This is our catalog of courses. We will occasionally adjust the course listing to reflect the addition of new courses and the retirement of others.
Sign up for this course to learn history in an engaging, enjoyable format. You will learn about Father Damien and modern history through story and share that knowledge with a fun project of your choice.
Total classes: 6
Suggested grade level: 5th to 9th grade
Suggested credit: 1/2 semester Literature or History. Precede with Saint Joan: The Girl Soldier for a full semester of credit.
Special notes: This course only takes 22 students. We recommend registering early. This is one of four courses in the Living History Through Literature Series (Modern Era). Students can sign up for just one, all four, or anywhere in between. Two 6-week courses are offered in the fall and two are offered in the spring. They are offered consecutively.
Living History Through Literature is a project-based course series that weaves the study of literature into a meaningful and engaging encounter with historical characters. In Father Damien and the Bells, we meet the saintly Fr. Damien, who in 1872 went to the Hawaiian island of Molokai, where lepers had been exiled to live in miserable surroundings. Damien earned the trust of the lepers, and his appeals for help resonated throughout the world. He spent his life caring for all the needs of the outcast lepers, and even after Damien himself contracted leprosy he carried on working for his “fellow lepers” to the end.
Students will study the historical context of the novel and participate in engaging literature discussions. In this project-based course, students will engage in short quizzes and in projects of their choice. Project options will include fiction writing, preparing period-specific food and/or costumes, creating classic art remakes, recreating scenes from the novel (Legos, clay, K’nex, digital drawing, hand-drawing, etc.), building a timeline, mapping, and more.
Class 1: Overview of Historical Context and Novel Introduction
Class 2: Literature Discussion; Project Introduction
Class 3: Literature Discussion; Cultural Overview
Class 4: Literature Discussion; Fiction Writing Tips
Class 5: Literature Discussion; Final Project Instructions
Class 6 Literature Analysis and Historical Connections; Student Project Showcase
Course Materials: Father Damien and the Bells, by Leonard Fisher and Elizabeth Sheehan, ISBN-10: 1586170333 or ISBN-13: 978-1586170332. Purchase new from your favorite Catholic bookseller or used at BookFinder.com. Your student will need Word 2007 or later version or the ability to convert a document to a Word-compatible document (this can be done free online – let us know if you need assistance).
Homework: Weekly quizzes and reading assignments. Each week, students will work on one project-based assignment that will culminate in a final novel project submission. Homework (including novel reading) will take 1.5 to 3 hours per week. Parents are encouraged to support younger students by reading texts aloud and helping with project planning and execution.
Class Dates: Mondays, October 30 to December 11, 2023 (No class Nov. 20)
Starting time: 4:00 PM Eastern (3:00 Central; 2:00 Mountain; 1:00 Pacific)
Duration per class: 45 minutes