Wednesday, October 3, 2012

For my sins

In teaching catechism (PREP), I've been getting an effect which is, I'm sure, familiar to any teacher. I would ask the class a question, and the same 5 kids would raise their hands; 3 because they knew the answer, and the other 2 because they like to talk. Meanwhile, the other 15 kids stared vacantly into space.

So, I'm looking for ways to get every kid involved. Last Sunday, I wanted to show the kids how the Church's ideas about penance have changed, so I looked through a bunch of medieval penitentials, and took a couple of examples from history. Then I printed up the sins and penances separately, handed them out to the class, and asked them to match the sin to the penance. The idea was that the kid who got

If a King encourages his friends to murder the Archbishop of Canterbury,
would find a match with the kid who got
he should be publicly flogged at the Archbishop's tomb.
and the kid who got
If anyone steal a thing of middling value,
would find a match with the kid who got
he is to return the stolen object to him who owns it and fast 1 year on bread and water.
Once the kids caught on to the idea, they found the matches quickly; quicker than I had anticipated (it's a bright class.) At that point I stared vacantly into space. Fortunately my co-teacher had printed up a bunch of word searches, where you read a definition and then find the word, out of the book.

Here we encountered an ongoing problem. The textbook has lots of definitions (that's about what it's got for content), but they're so squishy and peculiar that they don't line up with English as spoken by the rest of us. My co-teacher, for instance, got two of the textbook's definitions reversed, and I didn't blame her. What word do you think is defined by "the freedom that comes from trusting God and respecting all people"?


  1. Wow! "Grace" is a better answer than the one in the book. Try again?

  2. Another good guess, but not the book's word. I'll give a hint: in spite of the definition, this is a very commonly used word that doesn't usually refer to religion or God.

  3. Nope, it's even less usually connected to religion than that. Think of "the x that passes all understanding", if that helps.

  4. My last guess.."belief"

  5. Actually, Chris had it. It was "peace". However, all the other suggestions fit the definition at least as well.