Typology Materials in the 9-12 Level of Catechesis of the Good Shepherd Atria

Issue XXVII January 2022

Catechesis of the Good Shepherd (CGS) for the 9-12 age range includes a series of studies from the Hebrew Bible that include a close reading of the text, followed by work with the types of the text that can be matched to types from the times of Redemption and Parousia. The last step of this study lays the types out in some way so the children can see the connections between these three periods of sacred history.

This material was significantly changed in Rome in 2004, and catechists around the world were invited to begin to use it and note the response of children. This observational research compares the use of this material with an alternate timeline, exploring types that are generated by the children themselves, to see which engages the children well during the presentation as well as with any work thereafter. Our study indicates that the children were more engaged with the alternate timeline during the presentation, and both materials seemed to be rarely used independently by the children after that.

by Catherine Maresca

Catherine Maresca is the founder and director of the Center for Children and Theology (CCTheo.org) and holds an MA in Religious Studies from Howard University Divinity School. She is the author of DoubleClose, the Young Child’s Knowledge of God, as well as numerous articles.

INTRODUCTION

CGS Typology includes a close reading of a significant text from the Hebrew Scriptures, followed by an exploration of its types and connecting those types to the times of Redemption and Parousia. The original materials for the second part of the study were felt bases for each of the times of Creation, Redemption and Parousia, on which were laid picture and text cards in rows representing the types of the original text, matched to types from the time or Redemption, and matched thematically to the time of Parousia. In 2004, these materials were removed and replaced by timelines developed in Rome, one for each of five studies. The display of one row/type were replaced by one continuous row along the three periods of Sacred History. Fewer types are included in the material and they are laid in the one row in a pattern of abab or abcabc. The types do not continue into Parousia. Beneath the row of picture and text cards for the types, are a series of cards about the text with very dense writing and directions to read parts of the text as though it had not already been studied.

I am interested in studying a modification of this material for the following reasons:

  • In the Rome material, there is too much small print, and no invitation for the child to contribute to the material.
  • Titles above the typology cards do not align with the period they speak of below them.
  • The typology cards are in one row rather than several. It is hard for the types developed from the Hebrew Scripture to the time of Redemption to be grasped. 
  • The focus of types on the picture and text cards are not always clear.

Inviting the children into the work is the most important of my objectives in modifying and studying this material. While the children enjoy the atrium, are engaged in their work there, and study the Bible with dedication, they do not recognize Sofia Cavalletti or her writing as a pillar of their work, and are impatient with its density. They are much more interested in their own response to these readings.

For this research, I compare the use of a simple alternative strip to the use of the newer CGS material. The alternate strip is a 4’ by 1’ laminated strip that can be written on with washable markers. Across the top of the strip are the evenly spaced words: Hebrew Scripture_____________(name of study is written here), New Testament, Liturgy, Daily Life, (a gap for the blank page), Parousia. The children are invited to choose and write down a type from the Hebrew text, and then name and write down matching types found in the New Testament, the Liturgy, daily life, and Parousia in the same row.

For example, the words “Manna, Feeding the 5000, Bread of Eucharist, daily bread, and ‘no more hunger’ of Parousia” may be noted in one line across the strip. Children may work in groups of 2-4, discussing their types as they proceed.

PURPOSE OF STUDY

The purpose of this study is to compare the response of children to the Rome material and the Alternate material to the last step of the typology study. Do they use it longer, participate more in the lesson, or work with the material more than once? I asked catechists using either the Rome material or the Alternate material to make brief notes on the use of the material during the lesson and afterward.

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Rome Material for the Exodus

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Beginning of alternate timeline for Abraham and Sarah

METHODS

In addition to my work with an after-school weekly program, I located two other participants. One was an Episcopal parish in TN with a weekly Sunday program, the other an atrium serving children in a Catholic Montessori school. All three programs are over 25 years old, and have children coming through 3-6, 6-9, and 9-12 atriums, establishing the possibility of knowledge of many types from the Gospels and liturgy. One chose to use the official material, the other two were using the alternate material. Permissions were obtained, and consent forms distributed and collected. This type of sampling is convenience sampling, which means that the generalizability of the results is limited.

