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 February 2014

Multiple Intelligence and the Bible

Howard Gardner’s Multiple Intelligences are a useful tool for engaging students in the many different ways they learn and experience the world. When used creatively they can also open up experiences that transform the learner. Below are some basic ideas for using Multiple Intelligences when engaging with Biblical narratives. With all of these activities appropriate passages of scripture need to be chosen.

Music Rhythmic (Music Smart)
After reading a chosen passage of scripture invite students to listen to some brief excerpts of different types of music. Try to find music with different moods. Ask students to choose which piece of music they think goes best with the reading. The passage can then be read with that piece of music playing quietly underneath.

Naturalistic (Nature Smart)
The sounds, textures and smells of a Bible story may help many students to engage with it in a memorable way. Nature sound tracks can be used for some passages that take place at the beach or in the desert. The smells and textures of the story can be brought into the classroom such as the smell of cooking fish or the touch of sand. Jesus often told stories using real objects that can be put in students hands to see, touch and smell. Ideally some stories might be told outside looking at the things Jesus spoke about.

Bodily Kinaesthetic (Movement Smart)
Building and making can be an important tool for unlocking kinaesthetic children’s learning. Lego or other building and play materials might be used to help recreate a story that students have just heard told. Photos of the construction at different points of the story could be taken, so students can create a sequential picture book.

Intrapersonal  (Self Smart)
Many Biblical narratives can be rewritten in a way that invites students to go on a journey of the imagination. This can begin by asking them to imagine that they are in the story watching what is going on. Encourage them to picture everything in the story including the sights, sounds and smells. Ask them to imagine how they feel or what they think when different events occur. 

Verbal-Linguistic (Word Smart)
There are many excellent Bible’s on CD or MP3 available these days. The best include high quality sound effects and musical scores in the background. Using one of these can provide an alternate way for students to hear the story being explored. 

20 February 2014

Charting the Bible

One way of helping students to engage with the Bible is to get them to compare and contrast parallel narratives within the Gospels.

Use T Charts and Y Charts in your RE classroom to help students unpack and explore Biblical texts.

Provide students with a copy of the Last Supper from either Mark (14.12-31), Luke (22.7-34) or John (13.1-30). Give each student only one, but make sure all three are handed out around the class. Alternatively give students in small groups one of the texts for the group to explore. One way of helping students engage with the text is to use a Y Chart Chart (Innovative Teachers’ Companion: Secondary Edition 2012, page 288, or see www.itcpublications.com.au ) The headings: feels like, sounds like, looks like, might be used to help students explore the mood and details of the events expressed in the text.

Students could be given time to provide feedback on their particular reading. A section on the board could be used for the feedback from the three different readings.

Next provide students with Matthews account of the Last Supper (Matthew 26.17-35). Have the students complete a T-Chart Chart (Innovative Teachers’ Companion: Secondary Edition 2012, page 276, or see www.itcpublications.com.au) comparing their previous reading with the Matthew reading using Similarities/Difference as the headings?

As an extension (synthesis) exercise classical or contemporary paintings of the Last Supper might be explored by students for elements that appear in one reading but not another. Images of this sort can be found at http://www.textweek.com/art/art.htm

A helpful resource for this topic is the documentary Easter in Art by Tim Marlow.

11 February 2014

Bloom and the Bible - Upper Primary

Bloom’s Revised Taxonomy can be used in lessons focussing on Biblical texts with upper primary students.

Bloom's Revised Taxonomy of the Cognitive Domain is a effective way of meeting the needs of students and engaging them cognitively at a range of levels. The six levels of thinking enable teachers to think about how they may take students from basic thinking levels such as remembering to much higher ones that require them to use the information to design new things. Below are some ideas for using Bloom’s Taxonomy when engaging with Biblical texts. With all of these activities appropriate passages of scripture needs to be chosen.

Remember: After reading a particular passage of scripture, have students match spoken dialogue with the person who said it.

Understand: Have students predict what might happen next in the story before the reading of the entire passage.

Apply: Have students explore a situation that occurred to someone in the Bible passage and write about how he or she could have acted or responded differently.

Analyse: Compare and/or contrast two of the main actors in the story.

Evaluate: Have students judge whether a particular person should have acted the way they did in the story and why?

Design: Have students imagine that he or she is one of the main characters from the story and write a diary account of thoughts and activities relating to the event.