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.

28 October 2018

Who was the first person to design and print a Christmas Card?

Quizzes are such a powerful way to engage your students.
Don't forget to have a glance through all the Christmas resources on the Request.org.uk website.
There are many fabulous resources for all ages including a Christmas Quest.

You will also find a range of videos for different lessons and ages on the same website.

You might also like to try The Christmas Bible Quiz from What Christians Want to Know. It has great questions and all the answers too!

Perhaps make class sets of quizzes and laminate them to use with all your classes. Some students may wish to develop their own quizzes. Prizes for winners might include Christmas decorations!

If you want to do some online quizzes, then remember to use Garden of Praise. Click on Children's Bible Lessons.  Choose the appropriate story. Read the story and then do the online quiz. It will be marked immediately and the students will get their results. It is great fun.

Try Garden of Praise - Mary the Mother of Jesus. Read the story and then let your students complete the online quiz and other activities.

Students tend to really enjoy doing the online activities collaboratively. I think the Online Word Scramble is fabulous for fostering better Bible literacy and encouraging the students to look at the Bible stories more closely. See what your students think.

For younger students, try The Big Christmas Quiz. It is great fun! I think this would work best on you IWB with the whole class enjoying the fun. Maybe divide the class in to teams to play?

Let the fun and games begin! 

23 October 2018

Who is Santa Claus?

Now this is a tricky question for all teachers in Term 4!

How you answer this will depend on the age of your students. Tread carefully. If you need a hand, try using the resources from ‘What’s in the Bible?’

There are lots of great resources and funny videos to use with students of all ages!

Maybe use this video as way to introduce The True Story of Christmas.

Your students are sure to have many questions, such as , 'Why do we call it Christmas?' or 'Why do we have Christmas Trees?'

These and many more questions can be answered by watching episodes from What's in the Bible? You can buy the entire collection from Koorong!

18 October 2018

Christmas - Carols and Creativity

What place can actually claim to have shaped the modern spirit of Christmas?

According to Kendall Hall, who wrote the article, ‘Enduring spirit of a Christmas Carol’, published in the Weekend Australian 22-23 September, Oberndorf may be just the place. This small Austrian village just north of Salzburg is famous for being the home of Silent Night!

“In 1818, Mohr, now a Roman Catholic curate in Oberndorf, visited his teacher friend Franz Gruber on Christmas Eve. He brought with him a six-verse poem he’d written; he wanted Gruber’s help setting it to music for that evening’s Midnight Mass. After the endless winter, his parish needed a pick-me-up. A cause for hope.’

Now, to set the scene a tad more fully – things were not going well for the village or the priest. It was freezing cold and church organ was broken! 1816 was the ‘Year Without Summer’! ‘The cataclysmic eruption of Indonesia’s Tambora volcano cast a dense pall of fog over half the world for 18 months! Crops failed, citizens rioted, typhus and cholera raged, many starved or froze to death.’

Silent Night has been a part of history and tradition since 1818. It is the carol that the soldiers sang during the Christmas Truce of 1914. Churchill and Roosevelt sang it in the White House Gardens in 1941 and the song itself is on the UNESCO's list of Intangible Cultural Heritage.

Perhaps you could look at the history and meaning of this famous Christmas Carol with your students.

Ideas to follow up might include encouraging your students to write their own poem or carol, find Austria on the world map and look at how Christmas is celebrated in other countries, or create some art work to go with this famous Carol.

You may even wish to explore resilience, problem solving or creativity. The lessons you could create based on Silent Night are endless!

15 October 2018

Was Jesus a Real Person?

If you are teaching students about Christmas, you may be asked whether Jesus was in fact a real person.
In case you need a little help with this question, you may wish to refer to the excellent Be Thinking website.

Be Thinking is a helpful website and certainly worth considering as a resource for older students. There are many articles and resources about the 'big questions' of faith.

9 October 2018

Christmas Eve Truce

It is Term 4 so I shall try and send out as many Christmas resources as I can.
Here is one idea that I think could work very well for Middle Primary, right up to Senior School.

As we know, on 11 November 1918, World War 1 came to an end. Almost 62 000 Australians gave their lives for our freedom and future.

Look at the fabulous Australian War Memorial website – Honouring Their Spirit – Commemorating The Centenary of Armistice for resources, information and ideas.

Then use this outstanding Christmas ad by Sainsbury’s about the truce on Christmas Eve to further your discussions with your students. You may choose to explore ideas about conflict, peace and relationships and the real meaning of Christmas! Enjoy!

There are a number of stories and videos that tell this story. Maybe watch a few?