Catholic Identity Integration Ideas for Exemplar Units
Essential Question: What does it mean to belong to a community?
Write about the rules that your family has. How do these rules compare with the Commandments God gave us?
Identify the roles and responsibilities of your parish leaders. Write about each of the following—who are they, what do they do for the parish? (New vocabulary: pastor, priest, deacon, Pastoral Council, Music Minister, etc)
The hymn “All Are Welcome” expresses what the Catholic community should be. Explain what the hymn says in your own words.
Jesus said, “You shall love your neighbor as yourself.” Matthew 22:39 Write about a group to which you belong. (scouts, sport team, dance group, music group) How does this group help you to use your gifts for your neighbor?
Essential Question: What changes are happening around us?
Compose one haiku for each season expressing God’s gifts to us in summer, fall, winter and spring.
With your group, develop a timeline of the changes you have seen in technology in your lifetime. Report on these changes to the class. With your group, design one way to use new technologies to share the message of Jesus.
Read 2030: A Day in the Life of Tomorrow's Kids by Amy Zuckerman and Jim Daly, illustrated by John Manders (Dutton, 2009). Make notes on the changes that are evident in the book. Choose one change to support or to argue against.
Receiving Holy Communion is meant to change us to become more like Jesus. Write interview questions asking about ways people can be more like Jesus in their daily lives. Skype with another Catholic school and interview the students using your questions. Write an article for the parish website or bulletin summarizing what you have learned.
Essential Question: How do challenges make us stronger?
Read the following Scripture passages and identify the challenge Jesus faced in each and how he handled the challenge. Write—in a poem, essay or story—what you can learn from the way Jesus faced challenges. Matthew 9:10-13; Mark 6:1-6; Luke 18:45-48; John 6:1-15.
Jesus challenged his disciples. Read about some of these challenges: Matthew 16:24 (take up cross); Mark 11:25 (forgive); John 13:14 (love one another); Matthew 28:19 (go and make disciples). Choose one challenge which you will present to your class with ideas about how to meet the challenge.
Some people face physical challenges or disabilities. With your group, research one disability (blindness, Tourette’s, cerebral palsy, epilepsy, Attention Deficit Disorder, etc.). Suggested reading: Hi, I’m Adam by Adam Buehrens (Tourette’s); Trouble with School: A Family Story about Learning Disabilities by Kathryn Boesel Dunn and A. B. Dunn; Autism through a sister’s eyes: A young girl’s view of her brother’s autism by E. B. Band. Report to the class on the challenges a person with this condition faces to help the class understand the challenges. Our challenge as Christians is to assist people who face these challenges in whatever ways we can. Facilitate a discussion of ways that class members can be of assistance to people who face the condition on which you reported.
Essential Question: What is a real friend?
Write your own definition of “friend.” Check the definition of “friend” in the dictionary and compare/contrast it with the definition you wrote. What synonyms would you use for “friend?” Again, compare your synonyms to those in the Thesaurus. Write a paragraph about what it means to be a friend of Jesus, using the synonyms you found.
Jesus taught his followers about friendship. Read each of these passages and explain in your own words what Jesus is saying: John 15:13, John 15:14 and
Have a class debate about the role of technology in Christian friendship. One side will argue that Christian friendship is enhanced by technology; the other will argue that Christian friendship is harmed by technology. At the conclusion, summarize the ways technology can enhance Christian friendship and the potential harm that technology could cause to Christian friendship.
Choose one of the following quotations as the basis for a story you will write:
- If somebody asks me, “What is best in this life?” I shall answer, “Friends!” Saint Gregory of Nazianzus
- True friendship can harbor no suspicion; a friend must speak to a friend as freely as to his second self. Saint Jerome
- A quarrel between friends, when made up, adds a new tie to friendship. Saint Francis de Sales
- If we really want to love we must learn how to forgive. Blessed Teresa of Calcuttaf we really want to love we must learn how to forgive.
Exemplars Developed by Carole Eipers, MDiv, William H. Sadlier, Inc. for the Common Core Catholic Identity Initiative (CCCII). June 2012