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
Rainforest Adventure, VBS 2008

This is the general report format.

Short Description:  
Reviewed by:   Melinda Campbell, director of Christian Education, Denver, CO

Bibliographic & Purchasing Information
Publisher:   Augsburg Fortress
Publication date:   2007 Website for this resource:   www.thevbsplace.org
We know of 1 source for purchasing this resource.
Address Augsburg Fortress
P.O. Box 1209
Minneapolis, MN   55440-1209  
Phone (800) 328-4648   Fax  
Website www.augsburgfortress.org E-mail    
Price $69.99  Order # 9780806661537 

Target Audience & Course Sessions
Age levels  Preschool     Primary    Jr. High    Sr. High    Adult
NOTE: Our reviewer may have checked a wider age range than specified in the curriculum itself.
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 each lasting about 3 hours
Are suggestions included for expanding/contracting the series? The materials do not provide specific suggestions.  
In the judgement of the reviewer:
 using these materials, or even just one session from them, a reasonable, coherent and self-contained class can be offered in a single session of about an hour.
 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
Note: The reviewer says that this curriculum is especially appropriate for members of the denomination or agency that developed it (Augsberg/Fortress). For example, it may explore a denominational policy statement. The reviewer also believes that it is possible for groups outside that tradition to make good use these materials.

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: As in most VBS curricula, you can purchase craft items.
Other materials required:snacks, some craft items, decorations (can be elaborate or simple as you choose)
Description of the Leader's Guide:There is no guide, or no description was provided
Description of the Student's Book:There is no guide, or no description was provided

Materials review & Assessment of usability
Are all necessary materials provided in an accessible format? Yes - materials are very well laid out and comprehensive  
Is the leader's guide comprehensive? Yes - materials are very well laid out and comprehensive  
Are class sessions clearly outlined? Yes - materials are very well laid out and comprehensive  
Will it be helpful to have a teacher with above-average expertise in the subject matter? Definitely helpful to have teacher expertise  
Preparation time required by the leader:
Subjectively rated as heavy, medium or light
Heavy prep for the VBS director in terms of decorations, supplies, teacher recruiting and training. Medium to light preparation required for workshop leaders/teachers. 

Content focus
Is this curriculum explicitly focused on environmental awareness or action? The reviewer did not comment  
Does this curriculum deal with a specific environmental issue or problem? No specific issue was described.  
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
 The reviewer did not answer this question  
Does the curriculum address questions of social or economic justice in relation to environmental issues? The reviewer did not answer this question  
Biblical/theological content
Does the curriculum have explicit biblical or theological content? The reviewer did not answer this question  
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 reviewer did not answer the question.  
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 reviewer did not answer this question.  
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.
The reviewer did not answer this question.
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
The reviewer did not answer this question.

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
The reviewer did not answer this question.
Range of perspectives offered:   A single perspective is offered
  Compares 2 or more perspectives
  A diversity of perspectives presented
The reviewer did not answer this question.


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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