252-page curriculum designed to teach Laudato Si’ encyclical to ninth- to 12th-graders

February 5, 2018

See Laudato Si’ curriculum links at the bottom of this page 

https://publications.carmelitemedia.org/products/carmelite-ngo-curriculum-on-laudato-si-english-download-pdf

In response to Pope Francis’ environmental encyclical, “Laudato Si’, on Care for Our Common Home,” Carmelite Sr. Jane Remson initiated and helped create a 252-page curriculum designed to teach the encyclical to ninth- to 12th-graders. The curriculum aims to “lead young people to think critically and protect the Earth,” according to Carmelite NGO, an international organization of the Carmelite Family affiliated with the United Nations and headquartered in New Orleans.

The curriculum, which Carmelite representatives presented Nov. 5-10 in Rome at the International Congress of Carmelite Schools, is now available in English and Spanish and includes detailed lesson plans in environmental science, humanities, social studies and theology. An accompanying study guide was also created for adults and college students.

The curriculum did not need Vatican approval, Remson said, but does have the approval of Archbishop Gregory Aymond of New Orleans.

Remson, who is based in New Orleans, developed the curriculum with the faculty of Salpointe Catholic High School, a Carmelite school in Tucson, Arizona, where the curriculum has been successfully tested and launched.

Work on the curriculum began at the time of the encyclical’s publication in 2015 and was formally launched Nov. 5 in Rome. Others assisting with the curriculum included Carmelite Fr. Eduardo Agosta Scarel, a climatologist on the nongovernmental organization’s governing board who has worked with Francis on climate-related issues while living in Argentina. He continues his work on climate change with the Vatican.

GSR: Why is this initiative so important?

Remson: We’re at a point in our history, our global history, when we have to start thinking differently about creation. That includes a change of language, a more descriptive language about our role in creation: not to dominate creation, but enhance it. It means combining the disciplines of science and spirituality. Laudato Si’ asks us how we can do this.

Carmelites are in a unique position to help in this process. We have schools throughout the world, so we can help promote these discussions about Laudato Si’ not only in religious classes but also science classes, as well.

What has been the reaction to the planned curriculum?

We’ve had inquiries from schools in Australia, Indonesia, Africa, Latin America and here in the United States. A friend of mine who is a United Methodist wants it to be used by Methodist groups. In short, it’s not just for use by Catholics, but for any religious denomination or organization that understands that the encyclical has a role in discussion and reflection on religion and creation.

How is the curriculum used in the context of textbooks already used in the classroom?

You can still use your textbooks. It’s not meant to supplant what is already being used, but to be something teachers can use when they discuss a subject.

Two important things to note: We have made it teacher-friendly for instructors, and it should be interactive, connecting between what teachers are already doing. We want to keep it as a living, ongoing thing, a living product.

The other point is that we want the curriculum to be used for every subject. We think that can be done. We think the issue of creation has implications for every academic discipline.

Are students so far taking to the curriculum?

Why was Tucson chosen to be the test city?

We deliberately chose a locale that was not on the East Coast, the West Coast or the Gulf Coast, but more of a middle-of-the-road location and was also more ethnically inclusive than some places. Tucson seemed like a good place to start.

What has been the reaction of the faculty?

It’s been very positive, the reaction of the faculty. Faculty members have been very eager to get involved with it. They see it as cutting-edge. We spent a weekend with the faculty at Salpointe working and developing the curriculum. Sixty-seven teachers attended, and they sat down with three of our NGO staff and read the encyclical. We wanted to have the teachers have that experience.

It was a very positive weekend. Initially, some of the teachers said things like, “Well, we’re not sure how math fits into this.” But now, they are excited about it. It’s a living document, a living process. They say, “This is something I can do, something I can do to make the planet a better place. It’s building for the future.”

Overwhelmingly positive. We’ve received numerous positive reactions, though we did receive a single comment from a Louisiana resident saying she was taught by the Baltimore Catechism and has a problem with the teaching of Laudato Si’. She fears we are trying to destroy the oil and gas industry in Louisiana.

I’m proud of that grassroots support. I worked in the Philippines for seven years and worked on a mobile clinic project. We worked with mothers, but they built up the program themselves and now, after 30 years, it is still going strong. Grassroots support is the important thing, whether there in the Philippines or for this curriculum.

This curriculum is something teachers started, and it’s their enthusiasm that will keep it going, functioning and continuing to grow.

Carmelite Sr. Jane Remson (top row, far right) with children and teachers at the Study House in Malang, Indonesia (Provided photo)

What are the plans for developing the curriculum in other languages?

It is available in English and Spanish, and we hope it can be translated into French. In Indonesia, they are translating it into their own language.

Language is so important here. The key is language. There is much biblical language which calls to dominate the Earth, but there is always an underpinning, a spiritual underpinning, of creation spirituality. We want to get the spiritual dimension right, and that means we have to be careful about language.

We have to use a more peaceful language, a more caring language that touches a spirituality that I think everyone possesses and understands — a caring, nurturing thing.

By Chris Herlinger 

From Catholic Climate Covenant:

  • From Catholic School Teachers and Librarians, this educational packet is a guide for students grades K-12 for a school-wide, immersive study of Pope Francis’s Laudato Si’. It can be found here. Using Pope Francis’ Laudato Si’, this curriculum outlines a healthy path to human fulfillment by provoking and cultivating in ourselves, and especially in our youth, a way of living in greater harmony with one another and the Earth. An interdisciplinary secondary school curriculum, it offers a progressive and experiential learning design, so that the students, guided by the environmental sciences, the Word of God, and the richness of the Carmelite spirituality, will be able to integrate into their lives a comprehensive ecological awareness of responsible care of the earth, unique home for everyone.

The curriculum is approved by Archbishop Gregory Aymond of New Orleans and by Fr. Raul Maraví, O.Carm., General Councillor of the Carmelite Order representing the Americas and President of the International Commission of Carmelite Schools and Youth.

Laduato Si’ Parish Tools: 

  • From the Archdiocese of Washington, this Parish Toolkit provides prayers, musical selections, and reflections on Pope Francis’ encyclical, Laudato Si’ for study and prayer. It can be found here.
  • From the Archdiocese of Washington, a study guide on Pope Francis’ encyclical.

Laudato Si’ Resources for Teachers Grades: Pre-K through 12

 

Produced by

Catholic School Teachers and Librarian

In a Murray Institute Course at the University of St. Thomas (MN)

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The Murray Institute is a collaborative effort between the University of St. Thomas and the Archdiocese of St. Paul-Minneapolis to enrich the educational ministries of the archdiocese through advanced professional training and theological education. The educators in this course were pursuing an MA in K- 12 Reading, an MA in Curriculum and Instruction, or a Graduate Certificate in K-12 Learning Technology. The course began days before the release of Laudato Si’: On Care for Our Common Home with students reading the U.S. Catholic bishops’ Sharing Catholic Social Teaching. As students learned about Catholic social teaching, they developed ways to share Laudato Si’ with their students during the 2015-2016 academic year. The resources that these educators created for their own use are shared with their permission to assist other educators in sharing Catholic social teaching in a way that is integrated across the curriculum.

 

 

Catholic School Teacher Title of Resource Grade Level Page No.
High School/Junior High School Resources
Paula Leider Laudato Si’: On Care for Our Common Home:

A Guide for a School-Wide Immersion Project

7th-12th grade  

3

Paul Preblich Water Usage/Distribution Relative to Laudato Si’ 9th-12th grade 14
Doug Duea Laudato Si’ Lesson for Water Unit: El Agua Es Vida 9th-12th grade 16
Anonymous Have You Been a Witness? 8th-10th grade 20
Grade School Resources
 

Erin Sprangers

 

“A Long Walk to Water” Novel Study

 

Middle School

 

 

23

Melissa M.

Krcil

 

Interrelationship of all Creation

School Wide/

Elementary

 

28

 

Melissa M. Krcil

 

 

Virtues of Respect and Love

 

School Wide/ Elementary

 

 

33

Anonymous World Water Crisis Lesson Plan 4th  -5th grade 35
Emily

Torgerson

Laudato Si’: Throw-away Culture Lesson Plan  

3rd grade

 

37

Natalie Major Ecology & Stewardship 3rd grade 40
 

Anonymous

 

Learning the Value of Biodiversity

Kindergarten-

3rd grade

 

45

Stephanie

Brown

Laudato Si’ Lessons: Reducing Waste, Conserving Water, and

Caring for God’s Creation

Kindergarten  

49

Paulette

Krawczyk

 

K-2 Activities

Kindergarten-

2nd grade

 

56

Lynn Mabee Grade 1 Resource for Laudato Si’ First grade 60
Nikki Giel Kindergarten Plans for Laudato Si’ Kindergarten 66
Prayer Resources for Grade School
 

Anonymous

 

Examination of Conscience

 

7th grade

 

70

Pam

McSweeney

 

We Are Called Prayer Service

Kindergarten

– 8th grade

 

78

Melissa M.

Krcil

 

Prayer Before and After Meals

School Wide/

Elementary

 

81

Colleen Cleveland  

Earth Day Prayer Service

 

84

Library Resources for Grade School
Anonymous Laudato Si’ and Stewardship Book List (A list of grade level fiction and non-fiction books that support the themes of caring

for our common home. Also included are recently published books on climate change and water.)

 

 

Pre-School – 8th grade

 

 

87

 

Teacher: Paula Leider

 

Resources for Laudato Si: On Care for Our Common Home

A Guide for a School Wide Immersion Project

 

 

On June 18, 2015, Pope Francis of the Roman Catholic Church released a new encyclical entitles Laudato Si, its English title On Care of Our Common Home, outlining his desire to push our GLOBAL society toward caring for God’s creation, not so much to praise and honor God, but because we are rapidly destroying what God has given for our use and survival. His encyclical focuses much attention on

understanding the root of this “plunder[ing] at will, developing a new consciousness surrounding our use of the environment, and seeking both spiritual and practical solutions to the environmental crisis, using every tool available to us: politics, religion, culture, education, and most importantly, global identity to develop a new sense of the common good.

Achieving a common good is dependent on all of humanity recognizing our interdependence on each other and on nature for simple human survival and making sacrifice as individuals and countries to ensure and restore the earth’s fullness for today and future generations (LS 70). This requires, according to Pope Francis, a complete conversion of heart, a recognition that every human is deserving of an environment free from pollution, filled with clean water, and sustenance for survival, not just those fortunate to live in the developed, “global north.” Further, the existence of poverty results from the desire to exploit the land, and in turn, the people and creatures inhabiting the land. The greed of technology, economy and individualism that pervades our world prevents us from protecting the earth as well as ending poverty, racism and other forms of subjugation. In order to achieve a new view of the earth we must no longer deny the existence of climate change and environmental degradation as a result of human use, but instead become “united with all that exists” (LS 11) and seek creative, innovative, integrated solutions to the environmental crisis, not in isolation but with all of humanity, beginning with our care and “concern for our fellow human beings” (LS 91).

 

This denial of the status of the earth has pervaded much of U.S. culture, resulting in a sense that we do not need to worry about how our actions harm the earth. We see so much of the earth’s resources right in our everyday lives and experience so little suffering in our relationship with the earth that it appears that climate change just doesn’t exist. This is because we do not experience the catastrophic effects of the slow death of the environment. Very few Americans experience water shortage (except in the current drought in California). Very few Americans must deal with extreme weather changes, or

rising sea levels, or tsunamis, or a myriad of other extremes caused by climate change. Rather, we sit back in our homes and turn on the tap for a glass of water, wash our clothes in an electric machine, and waste electricity by the kilowatt hours watching TV. We live in comfort in nearly every area of our lives, while people across the globe suffer in poverty, violence, and from a lack of natural resources. We consume far more than our share of food, water, energy, and exploit others in order to gain the materials to keep up

our quality of life. We don’t have to recognize the changes in the environment because we don’t have to live them…yet.

This guide for a school wide immersion project seeks just that—to put our students into the existence others must live out as a result of our consumption and to create opportunity for students to find creative solutions in their daily lives and globally to solve this cultural and physical problem. As Pope Francis states, we must urgently “move forward in a bold cultural revolution…to appropriate the positive and sustainable progress which has been made, but also to recover the values and the great goals swept away by our unrestrained delusions of grandeur” (LS 114). In other words, we must change how we think in order to change our behavior. That begins with education, which as Pope Francis asserts, “can encourage ways of acting which directly and significantly affect the world around us…. Good education plants seeds when we are young, and these continue to bear fruit throughout life” (LS 211, 212).

Further, our understanding of the environmental crisis is limited by the “fragmentation of knowledge…making it difficult to see the larger picture” (LS 110). This makes denying the crisis even easier since no one scientific discipline can fully prove the existence of climate change, thus ignoring the

 

interconnectedness of our world and the root causes of exploitation: economics, technology and greed. The interdisciplinary approach for a school wide project helps to recreate the kind of interconnectedness inherent in nature, reduce the ability to deny the existence of the crisis, and find multiple perspectives necessary to find multifaceted solutions. Additionally, students, our future leaders, must be “capable of bringing together the different fields of knowledge, including economics, in the service of a more integral and integrating vision” (LS 141). Studying the environmental crisis in every discipline will help train our students to think in multiple perspectives with a broader scope of the problem.

Aimed at the secondary level (grades 6-12), this guide will not provide specific lesson plans, but rather address an organization of the project and suggest possible activities, adaptable for any grade level, that could be used to help students experience the results of climate change, develop an environmental efficacy, and to become part of the solution. Organized by discipline, the guide will connect ideas to specific quotations from Laudato Si.

Further, the guide provides a comprehensive approach to addressing Catholic Social Teachings, particularly and obviously, The Care for God’s Creation, but as Pope Francis discusses in the encyclical, caring for the environment is part and partial to the Dignity of the Human Person, Solidarity, and Option for the Poor and Vulnerable, since without the environment, we really can’t provide for each other in the way God intended. This is particularly true for the poor: impoverished populations take the brunt of the consequences for not caring for the environment because they have no resources with which to avoid them. They suffer greatly when we consume more than our share. Additionally, caring for the earth addresses Solidarity in that we are living in community with each other and suffering knows no race, class, gender, sexuality, ethnicity, or religious boundaries. Destroying the earth destroys us all. But, there is hope in the God who loves us and calls us “to generous commitment and to give him our all….The Lord of Life, is always present. He does not abandon us, he does not leave us alone, for he has united himself definitively to our earth, and his love constantly impels us to find new ways forward” (LS 70).

 

Laudato Si: On Care for Our Common Home

A Guide for a School Wide Immersion Project

 

Big Idea:

This guide for a school wide immersion project seeks to put our students into the existence others must live out as a result of our consumption and to create opportunity for students to find creative solutions in their daily lives and globally to solve this cultural and physical problem by understanding our role in the common good.

 

Time Frame:

Ideally, schools would adopt Laudato Si as a year-long focus weaving activities and lessons into and throughout the curriculum of all disciplines. However, schools could develop their own timeline as day- long, week-long, month-long, etc.

 

Grade Level:

6-12

 

Objectives:
  • To create experiences for students that help them build empathy and solidarity with people across the globe.
  • To develop an environmental consciousness and eliminate denial of the environmental
  • To develop a Catholic moral understanding of relationship with the earth, God and each
  • To discuss a new cultural view of the use of the environment centered around the interdependence and interconnectedness of our world and place in
  • To develop a personal responsibility for
  • To create opportunities for students to become problem solvers and knowledge
  • To develop knowledge of advocacy
  • To create an ecological citizenship: the desire to recognize the problem and transform to

 

Essential Questions:
  1. How can we be “responsible stewards” of God’s creation (116)?
  2. How can we prompt change in cultural thought toward the environment?
  3. How can we live in solidarity with those who suffer from poverty, from climate change, from other pain?

 

Organization:
  • Appoint a project and resource lead in your school to help facilitate the
  • Allow faculty plenty of time to integrate the theme of ecology into their disciplines, adapting existing material to the
  • Open and close the project with a prayer service or Mass centered around the interconnectedness and the cultural change in thinking. Consider allowing students to plan the
  • Infuse Pope Francis’s thinking and words wherever possible in the activities and
  • Be intentional about including the experiences and wisdom of students into activities and

 

Final Action:

Create a culminating school wide service project or series of projects that allow students to become part of the solution (these may be allowed to develop organically from the activities and lessons used

 

throughout the project depending on your time frame). This step is critical to embody the local

imperative Pope Francis employs: “True statecraft is manifest when, in difficult times, we uphold high principles and think of the long-term common good… Local individuals and groups can make a real difference. They are able to instill a greater sense of responsibility, a strong sense of community, a

readiness to protect others, a spirit of creativity and a deep love for the land…. Society must put pressure on governments to develop more rigorous regulations, procedures and controls” (LS 179).

