A quick look at new resources to use in your classroom or for professional development.
By Barb Szyszkiewicz
Sacrament Prep for Special-Needs Students
Discovering the Love of Jesus
New from Ignatius Press, YOUCAT for Kids explores the world, the Creed, the sacraments, the commandments, and prayer. This is an excellent reference book, but don’t stow it away on your classroom shelf. Instead, keep it handy so students can use it to investigate when they have questions about the faith.
While the book is labeled for students age 9-12, there are sections that younger readers can handle, especially if teachers or parents are available to help. Footnotes at the bottom of each page provide more in-depth information for adults and older students; the top section of each page is written in simpler language and often accompanied by spare line drawings . YOUCAT for Kids is packed with Scripture quotes and effectively cross-indexed to help readers get the most out of the information it contains.
Wednesday, September 25 @ 4:00 pm EDT (Storytelling 101: Student Voice in Action)
Monday, October 21 @ 4:00 pm EDT (Storytelling 101: How media-making impacts cognitive development)
Church History for High-Schoolers
Supplement your study of world history and Church history with Mike Aquilina’s new book, The Church and the Roman Empire (Ave Maria Press). The newest book in the Reclaiming Catholic History series, The Church and the Roman Empire covers the era from 301-490, when Christianity develooped and expanded as the Roman Empire declined.
Plenty of sidebars provide engaging back story, and Aquilina recounts what really happened in a down-to-earth but never insulting way. This book is perfect for students who want to study this time period in more depth — and will discourage any reader from thinking that history is boring.
Quiet Reading Space for Young Children
Early Learning furniture manufacturer Whitney Brothers® today announced its new Nature Reading Haven With Floor Mat Set received a Learning® Magazine 2020 Teachers’ ChoiceSM Award for Preschool, one of the most widely recognized and prestigious awards in the educational market. Inspired by the trend of bringing the outside into the Early Learning classroom, the Nature Reading Haven simulates a photo-realistic underside view of a tree canopy that beckons young children inside for quiet reading enjoyment.
The cozy interior includes a fitted floor pad, built-in book display shelves, viewing cutouts and tunnel openings on each end panel that provide easy access and important sight and sound supervision of children inside. It also satisfies each state requirement for a dedicated quiet space in Early Learning classrooms.
Voice-activated journey to the past teaches history
Children and families can immerse themselves in ancient history with Guardians of History™, a new interactive voice-activated game from Encyclopaedia Britannica, where players learn about the past through an engaging time-travel adventure and save history from forces that threaten it.
Free to use on all supporting devices, Guardians of History is one of the first voice-driven games that blends premium audio, engaging choice-driven gameplay, and educational content in one package.
The first episode, “The Olympia Obstacles,” is a fun, choice-driven experience where the player travels back in time to the ancient city of Olympia, Greece. The game’s setting, content, characters, story, and imagery were carefully developed by award-winning writers and expert editors who drew from the Britannica’s historical archives to ensure that the game’s fictional narrative is historically accurate. The result is a riveting 40-minute audio experience that teaches the player about Ancient Greece through dialogue, sound, and meaningful choices. Its eight different endings also stoke curiosity and make the game replayable over and over.
Barb Szyszkiewicz is editor at CatholicMom.com and managing editor of Today’s Catholic Teacher.
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