Welcome to the coloured glass classroom! We hope to provide you with lots of creative ideas and resource links to help you engage the young people in your religious and Christian education classes. This blog is sponsored by the Anglican Schools Commission of the Anglican Church Southern Queensland.

27 August 2012

The K Source

The K Source and has been developed by a Catholic teacher with very good academic references. There are two sets of resources – one is the webpage www.theksource.com  which contains several sets of lessons on Jesus, Sacraments, Church History and other topics. You can download powerpoints and assessment resources. Huge amount of stuff.

The second is a series of short videos on youtube which are hilarious as well as informative. There is a series Life under the Romans with  awesome clips from Life of Brian and other films intertwined with factual information.

Contributed by Sharon Baird

21 August 2012

Ethics of Entertainment

Strand(s):  Ethics and Values

Year level: Senior School

Phase: Full Lesson

Time: 50 min +

Summary:  A lesson exploring the ethic of downloading music and movies.

Class Discussion
  • What are the ethics of downloading music and movies  that you have not purchases?
  • Do you abide by your ethical position?
  • If not, is it really your ethical position?

 Entertainment Ethics
Particularly towards the end of the 1000 years of the Roman Empire, Gladiatorial contest at the Colosseum became very popular.  Slaves were forced to fight to the death in the Arena. After the great fire of Rome in 79 AD Nero blamed the Christian for the disaster (though most historians blame him). As a result Christians were killed by wild beasts or set alight.

Answer the following questions:
  • Were the gladiatorial contests  ethical?
  •  What about the killing of Christians (and others) who were not allowed to fight back or given weapons?
  •  Do you think that it would have been ethical to attend the Colosseum to watch one of these events? WHY or WHY NOT?
  • Would it change the ethical position if you were a poor peasant who was asked to accompany your master for the first time, and you knew what was going to happen at the arena?
  • What are the ethical similarities and differences between the acts of the Colosseum and watching a realistic bloody murder on a movie.
  • What concerns do some people express about violent video games or roleplay games such as World of Warcraft?
  • What would be some of the ethical issues about games where you get to inflict violence against innocent civilians or Police?

Journal  activity
Are there boundaries to what is acceptable in games?  If killing people is acceptable, what about stealing, bashing or rape? Respond to this ethical question in 100 words or more.  "What ethical restraints, if any do you think should be placed on games? Support your opinion with a reasoned, logical response."

Contributed by Scott Huntington

14 August 2012

Story Telling in the Classroom

Strand(s):The Affective

Year level: All Levels

Phase: N/A

Time: 1 - 5 minutes

Summary: Story telling is an integral part of human identity and growth. Much wisdom can be gained from telling and listening to stories especially those we tell ourselves.

Each week, one or two [or more] students tell a story.

The story: what they did over the weekend or on holidays; some thing that they did a long time ago; a story from the legends around the home meal table; a story they have made up; a poem or any piece of creative writing.

Duration: 1-5mins

  • Every student must have at least one turn before the year is out.
  • The teller is asked to do their very best at stirring the imagination of their fellow students.
  • The listening class must follow the guidelines: Listen, Respect.  
  • Joking or the slightest ridiculing should not be tolerated.  
  • You the teacher should join in the story telling practice.

Look at creating some practice or habits around this: for example, the teacher to take the seat of the story telling student, that the story be told from the story telling rug; or there is a particular class hat to be worn by the story telling student [as long as it is not fickle, but honours and enhances the art of story]; ask the class to shape and make the pattern or ‘ritual’.
Such story telling will:
  • increase student’s skill in the art of story telling
  •  enhance student’s skills and confidence in communication
  •   honour each person with a story of theirs which is heard [an exercise in building stones for sound self esteem]
  •  Emphasise an understanding of the truth that we are relational beings: people who are connected to others and things.  We are people with stories, and those stories are connected, even if the story itself that is told seems pretty ordinary, there is created the moment of person with story with others who listen and offer respect.
  • Theological: that students might come to recognise themselves as persons with history and event [story], and that in this story there lies meaning [beauty, dignity, purpose, opportunity, responsibility].  What becomes possible then is that students will be able to see that God also has history and event: that God has a story.  The next possibility is the recognition that God’s story and ours is woven together.
Contributor : Richard Browning

8 August 2012

McCrindle Research

Mark McCrindle produces some of the most interesting research on social trends, demographic shifts and  generations in Australia. This information could be the basis for a unit of work exploring religions in Australia or peoples attitude to religion.

His website McCrindle Research has free resources on all sorts of things including youth slang, educating and engaging, and spirituality in Australia.

This recent research provides some interesting insights into what people think about religion, spirituality and Christianity in Australia. The questions used in this survey could form the basis of discussion in the classroom about what Australians think and feel about religion or even be used to conduct a survey within your school.