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Dear Millie and Mike

This handout provides several real-life situations that teens might encounter. Students are challenged to respond to the situations and give advice to other teens.

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The Prophets

This small-group activity provides questions for students to answer about the different prophetic books of the bible.

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The Book of Exodus

This small-group project asks students to read a section from the Book of Exodus before acting out the passage and responding to discussion questions.

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Jigsaw Activity: Categories of Books in the New Testament

This activity asks small groups to answer questions about a specific section of the New Testament.

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Literal and Spiritual Senses of Scripture: The Good Samaritan (Luke 10:25–37)

This small-group, discussion guide challenges students to read a familiar story using a different lense and perspective.

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The Socratic Seminar

This handout provides a set of guidelines and instructions to help students successfully participate in a Socratic seminar.

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What It Means to Be Human

This handout helps students list characteristics that come from society and from Jesus’ teachings that describe what it means to be human.

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Lesson Plan for Lesson 32

A lesson plan for lesson 32 in The Catholic Faith Handbook for Youth: Catechist Guide. In this lesson students explore what it means to use virtues and grace to live a moral life.

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Lesson Plan for Lesson 31

A lesson plan for lesson 31 in The Catholic Faith Handbook for Youth: Catechist Guide. In this lesson students explore what it means to respect truth.

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Lesson Plan for Lesson 30

A lesson plan for lesson 30 in The Catholic Faith Handbook for Youth: Catechist Guide. In this lesson students explore what it means to respect material goods.

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Lesson Plan for Lesson 29

A lesson plan for lesson 29 in The Catholic Faith Handbook for Youth: Catechist Guide. In this lesson students explore what it means to respect the sexuality of ourselves and others.

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Lesson Plan for Lesson 1

A lesson plan for lesson 1 in The Catholic faith Handbook for Youth: Catechist Guide. This lesson plan challenges students to identify why they are Catholic and the core beliefs, practices, and attitudes of Catholicism

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Helping the Church of Today and Tomorrow

This handout challenges students to reflect on and brainstorm what it would have been like to create Church teachings and rules shortly after Jesus’ death and resurrection.

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Searching the Scriptures for the World of Jesus

Small-group activity that guides students to discover the culture of Jesus’ world by searching the Gospels

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Handout: Love Is...

A small group activity to foster discussion about what love is

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Called to Share the Mission of Jesus

This small-group activity provides each group with an example of Christ's mission. Groups must answer questions surrounding their particular example.

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Cases to Examine: Is This Euthanasia?

This handout provides three situations for students to read and evaluate. Students must decide if the story shows an example of Euthanasia.

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Perspectives on Sex

This handout provides several comments from teenagers about sex. It can be used as a discussion starter or writing prompt.

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Three Perspectives on Drugs

This handout provides three different comments from teens about their drug and alcohol usage. This can be used as a discussion starter.

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Practicing Prophecy

An activity where students are given the opportunity to imitate the prophetic model by observing the world around them and attempting to interpret injustices.

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Three Renewal Movements

Work with your group to complete the section of this handout that corresponds to your assigned topic.

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Characteristics of Apologetics

With your group, read Saint Ignatius of Antioch’s letter to the Romans. Then answer the following questions.

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Created in God’s Image

You will be guided through this handout, taking notes and answering questions as directed in your class.

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Secular Institutes

A worksheet completed in groups about the history, role, and characteristics of secular institutes.

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Exploring Religious Orders and Congregations

A research assignment worksheet done in pairs to find important information about different religious orders.

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Being versus Doing

A scripture passage from the Gospel of Luke about Martha and Mary is read along with a commentary, and is followed by large group discussion questions.

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Inspirations and Charisms Worksheet

A partially independent and partially group completed worksheet for students to fill out about the inspirations and charisms of a particular religious congregation or order.

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The Effects of the Sacrament of Holy Orders

A worksheet completed in groups about the effects of the Sacrament of Holy Orders from both the book and the student’s personal knowledge.

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The Sacrament of Holy Orders Graphic Organizer

A worksheet completed in groups about the symbolic words and actions that take place during the Rite of Ordination, as well as their meaning and effect.

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What Will God Call Me to Do

A reflection worksheet and class discussion on the video Gang Busters: One Man’s Mission to Stop Bullets by Creating Jobs.

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Interview Questions for Family Members

Several interview questions for family members on family life and the Fourth Commandment.

