Wait - Was that on purpose?
This past Sunday I was teaching the lesson and all of a sudden one of my teen students blurted out, "wait a minute - this lesson... it sorta ties in to the game we were playing in the beginning of class - did you do that on purpose?!"
Yep! Bridges to Orthodoxy does not insert games for the sake of games... they all tie in to the message of the day. Thanks for noticing haha.
But that really does tie in to an important point worth highlighting - everything in your lesson plan SHOULD be on purpose. You have a finite period of time with those kids, it should all be on purpose. Application activities SHOULD be designed to take an ancient Biblical story and make it real and practical for the teens' lives. Discussion questions SHOULD be broad enough to pick and choose what will work with the particular kids who showed up on that particular Sunday. Lessons should be detailed enough to allow for enough of a lesson for a quiet bunch, but also succinct enough for that chatty group.
In other words, curriculum needs to be a flexible resource that allows you (sometimes in the moment) to make changes to appeal to the group you have on any particular Sunday.
One thing we do with our Bridges to Orthodoxy (BtO) unit that I absolutely love, is we created a "Large Group / Small Group" style in the Crossroads curriculum for "maximum flexibility." You can combine age groups, you can separate them, you can do hybrid approaches. You can even decide that your 12th graders are ready to be the Small Group discussion leaders. There are many ways to create a Sunday school program that works for your parish regardless of size, number of volunteers, skill of volunteers. BtO is created to be a flexible resource for you.
The bottom line is - make your curriculum work for you and whatever you do - do it on purpose.