ELEMENTARY SERIES APPROVED SERIES

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1 ELEMENTARY SERIES APPROVED SERIES All of the following textbook series are approved by the Diocesan Catechetical Committee for their content, correlation with the diocesan Curriculum Standards for Catechesis, and conformity with the Catechism (as approved by the Ad Hoc Committee to Oversee the Use of the Catechism, United States Conference of Catholic Bishops.) Our Sunday Visitor Alive in Christ I. GENERAL OVERVIEW: This is a Grade 1-8 series. (This review is for the elementary grades 1-6.) Each grade contains approximately 21 chapters, a section on the liturgical year, and a section on Catholic social teaching. It uses a Christocentric approach and a spiral method of covering seven aspects of the faith each year: Trinity, Jesus, the Church, Sacraments, Morality, and Kingdom of God. There is also a grade level focus: 1) Jesus Christ 2) Sacraments of Penance and Eucharist 3) The Church 4) The Moral Life 5) The Seven Sacraments 6) The Word of God in the Old Testament. This text incorporates the six fundamental tasks of catechesis. The parish edition offers a 60-minute lesson plan; the school edition offers a 5-day lesson plan. II. SPECIFIC STRENGTHS AND WEAKNESSES: CATEGORY STRENGTH WEAKNESS COMMENT/EPLANATION COMPATIBILTY WITH STANDARDS Very good compatibility with Curriculum Standards. Saints stories in every chapter. Catholic Social Teaching in every chapter. Section on liturgical year for each grade. Needs more on: 1 st Grade vocations 2 nd Grade priest stands in person of Christ in the sacraments 4 th Grade review of the sacraments 5 th Grade review of the Ten Commandments Respect Life teachings 6 th Grade - angels VIII-4

2 CATEGORY STRENGTH WEAKNESS COMMENT/EPLANATION PRAYER TOOLS & LITURGICAL TOOLS CATECHISM & SCRIPTURE REFERENCE PARISH/SCHOOL COMPATIBILITY FAMILY INVOLVEMENT Incorporates various forms of prayer throughout; however, weak on leading students to learn memorized prayers. Each grade has Our Catholic Tradition section, which contains prayers and basics on the Catholic faith. Teacher should incorporate these prayers into the lessons. Teacher manuals have Lectionary Connections and Liturgy Link throughout. Good section on the Liturgical Year for each grade. CCC references in teachers manuals for each chapter. Many Scripture quotations and prayers throughout (some adapted for younger grades). There are separate teacher and student texts for school and parish use. Teacher manuals provide a 5-day lesson plan for schools. Student texts for schools have additional pages. There is a Student and Family section on their website: aliveinchrist.osv.com which contains: Sunday Mass readings, background, and family activity. Adult catechesis Music A song for each chapter of each grade. Can be downloaded for an additional fee. Glossary of terms Home Sessions Plans for every chapter of every grade. This allows parents to do or make-up a lesson at home. People of Faith activities for every chapter of every grade. Interactive reviews and games. There is a Faith & Family page at the end of each chapter (would require pulling out the page or sending the book home). TEACHER RESOURCES Catechist Online Resources: Build a test. Send e-assessment. Correlations to: Lectionary, Tasks of Catechesis, Catholic Social Teaching, ACRE Song lyrics, Saint activities Catechetical Leader Online Resources: Catechist evaluation, Family involvement Online catechist training School Administrator Online Resources: VIII-5

3 CATEGORY STRENGTH WEAKNESS COMMENT/EPLANATION Cross-Curricular Activities Chart ASSESSMENT TOOLS Online e-assessments that can be sent to the teacher. OTHER SUPPLEMENTAL MATERIALS Each chapter has an Activity Master. Each chapter in School Edition has a chapter test. Music There is a song for each chapter of each grade. Can purchase CD s or download mp3 s. Saints cards available for purchase for each grade. Holy Cards Saints, blessed, and venerables connected to each chapter. Can be purchased separately. ONLINE RESOURCES Interactive reviews and games. Student and Family page (see above). Catechist Section: DIVERSITY FOR THE LEARNER (LEARNING STYLES, CULTURE, ETC. APPEARANCE & FORMAT Lessons corresponding to the Lectionary Good incorporation of art and music. Good incorporation of multi-cultural pictures. Address multiple intelligences in its activities. Good use of art in an age-appropriate way illustrations, sacred art, photos. Very pleasing, age-appropriate format. III. SPECIFIC RECOMMENDATIONS: This series does not contain a Kindergarten text. There is another text available from this publisher called, Allelu!, for ages 3-5. Each lesson uses an Invite, Discover, Live methodology. Invite Opens children s minds and heart through Sacred Scripture. Discover Presentation and application of doctrine through a variety of activities. Live Connection to life, prayer, and service. The textbook for each grade begins with an introductory lesson and chapters on the Liturgical Year. The introductory lesson is good to introduce the focus of the new year. The lessons on the Liturgical Year can be inserted in their appropriate places throughout the year. Covers the diocesan curriculum standards very well. See Compatibility with Standards in chart above for specifics. One weakness is lack of incorporating memorized prayers into the lessons. The Catholic School edition includes footnotes to reference the prayers in the back of the text. The Parish edition only has the prayers listed in the back of the text. The catechist must be sure to incorporate these into the lessons throughout the year. A couple of clarifications: Grade 2 Chap. 6 Review States that the disciples became known as apostles after the Holy Spirit came to them. They are referred to as apostles in Scripture before Pentecost (i.e. Luke 6:13) Grade 3 Chap. 21 States, God decides where each person will spend eternity: Heaven, Hell, or Purgatory. Purgatory is not eternal. It is the state of purification before entering Heaven. VIII-6

