Connecting God’s Word to Novel Reading

In my current Literature I and Literature II classes. we are reading the novels, Summer of Riley and The Last Book in the Universe.  Both of these novels focus on the sacrifice of the main character.

To introduce the climax of both novels, we examined the sacrifice in a classic biblical story.  We focused on the brith of Moses and the sacrifice of his mother.

One of the biggest advantages to teaching in a WELS school is the ability to connect God’s Word with the entire curriculum.  It is so much more meaningful when that connection can happen in a relevant way.

Big History: The Christmas Truce of 1914

We are one month into our study of World War I in American History.  We culminated our first month of study with our lesson on the famous Christmas Truce of 1914.

This lesson was so much fun!  The video is of the brief, 6-minute lecture to go with the lesson.  At the beginning of the lesson, you will hear a group of students using bells to go with the music.  Following the lecture, we enjoyed a “No Man’s Land Soccer Match” outside.  We set up “land mines” and “barbed wire” for the students to perform around.  Our obstacles were trash cans, buckets, etc.  The students loved it!  When we finished, we came in and enjoyed some homemade hot chocolate and finished the lesson with an unbelievable and moving mini-movie (3 minutes) put together by Sainsbury’s.  This video can be found on YouTube.

Enjoy and as always have a passion for what you teach!

 

The Assassination of William McKinley

Lincoln, Kennedy, and who?  William McKinley???  Find out all about this forgotten assassination from our American Class this past week!

Also be on the watch for what McKinley’s final words were prior to the emergency surgery to extract the assassin’s bullets!

 

Easter Monday?

Creating an Easter Sunday Mindset in our Classroom the Entire Year

Three Easter Lillies

He is Risen!  He is Risen Indeed!

The euphoric, emotional high that is felt by Christians throughout the world on Easter Sunday morning is intangible.  On one day of the year, we unite together proudly proclaiming a risen Savior.  

Perhaps, you had an extra-special focus on our Savior’s actions throughout Holy Week in your classroom as it all culminated with a joyous worship service on Easter Sunday.

When we think of Easter we think of joy, victory, enthusiasm, and an inward reaction to run and go tell others the Good News!  

Wouldn’t it be great if we took that same attitude and emotion that we feel on Easter Sunday, and have it permeate our classrooms throughout the entire year?  Having that attitude of joy and victory and enthusiasm in all that we do.

That mindset always begins at the top.  Yes, teachers, I’m looking at you.  You are the one who sets the tone of your classroom.  What type of tone are you setting?  It is one of joy?  Is it one of that no matter our weakness, we are victorious through Christ?

Students notice the smallest of imperfections from their leader, their teacher.  If you are often stressed out, they will notice.  Do you come to school with tired eyes?  They notice.  Do you stand to yourself rather than smile and laugh with the other faculty and staff at lunch or recess?  They know.  Are your lessons taught with the enthusiasm and importance?  Oh boy do they notice.  

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Our Curriculum Needs a Super Bowl

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It is the weekend of the big game, and its finally here!  The entire season has been leading up to this point.  All of those long hours watching the preseason, regular season, and playoffs will finally going pay off with the big game.  All of the analyzing, preparation, and reflecting is over.  The time is now, this is the weekend!

Just like football fans look forward to the big game each and every season, we, as teachers, can build to that same crescendo each year in our classroom.

The crescendo that we build to can take on many different forms in our individual classrooms.  The big idea is that we have individual lessons sprinkled throughout the school year that our curriculum builds to in order to reach a climax.

Much like a good book, students love the anticipation of a good story arc.  A story arc in which you have plenty of groundwork and anticipation leading to an unbelievable resolution.  Subject areas in which this can be successfully done are subjects like history, science, God’s Word, Reading, and more.

A wise teacher once stated, “If students had a choice to sit in my classroom, would they?”  While the goal of education isn’t entertainment, our goal should be excitement and passion for learning.  At the end of the day, don’t we want students to be passionate about what they are learning?  While each and every goal can’t always be successful, our overall goal remains.

Last school year we spent six months learning about ancient Rome.  I realize this is not possible for every school.  As a history teacher, I love being able to dig miles deep into a topic rather than just scratching the surface.

Continue reading “Our Curriculum Needs a Super Bowl”