Overview: creation.jpeg
  • 1 The meaning of Stewardship
  • 2 Creation Stories
  • 3 Saints who showed stewardship
  • 4 Positive and Negative messages from Genesis One and Two.
  • 5 Research about scientists who are Christians and identify how they understand God:
  • 6 Reasons for and against God as the Creator
  • 7 Creation Myth that reflects a scientific worldview
  • 8 An Inconvenient Truth
  • 9
  • 10
  • 11

    Review of the documentary: An inconvenient Truth
    In pairs, students are to research a particular environmental issue. They are then to make a presentation to the class in the form of either a PowerPoint or brochure, that details what the issue is, causes, possible solutions and any action the Church has taken on the issue. The presentation should also try to persuade the audience to take action on the issue on the basis of Christian ideas.
*** Students must select one of the following:
    • Forest Devastation
    • Land Clearing and Salination
    • Global Warming and the ant-arctic melt
    • Climate change, famine and less water
    • Air and sea pollution
  • Rubric:

Focusing Activity

Re-introducing the Creation stories.
  • Brainstorming as a group on the board. Think, Pair, Share.
    • As a group read through the Creation stories from the Old Testament. After each story ask the students to present ideas about the meaning and messages from each story. Also could ask to provide ideas about how the stories talk about responsibility or ‘ownership’ of the creatures of creation.
    • Ask the students to undertake a Think, Pair, Share activity on the question, ‘What is the meaning of the word Stewardship?’ These ideas can then be shared on the board. Also provide a dictionary definition of stewardship
  • Picture Storybook – the Everything Seed – available in the library. Read the story to the students paying attention to the illustrations. Create discussion on the interpretations of Creation from a variety of viewpoints and what the book poses as our role in providing stewardship for creation.
  • the everything seed

Learning Experiences

Creation Stories

  • Create a T-Chart that names the positive and negative messages about the environment that can be taken from the Creation stories.
  • Online Bible
  • T Chart


The Australian Climate Coalition's view on the Carbon Tax

Extinction of species

Read this Psalm 104. together. It is another creation story because it explains where our world and its creatures come from..
and it describes our responsibility to look after them.

Now watch this video.

What can you do?
What can your class do?
What can the school do?
What can your generation do?

Finish Lesson with the original song "What a wonderful world" from Louis Armstrong.


Saints who showed stewardship

Modern day saints.
It is quite a process to be allowed to be called a saint. It can take 100s of years. It rarely happens within a person's life-time.
  • One person has been awarded sainthood in Australia. Who is it and what did they do to deserve this honour?

Never-the -less, many people deserve to be recognised for their contribution to society.
  • Who do you know who fight for the environment? What did / do they do?
  • Make a list of these 'modern-day-saints' and their deeds.
  • Research till you have 5.

Saints are recognised role models.
  • Who do you admire and look up to? Why?

Many of our names are saint's names.

Saints from earlier days who looked after the environment.

Research the background, quotes and pictures from people from the Christian tradition which speak of creation.
such as...
Create Keynote, Glog, Pages.... or iMovie to illustrate these quotes.
Explain what you think the person you are researching is trying to say in the quote. (What is their message)?

Prayer of St. Francis (hymn version) Wikipedia kindness.jpeg
Make me a channel of your peace:
Where there is hatred, let me bring your love,
Where there is injury, your pardon, Lord,
And where there's doubt true faith in you.

Make me a channel of your peace:
Where there's despair in life, let me bring hope,
Where there is darkness, only light,
And where there's sadness, ever joy.

O Master, grant that I may never seek
So much to be consoled as to console;
To be understood as to understand,
To be loved, as to love with all my soul!

Make me a channel of your peace:
It is in pardoning that we are pardoned,
In giving of ourselves that we receive,
And in dying that we are born to eternal life.

  • Copy and paste "The Prayer of St Francis in to your notes"
  • Use one of the lines of the prayer (e.g. "Where there is hatred, let me bring your love") into Google and search for images that portray this message.
  • Use this image as a background to the prayer.

Odd facts:
  • The prayer is quoted in the movie Rambo by a priest as he blesses Sylvester Stallone before he sets off into Burma to rescue humanitarian workers.
  • In October 1995, President Bill Clinton quoted it in his welcoming speech to Pope John Paul II on his arrival in New York to address the United Nations.

Sometimes, following we find ourselves asking what difference we can make.
How could I ever make a difference?

If you find yourself asking these questions, or feeling in this way, watch this video of Susan Boyle on 'Britain's got talent'.

Climate Change - Classroom Issues - Clickview

Climate change is due at least in part to a build up in greenhouse gases.
One of these greenhouse gases is carbon dioxide.
Carbon Dioxide is produced when we burn fossil fuels like oil and gas.

