Tuesday, March 1, 2016

Religion, Reformation and Relevance- Teaching Luther and a Class Activity using Tech 2.0.

So... I'm teaching the Protestant Reformation to a 9th graders in our Religions and Revolutions World History Class. Did you know this is the 500th anniversary of that event? More than 2/3rd of my students are not Christian (or are Christian in that Santa Claus comes at Christmas). Only five students in my class indentify as practicing Christians. Three are Protestant. Names like Calvin, Luther, Zwingli and Menno mean little to nothing at all to most of my students. Yet, the Reformation sparked a revolution that is felt (for better and for worse right down to this day). To most of these students, the past is irrelevant.

How to make this seem important? I tried to put my students in Luther's shoes. I pointed out the roots of the words Protestant Reformation. I wanted to tie his protest and reform to issues students care strongly about today.

So, after studying about Luther and his reforms I created a Google Presentation via Slides. Each student was assigned a blank slide. On the slide they had to pick a contemporary issue they wanted to protest and then reform and explain why. I then posted the presentation on the class blog. Students then had to respond to at least two other students' posts.

I liked the activity. It wasn't a game-changer. I've given better lessons and I have used technology in more creative ways. But I liked the collaborative aspect of this. I like that we have a digital artifact. Finally, my hope was to make Luther's protest seem more real.

Here is what my students came up with:

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