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Interview Questions for a Practicing Catholic

A list of interview questions to ask a practicing Catholic.

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Chalk Talk

Steps on how to facilitate a silent conversation in writing in response to a topic or question posed.

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Writing Workshop

How to conduct a writing workshop in the classroom.

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Socratic Seminar Observation Form - Student

A student observation form for the Socratic seminar debate method.

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Socratic Seminar Symbol Codes

Socratic seminar symbol codes to help quickly evaluate a seminar speaker.

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The Socratic Seminar

A reading on the process and expectations for the Socratic Seminar debate.

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How to Lead a Socratic Seminar

A reading on how to lead a Socratic seminar.

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Socratic Seminar Observation Form - Student

A student observation form for the Socratic seminar.

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Student Evaluation of the Socratic Seminar

A student evaluation sheet for the Socratic seminar.

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If I Ruled the World

A worksheet that asks students to think about how they would solve different social justice issues if they ruled the world.

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Using the Jigsaw Process

A resource on how to use the jigsaw process, with is a method where students share information and insights from different readings to create a larger picture.

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Introspect and Interview

A worksheet on introspect and knowledge gained from interviews on important life issues including abortion, in vitro fertilization, stem-cell research, euthanasia, the death penalty, and immigration.

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Justice Conversation Starters

A list of several conversation starters or self-reflection questions on the topic of justice.

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Dilemma Questions

A set of questions based on real-world situations and dilemmas that a person may be dealing with.

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The Mystery of Suffering - PowerPoint

This PowerPoint is part of the Living in Christ Series. Rather than a philosophical or theological discussion of the mystery of suffering, this resource asks students to meditate and think about Jesus' example of suffering for people he loves.

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Introduction to Salvation History - PowerPoint

This PowerPoint presentation is part of the Living in Christ Series. It explores salvation history, the transmission of Divine Revelation, and the role of the Magisterium.

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Definitions and Application of Theological Terms

This activity is part of the Living in Christ Series. Students can use this chart to fill in the definiton of various terms, then find a practical application for their life.

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Portfolio Instruction

This resource is part of the Living in Christ Series. It offers instruction to students who must put together a portfolio of their readings, writings and assignments from lessons on Jesus and Christology.

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Cross the Line

This article is part of the Living in Christ Series. It introduces a method of classroom discussion that is interactive and a part of the bodily-kinesthetic learning method. Students move to indicate their responses to various questions.

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A Gallery Walk - Discussion Technique

This article is from the Living in Christ Series. It is an instructional article for teachers to learn how to administer a "Gallery Walk" discussion technique.

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Finding God and Being Found by God - PowerPoint

This PowerPoint is part of the Living in Christ Series. It is a great introduction to what God desires from humans and why God chooses to reveal Himself to us.

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Student Evaluation for the Socratic Seminar

This rubric is part of the Living in Christ Series. Teachers may use it to evaluate students on their participation in a Socratic Seminar.

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The Socratic Seminar

This article is part of the Living in Christ Series. Teachers may use it as a guide to using the Socratic Method in classroom discussion.

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Compare and Contrast: Abraham and Moses

In this exercise the students compare and contrast the covenant experiences of Abraham and Moses to gain a deeper understanding of the role of covenant in the history of the Jewish people.

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Introducing Biblical Navigation

This article is from the Living in Christ Series. It offers guidelines for teachers teaching students how to navigate the Bible, including reference to other worksheet for the students.

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How to Lead a Socratic Seminar

This article is part of the Living in Christ Series. It includes information on how to prepare for, lead, assess and follow-up the classroom use of a Socratic Seminar discussion method.

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Reading Notes and Questions for Student Book Articles 9-12

This reading guide is part of the Living in Christ Series. Students can use it while reading other articles from the LIC Series to take important notes and answer significant questions.

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Learning About Learning

This worksheet is part of the Living in Christ Series. It asks students to reflect on their responses, likes, and dislikes to new learning methods.

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Leadership Statements

This worksheet is part of the Living in Christ Series. It includes several statesments about leadership in the Bible, including who's called, what skills are necessary, and what it takes to be a good leader.

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What Kind of Leader Is Moses?

This activity is part of the Living in Christ Series. Students are asked to look up verses and make assessments about Moses' leadership in the Old Testament.

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Etymology and Understanding

This activity is part of the Living in Christ Series. Students define, associate, and find similaries among various words that a teacher or catechist assigns, in order to see the root and relationship between them.