 

 

Discipline

 

Activities

Connections to Laudato Si
Mathematics
Study Population Density: What are the effects of climate change, rising sea levels in coastal cities, air pollution quantities and growth?  

50. Unequal distribution of the population and of available resources creates obstacles to development and sustainable use of the environment.

Study farming practices: acreage, water, pesticides, fertilizer to produce enough food for a person, family, city, state, country; How much fertilizer and pesticides end up in our ground water? Etc.  

 

 

122. Use Technology by directing and limiting it to service of others rather than service of our selves.

 

Study the effects of over fishing

40. Marine life in rivers, lakes, seas, and oceans is affected by uncontrolled fishing, leading to a drastic depletion of certain species.
Track and graph food waste in the cafeteria: How many people could it feed? 50. We know that approximately a third of all food produced is discarded, and “whenever food is thrown out it is as if it

were stolen from the table of the poor [29]

Science
Create biospheres and track the effects of oxygen, lack of water, carbon dioxide, nitrogen etc on the plants and organisms. 42. Great investment needs to be made in research aimed at understanding more fully the functioning of ecosystems and adequately analyzing the different variables associated with any significant modification of the environment.

 

Write Research papers on Coral reefs, oceans, fresh water lakes, monocultures, biodiversity the Amazon and Congo basins, and other topics of interest specifically looking at the effects of pollution and climate change 39. The replacement of virgin forest with plantations of trees, usually monocultures, is rarely adequately analyzed. 40. Oceans contain the bulk of our planet’s water supplies. 41. Coral reefs are comparable to the great forests on dry land. 38. We know how important the “Biodiverse lungs” of the Amazon and the Congo Basins, or the great aquifers and glaciers are for the entire earth and for the future of humanity.
 

 

 

Identify an area of land/water and create a proposal for a sanctuary (Wildlife refuge)

37. In the protection of Biodiversity, specialists insist on the need for particular attention to be shown to areas richer both in the number of species and in endemic, rare or less protected species. Certain places need greater protection because of their immense importance for the global ecosystem, or because they represent important water

reserves and thus safeguard other forms of life.

 

 

 

Create an experiment that looks at the effects of GMO’s on food supply in light of environmental factors

134. Although no conclusive proof exists that GM cereals may be harmful to human beings, and in some regions their use has brought about economic growth which has helped to resolve problems, there remain a number of significant difficulties which should not be underestimated, including their effects on vulnerable temporary workers and the effect of destroying the complex network of ecosystems, diminishing the

diversity of production.

 

Develop a sustainable use plan for your school: what can we do practically to be less hard on the environment

140. Each organism, as a creature of God, is good and admirable in itself; the same is true of the harmonious ensemble of organisms existing in a defined space and functioning as a system. When we speak of sustainable use, consideration must always be given to each ecosystem’s regenerative ability in its different areas and aspects.

 

Create urban plans that help develop sustainability and diversity (with a mind at class integration, proximity to work and school, public transit, green space, etc.)  

 

 

Section III. Ecology of Daily Life

 

Create an experiment where students determine their carbon footprint and the school’s footprint: how do they personally contribute to the environmental crisis

206. A change in lifestyle could bring healthy pressure to bear on those who wield political, economic and social power. This is what consumer movements accomplish by boycotting certain products. They prove successful in changing the way businesses operate, forcing them to consider their environmental footprint and their patterns of production.
 

Create a “best practices” for an industry to reduce their pollution.

177. Political and institutional frameworks do not exist simply to avoid bad practice, but also to promote best practice, to stimulate creativity in seeking new solutions and to encourage individual or group initiatives.
 

Create and perform an environmental impact assessment for a project at school or a local business

183. Environmental Impact Assessment should not come after the drawing up of a business proposition of a particular policy, plan or programme. It should be part of the process from the beginning, and be carried out in a way which is interdisciplinary, transparent and free of all economic or political pressure.
Study the effects of ocean pollution specifically solid waste like the great Pacific Ocean patch: how can we clean it up?  

174. The growing problem of marine waste and the protection of the open seas represent particular challenges.

Engineering
 

Develop ways to produce fresh water without using our water resources

177. Political and institutional frameworks do not exist simply to avoid bad practice, but also to promote best practice, to stimulate creativity in seeking new solutions and to encourage individual or group initiatives.

 

Develop and experiment with alternative energy sources (manure turned into electricity, garbage incineration,

composting, etc)

177. Political and institutional frameworks do not exist simply to avoid bad practice, but also to promote best practice, to stimulate creativity in seeking new solutions and to encourage individual or group initiatives.
English Language Arts
Use current articles from the news to raise awareness of the various ways our environment is suffering. Write responses to the articles with reference to Laudato Si. 210. Environmental Education seeks to restore the various levels of ecological equilibrium, establishing harmony within our selves, with others, with nature and other living creatures, and with God. Environmental Education should facilitate making the leap towards the transcendent which gives ecological ethics its deepest meaning.
Research particular countries and their interests (economic and political) and how their country interacts with the environment (use this paper to prepare for a mock summit in Social Studies)  

 

175. Diplomacy takes on new importance in the work of developing international strategies, which can anticipate serious problems affecting us all.

Social Sciences
After studying what the

U.S. environmental law entails, identify weaknesses and write policy that ensures the protection of some aspect of the environment (i.e. protecting the BWCAW from sulfide mining).

 

 

 

Section I. Dialogue on the environment in the international community and Section

II. Dialogue for new national and local policies

Create a Model International authority and evaluate its potential impact.

 

Study the international summits regarding the environment and evaluate their

effectiveness. Run a

175. It is essential to devise stronger and more efficiently organized international institutions, with functionaries who are appointed fairly by agreement among national governments, and empowered to impose sanctions.

 

173. Enforceable international agreements are needed, since loval

authorities are not always capable of

 

mock summit (in conjunction with the English Language Arts department) effective intervention.
 

Study the issue of conflict resources and focus on why scarcity of resources might cause war and violence (Iraq, Middle East, Conflict Diamonds in Africa) Perhaps conduct a simulation that might prompt the types of emotions and experiences that people in conflict driven

environments deal with.

 

 

 

 

 

57. It is foreseeable that, once certain resources have been depleted, the scene will be set for new wars.

Fine Arts
Study the depiction of the natural world in all forms of art. What values and ideology are communicated through different pieces? How might you portray your view and value of the environment?

Extension: create your own piece representing a cultural group you belong to, or research a culture’s view on the

environment, and paint that.

 

 

143. There is a need to incorporate the history, culture and architecture of each place, thus preserving its original identity. Culture is more than what we have inherited from the past; it is also, and above all, a living dynamic and participatory present reality, which cannot be excluded as we rethink the relationship between human beings and the environment.

Foreign Language

 

Study the indigenous communities in the areas and countries where Spanish, French, German etc. are spoken. Take special care to discuss the effects of climate change on each group. A research project would work well here, and creating a service project related to this discipline would also

work well.

 

 

146. It is essential to show special care  for indigenous communities and their cultural traditions. They are not merely one minority among others, but should be the principal dialogue partners. For them, land is not a commodity but rather a gift from God and from their ancestors who rest there, a sacred space with which they need to interact if they are to maintain their identity and values.

Theology
Use discussion and silent  thinking  to discuss the moral and cultural thoughts in the encyclical. Silent thinking takes quotations from the document, giving one to each student, they write down what they think about the quotation and pass it to several other people who read the quotation and the thoughts left by other students and write down their new thinking.

Students come back to the large group to discuss the topics. This can be used in context of any part of the document and in any

class.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

200. Discussion of morality/theology is necessary because if humanity loses its compass, if we lose sight of the great motivations which make it possible for us to live in harmony, to make sacrifices and to treat others well, we will be powerless to solve the serious problems of our world.

Economics

 

There are quite simply an endless number of activities one could do in this discipline as so much of the encyclical focuses on the exploitation of the environment for economic gain. One might want to tie every topic in an Econ class to the document. This would likely also fit with a business ethics theme.  

 

 

 

 

 

Laudato Si

 

Create a product or business plan that is ecological and sustainable. Partner with sciences to utilize the Environmental Impact assessment.

206. A change in lifestyle could bring healthy pressure to bear on thise who wield political, economic and social power. This is what consumer movements accomplish by boycotting certain products. They prove successful in changing the way businesses operate, forcing them to consider their environmental footprint and their patterns of production
Health
Integrate the ideas that all people are creations of God and therefore, sacred. Study the body and mind in reference to this principle.

 

Conduct a water exercise where students must transport the amount of water necessary (or suggested) at the average distance in the

global south

 

 

 

 

 

155. Our body itself establishes us in a direct relationship with the environment and with other living beings.

 

Topic Water Usage/Distribution Relative to Laudato Si’
Subject Compare and Contrast Global Water Usage
Grade Level 9-12
Overview/Purpose Students will discuss water as it relates to Laudato Si’:  Why is there a discrepancy of water availability around the world? What can be done to protect this resource and create more of an equitable distribution? What are the water challenges of people living in countries that need clean water? Students will have the opportunity to think critically about this problem and brainstorm proactive steps, whether personal, local or global, to improve the water availability crisis.
Class Materials or Apps Needed Pencil, paper, computer, ipad, iphone, android device with browser (firefox, explorer, safari, etc.) and internet capabilities
Objectives Identify reasons why water is becoming an endangered resource.

 

Make water usage connections between students and others around the world.

 

Track student’s personal water usage, using the Personal Water Use Survey.

 

Compare student’s personal water usage to that of people in other countries (Global Water Consumption Chart ).

 

Instill and create an awareness of personal suffering relating to water usage and distribution inequities, and discover what each of us can do about it.

Activities  

1.  Students will be divided into groups of four; groups will review Laudato Si’ for references of water usage, shortages, inequities, pollution, etc.

2.  Groups will collaborate on what steps can be taken to conserve and cut down on personal water usage.

3.  Each group will create an action plan to raise awareness in the school and the community about the water shortage and local conservation measures. Groups will present their plan to the teacher and the class.

4.  Students will track and annotate their water usage for a 24-hour period and compare their usage to one another and to other individuals throughout the world as described in the Global Water Consumption Chart.

Assessment Each student will write a 250-300 word reflection on the activities we

 

Teacher: Paul Preblich

Date of Instruction: As Necessary

 

participated in and how they relate to quotes from Laudato Si’ listed below.

 

“Education in environmental responsibility can encourage ways of acting which directly and significantly affect the world around us, such as avoiding the use of plastic and paper, reducing water consumption, separating refuse, cooking only what can reasonably be consumed, showing care for other living beings, using public transport or car-pooling, planting trees, turning off unnecessary lights, or any number of other practices. All of these reflect a generous and worthy creativity which brings out the best in human beings. Reusing something instead of immediately discarding it, when done for the right reasons, can be an act of love which expresses our own dignity. (#211)

 

“One particularly serious problem is the quality of water available to the poor…. Yet access to safe drinkable water is a basic and universal human right, since it is essential to human survival and, as such, is a condition for the exercise of other human rights. Our world has a grave social debt towards the poor who lack access to drinking water, because they are denied the right to a life consistent with their inalienable dignity” (#29-30).

 

“The emptier a person’s heart is, the more he or she needs things to buy, own and consume” (#204).

 

“Following a period of irrational confidence in progress and human abilities, some sectors of society are now adopting a more critical approach. We see increasing sensitivity to the environment and the need to protect nature, along with a growing concern, both genuine and distressing, for what is happening to our planet. Let us review, however cursorily, those questions which are troubling us today and which we can no longer sweep under the carpet. Our goal is not to amass information or to satisfy curiosity, but rather to become painfully aware, to dare to turn what is happening to the world into our own personal suffering and thus to discover what each of us can do about it.” (#19)

Resources for students  

Laudato si’ (24 May 2015) – La Santa Sede Water Facts Globally

 

 

 

Teacher: Doug Duea [email protected]

 Laudato Si’ Lesson

 

Objective: students will read, think, write and talk about the issue of water as it relates to paragraphs 27-31 of Laudato Si’ and relate this to Catholic Social Teaching and their lives.

 

Water Unit: El Agua Es Vida (Water is Life)

 

Pre-Lesson:  Students will brainstorm with the teacher the answers to the following questions.

  1. Where on Earth is water shortage an issue?
  2. What are some causes for water shortages?
  3. Besides a shortage of water, what other issues arise around it?
  4. How does climate change affect water’s excess or scarcity?
  5. Does every country experience water shortage to the same degree?
  6. Does water shortage affect different socioeconomic strata the same way?
  7. Should water be a basic human right or is it a luxury?

 

After brainstorming possible answers to 1.-6. above, students will go through the following steps.

  1. Students will keep a running log of all the water they use for 24 hours. This will include products or food that may have required water to produce. What are the most water- intensive products and foods?
  2. Students will estimate how much water they use (in liters) in a typical twenty-four hour period.
  3. Students will classify each use of water: either necessary for life or a luxury and explain why they did
  4. Students will research a country in the Global South with regards to its per capita water usage and compare it to both their personal water log and the U.S. per
  5. Students will use one or several sites in the resources to find 10 facts about water usage, scarcity, or
  6. Students will read Laudato Si’, paragraphs 27-31, and the summary of the 7 Catholic Social Teachings: http://tinyurl.com/3w69bg6http://tinyurl.com/3w69bg6
  7. Students will write a three-paragraph essay that synthesizes the encyclical, the sites they viewed, and Catholic Social Teachings. They should consider the following questions:

 

  1. How does the encyclical address what you’ve found in the sites? What does the encyclical not address that you think should be there?
  2. Which of the 7 Catholic social teachings relate to the theme of water scarcity, either directly or indirectly?
  3. How is water scarcity different in the developed world as compared to economically poorer countries?
  4. How does poor water quality or scarcity of water infringe on human dignity?
  5. Should water be considered a basic human right? Why or why not?
  1. Pope Francis mentions water 47 times in this encyclical. Students will choose 4 of the following citations from Laudato Si’ in which Pope Francis mentions water. Students will write their reaction to these
    1. (2) The violence present in our hearts, wounded by sin, is also reflected in the symptoms of sickness evident in the soil, in the water, in the air and in all forms of life. This is why the earth herself, burdened and laid waste, is among the most abandoned and maltreated of our poor; she “groans in travail” (Rom 8:22). We have forgotten that we ourselves are dust of the earth (cf. Gen2:7); our very bodies are made up of her elements, we breathe her air and we receive life and refreshment from her
    2. (8) Patriarch Bartholomew: “For human beings… to destroy the biological diversity of God’s creation; for human beings to degrade the integrity of the earth by causing changes in its climate, by stripping the earth of its natural forests or destroying its

wetlands; for human beings to contaminate the earth’s waters, its land, its air, and its life – these are sins”.

  1. (20) There is also pollution that affects everyone, caused by transport, industrial fumes, substances which contribute to the acidification of soil and water, fertilizers, insecticides, fungicides, herbicides and agrotoxins in
  2. (24) Warming has effects on the carbon cycle. It creates a vicious circle which aggravates the situation even more, affecting the availability of essential resources like drinking water, energy and agricultural production in warmer regions, and leading to the extinction of part of the planet’s
  3. (37) Certain places need greater protection because of their immense importance for the global ecosystem, or because they represent important water reserves and thus safeguard other forms of

 

  1. (40) Oceans not only contain the bulk of our planet’s water supply, but also most of the immense variety of living creatures, many of them still unknown to us and threatened for various
  2. (48) water pollution particularly affects the poor who cannot buy bottled water
  3. (211) There is a nobility in the duty to care for creation through little daily actions, and it is wonderful how education can bring about real changes in lifestyle. Education in environmental responsibility can encourage ways of acting which directly and significantly affect the world around us, such as avoiding the use of plastic and paper, reducing water consumption, separating refuse, cooking only what can reasonably be consumed, showing care for other living beings, using public transport or car-pooling, planting trees, turning off unnecessary lights, or any number of other
  1. Students will participate in a Socratic seminar in class to discuss their opinions on the following quotes from Laudato Si’. Students will use all that they have read, watched and written as a basis for their
    1. (202) Many things have to change course, but it is we human beings above all who need to change. We lack an awareness of our common origin, of our mutual belonging, and of a future to be shared with everyone. This basic awareness would enable the development of new convictions, attitudes and forms of
    2. (203) Since the market tends to promote extreme consumerism in an effort to sell its products, people can easily get caught up in a whirlwind of needless buying and spending.
    3. (205) Yet all is not lost. Human beings, while capable of the worst, are also capable of rising above themselves, choosing again what is good, and making a new start, despite their mental and social
    4. (209) An awareness of the gravity of today’s cultural and ecological crisis must be translated into new habits […] young people have a new ecological sensitivity and a generous spirit, and some of them are making admirable efforts to protect the environment. At the same time, they have grown up in a milieu of extreme consumerism and affluence which makes it difficult to develop other habits. We are faced with an educational
    5. (213) Ecological education can take place in a variety of settings: at school, in families, in the media, in catechesis and

 

Internet Resources for Lesson

www.unwater.org http://www.un.org/waterforlifedecade/scarcity.shtml http://thewaterproject.org/water_scarcity http://www.fao.org/nr/water/issues/scarcity.html http://tinyurl.com/ngalfpg

 

Have You Been a Witness?

