Curriculum Connections for High School Teachers and Students
This months Links for Learners will support high
school curriculum in:
Christian lifestylesprayer; the gospels;
ComputerPowerPoint presentations; digital cameras
Links for Discussion Group Leaders and Participants
Look for connections for use in programs outside the classroom,
Parish sacramental preparation programs and
CCD classes; young adult discussion programs; seasonal discussion
groups; RCIA programs.
Parents will also find this material useful
in initiating discussion around the dinner table, in home
study, at family activities.
Understanding Basic Terms in This Months Article
Look for the key words and terms below as you read the article.
Definitions or explanations can be researched from the article
itself or from the resource materials cited throughout the
Links for Learners. You can also find a list of terms on the
glossary page of AmericanCatholicYouth.org.
This month's article presents a wonderful example of how
faith can lead a person to accomplish God's work. Shelly Mecum,
a grade-school teacher in Hawaii, wanted to save her parish
school from financial ruin. Using her imagination, driven
by her belief in the importance of education and rooted in
her deep faith in God, she created goals and saw them through
to fulfillment. Her method? Capture glimpses of God's presence
in the world as seen through the eyes of school-age children,
and create a photo album to share with others.
Do you know of anyone like Shelly Mecum who can serve as
a faith model for you to emulate? How about Mother
Teresa, who worked tirelessly all her life for the poor
of India? Under consideration for sainthood in the Catholic
Church, Mother Teresa founded a religious order to care for
the abandoned and sick. CNN
reports that Mother Teresa's recently revealed letters show
she had felt abandoned by God at times. "I am told God lives
in meand yet the reality of darkness and coldness and
emptiness is so great that nothing touches my soul," she wrote
in a letter. The obstacles to caring for the sick must have
been overwhelming to her, yet Mother Teresa persisted to accomplish
a lifetime of generous service to the poor.
Scott King, widow of Martin Luther King, Jr. In the wake
of his assassination over 30 years ago, Mrs. King has steadfastly
continued to be a Christian leader, a civil-rights activist
and a peace crusader.
Can you identify someone in your school or parish who stands
out as a model of faith? It may be a teacher who continues
to give her best in spite of resistance, a lack of resources,
illness. Look for a fellow student who overcame obstacles
to become a strong athlete or gain admission to college. The
world is full of Shelly Mecums. No one singles out most of
them for recognition, but they are no less a faith model than
Gospel, Jesus tells us that even a glimmer of faith, faith
the size of a tiny mustard seed, wields enough strength to
move mountains. The Gospels offer many stories of people approaching
Jesus in faith and walking away rewarded with healing, acceptance
The next time you approach Jesus in prayer, ask for the grace
to see the moments when others perceive you as a model of
faith. When you stand up for someone less popular, when you
refuse to cheat, when you work hard to overcome learning difficulties,
when you volunteer for parish ministries, you stand as a person
Where Do You See God?
Where do you, a teenager, see God? Consider doing your own
photo album or journal to share in religion class or on a
Check out these sites for ideas: the Digital
Exploration Society supports and equips Internet-enabled
outdoor learning adventures for students and teachers; the
uses digital imaging to promote experiences of civic awareness
for young people.
Look to established photographers and writers for inspiration
as you think about how to start your photo journal. Margaret
Bourke-White, the first woman accredited by the U. S.
Army as a war correspondent, captured on film the human suffering
inflicted by international conflict. Edward
Steichen's striking 1955 Family of Man photo exhibit at
New York's Museum of Modern Art was later published as a book.
His photos document birth to death themes common to cultures
around the world. Ansel
Adams captured images of nature's grandeur in the American
West. Sports Illustrated
For Kids publishes dramatic pictures of athletes at their
inspirational best. Photos in other current online magazines
may likewise suggest a place for you to start.
At Magis Productions,
Jesuit photographer Father Don Doll shows where he has found
God, particularly among Native Americans and victims of land
mines in Angola and Bosnia. Brazilian photographer Sebastiao
Salgado has captured the struggles of the landless people
and farmworkers of his country through his photos.
For an example of journal writing and written observations,
Morrow Lindbergh's Gifts From the Sea, published
the same year Steichen's exhibit opened. This famous book
discusses women's place in society. Lindbergh's wide-ranging
overland and transoceanic flights inspired numerous volumes
of essays and diaries in which she urged her readers to "feed
the soul" through contemplation and quiet time.
Writing does not come easily to everyone (not even many writers!).
To help you get your thoughts on paper, try Gabriele
Rico's Writing the Natural Way. Rico, a professor
of English and creative arts at San Jose State University
in California, developed "clustering" as a technique to spark
the writing process.