DATA

Two types of data were collected: behavioral coding by observation and content of the work. Data was collected at each of the three programs from the typology studies over one year. 

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  1. Individual students were coded on their behavior by observation during the time of presentation/working with the material. Five categories were used to describe the student during the lesson. 

1. Inattentive and non-participatory

2. Attentive, but not contributing

3. Attentive, contributing with guidance of adult

4. Attentive, contributing creatively with guidance

5. Attentive, contributing creatively with guidance and working independently alone or with group

  1. Content of the work was noted:
    1. The content of the freely written types was recorded for the alternative material.
    2. The success of the students laying cards on the official material was recorded.
  2. In addition, the presence and/or style of the catechist was noted for each presentation.

RESULTS: QUANTITATIVE ANALYSIS

Rome materials

Data

From Christ Church Cathedral (Episcopal), Beverly Sanders collected data for three studies, (Creation, Flood, Abraham) with groups of 5th graders.

Degree of Engagement with the Material Observations
1 Inattentive and non-participatory1 child
2 Attentive, but not contributing – alternating between 2 and 53 children
3 Attentive, contributing with guidance of adult2 children
4 Attentive, contributing creatively with guidance2 children
5 Attentive, contributing creatively with guidance and working independently alone or with group0 children

Summary

Sanders’ observations indicate that the children did not seem to work with this material independently. Placement of cards was guided by the catechist, and were placed correctly.

Works were not repeated.

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Alternative Materials – Group I (Maresca sample):

Data

I collected data for three studies: the Flood, Abraham and Sarah, and Exodus. 

For Abraham and Sarah, after getting started the children worked independently with me “checking in” with them during and after the presentation. I was present for all of the Exodus work since this happened on a Zoom call during the pandemic.

Summary

The children were able to continue their work on the timeline after I initiated the process with them. They were able to elaborate on their thoughts when I checked in with them. They did not return to the material after the initial presentation/work.

Degree of Engagement with the Material Observations
1 Inattentive and non-participatory0 children
2 Attentive, but not contributing – alternating between 2 and 50 children
3 Attentive, contributing with guidance of adult0 children
4 Attentive, contributing creatively with guidance4 children
5 Attentive, contributing creatively with guidance and working independently alone or with group6 children
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Flood work:

OT TypesNew TestamentLiturgyDaily LifeParousia
WaterBaptism by JohnBaptism/Holy WaterHandwashing before mealsAll people will be just
DoveBaptism by JesusConfirmationHoly SpiritWorld Peace
ArkStable/MangerRoof of ChurchesChurchThe World will be God’s Church

Abraham and Sarah work:

OT TypesNew TestamentLiturgyDaily LifeParousia
AbrahamJesus’ Circumcision1st CommunionChurchHe shall come again.
Father of faith
Baptism ConfirmationReadings“grandpa!”
Isaac’s birthBirth of John the BaptistBaptism: we are all a gift from GodBy God anything is possibleFamily reunion
Isaac’s binding  Do not killJesus crucifiedOffering of Jesus and us: “through..with…in…”Don’t kill peopleNo more war or death
PromisesMary’s MagnificatBaptism promises renewed at confirmation  Marriage promisesGod fulfills promisesPromises of Parousia will be fulfilled

Exodus/Gift of the Law work:

OT TypesNew TestamentLiturgyDaily LifeParousia
Passover lambCrucifixionCrucifix and candlesCrosses at home
Essential workers
No more sacrifice
Manna
Communion BreadGrace before mealsPlenty of Food
Crossing the Red SeaFlight into EgyptBaptismHoly WaterComplete Freedom
MosesJesusJesus presentPeople who helpGod
PharaohKing Herod
TrumpNone like Pharaoh

Note: the Exodus work was generated on a 45 minute zoom call during the 2020 pandemic. I started by writing the OT type of the first three lines as prompts, due to the shortage of time. These three types are the ones from the Rome material. The others were added by the children.

Alternative Materials – Group II (Ebell sample)

Data

Victoria Ebell collected data for one study (Exodus) in four groups (some were further divided into groups of 2-3 children).

Summary
This work was done at the very end of the year amidst some degree of chaos in the atrium. The catechist encouraged work in small groups, but often had to sit with them to get a focused contribution.