Weather: Temperatures around the world are increasing.
Storms and other climatic extremes are more common than they have been in the past.

Glaciers are melting (India, New Zealand and the USA) at an increasing rate.

Rising Sea Levels: Low lying islands such as Tuvalu are being flooded and evacuated (environmental refugees) as sea levels rise because of global warming. Tuvalu has only 10 more years.

Causes: There is some argument about where the responsibility for climate change lies, but the consensus of scientific opinion lies with those that see that human action is responsible for the speed of this change.

Is the question really whether humans have caused climate change, or is it rather what can we do to affect those affected by climate change?

What can we do at home / school / as a society?
  1. save water especially in times of drought.
  2. turn off lights, computers and TV's to save energy because our power comes from fossil fuel (coal) burning power stations.
  3. plant trees because trees convert carbon dioxide into oxygen.
  4. have self driving electric cars because then we would use less fossil fuels.

David Attenborough: State of the Planet

Episode 1 - The beauty of our world - part 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6
Sveren Suzuki said that the rich environments of the world have so much diversity of animal and plant life. We are only just beginning to understand what is there and how these systems work.. and yet we cut them down, we destroy them, we pollute them at an increasing rate. Once they are gone we can't get them back. We don't know how. If we can't get them back, then do not destroy them.
Sveren's speech at the UN Earth Summit in 1992.

This is our responsibility as a society.

We have power over corporations by the things we choose to buy. Use that choice. It is your right. You can bring about change.
Ethical consumerism.

We can also reduce the amount we consume, by reducing the amount of resources we use.
This is called 'treading lightly on the world'.

  1. We can recycle.
  2. We can use things for longer.
  3. We can grow some of our own vegetables.
  4. We can speak up for those who find it hard to speak up for themselves.
This is the stewardship, the responsibility that is mentioned in the Bible in Genesis.
It is our world. We need to look after it.

St Thomas Aquinas' 5 ways of proving the existence of God

St. Thomas Aquinas advanced the understanding of nature. Allowed science to flourish after the dark ages.

Hildegard von Bingen
Aside from her books of visions, Hildegard also wrote her Physica, a text on250px-Hildegard.jpg
the natural sciences, as well as Causae et Curae. Hildegard of Bingen was
well known for her healing powers involving practical application of
tinctures, herbs, and precious stones.[31] In both texts Hildegard describes
the natural world around her, including the cosmos, animals, plants, stones,
and minerals. She combined these elements with a theological notion
ultimately derived from Genesis: all things put on earth are for the use of
humans.[32] She is particularly interested in the healing properties of
plants, animals, and stones, though she also questions God's effect on man's
health.[33] One example of her healing powers was curing the blind with the
use of Rhine water. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hildegard_of_Bingen

Hildegard von Bingen championed the cause of women. She lived in the 12th Century in Germany. She taught the value of understanding nature and saw this as a form of witness to the beauty of God and his creation. Hildegard von Bingen lived in the dark ages. Together with Thomas Aquinas, her attitudes and teachings helped bring Europe out of the dark ages and spark the age of enlightenment, the renaissance.

Saint Bonaventue
bonav.jpeg How beautiful would it be if men today succeeded in recognizing God in His creatures and in the historic events, putting themselves in harmony with the canticle of the starts, oceans, mountains, valleys, rivers, birds, flowers and fruits, which is unceasingly raised up to God.

St. Bonaventure asks men of every age to recognize the presence of God in his own earthly existence, because only from this vantage point can the temptations of hedonism, desacralization and secularism be conquered.

Without God the words “liberty and progress” remain but dreams.

St. Bonaventure, like St. Francis, understood the unique value of God, who loves His creatures and in loving them created them In their turn, creatures, recognizing the life they have received from Him, are put in motion towards an exchange of love with Him that shall never end. The more one knows God, the more one can love Him. For this St. Bonaventure studied God in His creatures, in the Scriptures, on the Cross, in the life of St. Francis and in his own; and he did this not for love of knowledge, but to put into practice into his own life, his motto: “I do not with to know Thee, except to love Thee:” and “I shall study Thee solely to love Thee!” http://www.franciscan-archive.org/bonaventura/parish.html

Bonaventure was passionate about education but resigned from his post as a professor at the University of Paris on numerous ocassions.
He is one of the favourite saints of Pope John Paul the Second.
He became head of the Franciscan order and wrote a biography of St. Francis.


Positive and Negative messages from Genesis One and Two.

