Thursday, July 19, 2018

Teaching Tools for the Ten Commandments

Ideas for teaching about the Ten Commandments is one of my top requests in emails, so I'm not sure why I've never posted about it on the blog!  Remedying that today with a few printables about the Ten Commandments that could be used in a variety of ways for kids of different ages.

First up, Ten Commandment sort card.  (FYI, the wording I used is the "Traditional Catechetical Formula" from the Catechism of the Catholic Church).  These cards print on one page and then can be cut out and are easy to store with a paperclip or ziplock.

A few ideas for using the cards:
-Sort between the first three "God centered" commandments and the next seven "neighbor centered" commandments
-Put the Ten Commandments in order
-Pull one card out of the stack at a time and discuss what it means
-Pull one card and write/talk about how we can follow that commandment
-Pull one card and draw an illustration of someone keeping that commandment, then share with your class/group
-Read and compare the wording of the Ten Commandments in Ex. 20:2-17 and Deut. 5:6-21

 And I always number the back of sorting cards so that kids can self check. :)

I also have a set of graphic organizers for discussing how we keep and how we break the commandments.  Each commandment has its own page with room for writing and drawing.

A few ideas for using the graphic organizers:
-Print enough pages for all the students in the class, give each one commandment, and ask them to brainstorm how people can keep/break that commandment.  Then have them compare with other students that have the same commandment, and finally share with the class
-For younger students, give them one page have them draw an illustration of how people can keep/break that commandment
-Print a whole set for each student and use it as a unit booklet as you work your way through all the Commandments.  They could write on one side and draw on the other
-Pull the slide up on your SmartBoard and write on them as a class, creating a digital list of how to keep and break the commandments.  Post in your digital classroom files, or print as posters to hang in the classrom

And this graphic organizer teaches the same keep/break concepts as the activity above, but is all contained on one sheet (and also includes the Greatest Commandments at the top).  This is a much better fit for older students (small area to write) and works great as a page for notes or also could be adapted as an assessment after teaching a unit on the Ten Commandments.

And, are you looking for some resources for teaching those tough-to-talk-about 6th and 9th commandments?  Age appropriate conversations are key here, and you know your kids.  Here are a few links that might be helpful as you are prepping, whether it is for primary schoolers or high schoolers:
The Sixth Commandment from The Catholic Toolbox
David & Bathsheba and the Sixth Commandment from Catholic Mom
Teaching the Ten Commandments from The Religion Teacher 
Close Your Eyes: Porn and the Sixth Commandment from LifeTeen

Click here to download the Ten Commandment Sorting Cards;

 Click here to download the Ten Commandments Keep/Break graphic organizers:

Click here to download the Ten Commandments Keep/Break sheet:


  1. I can’t thank you enough for these resources! I pray that God pours out his blessings on you for being so generous with your time and talent.

  2. Thank you, thank you, thank you! I always looks to your resources when I see our curriculum for the semester! God bless you!

  3. Hi Katie. I would like to use your resources to teach the 10 commandments. Could you please send me the answer key to How we keep it and How we break it. I would highly appreciate. God bless you Katie for the wonderful work.

    1. Hi! I'm sorry I missed this comment, but want to go ahead and answer in case some one is looking for this in the future. I actually don't have an answer key because the way the answers would be written would be so different depending on the age of the students. In the past I've only used this with older kids and we are able to have a discussion and use this form to take notes. If you need a starting point, this guide to Confession is organized by the 10 Commandments and is written in kid friendly language.

  4. All these years teaching catechism, and I just found your website. I love the Ten Commandments one page worksheet. Would you make it two pages someday? Meaning giving the kids more room to write in the boxes by putting five commandments on each page so it could be printed back to back.

    1. That's a great suggestion! I've only ever used that page with 8th/9th graders, hence the smaller spaces. I'll add a larger size to my list of requests!