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We’ve had plenty of discussions here at SHS about teaching religion - - and a few of them have gotten quite er...intense. (come on...you know you had fun, though!) But I’m going to come at it from a slightly different angle in this featured From Soup to Nuts post this week. I’d like to talk about teaching religion to our kids in the context of STORYTELLING
Truth is, the history of religion is a history of stories. Not just the teachings of the religions themselves - - which truly are rife with fables, parables, allegories, and myths - - but even the very timeline of events tied to religion over the course of human existence includes narratives that are more than just a little interesting to study in detail. And is there any more engaging way to get kids excited about learning than storytelling?!
This whole topic came front and center for me a couple weeks ago when I was listening to a video interview with Laura Gibbs about Teaching Humanities Online
. Laura, who teaches online courses at University of Oklahoma, and has a unique non-lecture approach. Her approach is to have students create semester-long storytelling projects called “Storybooks”
along with their reading assignments. And as if this weren’t cool enough, the reading content that students use in Laura’s courses that she calls “UN-TEXTBOOKS” is completely Open Source, free, and available to anyone
. Yes, I said, ANYONE.
So, let me introduce you to my favorite new resource for teaching religion via storytelling, care of Laura Gibbs…”The Myth-Folklore Un-Textbook.”
Now, I could go on and on telling you how amazing I think this resource that Laura has created is, but let me share a little bit of what one of Laura’s former students, Beth Hobson, had to say about it…
"I was driven to take Laura's Mythology and Folklore class because I have always thought that mythology and folklore was an interesting topic. I guess you could say that I naturally gravitated towards learning stories about other cultures and the stories that existed in them.Laura's class styling is unique and in a very good way. It was creative, more in depth, allowed me to use my creative skills as a student/artist, it fit into