 

Objectives

-The students will listen and follow along to Elie Wiesel’s Nobel Peace Prize speech.

-The students will reflect on what it means to “be a witness” to an event.

-The students will learn and reflect on the fact that Elie Wiesel had dedicated his entire life to speaking out for those who are oppressed.

-The students will read the Pope’s encyclical, Laudato Si’. They will make connections to Elie Wiesel’s speech, problems of today, and the Pope’s call to action in helping the poor.

Time: Two- three 40 minute class periods

 

Materials

Night book

-Video of Elie Wiesel’s Nobel Peace Prize speech at http://www.nobelprize.org/nobel_prizes/peace/laureates/1986/wiesel-acceptance.html

-Journal questions and student journals

-Copy of the encyclical, Laudato Si’

Procedures

  1. Students, as a class, read the preface introducing the memoir and why it was written. Wiesel speaks directly to the
  2. After reading the preface, students journal about what it means to be a witness to a particular happening and how that changes ones’ perspective. Students share their responses with a
  3. Then, they write and/or draw a picture about a time in which they have been a witness to a significant event/occurrence and they reflect on how that had an impact on their lives. Invite students to share their journal and pictures with the
  4. Students watch and listen to Elie Wiesel’s acceptance speech for the Nobel Peace Prize. The speech is also in the back of the book on pages 117-120. The students may follow along in the book while they watch and listen to the speech found at http://www.nobelprize.org/nobel_prizes/peace/laureates/1986/wiesel-html
  5. Next, post the following quote on the board and have students respond to the following quote from the speech. The quote is also found in the book, Night.

“Neutrality helps the oppressor, never the victim. Silence encourages the tormentor, never the tormented. Sometimes we must interfere. When human lives are endangered, when human dignity is in jeopardy, national borders and sensitivities become irrelevant. Wherever men and women are persecuted because of their race,

 

religion, or political views, that place must — at that moment — become the center of the universe… And action is the only remedy to indifference, the most insidious danger of all” (Wiesel, 2006, p. 118-120).

Students write a journal response to this statement. They are to think about the following writing prompts:

-Do you agree with this statement? Why or why not?

-Can you think of any experiences you have had that validate or contradict this idea?

-What, if any, are the personal implications of this statement? What questions do you have about this statement?

When they are finished journaling, students should find a partner to discuss their thoughts.

  1. Finally, as a group, they will read pre-selected sections of Laudato Si’. They will identify specific passages in order to make connections to Elie Wiesel’s Noble Peace Prize speech and specific problems in the world today. They will write about the connections they discovered and present them to the

Evaluation

-Class participation in discussion

-Grade journal responses

-Group presentations

 

 

 

Erin Sprangers

DVMT 800 – Faith and Justice at Work July 29, 2015

Resources to Reflect on Laudato Si’

For Middle School Students

 

Middle School students in an English class will read A Long Walk to Water by Linda Sue Park as a class and make connections to Laudato Si’ through the following themes of Catholic Social Teaching: life and dignity of the human person, call to participation, option for the poor and vulnerable, and care of God’s creation. They will engage in the following activities:

 

Pre-Reading:

During Reading:

  • PowerPoint contains questions students should answer while reading. These questions will be used in class as large group discussions
  • Water Word Scramble activity
  • Matching Water Facts activity
  • Water filtration experiment (team up with science teacher for cross-curricular unit)

 

After Reading:

  • Discussion of Catholic Social Teaching themes and how they were present throughout the novel
  • Research of activist groups finding ways to get people water (Water.org, Water for South Sudan, World Wildlife)
  • What is our role as Catholics and Christians? What can we do?
  • Watch interview with Salva Dat (man from A Long Walk to Water)
  • Look at excerpts of Laudato Si’ and make connections with the themes of Catholic Social Teaching

 

 

Materials:
  1. A Long Walk To Water by Linda Sue Park (Clarion Books / Houghton Mifflin Harcourt, 2010)

 

This short novel tells different stories of children growing up in Sudan. One story is of Nya, set in 2008, who walks for hours each day to collect water for her family. The other story is of Salva, set in 1985, whose village gets attacked because of the country’s Civil War. Salva is told to leave the village so he becomes one of Sudan’s “lost boys” as he and others walked throughout the country seeking

shelter in refugee camps. The stories are connected at the end of the book after Salva’s story leads him to multiple refugee camps, then to America, and finally back to Sudan, in Nya’s village, through a company he founded to bring water to rural places in Sudan. The end of the story brings hope for change.

 

Salva Dat is a real person whose story is told in this novel by Park. He currently lives in Southern Sudan where he operates his company, Water for South Sudan.

 

  1. Just Add Water http://www.waterforsouthsudan.org/wfss-childrens-book/

 

A picture book version of Dat’s childhood and the story that led him back to Sudan with hope and plans for change.

 

  1. Interview with Dat discussing his childhood in Southern Sudan: http://www.waterforsouthsudan.org/iron-giraffe-challenge/

 

  1. org, co-founded by Matt Damon and Gary White, “provides innovative, market-based solutions that change lives every day through safe water and sanitation.” http://water.org/water-crisis/water- facts/water/

 

  1. More about Water.org: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KdwinEmUqF0

 

  1. Water Word Scramble: http://water.epa.gov/learn/kids/drinkingwater/upload/2005_03_10_kids_activity_grades_4- pdf

 

  1. Matching Facts Game: http://water.epa.gov/learn/kids/drinkingwater/upload/2005_03_10_kids_activity_grades_4- pdf

 

  1. Water filtration: http://water.epa.gov/learn/kids/drinkingwater/upload/2005_03_10_kids_activity_grades_4- pdf

 

A Long Walk to Water Pre-Reading Stations

 

 

Name: ______________

 

 

 

 

Water Footprint

 

Explore National

Geographic’s water conservation Web site (link below).

Visit each tab under

“Freshwater:” Freshwater Stories, Why it Matters, Get Engaged, and Change the Course. Record one observation from each on the other side of this paper.

 

http://environment.nation algeographic.com/environ

ment/freshwater

Bucket Carry

 

Carry the bucket up and down the middle school hallway five times. (This is not a race.) Then reflect what it would be like to do it not for a few minutes – but for 8 hours a day. This is the reality for millions of people in Sudan.

Write your reflection on the other side of this paper.

Catholic Social Teachings

 

Complete the Catholic Social Teachings matching activity with a partner. Staple it to this paper.

Anticipation Guide

 

Complete the anticipation guide. Staple it to this paper.

Evaluation

Reflect on what you thought of these stations. Do you think they’ve prepared you for your reading? Explain why or why not below.

 

Water Footprint Observations Bucket Carry Reflection

 

NAME:                                             

A Long Walk to Water

 

Pre-Reading Anticipation Guide

 

Directions:     Read  each  statement  and  check  “Agree”  in  the  blank  if  you  believe  the statement and can support it. If you don’t agree, leave it blank. Then, choose three of the statements you agreed or disagreed most strongly with and write a paragraph for each supporting your beliefs.

 

AGREE

 

Humans   are   basically good.

 

Government  should  solve  its  people’s problems.

 

Force  may  be  needed  to  get  things  done.

 

Government’s  most  important  job  is  to  protect  its people.

 

A  leader  is  born,  not made.

 

Humans  will  behave  badly  without laws.

 

A person must care for themselves first  before  they can  help  others.

 

When  a  government  is  corrupt,  people  must rebel.

 

Government’s job is to make laws, and make people obey them.

 

The  differences  between  right  and  wrong  are  very clear.

 

Water  is  our  most  precious  resource.

 

 

(Write  your  paragraphs  on  the  back  of  this paper.)

 

Teacher: Melissa Krcil

 

Theme from Laudato Si’: Interrelationship of all creation

 

Age of Student: School wide – depending on which discussion questions are used

 

Content Area(s): Religion, Science and Literature

 

Objective: To understand the term interrelationship across content areas and through the lens of Catholic social teaching.

 

Paragraphs from Laudato Si’ used, but not limited to, for this resource:

3, 13, 70, 84, 92, 120, 139, 229, and 234

http://w2.vatican.va/content/francesco/en/encyclicals/documents/papa-francesco_20150524_enciclica-laudato-si.html

 

 

 

One of the many themes that runs throughout Laudato Si’ is interrelationship of all creation. Below are some examples:

 

“I would like to enter into dialogue with all people about our common home.” (Laudato Si’ 3) “Humanity still has the ability to work together in building our common home.” (Laudato Si’ 13)

“Everything is related, and we human beings are united as brothers and sisters on a wonderful pilgrimage, woven together by the love God has for each of his creatures and which also unites us in fond affection with brother sun, sister moon, brother river and mother earth.” (Laudato Si’ 92)

 

“Since everything is interrelated, concern for the protection of nature is also incompatible with the justification of abortion. How can we genuinely teach the importance of concern for other vulnerable beings, however troublesome or inconvenient they may be, if we fail to protect a human embryo, even when its presence is uncomfortable and creates difficulties? “If personal and social sensitivity towards the acceptance of the new

life is lost, then other forms of acceptance that are valuable for society also wither away”.[ID., Encyclical Letter Caritas in Veritate (29 June 2009), 28: AAS 101 (2009), 663.97] (Laudato Si’ 120)

 

 

Goal: To understand what interrelationship means through exploration of interrelationship across content areas. After a foundation is set for the term interrelationship, a close reading of Laudato Si’ paragraph 120 is used to understand interrelationship through the lens of Catholic social teaching. The lesson ideas below may be taught in a five-day week or throughout the school year to spiral the teachings of interrelationship. The resources are a starting point to generate discussion of the teachings of Pope Francis in the classroom setting.

 

 

Activities:

 

  1. Through a class discussion generate a meaning or a list of what interrelationship means before we start learning about it.

 

 

Content Area: Religion Caparison #1:

Compare the Church to one body that is connected by the Holy Spirit through the gifts of sacraments. All parts of the Catholic Church need to work as one. If one part suffers the whole church suffers. The different parts refer to our Pope, Cardinals, Bishops, Priests, Laity (consecrated men and women, single men and women, married men and women, and children) and Saints. Using a basic illustration of a person and label the parts of

the Church. After labeling the illustration proceed to possible discussion questions.

 

 

Head: Pope

Neck: Cardinals, Bishops, and Priest Arms: Laity

 

Body: Saints Legs: Consecrated

 

 

 

Caparison #2:

 

Using the text Lumen Gentitum compare the church to a farm. “The second image is the farm, or field, where an

 

ancient olive tree grows. Our roots go all the way back to Abraham and Sarah. As the olive tree is a symbol of

 

peace, so should the Church be. As the olive gives oil that soothes and heals and blesses, so to should the

 

Church sooth and heal and bless. We are also a vineyard. Christ is the Vine and we are the branches. As grapes

 

give sustenance and become wine to give joy to human hearts, the Church should too bear fruit and bring joy to

 

the world”

 

See more at: http://www.capuchinfranciscans.org/blog/lumen-gentium-and-images-of-the- church#sthash.aORr9KkG.dpuf

 

Possible Discussion Questions
  1. How does our Catholic Church function as one body?

 

  1. How does our Catholic Church function as a farm?

 

  1. How is the Catholic Church interrelated?

 

  1. How could one part suffering hurt other parts? Are there some modern examples of this?

 

 

 

 

 

Content Area: Science

 

Explore common ecosystems and food chains to help understand the idea of interrelationship. For this lesson, it would be helpful to make visuals of each part of the ecosystem (deer, plants, sun, etc.). When teaching, post the visuals in a cycle formation and use arrows to show all the connections between the various forms of creation. The cycle and interrelationship between one ecosystem to another can be explored and discussed at various levels.

Ecosystems:

Grassland Ecosystem

  • Sun → Plant → Deer → Lion

 

Backyard/Park Ecosystem

  • Sun → Plant → Worm →Bird →Cat

 

Pond Ecosystem

  • Sun → Plant → Grasshopper → Frog → Snake → Hawk

 

Lake Ecosystem

  • Sun → Algae → Small Plant → Small Animal → Small Fish → Bird

 

Possible Discussion Questions/Activities
  1. How could the loss of plant life change the day to day life of deer in a grassland ecosystem?

 

  1. How could the overabundance of snakes change the pond ecosystem?

 

  1. Which ecosystems from our examples above interconnect?

 

  1. Relate ecosystems and food chains to “…each human being is an image of God should not make us overlook the fact that each creature has its own purpose.” (Laudato Si’ 84)

 

  1. Create a diagram of your

 

 

Content Area: Literature

Teaching the proverb For the Want of a Nail “For want of a nail, the shoe was lost.

For want of a shoe, the horse was lost.

For want of a horse, the rider was lost. For want of a rider, the battle was lost. For want of a battle, the kingdom was lost, And all for the want of a horseshoe nail.”

 

 

The history of this proverb dates back to the 1320’s and has been used to illustrate root causing issues of losing wars and battles. Pope Francis writes, “I will attempt to get to the roots of the present situation, so as to consider not only its symptoms but also its deepest causes.” (Laudato Si’ 15). Using the proverb above, we can step back further and look at the deepest causes related to the loss of a kingdom or war. Was it the apprentice, the blacksmith, what was going on in society at the time?

 

 

Activity

 

Thinking about the root causes of our present situation with our environment, do a close reading of paragraph 120.

“Since everything is interrelated, concern for the protection of nature is also incompatible with the justification of abortion. How can we genuinely teach the importance of concern for other vulnerable beings, however troublesome or inconvenient they may be, if we fail to protect a human embryo, even when its presence is uncomfortable and creates difficulties? “If personal and social sensitivity towards the acceptance of the new

life is lost, then other forms of acceptance that are valuable for society also wither away”.[ID., Encyclical Letter Caritas in Veritate (29 June 2009), 28: AAS 101 (2009), 663.97] (Laudato Si’ 120)

 

 

Using the content in Laudato Si’ write a “For the want of ….” proverb. What would your title be? With everything interrelated, how would you begin your proverb?  Example: For the Want of                       , New life is lost (Laudato Si’ 120)

 

Discussion Questions About Interrelationship
  1. How do the examples of the Church being one body, ecosystems, and For the Want of a Nail relate to the theme of interrelation of all creation in Laudato Si’ (paragraphs 3, 13, 70, 84, 92, 120, 139, 229, and 234)?

 

  1. Due to everything in our world being connected, how might our gift of free will negatively or positively affect others? Are we humans using our freedom to make good moral decisions?

 

  1. Lastly, revisit the first list/ideas of what interrelationship means from the very beginning of this At this point, create a single definition of interrelationship.

 

Teacher: Melissa Krcil

 

Theme from Laudato Si’: Virtues of Respect and Love

 

Age of Student: School wide

 

Content Area(s): All

 

Paragraphs from Laudato Si’: 84, 91, 213, 222, 227

http://w2.vatican.va/content/francesco/en/encyclicals/documents/papa-francesco_20150524_enciclica-laudato-si.html

 

 

 

Activity:

 

  1. Do a close read of paragraph

 

Ecological education can take place in a variety of settings: at school, in families, in the media, in catechesis and elsewhere. Good education plants seeds when we are young, and these continue to bear fruit throughout life. Here, though, I would stress the great importance of the family, which is “the place in which life – the gift of God – can be properly welcomed and protected against the many attacks to which it is exposed, and can develop in accordance with what constitutes authentic human growth. In the face of the so-called culture of death, the family is the heart of the culture of life”.[149] In the family we first learn how to show love and respect for life; we are taught the proper use of things, order and cleanliness, respect for the local ecosystem and care for all creatures. In the family we receive an integral education, which enables us to grow harmoniously in personal maturity. In the family we learn to ask without demanding, to say “thank you” as an expression of genuine gratitude for what we have been given, to control our aggressivity and greed, and to ask forgiveness when we have caused harm. These simple gestures of heartfelt courtesy help to create a culture of shared life and respect for our surroundings. (Laudato Si’ 213)

 

 

  1. Do a close read of the altered passage below. The words the family were changed to our

 

In our school we learn how to show love and respect for life; we are taught the proper use of things, order and cleanliness, respect for the local ecosystem and care for all creatures. In our school we receive an integral education, which enables us to grow harmoniously in personal maturity. In our school we learn to ask without demanding, to say “thank you” as an expression of genuine gratitude for what we have been given, to control our aggressivity and greed, and to ask forgiveness when we have caused harm. These simple gestures of heartfelt courtesy help to create a culture of shared life and respect for our surroundings.