4 ELEMENTARY SERIES APPROVED SERIES All of the following textbook series are approved by the Diocesan Catechetical Committee for their content, correlation with the diocesan Curriculum Standards for Catechesis, and conformity with the Catechism (as approved by the Ad Hoc Committee to Oversee the Use of the Catechism, United States Conference of Catholic Bishops.) RCL/BENZIGER Be My Disciples , I. GENERAL OVERVIEW: This is a Grade 1-6 series. Each grade contains approximately 24 lessons and a section on the Liturgical Year. It uses a Christ-centered approach that incorporates catechumenal methodology, a spiral approach, integration activities, and faith choices. This series is currently designed for parish use. The school edition will be available in May II. SPECIFIC STRENGTHS AND WEAKNESSES: CATEGORY STRENGTH WEAKNESS COMMENT/EPLANATION COMPATIBILTY WITH STANDARDS Overall, very good compatibility with Curriculum Standards. Saints stories in every chapter. Chapters on marriage and family in each grade. Each unit highlights a principle of Catholic Social Teaching. Needs more on : 3 rd Grade Pope and bishops as successors to St. Peter and the Apostles. 4 th Grade We face judgment when we die. Corporal and Spiritual Works of Mercy. 5 th Grade The meaning of Christ as a sacrament and the Church as a sacrament. Priest as Christ s presence in the world. Sacramentals. 6 th Reading the Bible stories of Abraham, Moses, kings, prophets, etc. The relationship of the Catholic Church to other religions. Explanation to teachers: 4 th Grade: Page 202 There is a small notation on Sister Helen Prejean. While she is noted for her work with prisoners and their families, there has been some controversy with some other things she has done. VIII-7

5 CATEGORY STRENGTH WEAKNESS COMMENT/EPLANATION PRAYER TOOLS & LITURGICAL TOOLS CATECHISM & SCRIPTURE REFERENCE PARISH/SCHOOL COMPATIBILITY FAMILY INVOLVEMENT Good prayer suggestions in each chapter. Good connections to the liturgy and sacraments. Prayers in English and Latin in back of book. CCC, Scripture, Church, and catechetical documents referenced in each chapter in Teacher Manual. Student Texts: Scripture quotations throughout each chapter (some adapted for age). Currently, only parish version is available. School version will be available in May With My Family pages at the end of each chapter. (Would need to determine how to use these, such as send book home or tear out page.) Be My Home Helps parents teach or reinforce the content of the children s text. Online resources: Catholic Parenting 101 Parent letters Ideas for parent meetings TEACHER RESOURCES Catechist resources at beginning of each text: Methodologies Age-level growth and development Designing the teaching environment Lesson Planner for each chapter. Good background for catechists in each chapter. ASSESSMENT TOOLS Chapter and Unit reviews. Assessment tools booklets can be purchased for each grade. Assessments correlated to ACRE standards. OTHER Other materials available for purchase: SUPPLEMENTAL Music CD MATERIALS Activities Book for each grade Called to Prayer Digital Downloads Film Clips DVD s: Enriches lessons with clips from popular movies Director s Manual (e-resource) ONLINE RESOURCES BeMyDisciples.com Online quizzes and extra activities corresponding to textbook chapters. Social networking for faith-sharing Resources for catechists and program directors Downloadable activities and assessment tools for catechists and catechetical leaders VIII-8

6 CATEGORY STRENGTH WEAKNESS COMMENT/EPLANATION DIVERSITY FOR THE LEARNER (LEARNING STYLES, CULTURE, ETC. APPEARANCE & FORMAT Alternate lesson ideas by chapter. Online resources for parents (see above) Variety of cultures represented in pictures. Good teaching tips on incorporating a variety of learning styles (auditory, visual, kinesthetic). Addresses some special needs situations. Includes sign language activities throughout. Very pleasing format and easy to use. Good appendices in each text on: Teachings of the Catholic Church Index of topics Good variety of sacred art, illustrations, and real-life photos. Chapters are fairly long, so catechist may need to choose activities best suited to cover Curriculum Standards. III. SPECIFIC RECOMMENDATIONS: This series does not contain a Kindergarten text. There is another text available from this publisher called, Stories of God s Love for Children, ages 3-5. Be My Disciples Junior High will be coming in Includes 4 semester texts to design a two-year course of study. Good lessons on family throughout the series. This series provides a good spiral-approach to catechesis. All four pillars of the Catechism are reinforced each year, while also corresponding to a particular theme. VIII-9

