The Broken Covenant: Where Are You?KEN DICK
The aim of this lesson is to increase the students’ awareness of the human need for the savior. It is suitable for a grade 9 or 10 class and employs scenes from the movie Cast Away Instructional time will vary with the number of activities and objectives selected. A total class time of three hours is required for the teaching of all objectives included in the lesson.
A. INTRODUCTORY REFLECTION ON SCRIPTURE - Genesis 3: 1-13
Now, the snake was the most subtle of all the wild animals that Yahweh God had made. It asked the woman, 'Did God really say you were not to eat from any of the trees in the garden?' The woman answered the snake, 'We may eat the fruit of the trees in the garden. But of the fruit of the tree in the middle of the garden God said, "You must not eat it, nor touch it, under pain of death."' Then the snake said to the woman, 'No! You will not die! God knows in fact that the day you eat it your eyes will be opened and you will be like gods, knowing good from evil.' The woman saw that the tree was good to eat and pleasing to the eye, and that it was enticing for the wisdom that it could give. So she took some of its fruit and ate it. She also gave some to her husband who was with her, and he ate it. Then the eyes of both of them were opened and they realized that they were naked. So they sewed fig leaves together to make themselves loin-cloths.
B. BACKGROUND NOTE FOR TEACHER:
The greatest sin may very well be the denial of sin itself. The brokenness in ourselves begins with the broken covenant with God. In this lesson the teacher is invited to have students use scripture, movie clips, quiet reflection, discussion, research and construction and composition. Students are challenged to use new vocabulary in the context of the human need for redemption. The primary goal is to increase student awareness of their own presence in the Genesis story.
C. LESSON OBJECTIVES:
E. Activity One:
Read the introductory two paragraphs from Genesis shown above. Discuss how God valued human beings as His segullah. Ask students to volunteer examples of personal treasures that may have great value only to them. Ask students to consider God's disappointment at the betrayal by Adam and Eve of His covenant. Ask students to consider the four human responses to shame listed below: Shame expressed as:
(Adam covers his nakedness he is ashamed and doesn't want to be seen for
what he is, in his sin with a fig leaf. We, the children of Adam, are involved
in the cover-up too. We cover our brokenness and our sin with modern masks of
power and possessions. Our attempt to deny our inner hurt and woundedness only
delays the call for healing and forgiveness.);
Do we ever act like Adam and Eve when we are shamed by our own weaknesses?
F. Activity Two:
Share a modern parable of betrayal. Develop a short story about a football player who sells the team playbook to the opposition. The consequences are that his teammates are hurt, defeated, betrayed. His team is humiliated. His own performance in the game is weakened. There is suspicion between team members and shame before the coach. The weakness of his action is now on public display. The team works harder for little reward. Ask the students for solutions? Where will the rescue come from?
Use of clips from the movie CAST AWAY. Show clips of the storm and crash, of the wash up on the beach, and the search for fire. Show clips of the invention of the idle companion Mr. Wilson. Show a clip of the decision to launch the raft and try to escape the island. Follow with discussion questions below:
G.1 What are the major obstacles facing the cast away?
G.2 Why is fire so important to the cast away? Why is spiritual fire important to the lost soul? Why is the Holy Spirit represented as the spiritual fire of the church?
G.3 What are some of the things that the cast away misses in his other life?
G.4 Why does Mr. Wilson become so important to the cast away? (after man satisfies his basic needs for water, food, and shelter, he longs for someone to share his life with, he longs to be in relationship with another, he longs to have someone to love)
G.5 Check Eccl
11:1 and Mtt. 8:26 & 9:1-8, then relate these to the story of the cast away.
G.6 Why is courage necessary to a paschal journey? What kind of life is left the cast away if there is no courage for the journey?
How do the stories of Abraham, Joseph (son of Jacob), Judas, and Peter compare
with the cast away story?
G.8 How does grace
enter the rescue efforts of the cast away?
G.9 After the rescue what changes would you expect in the cast away?
G.10 What deep and stormy waters must we cross in our own lives if we are to discover our talents, mission, and community?
H. Activity Four:
Assign students a project of constructing a collage of photographs that display either:
H.1 evidence of broken trust in our world
I. Activity Five:
Students are assigned the writing of a personal reflection on our need to be rescued. This reflection may form part of the student's class journal. It will be shared in confidence with the teacher only. Please use new topic vocabulary in your written reflection. There are two important teaching acts needed to prepare students for building the connection of the broken covenant to their own life.
Begin by drawing a circle on the board, which will become an island. In the center of the circle write the acronym PALS AGE. Explain each letter stands for one of the seven CAPITAL SINS which separate us from God and neighbor. These seven sins can then be described in a second concentric circle around the perimeter of the first. Show pride, anger, lust, sloth, avarice, gluttony and envy in seven "cells" around this second circle. Discuss the meaning of each cell and the opposite virtue, which will be the escape raft from each of those cells. For pride our raft is humility. For anger our raft is self-control. For lust our raft is modesty. For sloth our raft is diligence. For avarice our raft is spiritual prayer. For gluttony our raft is temperance. For envy our raft is love of neighbor (charity). Discuss the work it takes to build the raft and then to begin the journey to freedom.
Caution the students that freedom is not achieved in simply building the raft. Examine the scripture reading at Wisdom 14 …."Father is what steers it , you having opened a pathway even through the sea, a safe way over the waves.
Conclude the lesson by reading John Donne's poetry "No man is an island". Now challenge the students to break out of their own islands and its cells and to write their personal reflection.
is an island, entire of itself;
John Donne (1572-1631)
Grades may be awarded for:
Participation in class discussion
Ken Dick "The Broken Covenant: Where Are You?"
Reprinted with permission of Ken Dick.
Ken Dick holds a Bachelor of Education from the University of Calgary and a Masters of Education from the University of Alberta. He has been involved in education for 32 years working in the areas of teaching, curriculum development, and holding positions in administration as both a principal and superintendent. He is married with six children and lives in Okotoks, Alberta. Ken Dick is on the Advisory Board of the Catholic Educator's Resource Center.
Copyright 2002 Ken Dick
Not all articles published on CERC are the objects of official Church teaching, but these are supplied to provide supplementary information.