Today, more than ever, young people expect video to be one of the ways they are engaged in education. While no resource can ever replace the person of the catechist, it is indeed crucial to utilize all of the tools available to us to engage young people in catechesis. To that end, we are proud to announce that our Loyola Press Finding God curriculum now includes links to YouTube videos (one for every chapter of grades 1–8) personally selected by me and Dr. James Campbell, one of the authors of Finding God. These short videos can be used to enhance and reinforce the main points of the lesson and to actively engage young people’s imaginations.
Below is a sample of one unit from grade 5. If you are interested in learning more about using Finding God and all of its wonderful components, including the links to YouTube videos, please contact your Loyola Press Educational Consultant.
|1. God Creates Us||https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wSnXuCxiHXE&index=%0A18&list=WL (3:04)||Video from Catholic Relief Services discussing the meaning of “Care for God’s Creation.”|
|2. God Saves Us||https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=l5-EwrhsMzY (4:17)||“Kid President” shares a letter to someone on his/her first day of life.|
|3. God’s Revelation||https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=K6LlNZo5xLQ (3:46)||An animated explanation of how God kept his promise through Abraham.|
|4. God Directs Our Lives||https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZEf_vVq0xMk (7:31)||USCCB Core 2 series. This lesson serves to explore the Beatitudes depicted in Matthew’s Gospel.|
|5. Celebrating Ordinary Time||https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=SvVnqDsv07c&index%0A=15&list=WL (end at 2:10)||From the CatholicTV Network, a description of the liturgical year and the colors attributed to it. Can end at 2:10 if desired.|
Great point, Joe – You Tube or other online videos can be a great way to engage the youth in further discussion about a lesson topic, or help them connect a lesson to their daily lives. What criteria/characteristics do you use in selecting videos to integrate into lessons? Some elements that I look for: 1) the videos are action-oriented and highly visual, rather than primarily “talking heads”; 2) the videos tell a story or include someone giving a “faith witness”; 3) age-appropriate – the message and vocabulary being used are relevant, understandable and appropriate for the targeted student group.
As examples, here are links to two videos we incorporated into our Salvation History curriculum for 6th graders:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WxEZ9p9E5qk – Casting Crowns’ music video “The Voice of Truth” – used in the lesson on King David and the Old Testament Prophets
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cZ5aYoSr3Hg – “Lift the City – Eucharistic Flash Mob” – used in the lesson on Jesus’ Public Ministry or in the lesson on Pentecost and the Early Church.
Thanks for sharing your ideas!
Mary, thanks for sharing your criteria. I often seek confirmation that the source is Catholic as much as possible although that is not always necessary depending on the subject matter. I agree about avoiding talking heads and instead looking for something engaging. I sometimes will look for a video that shows the opposite of what is being taught in order to create a contrast and to show how the Good News of Jesus is counter-cultural. I like to look for videos that include music. If the video depicts Scripture, I try to ensure that it is a faithful rendering of the passage so as not to create more work for the catechist who has to explain why the video is different from the Bible. Finally, age-appropriateness is absolutely crucial. We had a number of sets of eyeballs look over all of these videos to make sure they are age-appropriate. Thanks again Mary!