The first parish I worked in, St. Mary of the Assumption (Chicago), had a fairly substantial resource library of videos that could be used in religious education. Likewise, when I taught high school religion, we had a large collection of videos to use in religion classes.
I realize that we often don’t have that much time in our classes however, showing a good video can be a very effective means of engaging those we teach.
What video(s) would you recommend as a “must see” for religious education? Tell us the name of the video, the company it’s from, the topic, and what grade/age level it is best suited for.
I look forward to hearing from you!!!
Definitely “Jesus of Nazareth” by Franco Zefferelli. You can use parts of it for all levels, children to adults.
In our RE Office, we have a 14-tape set of it broken down into 20-30 minute bits. Don’t know what we’d do without it.
I’d like to recommend that parish DRE’s and catechists contact their Diocesan Media Center (go to NACMP.org for a listing). They will often have a video or DVD that you may only watch once or twice a year. Also, I would suggest sometimes using clips from videos/DVD’s instead of a full movie. You can illustrate a point, introduce a topic, etc.
Good advice, Mary. In Chicago, we have the Jegen Center for Catechetical Media & Research run by Sr. Judy Dieterle…a great resource!
Amy, I’ve always like Zefferelli’s Jesus of Nazareth, especially for the portrayal of Peter!
Don’t know what I’d do without “Prince of Egypt” now that they don’t run the old “Ten Commandments” movie on TV anymore. Most of my kids have never heard of any of the OT characters, even by 5th grade (really–except for Harriet Tubman. They’ve all learned in PS that she was called “Moses” by escaped slaves, they just have no idea who the original Moses was.)
As for Zefferelli’s, I got it and was amazed at how slooowwwwly it moved…which actually worked out great; I do a “running commentary” during the many brooding silences in the script, explaining things like “Jews have the beards, Romans don’t,” “that’s the Temple” etc. Now if only we had time for “Ben Hur”…
Brenda, I’ve heard many catechists talk about using “The Prince of Egypt” with their intermediate grade classes. They tell me that as long as you point out some of the “poetic license” that Disney takes with the story, it does a good job of telling the Exodus story.
I am a fan of The Visual Bible’s “Matthew.” It is a word for word version of the gospel of Matthew, beautifully filmed with citation of chapter and verse on the screen for easy reference. I have also used the movie “Joshua” with my 8th graders. As a contemporary version of the life of Jesus, the students pick out the similarities often without needing to be prompted.
TJ, thanks for your recommendations. I’ve yet to see either of these…I’ll keep my eyes open for them.