I teach 1st Grade Religious Education at my church. One of the biggest things I hope they come away with is the reason Jesus died on the cross. I love this picture from the The New Saint Joseph First Communion Cathechism because I think it is such a powerful image that will hopefully stick with their little minds. My hope is if they can get a strong understanding of why He died and rose again, then the rest of their religious training will make more sense.
HOWEVER, recently I got concerned that what I am teaching and what they are understanding are two very different things. I asked a question completely unrelated to salvation and one little boy shot his arm up with an answer.
He said, "That is when Jesus shot fire out of His Heart to break open the gates of Heaven."
So what a 6 year old boy takes from all of this is, "That is so cool that Jesus can shoot fire out of His Heart."