The Growing Church: Medieval World
Oftentimes students hear snippets of the history of the Catholic Church, but cannot see the big picture and put those snippets in context. We want students to be able to see the big picture of history and how the Church has played a role. In this new humanities course, offered in the Aquinas House of Studies, students will build a framework for a designated period of history through many different humanities: Literature, Geography, Sacred Art, Theology, and Lives of Saints. Through this rich multi-sensory experience, the hope is that students not only build a strong scaffold of the designated period of history but that they would also walk away with a deeper love, understanding, and appreciation of the Catholic Church.
The Growing Church: Middle Ages would cover the Age of Christendom from the Edict of Milan (when Christianity became legal) to the Council of Trent (Counter-Reformation). Students will use The Story of Civilization Volume 2 and The Story of the Catholic Church as their “spine” texts over the course of the year. This series was written from a Catholic perspective and does an excellent job at explaining the basics of each time period plus highlighting stories of Saints, leaders, and events of the Catholic Church in a very readable narrative; it reads more like a storybook than a textbook. We will slowly move through the book allowing more time for students to absorb and discuss the big ideas. Students will also read a historical novel of choice each quarter so that they “spend time” in the time period getting acquainted with daily life. Each novel was chosen because of its Catholic themes. At the end of the quarter, students meet in small groups during class to discuss the novel.
Class activities will include a combination of viewing Sacred Art and Holy Sites, reviewing and discussing the readings for the week, theological teachings of the Catholic Church, brief lectures, guided student work through note taking and analyzing primary sources, as well as large and small group discussions.
For each skill instructors have determined whether it is a prerequisite skill or a skill to be developed throughout the course. For lower school, instructors indicate where parent support is expected.
- With Parent Support: Skills that most lower school students will need help with.
- Developing: Skills that the instructor will help develop and emphasize throughout the year.
- Mastered: Prerequisite skills that the instructor is expecting students to possess.
- Be able to read material with attention to detail and identify areas which require clarification or further explanation from the instructor.
- Be able to mark a text to indicate important terms, definitions, or concepts.
- Be able to read with a goal to understanding an author’s argument even if the student disagrees with the conclusion reached or reasons given.
- Be able to use proper capitalization and punctuation.
- Be able to spell at grade level and employ course vocabulary cumulatively throughout the course.
- Be able to form a paragraph which includes a topic sentence, transition sentences, and clear linear thinking.
- Be able to write a five-paragraph essay with direction from the instructor.
- Be able to manage assignments, submissions, and notifications on Canvas.
- Know what plagiarism is and how to avoid it.
- Be able to engage respectfully and wisely with other students and the instructor.
- Be prepared to generate thoughtful questions to enhance the class discussion and identify areas needing clarification.
- Be prepared to answer questions when called on during class.
- Be prepared to volunteer comments and ideas during class.
- Be able to follow directions on note-taking and other exercises during class.
- Actively engage in note-taking (we will use Cornell system in this class)
- Learn annotation of text
- Apply teacher critique
- Adhere to deadlines
- Be responsible for class and project preparedness
- Take initiative to ask questions for understanding and comprehension
- Be able (sometimes with parental guidance) to interact with Canvas, the learning management system used by the Academy, to view homework, post assignments, view feedback, etc.
- The Story of Civilization Volume 2 by Phillip Campbell
- The Story of the Church: From Pentecost to Modern Times by Phillip Campbell
- 4 novels (students choose one each quarter): see syllabus for book list
- Notebook or print out of PDF note template provided
Tisha Frost has been teaching in a variety of settings over the last 20 years after following one of the best pieces of advice she was ever given, “Be who God created you to be and you will set the world on fire” (attributed to St. Catherine of Siena). This inspired her to study both history and theology during her undergraduate years.
She obtained a B.A. in American Studies, with a minor in Theology from the University of Notre Dame. She also holds a Master of Education from the University of Notre Dame, specializing in Middle School and High School Social Studies. Through her experiences of teaching many students, including her own children, she has seen the need for restful education that is focused on the true, good, and beautiful.
Tisha resides in Northern Minnesota with her husband and six children. When she has a moment to herself, she enjoys children’s literature, British mysteries, good movies, and baking. email@example.com
Computer: You will need a stable, reliable computer, running with a processor with a speed of 1 GHz or better on one of the following operating systems: Mac OS X with Mac OS 10.7 or later; Windows 8, 7, Vista (with SP1 or later), or XP (with SP3 or later). We do not recommend using an iPad or other tablet for joining classes. An inexpensive laptop or netbook would be much better solutions, as they enable you to plug an Ethernet cable directly into your computer. Please note that Chromebooks are allowed but not preferred, as they do not support certain features of the Zoom video conference software such as breakout sessions and annotation, which may be used by our teachers for class activities.
High-Speed Internet Connection: You will also need access to high-speed Internet, preferably accessible via Ethernet cable right into your computer. Using Wi-Fi may work, but will not guarantee you the optimal use of your bandwidth. The faster your Internet, the better. We recommend using a connection with a download/upload speed of 5/1 Mbps or better. You can test your Internet connection here.
Webcam: You may use an external webcam or one that is built in to the computer. Webcam Recommendations: Good (PC only) | Best (Mac and PC)
Headset: We recommend using a headset rather than a built-in microphone and speakers. Using a headset reduces the level of background noise heard by the entire class. Headset Recommendations: USB | 3.5mm
Zoom: We use a web conferencing software called Zoom for our classes, which enables students and teachers to gather from around the globe face to face in real time. Zoom is free to download and easy to use. To download Zoom:
- Visit zoom.us/download.
- Click to download the first option listed, Zoom Client for Meetings.
- Open and run the installer on your computer.
- In August, students will be provided with instructions and a link for joining their particular class.
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