Degree of Engagement with the Material Observations
1 Inattentive and non-participatory0 children
2 Attentive, but not contributing – alternating between 2 and 57 children
3 Attentive, contributing with guidance of adult10 children
4 Attentive, contributing creatively with guidance2 children
5 Attentive, contributing creatively with guidance and working independently alone or with group2 children
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Note: Ebell’s content notes follow the conclusion of this report (Appendix I).

RESULTS: QUALITATIVE ANALYSIS

The driving questions for this step of the work are: 

  • What are the essential traditional types of the church related to the reading? (Rome material)
  • What thread of gold can the children find that begins with the study in the Hebrew scriptures, runs through our lives today, and continues to Parousia? (Alternative material)

The materials can be considered for their ability to help with one or both of these questions. “Ability” refers to the material’s clarity in bringing out the types of the church, and/or engaging the children in seeking the meaning of these types for 

themselves.

The Rome material in and of itself conveys the church’s types clearly. It does not seem to engage the children without the presence of the catechist, and does not invite their own creative thinking about the additional types present in the text or the “golden thread.” The types considered were limited to the two or three embedded in the material. No direct consideration for their place in our lives today, and the content of this material’s connections to Parousia are weak.

The Alternative material provokes more creative thinking about types and their place in Sacred History. I relied on checking in with kids to help them focus, but they were able to do much of the work independently after getting started. Ebell’s groups were less focused, (she reports her attention was scattered), but the variety of types noted is broad and often concern the daily life of the children.

SUMMARY OF TYPES CONSIDERED IN THE COMPLETED WORK

Rome Types
Predetermined by the material Sanders sample
Alternative Types – Group I Generated by Children Maresca sampleAlternative Types – Group II Generated by Children Ebell sample
(sorted by 7 children)(developed by 10 children)(developed by 22 children)



Flood


Water/Baptism of JesusWater/Baptism by John/ Baptism
Noah/Jesus
Dove/Baptism of Jesus/ confirmation

Ark/Stable/church roof
Abraham and Sarah


Offering Isaac/Jesus/usOfferings of Isaac/Jesus/Eucharistic Prayer

Abraham and Jesus’ circumcision/1st Communion

Father of faith/ Baptism & Confirmation

Births of Isaac and John Bpt.

Promises: to Abraham/ Magnificat/Baptism & marriage



Exodus:






Moses/Jesus/people who help/GodPeople who listen to God and obey; Moses, Mary, MLK…


Golden calf/Animals in NT sacrificed/People tired from tests and school


Moses/Joseph/saints/mlk/prophets
Lamb/crucifixionPassover lamb/ Crucifixion/crossesBlood of Lamb/Wine at LS


Slaves/slavery


Battles/battles


Mt. Sinai/Mt. of Olives /Climbing mountains (2x)


Moses died/Jesus Rose/be like Moses (2x)
Crossing the Red Sea/Baptism
Crossing the Red Sea/ Baptism/freedom


Death/death/funeral/Un-death


Blood river/blood/wine-blood/ healing (3x) once “trash in ocean”


Rod – serpent/Mary with heel on snake/


Togas/Maxim – share togas
Manna/EucharistManna/communion/ Grace/bread for allManna/food/no hunger (2x) Food/honey/break bread


Dead babies/dead people/school shooting/no more death

Pharoah/Herod/TrumpPharoah/Herod/President/


Ark/Tabernacle

Observations:  

Ebell’s larger group created many more ideas. Less fully worked out across time, but the seeds of lots of connections to daily life are there, especially regarding today’s concerns of gun violence, hunger, the president, ecology, fatigue and Martin Luther King. Catechist’s note: sacramental materials in Level III had not recently been presented.

Maresca’s group more systematic but thoughtfully creative. 

Sanders’ group grasped the types represented in the material.