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Pass the Bag: A Biblical Affirmation Exercise

Class activity that familiarizes them with scriptural values, increases vocab, and ups self-esteem

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Let Your Light Shine: An Overnight Retreat on Self-Esteem

This overnight retreat on self-esteem invites the young people to explore their own personal gifts and encourages them to share those abilities with others. The retreat emphasizes the light of Christ in our Life, the special people who bring us …

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Four of a Kind

In class activity to help students share with each other

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Fears: A Discussion Exercise for Halloween

Exercise to do in class, for catechist

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The Sacraments at the Service of Communion: Holy Orders and Matrimony

This session from Catechetical Sessions on Liturgy and the Sacraments invites participants to consider the unique ways in which ordained ministers and married people serve the people of God, responsibilities that are presented in the vows they take in either …

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Paul's Conversion

Background for the Teacher This session focuses our attention on Paul's conversion experience. Using a hard-boiled egg and a raw egg as focusing symbols, the young people reflect on the meaning of conversion. Then two or three of the participants …

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Paul: A Unique Person

Background for the Teacher Saint Paul has fascinated Christians throughout history. The combination of his Jewish upbringing, his exposure to Greek culture, his fiery personality, and his openness to God's grace uniquely prepared him to spread the Gospel. This session …

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Paul: A Profound Conversion

[Saul] heard a voice saying to him, "Saul, Saul, why do you persecute me?" (Acts of the Apostles 9:4) It was on his way to Damascus that Paul was struck down by God and blinded. A brilliant light from heaven …

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Paul: Persecutor of Christians

Saul was ravaging the church by entering house after house; dragging off both men and women . . . To prison. (Acts of the Apostles 8:3) Convinced that following the teachings of Jesus was wrong, Paul pursued the early Christians …

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Paul: Religious Zeal

I advanced in Judaism beyond many among my people of the same age, for I was far more zealous for the traditions of my ancestors. (Galatians 1:14) A tent maker by trade, Paul's Jewish name was Saul. But because Paul …

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Program aims to get youth excited about Bible

Young people in the diocese are getting excited about Scripture and it's all part of a national effort called "Yes! Youth Engaging Scripture." YES is a Catholic teen-to-teen Bible sharing concept and to date, some 1,800 young people have been …

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The First Address from Pope Benedict XVI

"Grace and peace in abundance to all of you! In my soul there are two contrasting sentiments in these hours. On the one hand, a sense of inadequacy and human turmoil for the responsibility entrusted to me yesterday as the …

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Advent: Saint Joseph and Jesus

1. Gather the group in a circle for a moment of silence. Light the candle and read these passages about Joseph in the Gospel of Matthew (1:18-21 and 2:13-15). Ask the group to sit quietly for a moment and ponder …

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A New Rock: Adaptations for Home Use

These activities are easily adapted for family members at home. When gathered for a meal, or for the specific purpose of these activities, family members can do one activity, a couple, or all of them, depending on the amount of time …

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Frequently Asked Questions About the Pope

What is the pope? The pope is the bishop of the Church of Rome, Italy. Because of the importance of Rome, Tradition recognizes the pope as the supreme pastor of all Christians. Why is the Church of Rome so important? …

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A Christian Response to Violence, Part 2:

Pacifism: "We No Longer Learn War" How can we apply Jesus’ command to love our enemies when our whole nation has been attacked? Over the centuries, how Christians have attempted to apply Jesus’ teachings on violence to their lives has …

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A Christian Response to Violence, Part 1:

In the wake of the 11 September terrorist attacks, many people are calling for military retaliation against whatever group or country is ultimately found to be responsible. The desire to strike back at those who hurt us is understandable, but …

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Be At Peace Among Yourselves

"Be at peace among yourselves." (1 Thessalonians 5:13) "None of us is alone in this world; each of us is a vital piece of the great mosaic of humanity as a whole." (Pope John Paul II, Israel-Palestine) Think About That …

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On the Frontier of Justice in Ghana

"Africa has been the land of hope, salvation, and redemption. Abraham had come to Africa, Joseph from slave to savior. It was the land of refuge for Jesus and helped to carry his cross. Will we continue to dismiss Africa …

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Wrestling with Diversity

How do we welcome non-Christians into our schools and our religion classrooms, and at the same time give witness to our own Christ-centered faith? How do we invite students to learn from and respect other faith traditions without sending the …

