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.

30 May 2014

Where is....Ur?

Maps naturally lend themselves as a tool for Bible engagement because so much of the Bible is grounded in specific geographic locations, not to mention the numerous journeys and regional conflicts that take place. While I wouldn't encourage the development of whole units based around maps I think in the right spot they can be used to enhance learning for students who are visual or mathematical learners. They should however be used in a way that involves more than just: "look at this map, find this place"

Here are a few ways maps could be used to aid Bible engagement:

  • If you are exploring a narrative that involves travel, for example Mary and Joseph going to Bethlehem, Abraham's journey or Jesus' movements:
    • have students plot out the journey on a Biblical Map (online resources for these are listed below)
    • explore distances travelled and compare them to travel between places students would be familiar with today (for example: that distance is the same as from Brisbane to Bundaberg)
    • explore the geography of the location (what is the terrain and environment like)
    • use this information to put contextual meat on the bones of the story:
      • how far did Mary and Joseph travel?
      • what kind of terrain would they have covered?
      • would it be an easy or hard journey?
      • what might their transport options have been?
      • how would they have survived on the journey?
      • how long might the journey have taken?
    • have students find out what country the places being explored are in today.
Here are some links to two Bible map resources online:

21 May 2014

Cracking Open the Concept of Work

Laziness may appear attractive, but work gives satisfaction (Anne Frank)

A few weeks ago I posted about what the Christian faith might have to say about work.
This week something a little more practical. Here is a basic idea for cracking open the concept of work.

Exploring Quotes

Interesting and challenging quotes could be a great place to start exploring the concept of work. Use a large range of quotes. Print them, cut them out and spread them around the classroom. Ask students to pick one that speaks to them or challenges them or that they disagree with. Have them write a paragraph on the truth the quote is trying to teach.

Here are some quotes to start with but there are plenty more online at places such as:

Choose a job you love, and you will never have to work a day in your life.

Opportunity is missed by most people because it is dressed in overalls and looks like work.
Thomas A. Edison

By working faithfully eight hours a day you may eventually get to be boss and work twelve hours a day.
Robert Frost

The only place success comes before work is in the dictionary.
Vince Lombardi

Work is a necessary evil to be avoided.
Mark Twain

Far and away the best prize that life has to offer is the chance to work hard at work worth doing.
Theodore Roosevelt

I think the person who takes a job in order to live - that is to say, for the money - has turned himself into a slave.
Joseph Campbell

Do not hire a man who does your work for money, but him who does it for love of it.
Henry David Thoreau

Laziness may appear attractive, but work gives satisfaction.
Anne Frank

Without work, all life goes rotten. But when work is soulless, life stifles and dies.
Albert Camus

Nothing ever comes to one, that is worth having, except as a result of hard work.
Booker T. Washington

We work to become, not to acquire.
Elbert Hubbard

There is joy in work. There is no happiness except in the realization that we have accomplished something.
Henry Ford

When a man tells you that he got rich through hard work, ask him: 'Whose?'
Don Marquis

If you don't want to work you have to work to earn enough money so that you won't have to work.
Ogden Nash

I can't imagine anything more worthwhile than doing what I most love. And they pay me for it.
Edgar Winter

Work is not man's punishment. It is his reward and his strength and his pleasure.
George Sand

Teaching was the hardest work I had ever done, and it remains the hardest work I have done to date.
Ann Richards

Work is much more fun than fun.
Noel Coward

Men for the sake of getting a living forget to live.
Margaret Fuller

8 May 2014

Who is Jesus?

This is a simple  approach to getting students to find out about Jesus that allows them to  be in control of the research process. This could be used as part of a unit of work.

Students are to create an “FBI profile” of Jesus and his activities in Israel based on his life in the Gospels.

Use the Jigsaw approach (Innovative Teachers’ Companion:  Secondary Edition 2012, page 132, or see www.itcpublications.com.au )

1. Students are first put in home teams of five members and numbered 1 -5. Home teams are then rearranged into expert teams based around the number assigned. Eg. All number 1’s group together, all number 2’s group together.

2. Each expert team then researches the specialist topic assigned to them:
Birth & Childhood
Miracles and Healing
Death (last week of life)
Resurrection & Ascension.

There are a few ways to provide this information.
Each expert group could be given a Bible passages from the Gospels relating to their topic.
Books about the life of Jesus designed for the classroom could be provided.
Students could be provided with access to the internet and guided to some useful webs sites.
A mixture of these resources could be provided.

3. Each expert team should record their findings.

4. Expert teams then break up and return to form their home teams. Each home team should now  have an expert in each area. Each of the experts teaches the others what they have discovered in order to create the “FBI profile” for presentation.