WORKING CONCLUSIONS

  1. I am satisfied as a catechist that results thus far support continued use of the alternative timeline. It solves the problems listed on page 2 and again here:
Rome MaterialAlternative Material
Too much small print, and no invitation for the child to contribute to the material.Large headings are used, and the children create all the content under each heading.
Titles above the typology cards do not align with the period they speak of below them. Children’s work is written below the related heading.
When typology cards are in one row rather than several it is hard for the types developing from the Hebrew Scripture to the time of Redemption to be grasped. Each type has its own row.
The focus of types on the picture and text cards are not always clear.The type is clearly named.
  1. With children attending church regularly there is a strong sense of the church’s types reflected in the alternate material, and for children not attending church, there is space to connect the types from scriptures to their lives in other ways.
  1. It seems from the work with Ebell that the guidance, participation and/or frequent check-ins from the catechist is needed until the children are familiar with using the material. The strip would be used at the conclusion   of each of five studies over three years, so growing facility with the task should be reflected in the work.
  1. Adding the three named types named in the Hebrew scriptures part of the Exodus Rome material to the alternate material did satisfy the desire to get Sofia’s choice of types before the children, without limiting their choices or connections.
  1. My intention is to add to this study as I continue to use the timeline, and invite others to do so as well. 

Appendix I 

Types explored by the Alternative Types – Group II (Ebell’s sample)

Name of Study:  Exodus

Date:  5/30/2019

Names or nicknames of children:  Elizabeth, Natalia, Mariam

Name of the type explored, and all the entries related to this type (photo)

Hebrew ScriptureNew TestamentSacramentsDaily LifeParousia
Moses*Mary, ElizabethMass, PriestMartin Luther King, Jr., Bible Study, Doctors, EMMHappy People 
Golden CalfAnimals, … [illegible]. Scream

People tired from tests and school, God brings everyone from hell and heaven

P, M, K (???)
Drawing of a figureJews [with a drawing of a heart] Christians

*As a person who listened to God and obeyed

Level of engagement:  3 (one child sat down)

Name of Study:  Exodus

Date:  5/30/2019

Names or nicknames of children:  Emily, Arsiema

Name of the type explored, and all the entries related to this type (photo)

Hebrew ScriptureNew TestamentSacramentsDaily LifeParousia
MosesJosephSaintsMartin Luther King, Jr. Prophets 
HorsesDonkey

Wow 




Horses [with a drawing of a horse]

Number of lines generated this session:  2

Number of lines in additional sessions:  none so far

Level of engagement:  2

Name of Study:  Exodus

Date:  5/30/2019

Names or nicknames of children:  Zane, Micah

Name of the type explored, and all the entries related to this type (photo)

Hebrew ScriptureNew TestamentSacramentsDaily LifeParousia
BloodWine at Last SupperWineWine, CutsChurch Wine
SlavesSlavesFreeing ReconciliationAlmost no SlavesNo Slaves
BattleBattle
Lots of battles and warPeace
Mount Sinai
Climbing mountainsMountainsFun Times
PersonPersonPerson being freeNice people and bad peopleA lot of person 
MosesMoses died but Jesus roseBeing like MosesAlmost freeFree people
Free

deadLong Dead

Number of lines generated this session:  7

Number of lines in additional sessions: none so far

Level of engagement:  3

Name of Study:  Exodus

Date:  February 14, 2019, Group 1, 9:31

Names or nicknames of children:  Sofia, Sophie

Name of the type explored, and all the entries related to this type (photo)

Hebrew ScriptureNew TestamentSacramentsDaily LifeParousia
FoodHoneyBreak breadSnapchats of foodMillions of likes for snapchats of food
DeathDeathFuneralDeathUn-death
Blood riverBloodDrink blood/wineCutsUn-cuts
Serpent ScepterMary is killing the snake with her heelSnake SacramentGarden SnakesPeaceful Snakes
TogasTogasSharing your togasGreeceThe Greek gods/Goddesses will meet the other God

Number of lines generated this session:  5

Number of lines in additional sessions:  none so far

Level of engagement:  3

Name of Study:  Exodus

Date:  February 14, 2019, 9:41

Names or nicknames of children:  Hannah, Neha

Name of the type explored, and all the entries related to this type (photo)

Hebrew ScriptureNew TestamentSacramentsDaily LifeParousia
Raining foodPassoverStuffFoodFood will be free and jump in your mouth when you are hungry
Dead babiesDead peopleStuffSchool shootingsNo more death
Bloody River
More stuffScrapes are realNo more cuts
Pharaoh is evilKing Herod is evil
President is evil {somewhat}Obama 4 life
H Clinton

Number of lines generated this session: 4

Number of lines in additional sessions:  none so far

Level of engagement:  4

Name of Study:  Exodus

Date:  9:54

Names or nicknames of children:  Jason, Miles

Hebrew ScriptureNew TestamentSacramentsDaily LifeParousia
The MountainMount of Olives StuffHikingSnow
The Red SeaBlood RiverStuffOceanNo trash
Raining MannaFood More stuffEating foodYum!

