Eco-Justice Ministries
   Eco-Justice: "the well-being of all humankind on a thriving Earth"
 

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Eco-Curriculum Review for the title
Operation Creation!

This is the general report format.

Short Description:   A five-session curriculum for elementary children. Written for VBS; adaptable to short-term learning contexts. Draws on variety of creation stories of earth’s beginnings. Raises awareness of various cultural traditions of how the earth began.
Long Description:   Written for use in Vacation Bible School settings and adaptable to other short-term learning contexts. Without diminishing the Genesis creation accounts, it draws in a variety of creation stories (i.e., Native American, other faith traditions, children’s literature) when speaking of the earth’s beginnings. This raises awareness of variety of cultural understanding of how the earth began.

This curriculum helps participants understand what we are doing to the earth and what we can do differently and better. It attempts to connect with the individual in a familiar place. Materials combine information with a teaching approach that invites thoughtful interaction and emotional involvement.

Day One: We care for the Earth because God made it.

Day Two: We care for the Earth because God cares for it.

Day Three: Field Trip – or – Taking stock of God’s earth.

Day Four: We care for the Earth because God wills it.

Day Five: Covenant and Creation.

Bibliographic & Purchasing Information
Author:   Barb Holtz with Jody Gunn and David Radcliff
Publisher:   New Community Project
Publication date:   2006 Website for this resource:   www.newcommunityproject.org/pdfs/operation_creation.pdf
We know of 1 source for purchasing this resource.
Address New Community Project
718 Wilder St
Elgin, IL   60123  
Phone 888-800-2985   Fax  
Website www.newcommunityproject.org E-mail ncp@newcommunityproject.org  
Price Free download from website  Order #  

Target Audience & Course Sessions
Age levels Preschool     Primary    Jr. High    Sr. High    Adult
The reviewer specifies:   optional activity with older children at end of week
Optimum class size The reviewer did not comment - assume 10-20 
Normal number/length of sessions If the curriculum's normal lesson plan is followed, there will be 5 class sessions
Are suggestions included for expanding/contracting the series? The materials do not provide specific suggestions.  
In the judgement of the reviewer:
 it is not reasonable to plan for a single, self-contained class session from these materials.
 using these materials, a class can be offered that runs for at least two sessions.
Are learners expected to do homework? The reviewer did not describe any homework  
Target audience:
 Interfaith - addressed people of many faiths
 Judeo-Christian - addressed to Jews & Christians
 Christian - addressed explicitly to Christians
 Not explicity faith-based - not much religious content

Materials provided
Materials include:
 Leader's guide
 Student book
 Discussion questions
 Class activities - arts & crafts
 Class activities - group participation 
 Video
 Reading materials
 Presentation or lecture notes
 Prayer or worship resources
 

Other supportive materials provided: Includes opening and closing prayers, scripture references, snack suggestions, songs, stories,and sufficient list of supplies needed.
Other materials required:Craft supplies listed. References songs and stories from other sources that will need to be researched and obtained.
Description of the Leader's Guide:Leader´s Guide provides an introductory activity, prayer, song, story, craft, snack and closing for each day. There is some set-up required each day, for example when doing "animal olympics" the children go to six different "stations" to learn about animals. The Leader will need to engage imagination to set the context of one´s own congregation and group culture. There is no special skillset necessary - one who reviews the Leader´s guide and prepares the activities will be sufficiently prepared.
Description of the Student's Book:There is no "student" book. Certain pages in the Leader´s guide will need to be photocopied for the children for the last day entitled "Creature Feat Sheet."

Materials review & Assessment of usability
Are all necessary materials provided in an accessible format? Minimal - the gist is present, but the leader will need to work at organizing or completing it  
Is the leader's guide comprehensive? Adequate - all necessary information is present  
Are class sessions clearly outlined? Adequate - all necessary information is present  
Will it be helpful to have a teacher with above-average expertise in the subject matter? Helpful to have teacher expertise  
Preparation time required by the leader:
Subjectively rated as heavy, medium or light
Medium 

Content focus
Is this curriculum explicitly focused on environmental awareness or action? Yes, as a primary focus  
Does this curriculum deal with a specific environmental issue or problem? Raises awareness of how the earth was created and what humankind´s responsibility is.  
How is the scope of the environmental impact positioned?  Impact on specific human communities
 Impact on humans in general
 Impact on humans and non-human parts of creation
 Impact on non-human parts of creation only  
Does the curriculum address questions of social or economic justice in relation to environmental issues? Yes - as part of the topic  
Biblical/theological content
Does the curriculum have explicit biblical or theological content? Yes, but very minimally presented  
How are the Biblical materials used? Individual texts are presented as meaningful ('proof texts')
Several texts are developed to show a larger biblical theme
Texts are placed in a historical or cultural context
Texts are presented as authoritative
Students are invited to comment/reflect on the meaning or authority of texts
Biblical texts are of equal importance to other scriptures/readings  
The checked statements reflect how ethical guidelines are grounded The Bible tells us how we should live/act
A theological tradition or other authority tells us how we should live/act
We should make decisions about how to live/act based on defined ethical norms
Caring for creation is an assumed norm  
The curriculum views humanity's role in creation as:
The checked lines are clearly affirmed
Domination - God created the Earth for human use; there are no real restrictions on what we can or should do.
Stewardship - "The Earth is the Lord's"" and humans are in a position of managing the creation according to God's will.
Partner - Humans are part of the web of creation, and participate in it as one species among many.
Intruder - Humans are separate from nature, and inherently destructive.
In evaluating changes to "solve" environmental problems, does the curriculum tend toward an approach that is: Confessional - I/we need to change
Confrontational - Some other person, policy or institutions needs to change
Combination - a mix of confessional and confrontational

Content approach
Which of these are a primary target outcome of the curriculum?  Increase awareness or concern about the environment in general
 Increase awareness of concern about a specific environmental issue
 Acquiring factual knowledge about an issue
 Changing or deepening personal beliefs
 Change in self-awareness or self-identity
 Changes in personal behaviors or lifestyle choices
 Influence on institutional (church or other) practices
 Increased political advocacy
 No change, or goal not clear
Range of perspectives offered:   A single perspective is offered
  Compares 2 or more perspectives
  A diversity of perspectives presented


Eco-Justice Ministries   *   400 S Williams St, Denver, CO   80209   *   Home Page: www.eco-justice.org
Eco-Justice Ministries ended all programming on July 31, 2020. This site is an archive of writings and resources.
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