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15-20 minutes


Primary / Junior / Intermediate


Book: “Dear Pope Francis: The Pope Answers Letters from Children Around the World”


To gain a deeper understanding and appreciation of self-identity, uniqueness and connection within the Catholic community by stimulating students’ curiosity, and critical thinking skills using a Catholic worldview

  • Read aloud one or more letters from the book “Dear Pope Francis: The Pope Answers Letters from Children Around the World”.
  • Invite students to ‘turn and talk’ about their predictions regarding Pope Francis’ response.
  • Discuss predictions following the reading.
  • Invite students to write a letter (and/or create a picture) to Pope Francis, their parish priest, other church members, etc., as a means of asking critical questions, understanding personal identity, diversity, faith journey, community and interconnectedness.
  • Prompt: What are you curious about?
  • Consider Catholicity in the 21st Century (@Pontifex, Pope Francis on Twitter).
  • Intermediate students: Connect the practice to social media, digital responsibility, social justice, and/or Sacrament of Confirmation.

Students develop a sense of identity and meaning as they learn about morality and engage in meaningful interactions and friendships with peers. Providing students with an opportunity to explore their identity through critical analysis and curiosity develops these skills and contributes to meaningful relationships and overall well-being (Malti & Ongley, 2014).

Malti, T., & Ongley, S. F. (2014). The development of moral emotions and moral reasoning Handbook of moral development, 2nd ed. (pp. 163-183). New York, NY, US: Psychology Press.

Providing students with opportunities to engage in faith development in a variety of ways works toward gaining a deeper understanding of their faith and supports a Catholic worldview.

(2a) An effective communicator who listens actively and critically to understand and learn in light of gospel values.

Belonging and contributing: to develop a sense of connectedness to others