Teaching Catholic tradition and principles can be accomplished with the use of games. Incorporating games in daily school work or Sunday school curriculum gives students a chance to practice what they know in a fun, lighthearted way. Modify games to accommodate the size and ability level of the group--the goal is to make learning fun for fifth graders.

Saints and Symbols

A matching game that challenges fifth graders to match saints with their corresponding symbols can be presented as flash cards or an interactive mural. Examples of saints include St. Lucy, St. Elizabeth of Hungary and St. Thomas Aquinas. Their corresponding symbols are eyes on a plate, a basket of bread and an ox. This game could also be an interactive game; each student is given either a picture of a saint or picture of a symbol and they have to find the correct pairing in the room.

Holidays and Feast Days

Tape the names of religious holidays and feast days onto the outside of empty jars, one holiday or feast day for each jar. Divide the students into teams and assign a color to each team. Give each team pieces of paper in their assigned color with words or images that correspond to the holidays and feast days. After conferring with their teammates, students will put their colored pieces of paper into the corresponding jars. The team with the most correct placements wins.

Another version of this game is to label four jars with the name of a gospel--Matthew, Mark, Luke and John. Give students slips of paper with quotes from the gospels and challenge them to place them in the correct jars.

A third variation of this game is to label jars with the names of traditional Catholic prayers. Slips of paper containing a line from one of these prayers are given to players for placement in the corresponding jars.

Word Games

Print out word search and crossword puzzle forms using vocabulary from current units. For example, during a unit about Lent, the word search could include the terms "Ash Wednesday," "fast," "Passion" and "Good Friday." To make it interesting, challenge students to complete the word searches within a designated amount of time or in pairs. The winner gets a special privilege or reward.

Bible Verse Picture Drawing

Students divide into two equal-sized teams. Each team is given a stack of cards but only one player at a time can read the card; he may not divulge the Bible verse written on the card. He must illustrate it on a chalkboard while his teammates guess the verse. The team is allotted a specific amount of time and if they do not guess the verse on the illustrator's card, the other team is allowed to guess it.