 

 

  1. Take time to break down each line of the passage. With middle school through high school students you could have a group of students draw a piece of paper out of a hat that has a line from paragraph 213 on it. That group of students could teach the meaning of the line to the
  2. Depending on the age of the students, you may choose to explore some or a few of these ideas with your

 

students.

 

  1. What does proper use of things mean in our classroom?
  2. What is our local ecosystem? Create a diagram of our local
  3. What does integral education mean?
  4. When we get upset how do we control it? What do we do to control our greed?
  5. Do we say please and thank you? How could we show our gratitude more at our school?
  6. Do we ask for forgiveness? Do we go to confession on a regular basis?

 

 

 

  1. Using the prior discussion from paragraph 213 how would these virtues look, feel, and sound like in your classroom and at your school? Generate a list with your class to explain what the virtues of love and respect would look like.
  • What does it mean to show respect?

 

  • What does it mean to show love?

 

  • What does it look like in our classroom to show respect and love?

 

  • What does it feel like in our classroom to show respect and love?

 

  • What does it look like in our school to show respect and love?

 

  • What does it sound like to show respect and love?

 

Keep these lists in your classroom, so the students can see what ideas were generated. These would be great resources to review throughout the school year to remind everyone of what love and respect look like.

This list could then funnel down and be used to make the classroom rules. For instance, the classroom rules could be Respect and Love.  Throughout the school day we can ask ourselves, is this action showing love toward creation? Is this action showing respect to others or myself? The teacher is also modeling this language and understanding that everything we do has a purpose and should show respect and love. Over time and repetition the students will see that asking ourselves these two simple questions will help us make choices with good moral consequences.

 

World Water Crisis Lesson Plan

 

The purpose of this lesson is to make 4th and 5th grade students more aware of the global water crisis and how the effects of water scarcity affect health, hunger, education and poverty.

 

 

Objectives:

  • To raise students awareness of the human need for clean drinking water
  • To increase students’ understanding of the world water crisis as one that affects
  • To encourage students to take their own steps in addressing the global issues of water and

 

 

To introduce the lesson, show the video “Water, The World Water Crisis.”

 

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=iRGZOCaD9sQ

 

Activity 1

 

To learn more about the effects of the water crisis, put students in groups of four. This will be their ‘home group’. Each student in the group will be assigned a web-link to read to themselves about Health, Hunger, Poverty, or Education. http://thewaterproject.org/

 

When they are done reading the material, students will form an ‘expert group’ where they will meet with students from other ‘home groups’ who have read on their same topic. They will discuss with their ‘expert group’ and determine how best to teach their ‘home groups’ about the subject. After meeting with their ‘expert groups’, students will return to their ‘home groups’ to teach the other students about their particular section.

 

When finished, we will come back together as a whole group to discuss what they learned about the global water crisis in regards to health, hunger, poverty, and education.

 

Activity 2

 

To give students a better understanding of what it is like to live in a country where water isn’t easily available and people have to walk long distances to get it, have students participate in a “water haul”.

 

  1. Measure out a 250 foot length
  2. Have students form two
  3. Give each team a gallon bucket or jug filled with
  4. Have each child on the team carry the water the length of 250 feet and back to the starting point. (Remind students this is not a race to see who can carry the water fastest, but the point is to think about how they would feel having to do this as a daily )

 

  1. Repeat the “water haul” again, but this time have each child carry two Talk to the students about how in many countries, people have to walk an average of four miles to get water each day. That means the water haul would have to be repeated 40 or more times just to reach the average.

 

 

Activity 3

 

Have students get involved in a water challenge or other service project where the class teams up to raise awareness and donate to a clean water project.

 

 

 

Closing

 

After we have completed this lesson we will come back together as a group to discuss what we have learned about the water crisis throughout the world.

 

Teacher: Emily Torgerson Lesson Plan for Laudato Si’ July 22, 2015

Throwaway Culture- What is it? How can we each prevent it? Why does Pope Francis tell us we need to change our ways?

Grade: Third Grade

Objectives:

-Students can identify areas in their life where they contribute to the “throwaway culture.”

-Students show understanding of the need to change.

-Students understand where products come from, and where they go when they are disposed of.

-Students understand that we are called by God to be stewards of the earth.

 

Assessments:

-Students create a list of goals to help better the world and move away from the current trend.

-Students will journal the next week about what they have done differently in the past week.

-Students will answer the comprehension questions from the news article

 

Possible Additional Resources:

Throwaway Culture- https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UcMXoPJEQ_w

The Story of Stuff Introduction- https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OqZMTY4V7Ts The Story of Stuff: Electronics- https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=sW_7i6T_H78 Make a timeline on readwritethink.org showing the progression of an object.

Lesson Outline: Day 1:
  1. Journal in writing notebooks, “What brings you the most happiness?”
  2. Then discuss, how many of the things on your list are material items? What makes you happy that are not things? (examples: spending time with family, playdates with friends, going to the park, swimming in the lake, etc.)
  3. Have students at their desk brainstorm everything they have thrown away in the last 24 hours. Remind students that food and drink counts! Now talk about how the journal prompt is connected to the throw away Ask, “Do the items you have bring you the most happiness?”
  4. Bring kids to carpet, brainstorm as a class all of the electronics kids have at their houses. Then ask, what happens when the item breaks? When do you get new ones? Why do you get new ones? What might the problem be of always getting new things? Where do our old things go?
  5. Draw out timeline of electronic items on the board. Think about the iPod or iPad. Talk about the materials, the factory, who makes it, shipping, when it’s in use, and then what happens to it
  6. Talk about what an encyclical is. Show quotes from Laudato Si’ that show Pope Francis’s call for change, and how he defines the “throw away” culture. Talk as a class about how we might be contributing to this culture and examples of how we can

 

  1. Have students go back to their desks and take out their writing notebooks. Have them write out goals about how they can individually help this problem. This is the prompt for the students:

“What are ways you can help the current “throw away” culture? What can you do in your life to help answer Pope Francis’s call for change?”

  1. When students are done writing, have them share goals with each other. Tell students that in a week we will take a look at the goals, and see how we all are doing. The hope is to encourage one another as a class, and work together towards
Day 2:

*Look for a recent news article portraying the overconsumption happening in our world. Here is an example of an article from May 2015. This article is about public’s desire for only “nice looking” produce and the waste this produces.

http://www.dogonews.com/2015/5/17/oakland-based-imperfect-will-sell-only-ugly-fruits-and-vegetables

  1. Read article together as a
  2. Discuss how this article is related to yesterday’s lesson on electronics and the “throw away” culture. Tell how we are wasting perfectly good food, while other people in the world go hungry. Remind students of the Catholic Social Teaching of human dignity, and that all people are equal in God’s
  3. Have students respond to comprehension questions from the article’s
    1. How much produce is thrown away each year? Why?
    2. What does the organization, Imperfect, plan to do? What are some of the benefits of their idea?
    3. What cities are they planning to focus on first? Why is the idea particularly timely for California?

 

  1. Have students take out their goals from yesterday’s lesson. Have students add new goals in light of today’s lesson on food that gets thrown
  2. End with prayer, asking God to help us in our

 

Writing and discussion for the following week:

Have students take another look at their goals from last week’s lesson on Laudato Si’ and our over consumption of resources. Have the kids journal about what they have done well this week, and what they can continue to improve on.

 

Quotes from Laudato Si’ to show to students:

“Now, faced as we are with global environmental deterioration, I wish to address every person living on this planet” (LS 3).

“These problems are closely linked to a throwaway culture which affects the excluded just as it quickly reduces things to rubbish. To cite one example, most of the paper we produce is thrown away and not recycled. It is hard for us to accept that the way natural ecosystems work is exemplary: plants synthesize nutrients which feed herbivores; these in turn become food for carnivores, which produce significant quantities of organic waste which give rise to new generations of plants. But our industrial system, at the end of its cycle of production and consumption, has not developed the capacity to absorb and reuse waste and by-products” (LS 22).

“Besides, we know that approximately a third of all food produced is discarded, and ‘whenever food is thrown out it is as if it were stolen from the table of the poor’.[29] Still, attention needs to be paid to imbalances in population density, on both national and global levels, since a rise in consumption would lead to complex

 

regional situations, as a result of the interplay between problems linked to environmental pollution, transport, waste treatment, loss of resources and quality of life” (LS 50).

“This same ‘use and throw away’ logic generates so much waste, because of the disordered desire to consume more than what is really necessary” (LS 123).

 

Ecology & Stewardship Teacher: Natalie Major June 28, 2015

 

Abstract:

 

This project is the culminating activity that follows after the two units of study, Animals and Ecology. The third grade students will have studied the five major vertebrate groups and understand how they differ according to their identifying characteristics. They will also have studied in Ecology food chains and habitats, drawing meaning of the importance of balance in nature. Each student will choose an animal that is on the endangered species list. They will research their animal and its habitat. They identify reasons why this animal is endangered and how they can bring awareness to the problem. Students will write a report on their animal, create a shoebox diorama of the animal and its habitat, and create a public service announcement poster or video drawing awareness to the ecological problem.

 

Objectives:

  • Students will develop an understanding of the importance of protecting God’s creation through Catholic Social
  • Students will understand the interactions of organisms and their ecosystem and how fragile the balance of nature
  • Students will demonstrate their understanding of their role as protectors of God’s
  • Students will demonstrate their knowledge of animal characteristics and

 

Resources

  • Book – In Our Image God’s First Creatures, Nancy Sohn Swartz (Lesson 1)
  • Book – Old Turtle and the Broken Truth, Douglas Wood (Lesson 2)
  • Book – Where Have all the Panda’s Gone?, Mevin Berger & Gilda Berger (Lesson 3) Lesson Overview

Lesson 1: God’s Creation & Stewardship Lesson 2: Relationship with God & Creation

Lesson 3- 5: Taking Action (Science portion of the unit)

 

 

 

 

 

 

Lesson 1: God’s Creation & Stewardship

 

Objective:

  • Students will develop an understanding of the importance of protecting God’s

 

Close Read of Laudato Si’ #67:

 

  • We are not The earth was here before us and it has been given to us. This allows us to respond to the charge that Judaeo-Christian thinking, on the basis of the Genesis account which grants man

 

“dominion” over the earth (cf. Gen 1:28), has encouraged the unbridled exploitation of nature by painting him as domineering and distortive by nature. … The biblical texts are to be read in their

context, with an appropriate hermeneutic, recognizing that they tell us to “till and keep” the garden of the world (cf. Gen 2:15) “Tilling” refers to cultivating, ploughing or working, while “keeping” means caring, protecting, overseeing and preserving. This implies a relationship of mutual responsibility between human beings and nature.

 

Materials:

  • Book – In Our Image God’s First Creatures, Nancy Sohn Swartz
  • Science Journal

 

Procedure:

 

  1. Read Aloud: In Our Image God’s First Creatures

 

Discussion Questions:

  1. On the first page the author poses the question, “To whom was God speaking? Who is “us”? Who else is included in the word “our”?” Discuss this with the class before reading what they think God means. Ask the same question after reading the
  2. What are some other characteristics the animals may have suggested?
  3. What does the word dominion mean? Why are the animals afraid?
  4. Why does God tell them not to fear the humans?
  5. What do think it means when the author says, “In the image of God and in the image of all nature, God created them. And nature lived in humankind”?
  6. What job has God given us? Can you think of ways we are not doing the job God entrusted us with?

 

  1. Brainstorm with students and document their ideas on a large piece of
  2. Explain to them that now that they have learned about the different kinds of animals and the importance of balance in nature that we are given the important job of being stewards and protectors of the
  3. Discuss with them that when we don’t protect God’s creation we are not in a good relationship with nature or

 

Assessment:

 

  • In their journal have students write about what it means to be a protector of God’s creation. If there is time, have the students share with their writings with the class or a

 

Lesson 2: Relationship with God and Creation

 

Objective:

 

  • Students will understand the difference between truth, half-truth and stereotype and its importance to being in a good relationship with God and

 

Close Read of Laudato Si’ #92:

 

  • Moreover, when our hearts are authentically open to universal communion, this sense of fraternity excludes nothing and no one. It follows that our indifference or cruelty towards fellow creatures of this world sooner or later affects the treatment we mete out to other human beings. We have only one heart, and the same wretchedness which leads us to mistreat an animal will not be long in showing itself in our relationships with other people. Every act of cruelty towards any creature is “contrary to human

dignity”. [69] We can hardly consider ourselves to be fully loving if we disregard any aspect of reality: “Peace, justice and the preservation of creation are three absolutely interconnected themes, which cannot be separated and treated individually without once again falling into reductionism.”[70] Everything is related, and we human beings are united as brothers and sisters on a wonderful pilgrimage, woven together by the love God has for each of his creatures and which also unites us in fond affection with brother sun, sister moon, brother river and mother earth.

 

Materials:

  • Old Turtle and the Broken Truth by Douglas Wood
  • Sorting Activity (Make copies and cut up words for small groups)
  • Truths Activity Worksheet
  • White paper (one sheet for each student)

 

Discussion Questions:

Pre-Reading

  1. What is a truth? (What someone believes to be right/correct)
  2. Pass out envelopes. Have students sort stereotype word cards into two categories, boys and girls.
  3. When they have finished talk about why they chose to put the words in these categories. Discuss what stereotypes are and how they affect how we think about other people. How can stereotypes be hurtful?

 

  1. Discuss how some people have different ideas of what is truth. Complete the Truth activity. Have students write agree or disagree next to the statements. Have students set their sheets aside until the end of the

 

During Reading

  1. Why do you think the animals didn’t keep the half-truth?
  2. What happens when the people start believing in the half-truth?
  3. Why does the author have a child go talk to the Old Turtle?
  4. What is the “truth” the Old Turtle tells the little girl?
  5. What happens when the little girl shares the truth with her people?

 

After Reading

  1. Have the students look at their list of Have them identify which truth is the same as in the story.
  2. Discuss how the other truths are the opposite of the truth God wants us to
  3. Believing that one person is more important than another affects relationships with God and creation. Just because one person believes it to be true does not make it

 

  1. How do our thoughts and actions affect others?
  2. How do our thoughts and actions affect the environment?

 

Assessment:

 

  • On a piece of blank paper have them draw a picture of what the real “truth” is that God wants us to know. They may use words and

 

 

 

 

Stereotype Word Cards

Cut out word cards and place in an envelope. Give each group a sort card.

 

dolls pink blue
baseball soccer dance
cars smart athletic
short hair long hair loving
caring strong nurse
truck shop driver

 

 

 

 

As a group sort your cards into two groups. Which words would you put under the description of a girl and which would you put for a boy?

 

Girls Boys

 

 

Name:                                                                         Date:                                                   

 

Truths

 

Someone’s Truth Agree/Disagree
Girls are better than boys
Boys are better than girls
Blue eyes are the best
Having a lot of money is

important

God loves me
It is better to have dark skin
It is better to have light skin
Everyone is important
God loves everyone
Everyone is equal
I need to protect the

environment

Someone else needs to protect

the environment

African Americans are bad
White people are racist

 

Learning the Value of Biodiversity

 

This lesson will help students realize the value of bees. I chose to focus on bees as I’ve heard students express fear of bees and being stung. Some students would like to see bees eradicated. Many students do not realize that bees play an important part in our ecosystem and that the bee population seems to be dwindling.

 

Day 1

Have students fill out the Bees: Pre-Knowledge and Post-Knowledge form. After students have completed the form, post each of the statements on sentence strips and display on the whiteboard/chalkboard in the room.