“And let us make humankind in our image according to our likeness and let them have dominion over the fish of the sea, over the birds of the air and over the cattle and over all the wild animals of the earth, and over every creeping thing that creeps upon the earth.” Gen 1:26 - 28
  • What negative consequences have flowed from the misinterpretation of this verse?
  • What do you think the positive messages of the verse are?
  • Write your thoughts in a table and include these in your notes.

Now look at the second Genesis reading about Creation Genesis 2: 15 –
  • Answer the same questions as above

Make a study of the different messages given in each text –
  • What are the similarities and differences in each text.

Now look at the message given in Mark 10: 42 – 45.
42 Jesus called them together and said, “You know that those who are regarded as rulers of the Gentiles lord it over them, and their high officials exercise authority over them. 43 Not so with you. Instead, whoever wants to become great among you must be your servant, 44and whoever wants to be first must be slave of all.

  • What is our role in the preservation of Creation based on this scripture reading?
  • submit your notes on SIMON


Research about scientists who are Christians and identify how they understand God:

God and the Scientists: Evolution. 1
God and the Scientists: Evolution. 2

  • Research / interview people who have integrated an understanding of God with a scientific worldview.
    Possible resources are available from a Brigidine perspective or Fr. Sean McDonagh’s PowerPoint presentations from the Sandhurst conference.(See KWE)

  • Research about scientists who are Christians and identify how they understand God.
  • Ask students to write a response to this research detailing how these people combine both Christian and scientific beliefs.
  • Students could also respond with there own view on the topic.

Quantum Mechanics and God

Consider this...
  1. What happened before the big bang?
  2. If the big bang is an event and happens in a certain space, what is that space in?
  3. Are there forces of control that are bigger than our universe?

Famous Scientists who believed in God

Albert Einstein (1879-1955)
Einstein is probably the best known and most highly revered scientist of the twentieth century, and is associated with major revolutions in our thinking about time, gravity, and the conversion of matter to energy (E=mc2). Although never coming to belief in a personal God, he recognized the impossibility of a non-created universe. The Encyclopedia Britannica says of him: "Firmly denying atheism, Einstein expressed a belief in "Spinoza's God who reveals himself in the harmony of what exists." This actually motivated his interest in science, as he once remarked to a young physicist: "I want to know how God created this world, I am not interested in this or that phenomenon, in the spectrum of this or that element. I want to know His thoughts, the rest are details." Einstein's famous epithet on the "uncertainty principle" was "God does not play dice" - and to him this was a real statement about a God in whom he believed. A famous saying of his was "Science without religion is lame, religion without science is blind."


Sir Francis Bacon (1561-1627)
Bacon was a philosopher who is known for establishing the scientific method of inquiry based on experimentation and inductive reasoning.

"It is true, that a little philosophy inclineth man’s mind to atheism, but depth in philosophy bringeth men's minds about to religion; for while the mind of man looketh upon second causes scattered, it may sometimes rest in them, and go no further; but when it beholdeth the chain of them confederate, and linked together, it must needs fly to Providence and Deity."

Dr. Francis Collins (Director Human Genome project) ,
I am a scientist and a believer, and I find no conflict between those world views.

As the director of the Human Genome Project, I have led a consortium of scientists to read out the 3.1 billion letters of the human genome, our own DNA instruction book. As a believer, I see DNA, the information molecule of all living things, as God's language, and the elegance and complexity of our own bodies and the rest of nature as a reflection of God's plan.

Time Magazine
I see no conflict in what the Bible tells me about God and what science tells me about nature. Like St. Augustine in A.D. 400, I do not find the wording of Genesis 1 and 2 to suggest a scientific textbook but a powerful and poetic description of God's intentions in creating the universe. The mechanism of creation is left unspecified. If God, who is all powerful and who is not limited by space and time, chose to use the mechanism of evolution to create you and me, who are we to say that wasn't an absolutely elegant plan? And if God has now given us the intelligence and the opportunity to discover his methods, that is something to celebrate.

Suzanne Kennedy Director of R&D at Mo Bio Laboratories in California, ref1
...as scientists, we are trained to have an open mind and to not let our personal biases sway our results. Scientists need to be open to any and all possibility in order to make progress...


Reasons for and against God as the Creator

Song: Its a beautiful world

Using the Structured Controversy strategy in groups of four get students to cover the topic
“It is no longer appropriate to call God creator.”
Get students to report back to the group and list reasons for and against naming God as creator.


Creation Myth that reflects a scientific worldview

Write a creative version of the creation myth that reflects a scientific worldview.
This could take the form of a Keynote or iMovie presentation.

Images from a scientific perspective and music could be used alongside text from Genesis.

