» Melissa Livermore, a math teacher at Holy Family in Victoria, integrates Catholic social teaching on a daily basis through word problems and activities. “The projects I have developed take real data from a social issue and culminate the skills used throughout the quarter,” she said.
In Livermore’s first project at Holy Family, geometry students created graphs on U.S. and world hunger. The graphs were hung around the school during a food drive. Recently, her calculus students addressed the spread of malaria around the world.
» Teaching social studies gives Caree LaBounty a chance to talk about the world and how it was created by God, said the third grade social studies teacher at All Saints in Lakeville. LaBounty relates problem solving to the choices Jesus would want her students to make.
When discussing laws, her students examine their necessity and the role of the Ten Commandments in knowing how to respect one another. “They can see how our communities need laws so that citizens can all get along,” she said.
» In the fall, each new class of second-graders at St. John the Baptist in Jordan looks forward to being part of the Butterfly Room, said science teacher Mary Warden. “They have eagerly watched former students raise and release monarch butterflies,” she said.
Each child receives a caterpillar to raise and watches it change and grow from a tiny larva, to a golden pupa, to a monarch. The students also relate the metamorphosis to their own changes through receiving the sacraments of reconciliation and first Eucharist.
“We talk about what a miracle this is and how God, our creator, has given us these wonders,” Warden said.
» Language arts teacher Margy Schipper regularly uses articles from The Catholic Spirit to bring Catholic thought into her curriculum at Holy Cross in Webster.
She uses Archbishop John Nienstedt’s column to prompt discussion, and editorials to aid debate. For Respect Life Week, the class read and sorted social justice articles into categories of service and change.
Last year, the class debated a column about the fifth commandment, Thou Shall Not Kill, and deer hunting. “The avid hunters in my classes created written responses in a professional manner using excellent communication skills,” Schipper said.