 

Day 2

Bring in the following fruits and vegetables to show the students: apple, blueberry, cherry, cucumber, cantaloupe, peach, pear, plum, pumpkin, raspberry and watermelon.  If these foods are out of season show the students pictures of the foods. Write each food name on the board. Hold up each food. As each food is held up have students color a happy face if they enjoy the food. After giving the survey take a tally of how many students like each food.

Ask and discuss the following questions:

  • What things do you like to do with this food?
  • Does this food hold any special memories for you? Do you eat it or use it in any way on a holiday or another special day?

Then have the students write this sentence in their writing journals.

  • If there were no in the world I would feel                                    .

o Example: If there were no pumpkins in the world I would feel upset because I love to carve pumpkins with my family for Halloween.

Then have students write this writing prompt in their journals.

  • I think bees are joined with fruits and vegetables because .

Have a few students share their journal answers with the class or have students share their journal writings with a reading buddy.

Day 3

Introduce the following vocabulary to the students and post the words in the room. bees   pollen  pollinate ecosystem

 

Review the statements from Day One, that are posted on the board, together with the students.

Read the book What If There Were No Bees? by Suzanne Slade and Carol Schwartz to the students. The reading of this book may need to be broken up into two sessions.

Discuss how the fruits and vegetables brought in yesterday are affected by the bees. (If you don’t finish the whole book leave this discussion for after the book is completed).

Day 4

Review the statements from Day One and the vocabulary words with the students.

Tell students you will be reading the book What If There Were No Bees? again. Ask the students to listen for answers to the Day One statements. Have students raise their hands as they uncover information that sheds light on the statements.  Write the information on the whiteboard/chalkboard under the statement.

 

Alternatively, students could be given a cutout of a bee on a stick and students could raise the bee in the air and buzz when they found an answer instead of raising their hands.

*If you needed to divide the reading of the book into two readings please adjust the days in this plan.

 

Day 5

Bring in pictures of bee friendly flowers and explain that these are flowers that help bees and our ecosystem. These could include Wild Geranium, Purple Coneflower, Swamp Milkweed, Sunflowers, Bee balm, Catmint and Oregano. If possible bring in the actual plants or take a field trip to a local greenhouse to see the flowers.

After seeing the plants, students could do one of the following:

  • Design a bee friendly garden using crayons, markers,
  • Use pressed, bee-friendly flowers to make a bee-friendly picture or class
  • Design and plant a bee-friendly garden for the school or church (permission will be needed from administration).

 

Day 6

Have students fill out the Post-Knowledge Form. Review any information with students who need extra support.

 

Day 7

Show the students a picture of Pope Francis. Some explanation may need to be given about who the pope is and what his job is.

Ask the students:

  • What do you think Pope Francis would say about the loss of bees from the ecosystem?
  • Why do you think Pope Francis would feel this way about the bees?

Share the following points with the students:

  • Pope Francis wrote a letter to every one of us. It is called an
  • This encyclical was about caring for our earth and caring for each
  • Pope Francis wants us to be responsible for caring for all creatures because each creature has something to offer the world. (LS 35)
  • We need to leave areas where nature can grow. (LS 37)

 

Using chart paper write a shared letter to Pope Francis telling why the class thinks bees are important and what the class will do to help the bees.

 

 

Name                                        

Pre-Knowledge and Post-Knowledge of Bees

 

Write T if you think the statement is true. Write F if you think the statement is false. Use only the lines on the left side of the statement.

 

Bees are peaceful creatures.

 

Bees eat only vegetables.

 

                                    If all bees were gone nothing in the world would change.                                   

 

                                    Bees don’t help farmers or gardeners.

 

                                    Bees help to make pumpkins.                                                                                  

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Name                                                        

 

Which fruits and vegetables do you like? Use a crayon and color the smiley face of each fruit or vegetable that you like.

 

 

apple blueberry cherry cucumber cantaloupe peach plum pumpkin

 

raspberry watermelon

 

 

Teacher: Stephanie Brown DVMT 800

Laudato Si’ Resources Kindergarten

 

The following lessons are ideas that will span several days of instruction. They are a starting point for discussions regarding care for God’s creation at a young child’s level.

 

Laudato Si’ Lesson I

Subject Area:  Religion, Science, Social Studies                     Grade Level: K

Content:  Reducing Waste/Recycling

Objective: Students will develop an understanding of how it is our duty as people created in God’s image to care for God’s creation by reducing the waste we produce.

Materials: garbage, recyclable items, and “old” items in a box, pictures of garbage dumps and polluted oceans

 

  1. Bring out garbage and recyclable items. Ask students to identify
  2. Have volunteers sort the objects into piles of what they would throw away, keep, and
  3. Have students explain their thinking as to which pile they sorted them
  4. Discuss the items and sorting. If items are sorted incorrectly, discuss
  5. Discuss how old items can be shared with
  6. Discuss recycling and how it gives new life to things we have
  7. Tell students that God gave us a beautiful Earth to use and care for – it is our job as God’s children to make sure that our Earth is not covered in
  8. Show students images of the dump and places where garbage has overtaken the
  9. Discuss the pictures and review what they can do to help the
  10. Have students draw a picture and write about what they can do to care for God’s

 

Encyclical References: 8, 9, 10, 11, 12, 21, 22, 40, 41, 122, 123

 

 

Laudato Si’ Lesson II

Subject Area:  Religion, Science, Social Studies                     Grade Level: K

Content: Conserving Water

Objective: Students will develop an understanding of the importance of water to life. They will understand the importance of conserving water and explore how water is retrieved in third world countries.

Materials: two pots per group, measuring cup, soil, seeds

 

  1. This experiment will occur over a period of weeks. The purpose is to show children how important water is to
  2. Explain the experiment: Students will get three cups per group. Students will fill the three cups with soil and plant some seeds. In cup 1, they will give 10 mL of water, in cup 2 they will give 30 mL of water. The plants will be placed in a sunny window and
  3. Students will observe the difference between the plant receiving adequate water and the plant not getting enough
  4. After observations are able to be made, students will discuss what they learned.
    • Possible discussion questions: Why did the plant with more water grow better? What does that tell us about the importance of water? If we didn’t have water what might happen?
    • Brainstorm a list of ways to save
    • Discuss how water is not available through a faucet in all places. Explain the need for clean and usable
    • Have students make a water saving pledge by drawing and/or writing about how they will save water. (make sure the faucet is off tight, turn off water while brushing teeth, shorten shower time or only fill the bathtub half way, etc.)

 

Encyclical References: 8, 9, 10, 11, 12, 27, 28, 29, 30, 31

 

Laudato Si’ Lesson III

Subject Area:  Religion, Science, Social Studies                     Grade Level: K

Content:  Caring for the Earth/Protecting God’s Creatures

Objective: Students will develop an understanding of our responsibility to care for all of God’s creatures and plants. Students will make connections between the different ways we can care for God’s creation.

Materials: pictures of animals affected by pollution, Going Green Youtube video,

Mother Earth song

 

  1. Show students images of animals that have been affected by
  2. Put children in groups. Have them each discuss one of the Have them try to figure out what caused the problem for their animals.
  3. Have student groups discuss what they think could be done to prevent something like that
  4. Teach them the song “Mother Earth.” Discuss the
  5. Conclude with a review of previous lessons and watch the Harry Kindergarten video “Going ”
  6. Make a class pledge to be hung in the room of ways they will work to save the Earth at

 

Encyclical References: 8, 9, 10, 11, 12, 13, 32, 33, 34, 37, 43, 45

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Additional Resources

Websites:

http://www.kidsforsavingearth.org/ http://www.earthskids.com/change-save_earth.htm http://water.org/water-crisis/water-facts/children/ http://wateruseitwisely.com/tips/category/kids/

 

Videos:

Mother Earth Song: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=l_A3FMf3_Qw Going Green: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8DJ45Yc3urg

Water: Who Needs it?: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=l67HwLegDLE

 

Books:

What a Wonderful World – Suzanne Chiew God Gave Us the World – Lisa Tawn Bergren God Made it for You! – Charles Lehmann Why Should I Save Water? – Jen Green

Our Earth: Saving Water – Peggy Hock Don’t Throw That Away – Laura Bergen Recycle – Gail Gibbons

The Giving Tree – Shel Silverstein

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Laudato Si’ Resource Analysis

 

I created a set of three lessons that span over several days each. These lessons could be incorporated into Religion, Science, and Social Studies. My intention for these lessons is that they be short and spread out in order to best maintain the attention and motivation of young Kindergarten students. These lessons could even be spread out over the three trimesters at school with a focus on one of the three themes each trimester.

I chose to focus on the themes of water conservation, reduction of waste and increased recycling, and care for God’s creation as they are themes that I feel Kindergarten students can understand, relate to, and that they can participate in making changes in these areas. It is important for students to feel connected to their learning and that they as children can help make a difference. In order for Pope Francis’s encyclical to make a difference, we have to start teaching our young children how to conserve and care for the Earth.

I gave each of these lessons a hands on piece, a visual piece, and a discussion piece. This allows for all learning styles to be reached in different ways. Students who need those hands-on experiences will benefit from the science experiment and sorting the garbage and recycling items. Students who are interpersonal learners will be motivated by their chance to discuss and contribute to their own learning.  Visual learners will appreciate the photographs

 

and videos. It is important to engage these multiple intelligences so that the message is heard and absorbed by all types of learners!

In Lesson I, students are given the chance to sort various pieces of garbage into piles of “recyclable, reusable, and trash”. As Pope Francis stated many times in Laudato Si’, we live in a “throwaway” society in which items that no longer serve a purpose for us are discarded (LS 20-23). It is important to instill in children that there are ways to reuse items and give them new life. Just a few decades ago, it would have been seen as ludicrous to discard some of the items that are so hastily cast aside now.  Butter containers were saved to store leftovers, socks with holes were mended, and food was rarely tossed in the garbage.  At my school, we have a “Food for Hogs” program where discarded food is brought to a local farm. While the food is being reused, it is abhorrent the amount of good food the children throw away.  In addition to such large amounts of good food being wasted, most children have no reusable containers in their lunches.

Through the discussions and activities offered in Lesson I, I hope to instill in the students an understanding of the importance of reducing waste (LS 23).

As Pope Francis quoted from the New Zealand bishops in paragraph 95, we “consume resources at a rate that robs poor nations and future generations of what they need to survive”.  This was such a strong message to me and one that I hope my students will begin to understand. It is so difficult for young children to look outside themselves because they simply have not hit that stage in development yet.  However, the adults in their lives can help guide them so that

 

when they are developmentally ready to begin thinking outside themselves, they are able to do so with a mind that cares for others and thinks with their conscience and heart.

In Lesson II, the students will complete an experiment over a period of weeks and make observations. Students will observe the importance of water to plant life and make connections as to the importance of water for all living things (LS 27-29). After the students get a clear understanding of how important water is to life, we will discuss how many places do not have access to water in the same manner we do. We will read about and discuss how clean water can be difficult to find and how many times people get sick drinking unsafe water because it is so necessary to life.

My hope is that they will see that the plants without adequate water cannot grow up strong and healthy. We should be grateful that we have the ability to drink and bathe in clean water. Almost everyday at my school I come upon a water faucet that has been running or dripping. We need to not take for granted the water we have.  We should appreciate it and use it wisely because it might not always be there (LS 30-31).

In Lesson III, students will review the topics of reducing waste and conserving water.  We will talk about caring for all of God’s creation.  As images of God, it is our duty to protect and care for the Earth and all that is on it (LS 32, 48). God did not give us the Earth to squander and use it up. He gave it to us to care for, so that those who come after us can care for and share in it as well. I want my students to understand that they can do their part – even at five years

 

old. Additionally, I want them to understand that as God cares for us, we must as images of God, maintain and nourish our Earth (LS 69,71).

I believe, much as Pope Francis stated in Laudato Si’, that Science and Religion are not mutually exclusive (LS 62). In fact, it is when faith and science work together that the most change is made. Incorporating God and Catholic Social Teaching into our daily lessons across the curriculum makes it much more applicable to our daily life and the lives of our students.  With these three lessons, I hope to incorporate care for God’s creation in both my Science and Social Studies curriculum. These lessons could be further extended to be truly interdisciplinary with a connection to Math and Reading.  There is a writing portion included that could also be further developed. Ideally, these resources could be expanded upon for further grade levels. An entire school could focus on these three themes (at varying levels of difficulty) to be a united community working for change!

 

 

 

Teacher: Paulette Krawczyk Faith & Justice at Work

28 June 2015

Resources for Laudato Si’

 

Kindergarten – 2nd Grade Activities Background:

As a whole group explain the Catholic Social Teachings and what is an encyclical and why it is important. Make sure to explain how Laudato Si’ was so unusual because it was the first encyclical to be all about the environment. Discuss how the activities that we are doing today will help us better understand three of the many points that Pope Francis incorporates into Laudato Si’.

 

Prior to the activities, break classes into 3 groups so there will be 3 multi-age groups and each group will rotate through each activity in 30-40 minute intervals. Also decide who is going to instruct at each session.

 

Activities

 

A: “Rapidfication” this is a word Pope Francis used in Laudato Si’ (18) to describe the fast movement of our modern life due to factors such as economic growth and advances in technology which in turn leads to wasteful choices that affect the earth, other cultures, and even our own social interactions within our own communities.

 

To break this apart for young children we will only discuss the technology piece of this “rapidification.” Use a Venn diagram to begin discussion with the students on chalk or white board, smart board, or paper. See ideas to begin or encourage discussion. Let the students add discussion as each idea is shared. Ask questions like who and how it affects people.

 

 

ideas for positive effects of technology: communicate with people all over the world- instantly, connect with past friends, education online, science/medical advancements (this can be a positive & negative depending on the discussion), help those who cannot read, learning can be more fun and exciting, accessibility to research or other information

 

ideas for positive & negative effects of technology: games (educational or other), lack of presence, medical & science advancement (depends on how you lead discussion)

 

ideas for negative effects of technology: lack of interpersonal skills (talking, conversations, eye contact, confrontations), less conversations, solutions can lead to new problems, less physical activity, gaming/screen-time addictions, environmental threats (waste of old computers etc.), need to consume more, technology envy (want newest device), pollution (more technically advanced cars/transportation)

 

Discuss how technology is good & bad, depending on how we use it. Our job is to use it so it doesn’t harm us, our environment, or those around us- now and looking into the future. To close, ask students to do 1 day, 1 weekend or even a week to come “unplugged.” No screen time or use of technology for free time. Brainstorm ideas on other activities they could do.

 

 

B: Environment

In Pope Francis’ Laudato Si’, environment is a theme throughout. With this age group we will discuss recycle, reuse, reduce.

 

Begin by reading the book The Wump World, by Bill Peet.  After, discuss what happened.

 

Ideas to aid in conversations. How did the Wumps feel at the beginning? Middle? End? Does what happened to the Wumps happen in our community?

How do our actions affect others? The environment? How can we conserve? Replenish?

What can we do to make the earth cleaner? (Recycle, use less)

 

What are some things we can do at home? School?

 

Discuss a school-wide project on recycling. Begin small with a pledge to use less paper and also to recycle the paper we use. Discuss with principal and maintenance to have a designated collection receptacle.

 

Make posters to hang around the school.  Brainstorm ideas of slogans.

 

 

 

 

 

  1. The Common Good

Teaching about the common good in our community, country, and world is difficult. It is hard to get children to see beyond themselves. This simple activity “rock the common good” is to try to demonstrate how our actions affect others.

Materials:

River rocks (at lease one for each student) Sharpie markers

Large glass bowl or dish of water

Flat map or picture of the world to put under the bowl

 

Each child will write an action good or bad on a rock. Someone will read the rock and we will put it in the water. We will watch the ripples travel across the bowl discussing how each ripple effect someone or somewhere. We don’t always know who or how our actions effect someone or something so it is important to think about the choices we make. As the days, weeks go on, as a class you can make signs or use rocks to remind others to rock the common good!

 

Additional books to read:

 

Books to read about social skills:

You Get What You Get, by Julie Gassman

Stand in My Shoes: Kids Learning About Empathy, by Bob Sornson Ph.D.

