Where You At? / Where Ya Goin'?
Years ago I had two students come up to me after class and ask if they could speak with me.
I said yes, of course, but really had no idea what they were about to say.
And then, "Mr. Aitchison... Is there some kind of a way that we could, y'know, as a class, go really DEEP with our faith?"
"I mean, we learn a lot of things but we just feel like we could be pushed to go deeper somehow..."
I looked at them with a bit of shock (it's not every day that two middle school students ask this kind of thing!) and finally said, "Umm... Yeah, of course! What do you have in mind?"
"We don't really know... but we were thinking maybe like some kind of a deep discussion? Like split up into boy and girl small groups and have some good, challenging questions to talk about or something like that."
Needless to say, I was impressed. And while these two young ladies didn't quite have a perfect idea of what we could do, they gave me the inspiration to begin creating some kind of opportunity for this in an upcoming class.
After meeting with these two students again we eventually came up with the idea of having a discussion around the question, "WHERE YOU AT?" (their preferred title for this activity) :)
And so a few days later we did the Where You At? activity in class. I had these two students help introduce it, gave a few extra instructions, and then sat back and watched the magic happen!
To my surprise, the entire class got REALLY into this activity. And in fact, as soon as we finished they actually requested to do this on a regular basis!
Later in the year, a few weeks before my students graduated from 8th grade, I created a slightly different version of this activity called "Where Ya Goin'?" and found (to my surprise once again!) that they really responded to it and appreciated the chance to talk so openly about their faith and the road ahead.
All in all, these two students woke me up a bit. They reminded me that as a religion teacher I need to provide more opportunities for students to "go deep" with their faith. Teaching religion shouldn't just be about passing along knowledge (as important as that is), but about helping students APPLY their knowledge to everyday life.
And so, if you're looking for a quick and easy way to get your students talking about and applying their faith, consider trying out Where You at? / Where Ya Goin'?.
Presentation slides, corresponding worksheets, and a detailed lesson plan are all provided. Plus, it’s FREE! I hope you and your students enjoy it. :)
Howdy! My name is Greg Aitchison, a husband, father, and 14-year teacher of the Catholic faith. If you’re a teacher looking for fun, engaging, and inspiring resources that’ll and help your students become “mini-theologians” and “big-time SAINTS”, then you’ve come to the right place!
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