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Building God’s House


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Keywords: Religion
Subject(s): Writing, Technology, Art, English/Language Arts
Grades 4 through 6
Original Author: TJ Kelm, Menomonee Falls
Building God’s House
Many students attend church regularly and can identify some basic areas and items within the church, but do not always understand their importance. This project will help the students gain a deeper understanding of the key components of a church. This project consists of four smaller projects; a church tour, building an interior (pews, altar, vestments, etc…) and exterior model (roof, wall, etc…) of a church with grounds (parking lot, cemetery, etc…), a church bulletin, and a presentation.

Before the students officially start the project, they must be instructed on how to properly use the Olympus Digital Camera in order for them to take successful photographs. After the students have had the opportunity to familiarize themselves with the camera, they will then be separated it to small groups of four or five. These new groups will then gather together to brainstorm about what they already know about the components of a church. During the brainstorming session, the students will have the opportunity to view a slide show that demonstrates how an actual church was built.

The parish priest or liturgical minister will take the class on a tour of the church describing the essential elements of a church. During this tour the students will have the opportunity to take pictures and ask questions as they gather necessary information for this project. It is important that when the tour is finished the students have the chance to discuss the gathered information and review any pictures that the students may have taken with their group members. This allows the students to write down any other thoughts or questions the students might have about the important aspects of a church. (Depending on the location of the school, you may want to visit another local church if distance permits. This would help the students compare and contrast the differences between churches.)

As the students review the information that the have gathered, they will be making some important decisions. For example, they will need to choose a name for their church, decide on what they would like their church to resemble, what components are going to be incorporated into their church, and how are they are going to accomplish the task of building their own model church? The students will collect and bring in any materials they would like to use in order for them to build a model church. As the students are constructing their models, they will be taking picture every step of the way to document the building process.

Once the construction process is complete, the students will be instructed on how to use the Tool Factory Software that they will be using to help create a church bulletin. This bulletin will have articles describing their church, pictures of the construction process, completed pictures of their church, and advertisements; giving this bulletin a very realistic quality.

The final aspect of this project is the presentation. The groups will get together in the computer lab and be instructed on how to use the Multimedia Lab V Software that will help the students create their visual presentations. After the students have had an appropriate amount of time to work at the computers, they will then present their model church, church bulletin, and visual presentation to the class and any special guest that might be available (parents, priest, liturgical ministers, principal, etc…)
Materials: Slideshow, Word Processor, Flash/USB Drives, Batteries, Point and Shoot
Other Items: 2 Ink Cartridges, $120 each, total of $240.00
4 Memory Cards, $160 each, total of $640.00
1 Additional Camera, $200 each, total of $200.00
Batteries, $20 each