Tuesday, December 11, 2012

Lesson Plan on the Fly

I have a syllabus of sorts for the whole year, but it's rare that classes start or end as predicted. So before every class I take a look at where we left off and make a quick lesson plan based on that. Here's the one for Dec. 12, which took only a few minutes to work out:

1. Isaiah Xmas- Last week we finished the Old Testament by reviewing a bunch of prophets and prophecies, right up to the last words of the last book. But I didn't cover any of Isaiah's Christmas prophecies because I save them for the last class before Christmas.

2. Review O.T.- Then we'll close out the Old Testament by reviewing the whole thing in about 10-15 minutes, starting with God before Creation, and ending with Malachi's prophecies:

"Behold, I send my messenger to prepare the way before me, and the Lord whom you seek will suddenly come to his temple; the messenger of the covenant in whom you delight, behold, he is coming, says the LORD of hosts."


"Behold, I will send you Elijah the prophet before the great and terrible day of the LORD comes."

Mostly I just prompt the kids: "and then what/ who's next/ what's this mean?" They usually surprise me with how well they remember.

Intro N.T. - A few minutes of big-picture discussion about how the N.T. will be different from the O.T.; but also how they complement each other. I may compare them to the husband & wife in a marriage.

3. Imm. Conception- Part of the N.T. intro involves figuring out why the Immaculate Conception thematically lies between the O.T. & N.T., but is not mentioned in the Bible. I usually pull in some discussion of the Annunciation as well, just enough for them to see how the two are related, but separate, events.

& Isenheim-  I'll hand out an image of the Annunciation from the Isenheim Altarpiece. It shows how Mary is a hinge between the two Testaments based on symbolic elements which the kids can figure out. We'll also use this to discuss the Annunciation, and analyze another batch of elements. We also look at and act out a terrific portrait of Eve and Mary, emphasizing how the two women represent the Testaments. We also use this picture to discuss Mary's pregnancy. The images work well as a pair to transition from the O.T. to the N.T.

4. John the Baptist- for the first time this year, the kids will hear me read from the New Testament as we get started not with Jesus, not with Mary, not with John; but with John's parents, Zechariah and Elizabeth. Time permitting, we'll start on the Annunciation once Elizabeth is pregnant.

Isenheim & Mary/Eve- these rectangled words reminded me to put together this side-by-side handout of these two images:

 Eve and Mary by Sr. Grace Remington, O.C.S.O; and the left-hand panel of the second configuration of Grünewald's Isenheim Altarpiece

That's all the Lesson Plan I'll need. I've taught this material before; so yes, it's sketchy, but it's enough.