FASTLY - Faith & Science Teaching

Training Materials: Training Session 2: Introduction to Thinking FASTly

Bible Class and Science Class

: 30 Minutes

Show slide 6 of Introduction to thinking FASTly and tell participants that they are going to think about another set of connections, connections between science class and Bible class. Sometimes debates about faith and science leave the impression that the connection between the Bible and science has mostly to do with conflicts over how to interpret the early chapters of Genesis in relation to evolution and the age of the earth. This activity challenges us to think more broadly and recognize the wide range of possible connections and opportunities for cross-curricular collaboration.

Organize participants into groups of three. If the numbers don’t work, some groups of two or four are fine. It would be ideal, but not essential, to have both science teachers and Bible teachers in each group.

Show slide 7 and ask groups to discuss whether the questions should be learned about in science class, Bible class, or both. Ask them to think about where students are currently likely to learn about each question, and where the best place might be. After 4-5 minutes gather ideas from the whole group, but for the moment just allow ideas to be shared rather than moving to conclusions.

Next give each group a copy of Bible Class and Science Class. Explain that the left column has a list of seven Bible passages, the right column a list of seven science topics, and the middle column the familiar list of seven questions. Point out that the lists do not correspond to one another, but they are in random order.

Show slide 8. Ask each group to choose a question from the middle column and discuss how it might connect to a Bible passage from the left column and a science topic from the right column on the handout. When they have found a match on each side they should draw a line connecting the three items. Emphasize that there may be more than one way of combining the items. The group should then discuss:

  • How are the three items related?
  • How might students learn about the question in the middle in science class or in Bible class? What would be a good learning activity?
  • How might a student’s learning be weakened if they only learned about the question in Bible class or science class and not in both?

Tell groups that they will be asked to share their responses with the wider group. If groups have finished discussing their first set of connections before the time is up they can work on a second set.

After allowing 8-10 minutes for discussion, draw participants back into the whole-group setting and have at least four or five groups report their ideas. If there are questions from the list that were not chosen by any group, have the whole group suggest connections for one of them.

Finally, explain that all of the topics in the lists are part of the learning activities in the teachFASTly resources and that these resources promote cross-curricular connections between science class and Bible class that make student learning deeper and more coherent. If you are conducting this session within a single school setting you could conclude with some discussion of concrete benefits of, and obstacles to, increased collaboration between science and Bible teachers in the school.

Now move on to Aspects of Faith and Teaching.