My Mouth Is a Volcano! by Julia Cook

Heartprints, by P. K. Hallinan

Have You Filled a Bucket Today? by Carol McCloud

 

Books to read about nature and the environment:

The Curious Garden, by Peter Brown The Little House, by Virgina Lee Burtons The Water Hole, by Graeme Base

On Meadowview Street, by Henry Cole Just A Dream, by Chris Van Allsburg The Tree, by Dana Lyons

 

Not Your Typical Book About the Environment, by Elin Kelsey

Cloth From Clouds, by Alison Jay

The Lorax, by Dr. Seuss

 

Books to read about our connections to each other:

All the World, by Liz Garton Scanlon

We are One, by Jennifer Black

Each Kindness, by Jacqueline Woodson

 

Teacher: Lynn Mabee

Grade 1 Resource for Sharing Laudato Si’

Faith and Justice at Work June 26, 2015

 

I have chosen Old Turtle to share with first graders.  I will share this story in

 

religion, art, and science classes for the coming school year to help students understand parts of the Encyclical, Laudato Si,’ by Pope Francis. The topics from the encyclical, that this book addresses, are: responsibility within creation, an essential part of our faith, human beings in God’s image and likeness, people’s relationship with God and Creation, respecting the goodness of each creature, creation: God’s loving plan, every part of Creation is a caress of God, and all of creation is a universal family. I selected these themes in the encyclical because creation is central to first graders’ understanding of all that is around us.  A respect for all living things is an age appropriate topic and the foundation for learning about social justice. This respect helps to build the base for future topics of social justice.

Story

 

 

 

Old Turtle by Douglas Wood is a children’s picture book written about how creation

 

teaches us about God. An argument about who God is, between animals and elements of creation, ensues. It begins with all animals, rocks, wind, water, trees, birds and fish discussing who God is as well as what and where God is found. The fish said, “God is a swimmer in the deep blue depths of the sea.” The willow said, “She is a great tree, a part of the world, always growing and always giving.” And so the argument continued and got louder. Old Turtle yelled, Stop!” With Turtle’s

wisdom, he/she explained, “God is all that we dream of and all that we seek, all that we come from and all that we can find.” The wise turtle went on and soon all of creation was quiet. Turtle also explained that a new family was coming, people. The people came to earth and soon they forgot where they came from and began arguing about who God was and was not. They began to hurt each other and misuse their power. They hurt nature. The forests began to die. Turtle once again yelled, “Stop!” The people stopped and listened to Old Turtle in his/her wisdom. Then all of nature began to teach the people about God, “God is very close,” said the star. “His love touches everything,” added the island.   Nature kept on teaching the people until “the people listened and began to hear and to see God in one another.” Old Turtle smiled.

 

The story displays a connection between all living things and the respect each one has for the other. If there is a breakdown in that respect, bad things start to happen among those living things.

 

Another beautiful aspect of Old Turtle is the watercolor artwork in the book. It is painted by Cheng-Khee Chee and exemplifies the beauty, gentleness and grandeur of creation.

Discussion

 

These are some questions that may be discussed during and after reading Old Turtle:

  1. Why do you think the birds, animals, rocks, wind, water, stars and fish were arguing about who and what God is?
  2. Who do you think is right?

 

  1. Who yelled, “Stop!”

 

  1. How did Old Turtle know so much about God?

 

  1. How did Old Turtle know that a new family of beings was coming to the world called people?
  2. Why did the people forget who they were?

 

  1. How did they misuse their power?

 

  1. How did they hurt each other? How did they hurt the earth?

 

  1. Why did the forests die?

 

  1. What does it mean that the people could not remember who they were?

 

  1. Whose voices started to tell the people who God was?

 

  1. How did old turtle know so much?

 

  1. Does this tell you anything about older people?

 

Activity for Religion, Art or Science

 

Earthen Treasures Turtle Objective:

  • To make a turtle from objects found in

 

  • To be reminded of the precious gift of nature

 

Materials Needed: sea glass, seashells, glue, hot glue gun (for teacher use only) Procedure:

  1. Discuss where to find seashells, their shapes, and colors and how to tell if there is a mollusk living inside. Explain that if there is a mollusk living inside, the shell should be left where it was found so that the creature inside can keep
  2. Show students seashells. Tell them the shells are the houses that mollusks have left behind. They are the only kind we should gather from the
  3. Show the pieces of sea glass to the students and discuss what they are made of and how they become sea glass. (Glass that is waste and thrown into the ocean. Tumbling in the ocean causes the glass edges to become worn and smooth. Nature is taking care of the garbage by making something beautiful out of it, another lesson for )
  4. Discuss how seashells are different from sea glass and how each affects the environment. Seashells are natural to the environment. Sea glass came from bottles or jars thrown into the
  5. Explain to students that they will be making a turtle out of shells and sea glass to remind them of the beauty of creation and the old

 

  1. Students choose a seashell for the turtle’s shell and five pieces of sea glass for the head and legs of the
  2. With help, students glue five pieces of sea glass to the shell making the head and four feet of the turtle. If the glass is not sticking to the shell, assist students by gluing the sea glass onto the shell with the hot glue gun. Teachers only should use the hot glue

 

Students now have a reminder of the Old Turtle story and caring for the earth.

 

 

 

Old Turtle will be an effective way of tying Catholic Social Teachings to themes in

 

Laudato Si’ because of the beautiful way it brings all of creation together. Human beings dwell on the earth in the likeness and image of God, #65. Respect for creation is a message of Catholic Social Teaching in the encyclical. Found in #76 “creation” has to do with “God’s loving plan in which every creature has its own

value and significance.” Just as each part of nature in Old Turtle is portrayed to have a specific wonderful purpose, so the encyclical states the same. Another part, #64 of the encyclical, that Old Turtle speaks to is that our ecological commitments stem from our convictions. Responsibility within creation is an essential part of our faith. Old Turtle explains that when people forget who they are, it affects the earth.

Forests, rivers, plants and more die. When people choose to listen and see the likeness of God in one another they have peace once more and creation thrives. In

#66 of the encyclical, harmony in nature is disrupted when people presume to take the place of God and refuse to acknowledge their limitations.  This happened in Old

 

Turtle. In the book of Genesis, creation or human life is grounded in three fundamental relationships: with God, with our neighbor and with the world. In passage, #84, every part of creation is a caress of God.  In #85, “To sense each

creature singing the hymn of its existence is to live joyfully in God’s love and hope.” The establishment of where we have come from and the respect we need to have for creation is the premise of the need to care for our environment. Passage #69 states: “Each creature possesses its own particular goodness and perfection… Each of the various creatures willed in its own being, reflects in its own way a ray of God’s infinite wisdom and goodness. Man must therefore respect the particular goodness of every creature, to avoid any disordered use of things.” In passage #89, “all of us are linked by unseen bonds and together form a kind of universal family.”

 

My hope is to help first graders to respect each living thing on the earth as well as the wonders of the universe.  Sharing the story of Old Turtle with its themes of

Catholic Social Teachings, corresponds to many of those same themes in the encyclical of Pope Francis, Laudato Si.’

 

http://w2.vatican.va/content/francesco/en/encyclicals/documents/papa- francesco_20150524_enciclica-laudato-si.html

 

Nikki Giel DVMT 800

Summer 2015

 

 

 

Lesson One:

 

 

Kindergarten Lesson Plans for Laudato Si’

 

 

Subject Area:  Religion & Science                                              Grade Level: K

Content:  God created the world and we are its stewards

Objective: Students will develop an understanding of how it is our duty as stewards of the earth to care for all God gave us.

Materials: book God’s Amazing World, creation sequencing cards, prayer, chart paper and markers

 

Activity:
  • Project the prayer for the children to see
  • Read the prayer for the children
  • Have children identify rhyming words in the prayer
  • Have children identify things in the poem that they can see from or in the classroom. Ex: trees out the window
  • Review the order in which God created the world
  • Divide the students up into small groups of 3-4 children
  • Give each group a set of sequencing pictures
  • Have the children color the pictures
  • The students should put the cards in the order that they were created
  • Check the students work
  • Read the book God’s Amazing World to the class
  • Remind children that God made everything in our world
  • Questions for discussing the book:

Who did God create the world for?

Who should be taking care of the world?

How can we care for the world – listen to ideas… What might happen if we didn’t take care of the world?

What would happen if we lost one of our sequencing cards? Ex: no water? Or no plants?

  • Work with the students to create a contract on the chart paper of all the things we will do to protect God’s
  • Have the students each take turns signing the contract

 

Resources for this lesson:

 

Prayer for Creation God made the sun,

And God made the trees, God made the mountains, And God made me.

Thank you God,

For the sun and the trees, For making the mountains, And for making me.

 

This prayer is adapted from: http://www.indianchild.com/prayers_for_children.htm

 

 

7 days of creation sequencing pictures (I would recommend removing the text from the cards before you copy them for the students.)

 

Cards from: http://www.coloring.ws/creation.htm

 

 

Book:

 

God’s Amazing World by Eileen Spinelli

 

 

Kindergarten Lesson Plans for Laudato Si’

 

Lesson Two:

 

Subject Area:  Religion & Science                                              Grade Level: K

Content:  Caring for our Common Home

Objective: Students will develop an understanding of how we can live a more environmentally friendly lifestyle. Students will also work to understand the difference between recyclables and trash.

Materials: book What Does it Mean to be Green? by Rana DiOrio, trash sorting worksheet, scissors, glue, writing utensil, a garbage can, a recycling bin, and various items to sort between the garbage can and recycling bin.

 

Activity:
  • Read the book What Does it Mean to be Green? with the students
  • Discuss different ways in which the characters in the book helped to care for the earth
  • Show the students the items you have brought to sort. Review with the students what each item is and what it is used
  • Place the trash bin and the recycling bin in the center of the circle and have the students take turns placing an item in the correct
  • Review the items in the trash bin – discuss alternatives to these items that you could choose to use to reduce your
  • Give each student a copy of the trash sorting worksheet and have them complete
  • Throughout the year refer back to what is trash and what is a recyclable at various times in the day. This will allow students to see the items they use in their lives that can be recycled. Ex: paper scraps, water bottles, etc…

 

Resources for this lesson:

 

Trash sorting worksheet available here: http://www.classroomfreebiestoo.com/2012/03/sorting-trash-earth-day- lesson.html

Book:

What Does it Mean to be Green? by Rana

DiOrio

 

 

Lesson Three:

 

Subject Area:  Religion & Science                                              Grade Level: K

Content:  Caring for each other

Objective: Students will develop an understanding of how our actions (even small ones) can make a difference in the lives of others.

Materials: book What Does it Mean to be Kind? by Rana DiOrio, a dish tub, variety of items to drop in the tub in a variety of sizes and weights. Ex: rock, toothpicks, rubber bands, marbles, Legos, pennies, etc…

 

Activity:
  • Read the book What Does it Mean to be Kind? by Rana DiOrio
  • Discuss ways in which we can be kind to others and be more like Christ Are some of these bigger acts than others? Ex: holding a door or

making           a meal for someone

  • Bring out the tub full of water
  • Explain to the students that the tub of water is like our world and the items are like our kind acts
  • Start by dropping a big item like a rock into the tub – this would be like mowing your neighbor’s lawn
  • Have the students observe what happened, repeat if necessary
  • Continue to drop a variety of items working towards the smallest item and giving examples as you go, allow the students time after each one to make observations verbally
  • Discuss what the students noticed about the acts Were there any acts too small to make a wave?

What if you dropped lots of small items in together, could that be bigger than the rock?

  • Allow time to experiment with dropping different items in together to make bigger
  • Discuss with the children how even the smallest act of Christ-like behavior is noticed by others
  • Brainstorm with the students things they can do to be more like Christ

 

Resources for this lesson:

 

Book:

What Does it Mean to be Kind? By Rana DiOrio

 

 

7th Grade Religious Studies/Language Arts 3-Day Lesson Plan

 

Day 1

 

  1. Divide students into eight pairs. Each partnership should designate a recorder and a

 

  1. Each partnership will receive a list of quotations or excerpts from Pope Francis’s encyclical, Laudato Si’. (They will have been informed of the encyclical before this unit.) The group sheets will not have the theme column that is on the left hand-side of the

 

  1. With their partner, students are to summarize what they believe Pope Francis is trying to communicate. What is his message or theme? What does he want them to take from it? Direct students to rewrite their sections into middle school friendly

 

  1. Teacher gives work time and spends time with each

 

  1. Bring the whole class back together. Jigsaw Activity with each group. The reporter from each pairing will share their findings/thoughts and we will discuss each as a large

 

Poverty §  “Both everyday experience and scientific research show that the gravest effects of all attacks on the environment are suffered by the poorest.”

 

§  “The worst impact of the environmental crisis will probably be felt by developing countries in coming decades.”

 

§  “Let us not only keep the poor of the future in mind, but also today’s poor, whose life on this earth is brief and who cannot keep on waiting.”

 

§  “Frequently, we find beautiful and carefully manicured green spaces in so-called “safer” areas of the cities, but not in more hidden areas where the disposable of society live.”

Water §  “Sources of freshwater are necessary for health care, agriculture, and industry.”

 

§  “Water poverty especially affects Africa where large

 

sectors of the population have no access to safe drinking water or experience droughts, which impede agricultural production.”

 

§  “Some countries have areas rich in water while others experience drought.”

 

§  “One particularly serious problem is the quality of water available to the poor.”

 

§  “Access to safe drinkable water is a basic and universal human right since it is essential to survival.”

Pollution/ Environmental issues §  “Some forms of pollution are part of people’s daily experiences.”

 

§  “The earth, our home, is beginning to look more and more like an immense pile of filth.”

 

§  “The shape of our planet is closely linked to a throwaway culture.”

 

§  “A number of scientific studies indicate that most global warming in recent decades is due to a great concentration of greenhouse gasses released mainly as a result of human activity.”

 

§  “The loss of forests and woodlands is directly related to the loss of species, which may hurt extremely important resources in the future, not only for food but also for curing diseases.”

 

§  “Extinction of mammals or birds is likely. Ecosystems also require fungai, algae, worms, insects, reptiles and a variety of microorganisms because they all play a critical role in maintaining equilibrium of a particular place.”

 

§  “Ecology studies the relationship between living organisms and the environment in which they develop.”

Mental Pollution §  “Since the market tends to promote extreme consumerism in an effort to sell its products, people can easily get caught up in a whirlwind of needless buying and spending.”

 

 

§  “When people become self-centered, their greed increases.”

 

§  “The emptier a person’s heart is, the more he or she needs to buy, own, and spend.”

 

§  “We should strive for the capacity to be happy with little.”

 

§  “The media contributes to mental pollution. Its influence can stop people from learning how to live wisely, to think deeply and to love generously.”

 

§  “Technology and media have replaced real relationships with others.”

 

§  “With all the challenges, face-to-face relationships now tend to be replaced by a type of internet communication, which enables us to choose or eliminate relationships at whim.”

 

§  “Today’s media does enable us to communicate and to share our knowledge and affections. Yet at times they also shield us from direct contact with the pain, fears and the joys of others and the complexity of their personal experiences.”

Humans have contributed to the destruction §  “Earth herself is among the most abandoned and maltreated of our poor.”

 

§  “Our contribution, smaller or greater, to the disfigurement and destruction of creation should be examined.”

 

§  “We should acknowledge our sins against creation.”

 

§  “If we scan the regions of our planet, we immediately see that humanity has disappointed God’s expectations.”

 

§  “We are not God. The earth was here before us and it has been given to us.”

 

§  “People may well have a growing ecological sensitivity but it has not succeeded in changing our

 

harmful habits of spending and throwing away.”
Everything is connected and important §  “Everything is connected. Concern for the environment thus needs to be joined to a sincere love for our fellow human beings and a commitment to resolving the problems of society.”

 

§  “Each creature reflects something of God and has a message to give to us.”

 

§  “We read in the Gospel that Jesus says of the birds of the air that not one of them is forgotten before God.”

 

§  “If someone has not learned to stop and admire something beautiful, we should not be surprised if he or she treats everything as an object to be used and abused.”

 

§  “When we speak of the environment, what we really mean is a relationship existing between nature and society.”

 

§  “Nature cannot be regarded as something separate from ourselves, or just a place where we live. We are part of nature, included in it and in constant interaction with it.”

What can we do? §  “Let us sing as we go. May our struggles and our concern for this planet never take away our joy or hope.”

 

§  “Human beings, while capable of the worst, are also capable of rising above themselves, choosing again what is good.”

 

§  “The issue of environmental degradation challenges us to examine our lifestyle.”

 

§  “This must be translated into new habits.”

 

§  “These habits include- avoiding the use of plastic and paper, reducing water consumption, separating refuse, cooking only what can be reasonably consumed, showing care for other living beings, using public transport or carpool, planting trees, turning off unnecessary lights, or any number of other practices.”

 

 

 

§  “Reusing something instead of immediately discarding it.”

 

§  “Practice the little way of love, not to miss out on a kind word, a smile or any small gesture, which shows peace and friendship.”

