Faith that Works

Teaching middle schoolers how to live and practice their faith

Hopefully you’ve had a chance to read my previous post about the Living Saints project and the background.  Today I am going to share the lesson plans for the initial stages of the project.  I allow one full month from the steps I am sharing today to the final performance day.

First each student has to find at least three saints that they would like to learn about.  At my school, I have been asked to have the girls dress as female saints and the boys dress and male saints, but I would check with your own administration to see if this will be the case for your class.  As fairly as possible, I try to make sure that everyone can be their first or second choice.  The only times we run into trouble are when more that one student wants to be the same saint.  In those cases, I draw names out of a hat.

After every student has an assigned saint, they need to gather some research.  I require 3 pages of research/biographical information on the page, but I am not picky what form that comes in.  Students can print information off the internet, find it in a book, or hand write their notes and bring them in that way.  Once every student has the research, I give the handout for Rough draft 1, which is available for your use as a PDF.  Writing teachers- I know this is actually a brainstorming page, but my students take it more seriously when I call it a rough draft.  The purpose of this assignment is to make students read the research they collected and also notice where they need to do additional research.  You may need to tweak this rough draft for students doing archangels, Mary, or early Church martyrs, because sometimes the information for these people is spotty.

Rough Draft 2 is when I give the students the format for their oral presentation.  The draft provides the opportunity for students to transfer their biographical notes into a first person presentation of the saint.  I’ve found that two paragraphs is just about the ideal length for memorization.

Coming soon: Performance plans and rubrics, as well as pictures of the actual event!

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