Passover


Number of lines generated this session: 3

Number of lines in additional sessions:  none so far

Level of engagement:  2

Name of Study:  Exodus

Date:  February 14, 2019, 10:36

Names or nicknames of children:  Cassius and Carlos, William

Hebrew ScriptureNew TestamentSacramentsDaily LifeParousia
The Ark of the CovenantStar TrekA Tabernacle
All churches celebrating together Holy of Holies
MosesStar Wars

Priest or Pope
God


God is supreme
Tabernacle


All Churches celebrating together
Apples Nuts The Crystal Skull Temple of Doom Raiders of the Lost Ark The Last Crusade Tabernacle [?illegible] GophersBread Apples Nuts Cookies Water
Star Trek Movies Popcorn Pizza and Star Wars Gotham Arrow Flash a generor shield Banks A Percy Jackson DC Dynasty Baseball PMR Harry Potter FoodFood Thanos dies Maestro Rules Percy Jackson Marshmallows Sushi Marvel DC Hellboy James DC Dynasty
The Ark of the CovenantStar TrekA Tabernacle
All churches celebrating together Holy of Holies
MosesStar Wars

Priest or Pope
God


God is supreme
Tabernacle


All Churches celebrating together
Apples Nuts The Crystal Skull Temple of Doom Raiders of the Lost Ark The Last Crusade Tabernacle [?illegible] GophersBread Apples Nuts Cookies Water
Star Trek Movies Popcorn Pizza and Star Wars Gotham Arrow Flash a generor shield Banks A Percy Jackson DC Dynasty Baseball PMR Harry Potter FoodFood Thanos dies Maestro Rules Percy Jackson Marshmallows Sushi Marvel DC Hellboy James DC Dynasty
The Ark of the CovenantStar TrekA Tabernacle
All churches celebrating together Holy of Holies
MosesStar Wars

Priest or Pope
God


God is supreme
Tabernacle


All Churches celebrating together

Number of lines generated this session:

Number of lines in additional sessions:  none

Level of engagement:  2

Name of Study:  Exodus

Date:  February 14, 2019, 10:50

Names or nicknames of children:  Vivian, Mila, Sophia

Hebrew ScriptureNew TestamentSacramentsDaily LifeParousia
MosesPeople
WarGod
Aaron[illegible]
Alarm clocks [?]Happiness
Tabernacle[illegible]
TrumpPeace
[illegible]King Herod
[illegible] BooksNew stuff
GodA Place
[illegible]One religion
Ten Commandments[illegible]
The Governor [?]Justice
Obedience[illegible]
The [illegible]God will be all in all
Civilians[illegible]
Diversity[illegible]
EgyptProphecies
D.C.[illegible]
PharaohMary
U.N.[illegible]
The Golden Calf
BaptismHealthy debateThe gods and God



PaintersThe World



SportsBooks




Sports

*unfortunately, the photos were so blurry that many words are illegible.  The children also added lines connecting types in the different lists that got out of order.

Number of lines generated this session: 14

Number of lines in additional sessions:  none

Level of engagement:  5

Name of Study:  Exodus

Date:  May 30, 2019

Names or nicknames of children:  William, Piper, Hilliard

Hebrew ScriptureNew TestamentSacramentsDaily LifeParousia
Slaves (with drawing of a chained figure)Stuff (drawing of a girl with Piper’s comment, “That is me”)Church [?]Egypt is still here Bang (with figure drawing) go visitCool
Wilderness

Pools[illegible]
Blood

Kids[illegible]
Egypt (is cool)

SportIs [illegible]
King

WarStuff
God

HouseNo bad stuff
SCC

FoodWater

Number of lines generated this session:  6

Number of lines in additional sessions:  none so far

Level of engagement:  3

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