sacristan about how many hosts are used for different Masses
-Create a display about parishioner statistics with the help of the parish secretary
-Emphasize the order and structure of the Mass by using these Mass cards

Click here for a printable handout of these ideas for teaching about the Mass to the multiple intelligences:

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