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Teachers utilize The Catholic Globe in classroom

By KATIE LEFEBVRE, Globe staff reporter
(Email Katie)

Not only is The Catholic Globe delivered to households throughout the Diocese of Sioux City for parishioners, but some Catholic school teachers are using the paper in their classrooms.

Amy Bisenius, a 6th-8th grade religion teacher at Mater Dei School-Nativity Center in Sioux City, has been using The Catholic Globe for many years as a tool to enhance lessons in her classroom.

Each time the paper comes out, she reads it all the way through and starts thinking about how she can use it in her classroom. She has piles of papers in her room because she saves them to use when it is relevant.

“What I mainly use this (The Catholic Globe) for is pictures,” said Bisenius, who might ask her students to go through the paper to find a picture that looks like the virtue of love. “I use it a lot. I use it whenever I can. This makes it real for them.”

For example, if she is teaching about the concept of ministry or service, she will have the students go through the paper to find people who have a certain ministry. Then Bisenius will explain all the ministries.

“They know the definition, but to be able to know it and to KNOW it are two different things,” said the religion teacher. “This year, I used it for the beatitudes. They had to find a picture of a person living each of the beatitudes. I used it for virtues, so we try and find things that illustrate a virtue.”

At one point, she had a group of eighth graders who loved doing the crossword and sometimes she would give them a crossword challenge. The students like seeing sports pictures and other pictures from their own school or school system.

Bisenius hopes The Catholic Globe gets the students excited about their faith and that they understand they are “part of their church. They are not just someone who shows up and sits in the pew. They are the church.”

“I want them to have models so they can model people in their parish, in their diocese,” she said. “It (the paper) brings it to life for them. It is not something in their religion book that they are memorizing.”

Keelie Iddings, a Nativity sixth grader, said she likes using the paper in the classroom “because we get to learn and share what we learned.”

“What I like best is that we find our information and tell the teacher what we found,” said Greta Rosno, also a sixth grader.  “It’s also fun to look through it and find things with a partner.  I learned what the youth group did and what its cause was.  I think The Globe is a good way for kids to learn new things they didn’t know about their faith.”

Michael Leiting, a Nativity sixth grader, liked learning about when Bishop Walker Nickless was ordained during a lesson about Holy Orders.

“I like using The Catholic Globe because it was fun to learn about something that happened when I was 4 years old - the history part,” he said. “By reading The Globe it teaches me more about the Catholic faith in the form of a fun newspaper.”

Connections to the faith

Kathy Berg, a sixth grade language arts and religion teacher at the Kuemper St. Lawrence Center in Carroll, has been using The Catholic Globe in her classroom for eight years.

She started using the paper to help the students be aware “The Globe is in their home and that it is a good source of information. Many students at that time weren't aware that it came to their house every week.”

Berg uses the paper for extra credit in her LA and religion classes.

“It is an anchor activity for the students to use when they are finished with other work,” she said. “I come up with a new set of questions for the new version of The Globe every two weeks.”

The students, Berg said, enjoy reading about their school and parish activities as well as those from other schools and parishes in the diocese.

“The articles about our church in other countries and the news from the Vatican help them stay in touch with the world news as well,” she said. “The benefits I see are that the students see the newspaper format and enjoy reading it.  I like using The Globe because the articles are faith-based and quite a few are related to events in our diocese.”

Another Kuemper Middle School teacher, Michael McCarty, who teaches 6th-8th grade religion, has been using The Catholic Globe in his classroom for several years now.

“I mainly use it to familiarize them with the paper,” he said. “I try to generate some reading interest, some connections with our faith and some connections with other Catholics and pertinent issues of our faith.”

McCarty uses the paper in a variety of ways in his classroom. He has each grade level get acquainted with the paper then he assigns an article to each of them.  The students report/summarize their article back to the class.

He said he is a big fan of using the hard copy, the “real” paper with the students. From using the paper in class, McCarty hopes the students gain an interest in their faith, the paper and events surrounding their faith.

“I call it the ‘Reader's Guide for Catholics,’” he said. “It has a lot of variety inside each issue.”

The sixth graders in McCarty’s class like the news in the paper, articles about helping and that the paper helps them connect with the diocese. They also like to see when Kuemper is in the paper and learn about other Catholic schools.

The students think The Catholic Globe is user-friendly and they love the variety.

“You can learn different things that are happening in the Catholic Church,” said one sixth grader.
Another said, “You can see ways to improve yourself. You can learn about community and learn more about the pope – like what the pope does.”

McCarty noted many of the students have seen The Globe at home and have looked at it before. 

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