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 Respect Life Week 2015

 Grades 7-9

 ​Monday, October 26, 2015

Theme:  One Family Under God
Topic:  Building a Christian Community
Discipline:  Religion/Whole School

Overview:  Students will learn that humans are meant for community, which means loving other people and treating them with respect both in theory and in reality.  What does this look like in our culture?  We explore the topic of immigration through the lens of building a Christian community.
7-9 Day One Lesson Plan.pdf7-9 Day One Lesson Plan.pdf
Additional Student/Classroom Resources

Catholic Social Teaching 101: Life and Dignity of the Human Person​ 3.5 minute video from the US Bishops with interviews from Bishop Barron, Jonathan Reyes, and Helen Alvare.  Fantastic introduction to understanding the dignity of every person and deciding what must be our personal response and a global response to injustice.

Immigration​ 4 minute video provides an overview of immigration in the US since our founding and leaves students with the question of whether our current immigration system follows our original founding principles or needs to be fixed.

Children on the Move​ 5 minute video of young people from all over the world sharing their immigration stories of fleeing poverty and persecution to look for a better life elsewhere.

What Refugees Bring When They Run for Their Lives​ Article explores the daily life of refugees from the Middle East fleeing to Europe about what they can carry with them and what is most important.

The Millionaires who Welcome People at Sea 3 minute video shows an amazing family who came up with a creative solution to help immigrants who have been dying while trying to cross the ocean.  Learn more about their amazing work.​  What creative solutions can you come up with to help people who are new to your community and need extra help?​

​Citizenship Test challenge your students to see whether they would be able to pass a basic test for citizenship in the US. 

Fact Sheet on Immigrants in the US​ answers questions many people have.

8 year old Launches Campaign to Help Refugees​ 2 minute video about an 8 year old girl who decides to do something large, in a small way, to help people she has never met.  Great conversation starter about the responsibility of each of us to help people beyond our own communities and the strength of small acts.​

5 Practical Ways you Can Help Refugees Trying to Find Safety in Europe​ article provides specific service opportunities that kids can do to help.

RESOURCES FOR PARENTS AND TEACHERS:  Pope Francis addresses a group of immigrants while in the US.  He reminds them that they bring many gifts to our nation and tells them "do not be discouraged."

Tuesday, October 27, 2015

Theme:  The Paradox of Choice
Topic:  Why do People Choose Abortion?
Discipline:  Social Studies/History

Overview:  Today, ultrasound and high definition images of unborn babies allow us to experience the humanity of unborn children like never before.  Loving and caring for children begins from the first moments of conception.

Additional Student/Classroom Resources

Her Name is Leah​ 4 minute video powerfully shows the potential of a new human life as a woman envisions the lifetime of her daughter as she struggles to decide whether abortion is her best option.  Positive and heart-warming, this is a great discussion starter that abortion is a solution with lasting consequences and that, while things may seem overwhelming while facing an unexpected pregnancy, they can always get better.​

Baby Announcement​ 2 minute video of a small boy's reaction to his mother's announcement that she is going to have a baby.  This video has gone viral because it so beautifully captures the natural response to the news of pregnancy and new life.

First Fatherhood Moments ​1 minute Dove ad shows the power of fathers rejoicing in the life of their unborn children from the very first moment.

Bucket List Baby Shane 3 minute video shares the story of Jenna and Dan Haley who, upon learning that their unborn son Shane would be born with anencephaly, created a bucket list and made the most of the time they had with Shane.  Baby Shane Passes Away​ 1 minute follow up to this story on the day of Shane's birth and death.  Jenna and Dan will be speakers at OneLife LA 2016.

Baby Jaxon Defies the Odds​ story shares the life of Jaxon, who doctors recommended aborting, but is now one year old, living with a rare disability but thriving and bringing love to his family.

RESOURCES FOR TEACHERS AND PARENTS:  Center for Medical Progress spent 30 weeks on an undercover operation inside Planned Parenthood facilities and talking with their top medical personnel.  The results uncovered the manipulation of abortion procedures and sale of fetal body parts for profit.  These videos and the discussion surrounding them has gone viral.  Many of your students will have seen them or heard about them.  Some of the best responses can be found from Abby Johnson.  She helps put the videos and their content into context and gives ideas of what positive actions to take as a result.  Abby Johnson spoke in LA with Archbishop Gomez​.  

Pro-life Pregnancy Resources​ can be found easily throughout Southern California.  This website can connect women with 90 pro-life pregnancy centers and clinics through So Cal, make appointments for pregnancy tests and ultrasounds, find post-abortion healing resources, and recommendations for adoption.​


Wednesday, October 28, 2015

Theme:  A Hard Pill
Topic:  Who Deserves to Live?
Discipline:  Math

Overview:  The international movement to legalize assisted suicide teaches that some lives are worth living while others have no value.  Students will learn about interdependence and what life-affirming options are available for people at the end of life that are in keeping with human dignity.

Additional Student/Classroom Resources​

Stephanie's Story 5 minute video of Stephanie Packer, an Orange County woman fighting a terminal disease with her husband and four young children.  Stephanie chooses to live, even when difficult, for the sake of her children, rather than opt for assisted suicide.

Man of Steel 5 minute video of JJ, a former Marine fighting brain cancer, whose desire to live for his family, even through his disease, is a great inspiration.  JJ Hansen will be a speaker at OneLife LA 2016.

The Scooter 5 minute video about Bill, who suffered from paralyzing depression while fighting his end-stage disease.  Bill sought drugs for assisted suicide, but then his doctor realized that all he needed was increased mobility.  A scooter was all it took to change Bill from looking to die to loving life.

Maggie's Story 3 minute video about a woman struggling with a terminal disease who leans on what she learned about joy and hope while caring for her own father during his last days.​

RESOURCES FOR PARENTS AND TEACHERS:  California is fighting assisted suicide this year.  Legislators passed legislation to legalize the practice, and Governor Brown signed it into law.  Archbishop Gomez has been very outspoken against assisted suicide as a matter of social justice.  You can read his statement and column and his message after the legalization​.  Stay up to date at ​

Thursday, October 29, 2015

Theme:  Love is Our Mission
Topic:  The Family Fully Alive
Discipline:  English

Overview:  Marriage numbers are decreasing around the world.  And, there is much confusion about the nature of marriage and why people even ought to get married.  Students will explore the benefits of marriage for individuals and society and learn how to have a successful marriage.

Additional Student/Classroom Resources​​

What is Marriage​ 7 minute video from Jason Everett about what marriage is and why it is so great.

Marriage and Family​ 3 minute video with Jackie and Bobby Angel, newlyweds, who share what they have learned about marriage and how they have grown in marriage.

Marriage and Baby​ 4 minute video with Jackie and Bobby Angel, sharing the joy of parenthood and how they complement each other as husband and wife in marriage.

Beloved: Finding Happiness in Marriage​ 4 minute video about the nature of marriage and why it is so important to individuals and the culture.

3 Queens 2.5 minute video on motherhood.  What do moms do for their families?  Why do they do all of these things?  What is the vocation of motherhood?  Why is this specific to mothers?

The Importance of Fathers 4.5 minute video from the cast of COURAGEOUS.  Discussion of the role of fathers in their children's lives and what happens when fathers are absent.

RESOURCES FOR PARENTS AND TEACHERS:  The Archdiocese of Los Angeles is proud to bring The Culture Project to LA for the school-year 2015-1026.  A team of six young adult missionaries are trained in Theology of the Body and Catholic Social Teaching.  They are available to speak to any school or parish group grades 6-12 or college/young adult for free on the issues of sexual integrity, marriage, and the dignity of every person.  All talks are age-appropriate and completely supported by the Office of Life, Justice and Peace and the Department of Catholic Schools.  To book The Culture Project at your school or parish, email  For information on how to keep the conversation about sexual integrity and authentic human love going in your classroom or family, visit the Chastity Project​.​  ​

WIth the World Meeting of Families taking place in Philadelphia, and attended by Pope Francis, there are an amazing number of resources to teach about and support marriage and family.  Here are a few:  Parish Packet containing 10 themes for reflection (see p 9-10); Love is our Mission catechesis for purchase; Marriage, Unique for a Reason video series; For Your Marriage website with great resources for marriage preparation and marriage enrichment; Resource Kit that can be ordered for parish or families; The Meaning of Marriage​ video series from the Humanum Conference at the Vatican.

Pope Francis, at the World Meeting of Families, delivered an exuberant, off-the-cuff address in which he stated, "The family is the most beautiful creation of God!"  Text and video.

Friday, October 30, 2015

Theme:  Human Ecology
Topic:  Caring for Our Common Home
Discipline:  Science

Overview:  Pope Francis issued the encyclical Laudato si, the first written specifically on the environment.  Students will receive an overview of main points of Laudato si and understand the connection between honoring the dignity of each person, serving the poor and vulnerable, and protecting our environment.

Additional Student/Classroom Resources

​​​Care for God's Creation​ 3 minute video explaining why caring for the earth is fundamental to social justice.​

5 Reasons Catholics Should Care for Creation​ provides a foundation for why Catholics take seriously care for God's creation as an expression of our faith

Where Does our Trash Go?  8 min video from the New York Times tells the story of NY's attempt to recycle and repurpose trash and the educational steps they put in place to do so.

how long to decompose.jpghow long to decompose.jpg Infographic shows how long different types of trash stick around in landfills

Living Laudato Si ​article offers practical applications for living care for creation in our families.  Offers discussion questions and service suggestions.​ ​​​​​​​​

Picasso Soda Can Art​ is a fun recycling art project that invites creativity and shares the benefits of repurposing and reusing items rather than just throwing them away

The Prayers of Laudato Si​ prayers that can be used for Holy Hour, in-class prayer, or Mass intentions.

RESOURCES FOR PARENTS AND TEACHERS:  During Pope Francis' recent trip to the United States, he delivered an address to the United Nations General Assembly​.  In it, he shared his perspective on care for our common home as an imperative of our faith as good stewards of the earth and protectors of the most vulnerable in our communities.  You can read the entire text of Laudato si.
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