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Nurturing Our Catholic Community Through Word, Worship and Witness
2011-2012 is the Year of Witness
Celebrating the third year of the “Word, Worship, Witness” faith program at TCDSB
Witnessing Our Catholic Faith – Careers and Civics Links 
Welcome to the curricular links page highlighting resources that you can use to celebrate the theme of “Witness” in Careers and Civics.  The links and resources are categorized by issues and themes.  We trust that educators will know best how to fit an activity into their lesson planning to meet the diverse needs of students. 
You may wish to describe the Ontario Catholic Graduate School Expectations (OCGSE) to students.  They can become aware of the important distinction highlighting what is expected in addition to the normal provincial requirements to graduate.  You can find the OCGSE at: 
Take a moment to also describe the three year faith program, “Word, Worship, Witness” culminating in its final year so that students appreciate the purpose of activities outlined below. 
Activity:  Doing What’s Right Despite Authority and Peer Pressure 
In history, sometimes people have faced a difficult decision whether to follow the instructions of a figure of authority (e.g. state, religious leader, employer, etc).  The Holocaust is perhaps one of the most dramatic examples of this scenario.  For both civics and careers, one could discuss the importance of speaking out against what is unjust, as well as not conforming to the majority if you know they’re wrong.  Two video clips of famous science experiments can spur your discussion: 
The Milgram Experiment (Re-enactment) – Examining obedience (6.5 min)
This classic experiment tested the willingness of subjects to obey an authority figure even if the instructions were against their conscience.
ATTACH VIDEO FILE (Milgram Xpt v1.mp4)
ATTACH VIDEO FILE (Milgram Xpt v2.mp4) 
If you wish to see a useful commentary about the results and its significance please visit the video site and look at the notes below the screen:
The Asch Line Experiment – Examining conformity (4 min)
This is an excellent summary of the classic experiment that showed the influence of peer pressure on subjects to conform.
Activity: Finding Service Projects with Voluntary Organizations 
Here is a list of non-profit organizations that work in a wide range of service areas, categorized based on their location in the City of Toronto.  Students can use this as a guide to find volunteer opportunities in a field of interest that could lead to a potential career area in the future.  For example, a student who wishes to become a lawyer can look for a volunteer placement at a legal aid services organization.
Furthermore, should you wish to look at listings of volunteer opportunities and employment in charities and non-profit organizations, please visit:
Interested in a career with the United Nations World Food Programme or with the Army (responding to disaster relief)? 
Play the video game, “Food Force”! 
Since its release in 2005, WFP's video game to teach children about the logistical challenges of delivering food aid in a major humanitarian crisis has been downloaded over 6 million times, and has an estimated network of 10 million players worldwide! 
Set on a fictitious island called Sheylan riven by drought and war, Food Force invites children to complete six virtual missions that reflect real-life obstacles faced by WFP in its emergency responses both to the tsunami and other hunger crises around the world.
With tens of thousands of Sheylan’s residents displaced and in urgent need of food aid, players are required to pilot helicopters on reconnaissance missions, airdrop high energy biscuits to internally displaced person (IDP) camps, negotiate with armed rebels on a food convoy run and use food aid to help rebuild villages. 
To underline the game’s main objectives of teaching children about global hunger and WFP’s efforts to fight it, each mission begins with a briefing on the task ahead by a member of the Food Force team of virtual aid workers. 
It is followed by feedback on the player’s performance and an educational video filmed on the frontlines of WFP’s work in the field. 
The Food Force site also includes more information about WFP and features a special section for teachers with downloadable lesson plans on what hunger is, why it exists and how to end it. A How to Help section provides ideas on fundraising and school involvement.
“Food Force is a game that parents will encourage their children to play at home and that teachers will find stimulating to use in the classroom,” said Gallagher. 
"So many parents complain about the blood and gratuitous violence that kids are so frequently exposed to in video games, this is a fun and action packed alternative." 
To download and read more about the game, visit:
Activity – Biographies and Profiles of Catholic Witnesses 
See the activity under the Civics section below that highlights Ryan Hreljak and the Kielburger brothers.  Their biographies and profiles can highlight opportunities for students who wish to engage in a career of philanthropy and social change. 
Activity – Millenium Development Goals 
In light of the Catholic Social Teachings and Ontario Catholic Graduate School Expectations, students can explore the role they can play in promoting social justice at a global level.  Learning about and promoting the United Nations Millenium Development Goals (MDGs) are a vision worth sharing with their peers to make a difference. 
The United Nations Millenium Development Goals calls governments around the world to make poverty history.  Citizens from all faith traditions are called to demand their governments to re-commit to the goals.  This is an excellent opportunity for students to get involved on a global project. 
