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.

21 February 2013

What's in the Bible

What's in the Bible is a DVD series that comes from the creator of VeggieTales, Phil Vischer. It is designed to walk children through the entire Bible. At this stage DVD's 1- 9 cover the whole of the Old Testament.

This material is clearly geared for younger students (Prep - 3) but just like Veggie Tales, older students may also find it engaging if presented in the right way. The videos are certainly well made, engaging and fun.

What's in the Bible was made for churches but could easily be adapted for the school setting. It has a curriculum attached to it with fairly basic lesson plan ideas. Some of the activities are fun and it is very focussed on increasing children's Biblical literacy.

There is also a blog attached to the website with lots of interesting content. Sample videos and curriculum is also available.

8 February 2013

God questions and concepts

In 2004 Brian V. Hill published Exploring Religion in Schools: A National Priority. One of the things I loved about this book was that it included "An Opinion Finder about Religious Beliefs and Values". The purpose of this three page survey, as the name states, is to discover what students opinions are about religion and their beliefs. If you can get your hands on the book it is well worth looking at the opinion finder as it is an excellent way of discovering where students are at and how they feel about religion. 

This opinion finder activity in itself should shape the way we do religious education. I know the first time I did it I was actually shocked in both good and bad ways.But this discussion for another post.

Teachers generally try not to make assumptions about what they think students already know. I think this is particularly the case in regards to religious education. Over the last few years, however, I have repeatedly heard people suggests that not enough work is done in exploring even the very basic concepts in religious education.That assumptions are made at some levels and they can turn out to be very wrong.

For example students might be asked on an opinion finder or in class: Do you believe in God? This seems like a very straight forward question, but do students know what we are talking about when we say "God"? The teacher may have ideas about what they mean by God, but does the student? Are the two on the same page or talking about something completely different. Before the question can be asked, work must be done on exploring what is is exactly students are being asked to affirm or deny.

I wonder are there other concepts in religious education that teachers might take as assumed knowledge but in reality students have very different or no ideas about.