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The Elephant Man

I use a "carousel" activity with the movie The Elephant Man (1980, Paramount Video, 125 minutes) when teaching my lifestyles course. It works like this. After viewing the movie, I ask the students to call out the names of all …

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What Every Teen Should Know

I often joke with my students that they help me parent my children! When my daughter Ellie was turning thirteen, all of a sudden I was struck with this idea that turned out to be an awesome activity for my …

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Patch Adams - Movie Reflection

Patch Adams is a great movie to use with students! It is the fact-based story of Hunter "Patch" Adams, the founder of the Gesundheit Clinic. Robin Williams plays the lead character with grace and skill. Synopsis: After spending some time …

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Curriculum Integration in Service Programs

How can you begin working toward curriculum integration with your service program? Consider the following principles as a good guide. Connections Get to know the curriculum in other content areas. Study the program of studies of your school. Look at …

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Processing Service Experiences

I have been involved with our school's service-learning program for over ten years as a classroom teacher. Because the program is integrated fully in the religion, English, and social studies curriculum, we have made a commitment to processing the material …

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The Color Purple

A CAUTIONARY NOTE: One of the criticisms of The Color Purple is that it depicts the men in the story as primarily abusive. Also, this movie is PG-13, mostly because of the violence and strong language. We recommend the movie …

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Six Ways to be Truly Catholic

I always thought that I would have made a great archbishop in Salzburg during the time of Mozart. But instead I'm the archbishop of Milwaukee in the time of rock 'n' roll. That's the way life turns out. We live …

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Getting to the Heart of the Matter

Step 1: Look at the situation What exactly is happening? Why is it happening? Who is involved? What are their motives? How is it happening, that is, by what means or method? When and where is it happening? Step 2: …

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Using Literature in Theology Classes

Editor's note: The author of our feature article, Kathleen Hodapp, was one of the participants in last summer's workshop "The Catholic High School As Faith Community," held here in Winona, Minnesota, as well as on the East Coast and the …

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Service and Justice

We are standing on the brink, and our bishops are urging us to jump. Many of us don't know where we'll end up, and we aren't sure whether we'll land in one piece. Yet the sense of urgency is building, …

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A One-Day Retreat on Service in the Inner City

Our sophomore class day retreat focuses on finding spirituality in the inner city. It is a kind of "urban plunge" experience within a spiritual framework, and students go on this retreat during the same semester that they take a social …

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Building Faith Community in the High School

In a workshop entitled "The Catholic High School as Faith Community," religion teachers, campus ministers, and school administrators discussed, among many things, the obstacles they face in trying to build faith community in their school. One obstacle they addressed was …

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The Power of Parables

We all know that a good story will almost always act as an excellent springboard for reflection. Jesus' most effective teaching tool was the parable. He would gather his disciples and tell them a story with a message that moved …

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Taking Off on the Ten Commandments

This classroom strategy is based on a method used by Fr. Steve Brice while teaching religion at Aquinas High School, La Crosse, Wisconsin. Young people love humor and satire. One way to alleviate pressures students feel from the culture around …

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Community Service Courses:

This past semester, at the end of a year-long service program at a residential treatment center for emotionally disturbed youth, two students from my community service course wrote a poem to express the significance of their experiences. These are the …

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Using Imaginative Retellings in Teaching the Bible

Biblical stories have been imaginatively retold over and over again for centuries. A particular type of retelling, in which students assume the role of a biblical character then retell the story using a first-person point of view, has proven effective …

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Once Upon A Time: Using Student-Generated Stories in Religion Classes

Religion classes should be interesting, if not compelling, and they can be if what is interesting is determined by the students. This, of course, is not a new approach. Learner-centered educational theories have been popular for decades. Using story as …

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Expect Much, Praise Much, Be Present to Them

Course materials, such as the high school religion textbooks and teacher's manuals published by Saint Mary's Press, are a significant ingredient in the education of our young people. But we all know that the most important factor in a student's …

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Movie Application of A Little Princess

Movies are a wonderful way of reaching students! My students always enjoy the break from the classroom routine, but they have come to realize that the movies are purposeful and important to the content we are covering. I always have …

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Catholic Identity

For a couple of years, Saint Mary's Press sponsored a listserv discussion group online. Discussions on a variety of topics were pursued via e-mail. In this article I hope to summarize some of the highlights from postings on the timely …

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