Faith that Works

Teaching middle schoolers how to live and practice their faith

Now for part three of the Living Saints Project: what does it look like and how do I grade it? I grade each draft, the costume and the can as homework assignments, and the performance itself using a performance rubric. The week before the performance, the stuIMG_1723dents rehearse, bring in costumes and make their cans.  The cafeteria staff at our school save the cans from the school lunch program and even take off the labels and put them through the washer for us.  Students cover the can in construction paper and decorate with their saint’s name and symbols and artwork relating to the saint’s biography.

On the performance day, classes sign up to come visit the gym.  I set each timIMG_1744e slot for three classes, with 15 minutes for each class and five minutes for the 8th grade students to sit between each class.  Students stand on chairs around the gym and classes come visit.  They drop change into the cans and the saints tell the story of their lives.  Each year we choose a charity ahead of time, and this year the students chose The Wounded Warrior Project, which I think ties in well with Veterans day just a week and a half later.

While students are performing, I make my way around the gym to surreptitiously listen to each student’s presentation and grade them.  I’ve found that I make them nervous if they know I am listening and grading- I can’t imagine why!  The rubric I use to grade individual students can be found here:Living saints rubric.

For teachers and classes who are interested, I provide saint scavenger hunt sheets for teachers to copy. You could put whatever information you wanted in here. I do a hunt for younger students :all saints hunt k to 4 and one for older students: All Saint hunt 5-7.

While this started out as a huge project without a structure, it has quickly become one of my favorites, and I am pretty sure a favorite of the school community as well.

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