Here are some videos about the MDGs worth showing (and captivating to watch): 
UN Millenium Campaign – a brief funky introduction to the MDGs
1 minute 
UN MDG Campaign – You can make a difference!
1 minute 
MDG at World Cup – There are no spectators – we’re all players!
Facts about poverty and then an introduction to MDGs
Make Poverty History – Bono
Activity – “Be More” Campaign from Caritas Australia 
There is an inspiring set of posters that challenge transformation in one’s personal life, family, community, country, and world.  That’s what building a civil society is all about!  Created by Caritas Australia, it’s colourful images, quotes, and suggested action make for ideal use in the classroom: 
You can divide the class into groups and ask them to think of specific examples of transformation they could take on with each poster. 
“Be More” Slideshow 
An excellent brief presentation to empower students with a message of how they can “Be More” 
Activity – Short Reverse-Message Video of Empowerment 
This YouTube clip has youth reading a message that starts off sounding cynical and hopeless, but then the message is read in reverse giving a final message of empowerment.
If you want the simple text version of the video to focus on the words, use:
Activity – Catholic Non-violence in Fighting Oppression 
Two case studies enable students to see the role of church figures in empowering the poor to rise up against oppressive leaders in a non-violent way. 
a) Oscar Romero: Fighting Oppression in El Salvador 
For secondary lesson plans on the life of Oscar Romero:
For a brief biography about Oscar Romero with reflection questions: 
For an excellent Powerpoint highlighting the Romero prayer:
b) Cardinal Sin: Fighting Oppression in the Philippines 
To explore the non-violent People Power (EDSA) revolution in the Philippines when the dictator, Ferdinand Marcos, was overthrown, check out a website designed by students on the ORACLE ThinkQuest Education Foundation:
For a biography and reflection about Cardinal Jaime Sin regarding his key role in the EDSA revolution: 
Activity – Biographies and Profiles of Witnesses 
The following biographies or profiles exemplify Catholic witnesses who have experienced a transformation and call others to do the same.  They ultimately challenge one to reflect on and revisit their values and lifestyle, and in so doing, help those who are less fortunate.  Each biography or profile includes a set of reflection questions. 
a) Ryan Hreljak Profile – founder of Ryan’s Well Foundation, shares his story of becoming active and aware as a 6-year old student to begin a campaign to bring clean water to a village in Uganda. 
b) Marc and Craig Kielburger share their experiences, thoughts, and journey through ten years of Free the Children
Activity – Simulation Games 
There are a variety of simulation games or activities available for students to experience, in a small way, what life is like for the underprivileged and the need for social justice.  The process enables students to explore the structures, causes, and dynamics of oppression and poverty.  It allows them to understand the political and economic structures that exist which promote a widening gap between the rich and the poor.  While you may require more time and effort to prepare than average, students tend to appreciate the issues better after walking in the shoes of others. 
Development and Peace offers several simulation games for downloading on their website:
·   Shoes
·   Land Game
·   Peanut Game
·   Water for Profit
 There is also the Bead Game, developed by Oxfam: 
You can also download the Coffee Chain Game  
Activity – Get Involved in the Board’s Banning Bottled Water Campaign 
The Toronto Catholic District School Board has approved a motion to develop a Bottled-Water Free Policy.  Use the following activity to explore the issue further and how students can become active in the campaign. 
Social Justice Through the Arts  (ADD LINK TO ATTACHMENT)
Why Ban Bottled Water (ADD LINK TO ATTACHMENT) 
You can also make use of subvertisements in creating a campaign to promote awareness about this or any other issue.  See the next activity.
Activity – Critique of Media Using Subvertisements 
Subvertising refers to the practice of making spoofs or parodies of corporate and political advertisements in order to make a statement. This can take the form of a new image, or an alteration to an existing image. A subvertisement can also be referred to as meme hack and can be a part of social hacking or culture jamming.  
According to AdBusters, a Canadian magazine and a leading proponent of counter-culture and subvertising, "A well produced 'subvert' mimics the look and feel of the targeted ad, promoting the classic 'double-take' as viewers suddenly realize they have been duped. Subverts create cognitive dissonance. It cuts through the hype and glitz of our mediated reality and, momentarily, reveals a deeper truth within." 
Examples of subvertisements: 
For the Hummer:
For the iPod:
For the “Take Back the Filter” Brita water:
How to create a subvertisement using Movie-Maker or iMovie:
While the following video clip is not a subvertisement, it gives a message warning us about the effects of media in distorting our image of beauty:
(Created by the Dove Self-Esteem Fund)