 

§  “We need to learn to give, not just give up.”

 

§  “We need to move gradually away from what ‘I’ want to what God’s world needs.”

 

§  “Local individuals and groups can make a real difference. They are able to instill a greater sense of responsibility, a strong sense of community, a readiness to protect others, a spirit of creativity, and a deep love for the land.”

Humanity §  “A sense of deep communion with the rest of nature cannot be real if our hearts lack tenderness, compassion and concern for our fellow human beings.”

 

§  “Human beings are creatures of this world, enjoying a right to life and happiness. So we cannot fail to consider the effects of people’s lives on environmental deterioration.”

 

§  “Humanity still has the ability to work together in building our common home.”

 

§  “All of us can cooperate as instruments of God for the care of creation, each according to his or her own culture, experience, involvements, and talents.”

 

§  “Urgent challenge to protect our common home includes a concern to bring the whole human family together.”

 

 

 

Day 2

 

 

Read Aloud

Holy Spirit Middle School Examination of Conscience (In Church)

 

Before Confession, we will prepare with an examination of

conscience. An examination of conscience is a prayerful self-reflection on our words and actions to determine how we may have sinned against God. This morning, our examination of conscience is inspired from Pope Francis’s recent encyclical Laudato Si’, as well as the rest of Catholic Social Teaching.

Pope Francis chose his name, Francis, after Saint Francis who is an excellent example of the care for those who are most vulnerable. He was someone who lived a simple life in wonderful harmony with God, others, and nature. Pope Francis’s encyclical is a call for us to improve in various aspects of our lives. By examining our words and actions, we can identify where we have strayed and what we can do to be better.

 

*Read the following questions aloud, pausing to give thinking time.

 

Life and Dignity of the Human Person

  1. Do I recognize the face of Christ reflected in those around me no matter what they look like?
  2. Have I done violence to others by damaging their reputation?
  3. When was the last time I invited another student to join my normal group?
  4. Do I reach out to those who feel lost?

 

Call to Family and Community

  1. Am I aware of problems facing my local community or school?
  2. Am I involved in efforts to find solutions, or do I just complain?
  3. Do my attitudes and actions empower others or bring them down?
  4. Am I thankful to my parents for what they have given me?

 

Rights and Responsibilities

  • Do I recognize and respect the rights of others?
  • Do I have most things I could want or need yet am insensitive to the needs of others?
  • Am I happy with what I have, or am I always asking for more?

 

Option for the Poor and Vulnerable

  • Do I give special attention to the needs of the poor in my community and in the world?
  • Do I engage in service that protects the dignity of poor?
  • Have I been kind and generous to those who have less than me?

 

The Dignity of Work and the Rights of Workers

  • Do I ever make or laugh at jokes about the work that someone does?

 

  • Do I take some people’s work for granted?
  • Do I treat all workers with respect, no matter their position or class?

 

Solidarity

  • Do I pray for others, or are my prayers only about my personal concerns?
  • Do I consider all members of the human family as my brothers and sisters?

 

Care for God’s Creation

  • Do I see my care for creation as connected to my concern for the poor- those who are most at risk from environmental problems?
  • Do I litter?
  • Live wastefully?
  • Use energy too freely?
  • Are there ways I could reduce energy consumption in my life?
  • Are there ways I could change my habits to better conserve our earth’s resources for future generations? (USCCB, 2015)

*CST order and some questions from USCCB. http://www.usccb.org/prayer-and-worship/sacraments-and- sacramentals/penance/examination-conscience-in-light-of-catholic-social- teaching.cfm

 

Day 3

 

  1. Direct students to take out their writing journals. Remind them that no one else will see what they

 

  1. Invite students to think back to our jigsaw activity with Pope Francis’s Laudato Si’ and the examination of conscience at Confession. Remind them that nobody is perfect, and we will be thinking about what we can each do to live in a more holy

 

  1. Tell students they may choose to free-write, use bullet points, make lists, develop a graphic organizer, or another journaling strategy to reflect on a call to action. Some ideas to get students started are
    1. How do your thoughts and actions affect the environment, your relationships with others, your attitude, etc.? How can you improve? What can you do to improve?
    2. What can you do differently to make a more positive impact within your family, your school, or the community?
    3. How do you plan to be a more positive contributor to society, in light of our jigsaw activity and the examination of conscience?

 

  1. Have students put journals away. However, return back to this particular journal entry throughout the rest of the school year to check-in on how we are all doing and to redirect our thoughts and

 

 

References

 

Francesco, P. (2015). Laudato si’. Retrieved from http://w2.vatican.va/content/francesco/en/encyclicals/documents/papa- francesco_20150524_enciclica-laudato-si.html

 

United States Conference of Catholic Bishops. (2015). Examination of conscience in light of catholic social teaching. Retrieved from http://www.usccb.org/prayer-and-worship/sacraments-and- sacramentals/penance/examination-conscience-in-light-of-catholic-social- teaching.cfm

 

United States Conference of Catholic Bishops. (2015). What must I do? The sacrament of reconciliation and young adults. Retrieved from http://www.usccb.org/prayer-and-worship/sacraments-and- sacramentals/penance/sacrament-reconciliation-young-adults- examination-of-conscience.cfm

 

Teacher: Pam McSweeney DVMT 800-M1

Resources for Sharing Laudato Si’

6.27.15

 

 

Prayer Service – We are Called

(Catholic Social Tradition – Principle of Participation)

In the name of the Father, and the Son, and the Holy Spirit. AMEN

 

Welcome! Today we gather together and listen to our call as Christians and Catholics to hear the cry of the poor and commit ourselves to being the neighbor that Christ asks us to be: feed the hungry, befriend the outcast, work for justice for the poor, and recognize that all living beings have value in the eyes of God. (LS #69).

Please stand and join in singing our opening song: We Are Called (David Haas © 1988) Gather #710 First Reading

A reading from the book of Deuteronomy (Deut 15: 1 – 11) The Word of the Lord.

Psalm 34:  The Cry of the Poor (Text Psalm 34: 2 – 3, 6 – 7, 18 – 19, 23; Music:

John Foley S.J. © 1978, 1991) Gather #33

 

Second Reading

A reading from the book of James (James 2:  1 – 6a , 8 – 10, 14 – 18)

The Word of the Lord Gospel reading

A reading from the Gospel according to Matthew: (Mt 25: 31 – 40)

The Word of the Lord.

*Optional reflection Homily by presider*

Reflection Song:  Whatsoever You Do (Willard F. Jabusch © 1966, 1982)

Gather #656

 

Universal Prayer:

Response:  Lord, hear our prayer.

For the Church, that we may listen with open hearts to the words of Pope Francis and our call to action to serve the poor, hungry, and vulnerable.

Lord, hear our prayer.

For our community and world leaders to recognize that we are all called to help our neighbor, no matter our religion, and take action for the protection of human life and dignity, let us pray to the Lord:

Lord, hear our prayer.

For those who suffer from hunger in the world, especially those who lack the resources needed to work, grow, and find food, let us pray to the Lord:

Lord, hear our prayer.

For those in our local community who struggle to provide shelter and food for their family, let us pray to the Lord:

Lord, hear our prayer.

For those children in our community who will go to bed hungry tonight, let us pray to the Lord:

Lord, hear our prayer.

Let us pause silently to add personal intentions (pause for ten seconds), let us pray to the Lord:

Lord, hear our prayer.

Please stand to join together in our closing prayer:

[Excerpt from A Christian Prayer in union with creation, written by Pope Francis Laudato Si © 2015]

God of love, show us our place in this world as channels of your love,

for all creatures of this earth,

for not one of them is forgotten in your sight. Enlighten those who possess power and money that they may avoid the sin of indifference,

 

that they may love the common good, advance the weak, and care for this world in which we live.

The poor and the earth are crying out.

O Lord, seize us with your power and light, help us to protect all life,

to prepare for a better future, for the coming of your Kingdom

of justice, peace, love and beauty. Praise be to you!

AMEN

 

Please stand and join in our closing song, which is: God Has Chosen Me (Bernadette Farrell © 1990) Gather #669

 

Teacher: Melissa M. Krcil

Laudato Si’ Resource: Before and After Meal Prayer

 

Themes from Laudato Si’: Gratitude, Dependence on God and Solidarity with those in need

 

Age of Students: School Wide

 

Objective:

  • Students and faculty will develop a habit of giving thanks, increase of awareness of our dependence on God and our Solidarity with those in
  • Incorporate prayer before and after meals/snacks throughout the day in our Catholic schools and at church activities (faith formation, youth group, meetings, etc.) to remind “us of our dependence on God for life; it strengthens our feeling of gratitude for the gifts of creation; it acknowledges those who by their labours provide us with these goods; and it reaffirms our solidarity with those in greatest need.” (Laudato Si’, 227)

 

Paragraph from Laudato Si’ used for this resource: (227)

http://w2.vatican.va/content/francesco/en/encyclicals/documents/papa-francesco_20150524_enciclica-

 

laudato-si.html

 

One expression of this attitude is when we stop and give thanks to God before and after meals. I ask all believers to return to this beautiful and meaningful custom. That moment of blessing, however brief, reminds us of our dependence on God for life; it strengthens our feeling of gratitude for the gifts of creation; it acknowledges those who by their labours provide us with these goods; and it reaffirms our solidarity with those in greatest need. (Laudato Si’ 227)

 

 

Prayers to incorporate into our daily life

Before Meals

Bless us, O Lord, and these your gifts, which we are about to receive, from your bounty. Through Christ, our Lord. Amen.

 

After Meals

We give you thanks for all your gifts, Almighty God, living and reigning now and forever. May the souls of the faithful departed, through the mercy of God, rest in peace. Amen.

 

 

 

Materials

 

  • Copies of the before meal and after meal prayer for each student

 

  • Copies of the before meal and after meal prayer to send home for each family at your school

*Resource: Catholic Prayers for Catholic Families published by Loyola

Press

 

  • Bible

 

  • Paragraph 227 from Laudato Si’

 

Activity:

 

  1. Using Bible passages that reinforce and provide examples of the custom of stopping to give thanks to God, read and discuss times when Jesus and the apostles gave
    1. Jesus Giving Thanks
      • Matthew 14:19-21
      • Matthew 15:34-36
      • Luke 24:30
    2. Apostle Paul Gave Thanks
      • Acts 27
    3. All Things Come From God:
  • Ephesians 5:20
    • “giving thanks always and for everything in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ to God the ”
      • Romans 11:36
        • “For from him and through him and for him are all things. To him be glory forever. Amen”

 

  1. Do a close reading of paragraph 227 from Laudato Si’

 

One expression of this attitude is when we stop and give thanks to God before and after meals. I ask all believers to return to this beautiful and meaningful custom. That moment of blessing, however brief, reminds us of our dependence on God for life; it strengthens our feeling of gratitude for the gifts of creation; it acknowledges those who by their labours provide us with these goods; and it reaffirms our solidarity with those in greatest need. (Laudato Si’ 227)

 

 

  1. Discussion:
  1. What is Pope Francis calling us to do?
  2. Why is he calling us to give thanks before and after meals?

 

  1. Exploration of before and after meal

 

  1. Before Meals

Bless us, O Lord, and these your gifts, which we are about to receive, from your bounty. Through Christ, Our Lord. Amen.

 

  1. Read the prayer aloud to your
  2. Then as a class read the prayer
  • Do a close reading of the
  1. Define the words and discuss what the prayer
  2. Compare the before meal prayer with the bible verses that were read in the beginning of this

 

 

  1. After Meals

We give you thanks for all your gifts, Almighty God, living and reigning now and forever. May the souls of the faithful departed, through the mercy of God, rest in peace. Amen

 

  1. Read the prayer aloud to your
  2. Then as a class read the prayer
  • Do a close reading of the
  1. Define the words and discuss what the prayer
  2. Compare the after meal prayer with the bible verses that were read in the beginning of this

 

  1. Begin to incorporate the before and after meal prayers into the school day.
  2. Send parent note home about living out Pope Francis call to stop and give thanks by incorporating before and after meal prayers into their child’s school day. On the note, list both

 

Colleen Cleveland Laudato Si’ Prayer Service Created on 6/28/15

 

Earth Day Prayer Service

 

Opening Song:  “Canticle of the Sun” Marty Haugen Copyright 1980

 

LEADER: We gather in prayer for care for our common home, the Earth. God, we come to know you through creation. You created all things of Earth and called them “good”.  Help us to heed Pope Francis’s call to become more aware of God’s goodness and sacredness by protecting the dignity of all of creation. Please close your eyes and listen to this poem about creation.

 

The Creation

 

…And far as the eye of God could see Darkness covered everything.

Blacker than a hundred midnights Down in a cypress swamp.

 

Then God smiled, And the light broke,

And the darkness rolled up on one side, And the light stood shining on the other, And God said:  “That’s good!”

 

Then God reached out and took the light In his hands,

And God rolled the light around in his hands Until he made the sun;

And he set that sun a-blazing in the heavens.

And the light was left from making the sun and stars. Then down between

The darkness and the light He hurled the world;

And God said:  “That’s good!”

 

Then God made the seven seas and all the forests and plants and animals and even rainbows.  But God decided to make even more.

 

Then God sat down

On the side of a hill where he could think; By a deep, wide river he sat down;

With his head in his hands, God thought and thought,

 

Till he thought:  I’ll make me a man!

 

Up from the bed of the river God scooped the clay;

And by the bank of the river He kneeled him down;

And there the God Almighty

Who lit the sun and fixed it in the sky,

Who flung the stars to the most far corner of the night, Who rounded the earth in the middle of his hand;

This great God,

Like a mammy bending over her baby, Kneeled down in the dust

Toiling over a lump of clay

Till he shaped it in his own image;

 

Then into it he blew the breath of life, And man became a living soul.

 

From the poem by James Weldon Johnson

 

STUDENT:  Bring up the Bible

 

LEADER: A reading from Genesis (2:15)  The Lord God then took the man and settled him in the Garden of Eden, to cultivate and care for it.  The Word of the Lord.

 

ALL:  Thanks be to God.

 

LEADER: God, we ask that you help us to be good stewards to Your creation. Let us sing together “All You Works of God” in celebration of the many gifts of the Earth that You have given us. “All You Works of God” Marty Haugen Copyright 1989

 

STUDENT:  Bring up Candle

 

LEADER: God created the sun to give us light. The rays of the sun help show the light of the Lord and his infinite goodness to help give life to creation.

 

ALL: We need the sun and the sun needs us. STUDENT:  Bring up Water

LEADER: Each of us needs clean water to drink and to live. Help us protect and care for Earth’s water by using only what we need and not polluting our lakes, rivers, and oceans.

 

ALL: We need the water and the water needs us. STUDENT:  Bring up Soil

LEADER: We stand on the soil of our Earth that helps grow our food. Help us to work together to keep the Earth safe and healthy by not littering.

 

ALL: We need the soil and the soil needs us. STUDENT:  Bring up the Globe

LEADER: We are all interconnected and are thankful for all the people You have put into this world.  Help us to remember that when we harm the Earth, the poor become climate refugees. Let us not forget about the poor as we go through our daily lives.

 

ALL: We need the Earth and the Earth needs us. STUDENT:  Bring up Trees

LEADER: God gave us the trees to make oxygen to breathe. Each of us has a right to clean air. Trees breathe in carbon dioxide, which can be harmful to us. Help us to reduce our carbon footprint by cutting down on the amount of energy that we waste so that we produce less greenhouse gases.

 

ALL:  We need the trees and the trees need us.

 

LEADER: May we remember that we are one with the life of this Earth. In the words of Pope Benedict XVI, “If you want to cultivate peace, protect creation.” God, help us to protect the holy precious gifts that you have created for us.

 

LEADER: As you leave today, you will each be presented with a tree, a sign of the many gifts that God has given to us. Take your tree home, plant it, water, and nurture it. Every time you care for it, remember all that God has created for you, to cultivate and care for, just as the Bible reminds us to do.

 

Closing Song:  “I Am a Child of This Planet” Marty Haugen Copyright 2012

 

 

 

 

Resources to Share Laudato Si’ and Stewardship

 

 

 

 

In Laudato Si, Pope Francis calls upon every living person on this earth to take up the call of stewardship.

 

“Beginning in the middle of the last century and overcoming many difficulties, there has been a growing conviction that our planet is a homeland and that humanity is one people living in a common home. An interdependent world not only makes us more conscious of the negative effects of certain lifestyles and models of production and consumption which affect us all; more importantly, it motivates us to ensure that solutions are proposed from a global perspective,  and not simply to defend the interests of a few countries.  Interdependence obliges us to think of one world with a common plan. Yet the same ingenuity which has brought about enormous technological progress has so far proved incapable of finding effective ways of dealing with grave environmental and social problems worldwide. A global consensus is essential for confronting the deeper problems, which cannot be resolved by unilateral actions on the part of individual countries. Such a consensus could lead, for example, to planning a sustainable and diversified agriculture, developing renewable and less polluting forms of energy, encouraging a more efficient use of energy, promoting a better management of marine and forest resources, and ensuring universal access to drinking water.” (LS 164)

 

In answering that call, the resources listed below center on the following themes: Protecting Our Common Home, Climate Change and Water is a Precious Resource.  This resource list is intended as a guide for preschool, elementary and middle school teachers to use when selecting resources to share with their students.  The print resource include both fiction and non-fiction selections.

 

Stewardship – a call to care for God’s creations

 

(Grades preK-1): God made the earth and sky. God made all the people all over the world. God made the pandas and puppies and butterflies and tigers and all the other animals. God made the daisies, the trees, the tomatoes and all the other plants. God made the air, the ground and the water. And, God tells us we must take good care of them. It is an important job!

 

(Grades 2-4): The earth and all life on it is God’s creation. We are called to take care of it because it is a holy gift from God and the only place we can live. When

 

we make thoughtless use of the earth’s resources, many people suffer. When we make poor choices about how we treat other living things (people, animals, plants), life cannot be as wonderful as God wants. Making wise choices about the care of God’s creation is called good stewardship.

 

(Grades 5-8): The earth and all life on it is God’s Creation. God calls us to be ‘stewards’ of this great gift. A steward is a manager, not an owner. Each of us has an obligation to manage the earth and its resources in a morally responsible way, because mismanagement leads to great suffering. This means using wise ecology practices and also making certain others are not hurt by wasteful or dangerous practices. It also means taking care of our own health, and using our personal property carefully.

Principles of Catholic Social Teachings paraphrased for children by Anne E. Neuberger.

Used with permission from Anne E. Neuberger

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Protecting Our Common Home

 

All Ages

 

The Boy Who Harnessed the Wind, Young Readers Editions By: William Kankwamba

A picture book adaptation of the experiences of 14-year-old William Kamkwamba, who built a windmill out of junkyard scraps to bring electricity to his famine-stricken Malawi village.

Nonfiction

 

 

Gabby and Grandma Go Green by Monica Wellington

From sewing their own cloth bags and buying vegetables at the Farmers’ Market to recycling their bottles, Gabby and Grandma know how to have a good time while doing good things for the earth.

Fiction

 

The Lorax By: Dr. Seuss

A greedy individual thoughtlessly pollutes the air, land, and water of the Bar-ba- loots’ paradise in order to build his giant industry.

Fiction

 

Luna and Me: the True Story of a Girl Who Lived in a Tree to Save a Forest By: Biography of Julia Butterfly Hill and Luna, the 1000•year•old redwood tree whose life she saved.”

Nonfiction

 

 

The Mangrove Trees: Planting Trees to Feed Families by: Susan L. Roth Describes the ecological and social transformation resulting from the work of Dr. Gordon Sato, a Japanese American cell biologist who made saltwater and desert land productive through the planting of mangrove trees in the tiny African country of Eritrea. Nonfiction

 

My Forever Dress by Harriet Ziefert

A grandmother sews an environmentally friendly party dress for her granddaughter that can be recycled as she grows up.

Fiction

 

Our Big Home: an Earth poem By: Linda Glaser

Describes the water, air, soil, sky, sun, and more shared by all living creatures on Earth.

Nonfiction

 

Ok Go By: Carin Berger

A visual commentary on the fast pace of contemporary society and the environmental impact of cars and fossil fuels.

Fiction

 

Planting the Trees of Kenya: the Story of Wangari Maathai By: Claire Nivola Biography of Wangari Maathai, the winner of the 2004 Nobel Peace Prize, who changed the fate of her village in the highlands of Kenya by teaching her people how to care for it.

Nonfiction

 

Seed by Seed: the Legend and Legacy of John “Appleseed Chapman By: Esmé Raji Codell

Biography that explains why a man born in 1774 is remembered by sharing the five tenets by which he lived: use what you have; share what you have; respect nature; try to make peace where there is war; and you can reach your destination by taking small steps.

Nonfiction

 

The Tree Lady By: Joseph Hopkins

Biography of the nature pioneer and activist who, after becoming the first woman to earn a science degree from the University of California, took a teaching position in the desert region of San Diego and single-handedly launched a movement to transform the area with trees and gardens.

Nonfiction

 

PreK – 3rd grade

 

Big Earth, Little Me By: Thom Wiley

Instructional guide to the environment designed to teach kids what they can do to help make the world a better place, including recycling paper, conserving water, and saving energy by turning off lights.

Nonfiction

 

The EARTH book By: Todd Parr

Presents an introduction to environmental protection, describing a variety of ways that young people can work together to support the planet.

Nonfiction

 

The Great Big Green Book  By: Mary

Hoffman Describes why protecting the environment is important for a safe, clean Earth, and provides examples of what readers can do to help protect the planet. Nonfiction

 

Harmony: a Vision for Our Future By: Prince Charles of Wales

Offers a call to action for young readers to work together in order to change the direction of environmental crisis by taking steps to live in careful harmony with nature.

Nonfiction

 

How to Help the Earth By: Tish Rabe

Offers simple suggestions for going green, from reducing waste and saving energy to donating used objects and recycling.

Nonfiction

 

Love Your World: How to Take Care of the Plants, the Animals, and the Planet

By: Dawn Sirett

Guide showing the very youngest readers what they can do to help the environment, from recycling to water conservation to making a compost pile in the backyard.

Nonfiction

 

No Monkeys, No Chocolate (Aug 2013) By: Melissa Stewart

Examines the animals and other living things that share a habitat with cocoa tree s and keep the plants growing and thriving.

Nonfiction

 

Too Much Trash By: Dona Rice Learn about recycling.

Nonfiction

 

Wangari’s Trees of Peace: a True Story from Africa By: Jeanette Winter

 

Biography story of Wangari Maathai, environmentalist and winner of the Nobel Peace Prize, is a shining example of how one woman’s passion, vision, and determination inspired great change.

Nonfiction

 

You Are Stardust By: Elin Kelsey

Shows how we are connected to nature in unexpected ways. Nonfiction

 

4th  grade – Middle School

 

Be the Change for the Environment By: Megan Kopp

Suggests ways for children to think and act environmentally, from creating a compost pile to planting trees. Series: Be the change!

Nonfiction

 

Changing Habits, Living Green By: Darlene R. Stille

Presents twelve tips for developing green habits, including using rechargable batteries and composting, and explains how each action positively impacts the environment.

Nonfiction

 

Do One Green Thing: Saving the Earth Through Simple, Everyday Choices By: Mindy Pennybacker

Each chapter addresses the question “What is the easiest, most affordable green thing you could do to make a difference in one category of your life.

 

Human Footprint: Everything You Will Eat, Use, Wear, Buy, and Throw Out in Your Lifetime By: Ellen Kirk

Shows kids the dimensions of consumption, including diapers worn as a baby, bread eaten in a lifetime, and recycled cans, and explains how to create a sustainable way of living.

Nonfiction

 

Kids Who Are Changing the World By: Anne Jankeliowitch

Profiles forty•five children around the world who are taking steps to help the environment through fund•raising, public demonstrations, and creating activist art

, and includes suggestions on how readers can get involved. Nonfiction

 

 

Planet Ark: Preserving Earth’s Biodiversity By: Adrienne Mason

Explains what is biodiversity is and the dangers that face it. Also provides information on how we can help preserve biodiversity on Earth.

Nonfiction

 

Planet Patrol: A Kid’s Action Guide to Earth Care by Marybeth Lorbiecki Introduction to ecology that uses examples of real-life human endeavors, action tips and factoids to show how environmental problems can be slowed or reversed.

 

Recycle This Book: 100 Children’s Book Authors Tell You How to Go Green Short essays are compiled in this guide to understanding the environment, the benefits of recycling, and the importance of “going green.”

Nonfiction

 

Seeds of Change: Planting a Path to Peace by Jen Cullerton Johnson Biography of Kenyan Nobel Peace Prize winner and environmentalist Wangari Maathai, a female scientist who made a stand in the face of opposition to women’s rights and her own Greenbelt Movement, an effort to restore Kenya’s ecosystem by planting millions of trees.”

Nonfiction

 

Who Will Save My Planet?  By: Ma. Cristina Urrutia

A wordless introduction to the impact human activities have on the planet offers juxtaposed spreads of unblemished versus abused examples of nature, from a sparkling waterfall beside a garbage•clogged river to a beautiful green parrot besi de a dull•feathered, caged bird.

Nonfiction

 

Climate Change

All ages

 

Winston of Churchill by Jean Davies Okimoto

Polar bear Winston,living in the town of Churchill, Manitoba, worries about the ice cap melting so he shares the book he has written about global warming with his fellow bears. They realize that they need people to help them save their habitat. Sprinkled with quotes from Sir Winston Churchill, this book attempts to raise awareness of the effects of climate change.

Fiction

 

PreK – 3rd grade

 

Brilliant! Shining a Light on Sustainable Energy By: Michelle Mulder

What happens when you harness the power of imagination and innovation: the world changes for the better! Full of examples of unusual (and often peculiar) power sources, Encourages kids to look around for new and sustainable ways to light up the world.

Nonfiction

 

Three Cheers For Trees!: a Book About Our Carbon Footprint By: J. Angelique Johnson Explains what a carbon footprint is and how reducing it can keep Earth healthier, and suggests simple lifestyle changes that can conserve energy.

Nonfiction

 

4th grade – Middle School

 

Buried Sunlight: How Fossil Fuels Have Changed the Earth By: Molly Bang Explanation of the fossil fuel energy cycle that began with the sun and now runs most of the manufacturing, transportation, and energy use in our world. Now that this plant matter has been transformed into fuel, humans have been digging it up, changing the fragile dynamic that fulfills the global needs of all living things.

Nonfiction

 

The Changing Environment By: Deborah Chancellor

Introduces the Earth and its systems, discussing the environmental dangers caused by weather and people, how humans can make a positive difference, and the importance of the environment and conservation.

Nonfiction

 

Earth’s Fever By: Stephen Aitken

Describes the environmental problems of global warming, including its causes, how it affects people around the world, and ways to reduce pollution and battle th e effects of global warming.

Nonfiction

 

Explore Natural Resources! By: Anita

Yasuda Explains what natural resources are and the importance of conserving t hese

resources through reducing, reusing, and recycling, with fun facts, trivia, and suc h easy•to•follow projects as growing crystals and a purifying water experiment.

Nonfiction

 

Fever on The Land By: Stephen Aitken

Describes the environmental problems faced on the land, including such factors as

rising global temperatures, invasive species, forest fires, and human deforestatio n, and discusses why these factors are important.

Nonfiction

 

A Warmer World: From Polar Bears to Butterflies, How Climate Change Affects Wildlife  By: Caroline

Arnold  Describes how climate change has affected ecosystems around the worl d and how animals within these ecosystems have adapted, including polar bears, butterflies, tree frogs, and coral.

Nonfiction

 

Waiting for Ice  By: Sandra Markle

Far north in the Arctic Ocean on Wrangel Island, an orphaned polar bear cub struggles to find food, but due to rising global temperatures, sustenance is scarce because the pack ice that the bears rely on for hunting is late in coming.

Nonfiction

 

What’s the Point of Being Green By: Jacqui Bailey

Discusses the threat to our planet’s environment and outlines steps that governments, organizations, and ordinary citizens can take to help keep the planet green. Points out the major problems, which include Climate change: Earth’s temperature is rising, which could soon have a disastrous effect on every living being Pollution and acid rain: Earth’s air, water, and soil are being damaged because we depend too heavily on fossil fuels, and because we overfish the oceans and destroy the forests.

 

Water

All ages

 

One Well: the Story of Water on Earth By: Rochelle Strauss

Explains how all water on the planet is connected and the need to preserve our natural resources for the health of all creatures on Earth.

Nonfiction

 

These Seas Count! By: Alison Formento

When Mr. Tate’s class helps out on Beach Clean-Up Day, Captain Ned teaches the children the importance of the sea and the impact of not keeping it clean.

Fiction

PreK – 3rd grade

 

All the Water in the World By: George Ella Lyon

Introduces young children to the water cycle with simple text and illustrations. Nonfiction

 

A Cool Drink of Water By: Barbara Kerley

Shows people’s common need for water by depicting folks from around the world collecting, chilling, and drinking water.

Nonfiction

 

Drought: Be Aware and Prepare By: Martha Rustad

Describes how droughts form, their effects and how people can prepare for them.

 

 

Kids Can Use Less By: Cecilia Minden

Introduces the idea of using less, showing how to, and the importance of using less.

Nonfiction

 

Munkle Arvur and the Big Dry By: Nikki Slade Robinson Munkle wonders what he can do when the land has dried up. Fiction (comic book style)

 

Splash! Water By: Nuria Jimenez

Presents information about water, the different uses that people have for it, the limited amount of fresh water available in the world, ways to conserve water, and ways to avoid polluting water.

 

A Tale of One Well in Malawi: Water and Life in Malawi By: Sarah Levete Describes the harsh, drought-like conditions in Malawi, where little rainfall and poor quality drinking water threaten the health of its people, and explains the process of digging a well in the area and the importance of clean water.

Nonfiction

 

 

Watch Over Our Water By: Lisa Bullard

Introduces what water is, why it is important to people, why it is important to conserve it, why it is important to avoid polluting it and steps that children can take to protect our water supply.

Nonfiction

 

Water! Water! Water! By: Nancy Elizabeth Wallace

Walter notices water in his everyday activities and begins to write down his observations and the results of his experiments in a notebook that he shares with a friend. Includes simple experiments, doable suggestions for conserving the water supply and some kid-friendly jokes.

 

Water World By: Precious McKenzie

Introduces waters’ different use and explains how it supports life on the planet. Nonfiction

 

We Need Water By: Charles Ghinga

Shows the importance of water to children and every living thing. Nonfiction

4th  grade – Middle School

 

The Adventures of the Droplet Twins By: Pauline Gordon

Josh and Holly, with the help of the Nutrients, Phos and Nitro, set out on this magical adventure only to find themselves in a struggle of survival in saving the waters for the Earth Dwellers.

Fiction

 

Conserving and Protecting Water: What You Can Do By: Stephen Feinstein Discusses global water scarcity and pollution, federal regulations and standards for water quality in the United States, and what you can do to help

Nonfiction

 

Make a Splash!” a Kid’s Guide to Protecting Our Oceans, Lakes, Rivers, & Wetlands By: Cathryn Berger Kaye

Introduces the Earth’s water crisis while sharing empowering ideas for how to make a difference, describing the threats being faced by undersea life and outlining community service initiatives.

Nonfiction

 

Safeguarding Water and Food Supplies By: Joe Craig

Discusses the state of the world’s water supply, explains how human activity has threatened global food and water supplies, and suggests actions that can be taken to safeguard food and water supplies for future generations.

Nonfiction

 

 

Using Water By: Andrew Einspruch

Explains the sources of the water that comes out of faucets and the importance of conserving water, and discusses ways to use less water at home and at school and related topics.

Nonfiction

 

Water Wise! By: Alison Hawes

What happens to water all over the world? You can take action to be more water wise! Find out why the world needs you to be water wise.

Nonfiction

 

Water: Discover Science Through Facts and Fun By: Gerry Bailey

Introduces the different properties of water, including its molecular composition and the water cycle, and describes how humans have developed technology over history to use water for drinking, irrigation, and exploration.

Nonfiction

 

Water: Information and Projects to Reduce Your Environmental Footprint By: Helen Whittaker

Discusses how water use impacts the environment and what you can do to be more eco-conscious.

Nonfiction

 

Why Do We Need Water? By: Kelley MacAulay

Discusses the uses of water and the importance of conserving and protecting this life-giving resource.

Nonfiction

 

World Without Fish By: Mark Kurlansky

The alarming true story of what’s happening to the fish, the oceans and our environment. It tells how and why the fish we most commonly eat, including tuna, salmon, cod and swordfish, could become extinct within fifty years. It is a call to action.

Nonfiction

 

 

 

Note: Some of the book descriptions were based on descriptions used in the NoveList Plus K-8 database.