Resolving science and religion for 5th graders

We had a good class with my band of 5th graders last night. We have about 16 in the CCD class (Catholic religious education for non-parochial school students), but we had significant absences. It was a rainy night. Maybe that was it.

Peter-Paul Rubens version of Adam and Eve

Peter-Paul Rubens version of Adam and Eve

This was one of my favorite chapters. We dealt with the Biblical account of Creation as described in the first chapter of Genesis, and what it means to us today. We especially focused on the difference between this account and what the students have learned or will learn in their science classes. We pointed out that some people do believe in the absolute literal version of Genesis, but that most people do not. As Catholics, we are not required to believe that Genesis is the literal and only acceptable account of Creation.

After a lot of discussion and questions, we concluded there really isn’t a serious conflict.

Genesis says that God created the world and it is good; modern science tells us how he did it.

This may sound an awfully lot like “intelligent design”, and I guess it is. However, we are teaching religion, not science.

This was our fifth class session. My co-teacher, Sue, and I are starting to get to know the kids and vice versa. The little darlin’s are actually staying engaged most of the time.

I think back to our first year teaching this grade and shudder. It was a rough group, and we weren’t necessarily very good teachers. I still don’t think we are very good now, but I think our experience has made us better than we were.

We try to make the class loose and interesting, with lots of interaction and discussion. Last year’s class was an absolute joy. When the season ended in the spring, we actually missed them. This year’s class has that potential.  I look forward to Wednesday nights, and that is good.

One response to “Resolving science and religion for 5th graders

  1. 5th grade – it’s a tough age to deal with. The fact that both you and your co-teacher are motivated to engage the kids makes you good teachers.

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