Monday, 22 September 2014

Form Critical Crafting

My budget doesn't stretch to pearls

My Year 12s were looking at form criticism today, and the idea that the gospels are selections and arrangements of pre-existing chunks of oral tradition. I thought it might be fun to test their understanding with a spot of crafting inspired by Schmidt's "pearls on a string" analogy and my junior school "making stuff out of dry pasta" days. 

The students examined two chapters from Matthew's gospel and turned their analysis of the different gospel forms they found into a pasta necklace, with each colour representing a different form. In the necklace in the photo, the six red pieces are parables, the green piece is a pronouncement story, yellow is a "tale", and the brown pieces are miracle stories.

Next year I might tinker with the activity, not least by using dyed pasta rather hastily-coloured-in-with-markers pasta, but overall I think the results are quite pretty!

Thursday, 14 August 2014

A Level Results Day

Good luck, congratulations, or commiserations to students (and teachers!) receiving A Level results today. I'm quite happy with the Dukies results, and it's always good to see where hard work has paid off.

Next stop GCSE results!

Thursday, 24 July 2014

I Don't Think I Even Want To Read Your Book Anymore...

I started reading Robin Lane Fox's biography of Alexander the Great yesterday. The first paragraph contained this nugget of wisdom:
"The Greeks, correctly, saw neither danger nor distaste in a liason with a niece."

Er... Yuk!

Thursday, 17 July 2014

First World Perks

I love those times when you've bought so much stuff off Amazon that something arrives and you genuinely have no idea what it is. This has just arrived and it could be anything!

It's like the elves have sent you an extra Christmas present.

Sunday, 13 July 2014

From Science 2.0 "Scientists Discover that Atheists Might Not Exist".

One of the more interesting aspects of the secularisation debate is the difficulty of explaining why in countries like the UK, levels of religious belief seem to remain relatively high, even though levels of active religious participation are apparently in terminal decline.

This article from the website Science 2.0 suggests that religious patterns of thinking might be hard-wired into our brain. It's well worth a read.

Wednesday, 25 June 2014

Matrix Jesus Bingo

My Year 12s are currently studying the A2 topic on Religion and Film, and we've just started looking at the theme of religious ideas in film, using the Wachowskis' The Matrix.

I've put together this little game to help my students spot some of the many Neo/Jesus parallels between The Matrix and the gospels.

Created at
Usual bingo rules apply: students tick off each parallel on their card when they spot it on screen. Instead of calling "house", the winner has to shout out "He's not the Messiah, he's a very naughty boy!"

Incidentally, I was surprised to find out that only one of my students has actually seen The Matrix before, and most of them seem to think that a film made in 1999 is  virtually prehistoric.

This makes me feel very old.