You could also write your own story...
  1. Beginning just before the big bang.
  2. Describing the formation of stars, our galaxy (the milky way), our solar system with Earth as one of the 9 planets.
  3. The spin of the Earth and the Moon, creating sunrises and sunsets
  4. Forming the land with all its mountains, valleys and plains; the ocean, lakes and rivers.
  5. The beginning of life as simple creatures evolving to the more complex, all in God's guiding care.
  6. People as custodians, responsible for the care of the world and all its creatures.
  7. You might even decide on a modern spin.. e.g. On day 7 God saw in his wisdom that it would be good to develop a code of football, which he called the AFL. God looked upon all he had done and saw that it was good.

The PowerPoint’s can be used as the basis for a class liturgy.
Example of great work:
Screen Shot 2012-08-01 at 2.18.03 PM.png


An Inconvenient Truth

Watch documentary ‘An Inconvenient Truth.’...
there is also an update... 30min... might be worth watching this instead and then looking at some specific things that we as a school can do...

Download the movie from CLICKVIEW (St Jo's Video Library - under Science)
Save it to a folder on your desktop
This way you can watch bits of it again at home

20 min - Two short films showing what you can do to help the environment.


Review of the documentary: An inconvenient Truth

Write a review of the documentary An Inconvenient Truth.
Students must discuss the issues raised and show the link between the Christian religion and caring for the environment.

Issues can include... (Drivers = *)
Issues can include... (Drivers = *)
Why is the issue a problem?
How does it affect us / people / animals?
What causes the issue?
Global Warming

Melting of ice caps

Jelly fish


Rising sea levels


Ocean temperature


Ocean Currents

*Air Pollution

Species extinction and Habitat Loss


  • Global Warming (
  • Melting of ice caps
  • Jelly fish
  • *Population
  • Rising sea levels
  • Salinity
  • Ocean temperature
  • *Deforestration
  • Ocean Currents
  • *Air Pollution
  • Species extinction and Habitat Loss

Part 1:
Groups of 2 to 3 (brainstorm + take notes)
Discuss + explain 3 issues.
Become an expert by researching the topic in class or on the internet.
  • Why is the issue a problem?
  • How does it affect us / people / animals?
  • What causes the issue?
Share with others in the group what you have learnt.
Take notes on what others have learnt.
Identify three things you still need to learn about. Do this for HW.
Write 100 words about each issue.
  • At least 30 words about the facts: What have I found out about the issue?
  • At least 30 words about your emotions. How do you feel?
  • At least 30 words about what you think should be done. What is your opinion? What is your judgement on the situation?
  • Good answers will Include real / practical examples.

Part 2:
Explain our christian responsibility based on Genesis, + New Testament.
Everyone has to write their own report
Format: Imovie, Pages, Keynote... or other in agreement with your teacher.

Sacred Water CD activities


What the Church has to say about environmental issues

Find out what the Church has to say about contemporary environmental issues.
Watch the video, “The Garden Planet.”
Ask students to respond to the secondary questions from the booklet that accompanies the video.

As a group look at Catholic Earthcare Australia’s Position on Climate Change document. (Either CD-ROM or booklet)
Get students to answer questions on the worksheet.
Read through selected passages of the booklet and ask the students to write the heading of that passage and an illustration to go with it.

As a group or at the discretion of the teacher, choose another contemporary environmental issue, eg, pollution, deforestation, drought, alternative energy sources etc. Find out of the Church has made any comment on the issue.
Find out if they have an action campaign to work for change on the issue.
What can we, as a community, do to confront the issue?

http://www.catholicearthcareoz.net/ or www.catholicearthcareoz.net/pdf/GiftOfWater1.ppt

Develop a “bank” of ideas on how to respond to a range of different environmental problems.
Different strategies could be the Rally Table (pg 64) or Compare and Contrast (pg 61) or Roundtable (pg 53 Teaching Strategies Resource Book)

In pairs, students are to research a particular environmental issue.
They are then to make a presentation to the class in the form of either a PowerPoint or brochure, that details what the issue is, causes, possible solutions and any action the Church has taken on the issue.
The presentation should also try to persuade the audience to take action on the issue on the basis of Christian ideas.
      • Students must select one of the following:
•Forest Devastation
•Land Clearing and Salination
•Global Warming and the ant-arctic melt
•Climate change, famine and less water
•Air and sea pollution

To complete the unit, the class could participate in some positive action in regards to a local environmental issue, eg, tree planting, yard or local area clean up, etc.

Picture Storybook – ‘Old Turtle and the Lost Truth’ – storybook is available in the library and opens up some fantastic discussion about the desecration of the environment. Ask students to develop their own storybook type prayer.

There is also a series of fun books about the environment – ‘Where does the poo go when you flush’ and other texts in the same line – they can be found at 363.72 TRA – they are terrific to initiate discussion and springboard activities.

For additional information and ideas please visit: