Concern for Justice

Opening reflection

Here's a reflection to use for the first lesson: Does God exist?

Introduction

I will introduce the unit by arbitrarily awarding prizes to a select group in the class. For instance, I will probably give chocolates to students who have two or more letters of God's name in their own first name. I wonder how they will take it?

The students will be directed to reflect on what had taken place in the room. I will ask them to give some labels for what they had experienced. I am sure some will suggest words like "unfair", "unjust." They will be asked to define fairness and justice. Then I will add that justice needs to be loving, that is, oriented towards the good of others.

Journalling

We will commence with the following journal-writing activity:

  • Recall a time when you were treated unfairly. What did it feel like? In your journal draw your feelings. Imagine that you are a video camera and you film an extreme close-up shot of your mouth. Draw the shape of your mouth. Attach words to the mouth to help explain the picture. Then think about how you would like the situation resolved. Imagine that you are happy again. Draw another screen shot - an extreme close-up of your smile. Then attach words to the mouth to explain how you managed to restore your happiness.

Research Activity

The CEO unit presents a research activity (Activity Sheet 1). Given the limited amount of time that we have for RE, I think it is more trouble than it is worth. There will be other opportunities to touch on some of the issues raised in the activity.

It is much easier to make use of newspapers. I will bring in copies from the Learning Resource Centre and set students the task of finding news items and articles that deal with what they consider to be just or unjust. I will give them 5 minutes to do this. Then they spend about 10 minutes sharing what they have found.

Writing Activity

It is important that students make some notes about the theme of the unit so I will give them 10 minutes to write an introductory paragraph about the unit they will be studying this term. The paragraph should be based on their experience of the first 20 minutes of the period.