The following is a lesson plan redesign for my multiliteracies class. We had to choose a lesson & revise & redesign it using a text selection or literary practice that was not integrated in the original form.
Grade 10 Open Religious Education course: Jesus of History, Christ of Faith
Unit 3: The World of Jesus: History and Politics
Rationale: By the end of the unit, students would be able to answer the question: why is it important that we study Jesus’ Jewish roots? I wanted students to realize that in order to fully understand Jesus Christ, it is important to have a background in Jewish religious, social and political history.
CGE1c: Actively reflects on God’s Word as communicated through the Hebrew and Christian scriptures. CGE2b: Reads, understands and uses written materials effectively. CGE2e: Uses and integrates the Catholic faith tradition, in the critical analysis of the arts, media, technology & information systems to enhance the quality of life. PF1.01: Demonstrate what it means to consider Jesus as revelation of the Father’s love. CM1.01: Demonstrate a knowledge of the life and teachings of Jesus and the social teachings of the Church and identify their importance for moral decision-making. CM1.02: Demonstrate that salvation history teaches that all of God’s creation is good, that human beings are responsible stewards of creation, and that sin (both personal and social) is present in the world.
Redesigning the Lesson
I learned from previous lessons that my students did not like reading bible passages. They were not accustomed to reading the Bible and interpreting it. For the lesson on Exodus (looking specifically at the covenantal promise), I decided to give the students a break from using the text and opted to teach the Exodus story by viewing The Prince of Egypt film, and the students were very receptive to this approach. The film adaptation of the biblical narrative account of the Exodus story stays true to the account closely and it allowed students to develop media literacy skills and reflect on the use of the Bible in media. In order to gauge student’s understanding (and to ensure that they were paying close attention), I provided a handout with content and reflection questions, which if you can imagine, the students were not too happy about.
For further evaluation, I assigned students The Exodus Story Comic Strip assignment. In pairs, they were required to use one of the passages that I assigned to them from the Book of Exodus (Slaves in Egpyt, God Calls Moses, The Ten Plagues, The Passover, Crossing the Red Sea, Food in the Desert, Mt. Sinai & the Ten Commandments, The Golden Calf, & The Command to Leave Sinai) to create a series of cartoon/comic strip cells. Students had to include at least five cells, all of which had to be hand drawn. Students were evaluated on three things: if they were able to demonstrate an understanding of all of the basic concepts about the story & give explanations, use a range of thinking skills to present relevant information, and communicate it with a degree of creativity.
If I were to teach this lesson on Exodus again, I would do a couple of things differently. I would use a few of the awesome tools that I wrote about in my last blog post. As I mentioned, my grade ten students loved, loved, loved their cell phones. I spent countless minutes addressing this issue in my class; therefore in order to adapt and appeal to students’ interests, I would incorporate the cellphone as an educational tool rather than a recreational one. The handout was ineffective because students did not participate. Today’s Meet is interactive and allows students to respond immediately while watching the movie. Most importantly, I can participate and facilitate any conversation that needs direction. Also, a lot of questions might arise while watching the movie and these are often unaddressed because students forget about them. This technology allows me to address the questions as they come up and do a “think aloud,” pausing the movie where clarification is needed.
I would also change the Exodus comic strip assignment in order to give students more choice and appeal to different learners. Students still have the opportunity to create their own media texts, but they could utilize Glogster, Animoto, or Bitstrips. Students could also choose to hand draw them if they wish. This assignment asks students to consider how and why they are presenting the story in a particular way. They take on the role of producer in constructing meaning in media texts with the biblical passage I assign them. The finished products can be shared with their classmates!