7 ELEMENTARY SERIES APPROVED SERIES All of the following textbook series are approved by the Committee on Catechesis for their content, correlation with the diocesan Curriculum Standards for Catechesis, and conformity with the Catechism (as approved by the Ad Hoc Committee to Oversee the Use of the Catechism, United States Conference of Catholic Bishops). LOYOLA PRESS Christ Our Life 1997, 2002, I. GENERAL OVERVIEW: This is a K through eight series: A spiral learning method plus Scripture and Liturgical Year lessons. The four pillars of the Catechism of the Catholic Church Creed, Sacraments, Morality and Prayer are taught and developed on every grade level every year. This series is scripturally based and Christ centered. II. SPECIFIC STRENGTHS AND WEAKNESSES: CATEGORY STRENGTH WEAKNESS COMMENT/EPLANATION COMPATIBILTY WITH STANDARDS PRAYER TOOLS & LITURGICAL TOOLS CATECHISM & SCRIPTURE REFERENCE PARISH/SCHOOL COMPATIBILITY FAMILY INVOLVEMENT Covers all four pillars of the Catechism along with Scripture, Mary and the Saints, tradition of prayer as well as ways of prayer, making this series compatible with the Diocesan Standards. Prayer at the beginning of each lesson and a worship supplement at the end of each edition covering the liturgical seasons. Other prayer tools and liturgical tools may be purchased from the publisher. Christ Our Life has catechism and Scripture references in the teacher/catechist edition. Few Scripture references in the student edition. This series has teacher editions for school and catechist editions for the parish. The student edition is the same for both school and parish. The school text is designed to offer a lesson each day while the parish text offers a lesson for each week. Black line copies of family activities to take home and each chapter has a few activities to do at home. Catholic Prayer for Catholic Families booklet comes with every student book. TEACHER RESOURCES A catechist s handbook is included in the front of both the teacher edition and catechist edition of this series. Black line masters are included with this series and are used to enrich each lesson. This series offers timelines, parts of the Mass, maps and a special set of posters for young students. VIII-10

8 CATEGORY STRENGTH WEAKNESS COMMENT/EPLANATION ASSESSMENT TOOLS Along with the black line masters offered with this series, the student edition has a review page at the end of each chapter that could serve as an assessment tool. OTHER SUPPLEMENTAL MATERIALS This series is a self-contained program without a lot of add-on features. A set of black line masters is available to purchase only once and used as often as needed. Maps and posters are available at an added cost. ONLINE RESOURCES Loyola s Website has additional teaching resources at Also, see comments below. DIVERSITY FOR THE LEARNER (LEARNING STYLES, CULTURE, ETC. This series has a few general guidelines titled, Teaching Exceptional Children, at the beginning of the teacher/catechist edition. APPEARANCE & FORMAT This series isn t the high quality glossy paper some publishers have. The pictures are good Catholic art and the format is easy to follow when teaching. III. SPECIFIC RECOMMENDATIONS: Christ Our Life series is authored by the Sisters of Notre Dame. Along with CCC, National Catechetical Directory and scripture references, the teacher/catechist edition has references to Church documents such as; Dogmatic Constitution on the Church, Pastoral Constitution on the Church in the Modern World, General Instruction on the Liturgy of the Hours, Constitution of the Sacred Liturgy, Decree on Ecumenism, Declaration on Christian Education, Decree on the Ministry and Life of Priests, Dogmatic Constitution on Divine Revelation, and more. Reproducible masters and classroom poster for all grades except preschool, second and Confirmation are free with each Christ Our Life teaching manual. This publisher has many beautiful posters, prayer cards and books that support Catholic tradition and help pass on the Faith. All are at additional cost. This series has one of the better glossary pages with a pronunciation key. The teacher/catechist will need to incorporate concern of cultural diversity and special needs. The teacher/student will need to adapt use of student text depending on school or parish setting as no separate student text exists specifically for either setting edition s additional features It emphasizes social justice more than previous editions. It has a fuller element of prayer throughout the texts, More than previous editions. It has added scriptural texts and references. It has added a connection with music. It includes more online resources, including lesson planning, over 400 activities, a Sunday connection, Blackline masters, reviews, seasonal resource and games. VIII-11

9 ELEMENTARY SERIES APPROVED SERIES All of the following textbook series are approved by the Committee on Catechesis for their content, correlation with the diocesan Curriculum Standards for Catechesis, and conformity with the Catechism (as approved by the Ad Hoc Committee to Oversee the Use of the Catechism, United States Conference of Catholic Bishops). IGNATIUS PRESS Image of God I. GENERAL OVERVIEW: This is a K through eight series: The foundation of this spiral series is taken from Scripture, the CCC, the documents of Vatican II, and the writings of John Paul II. While covering the four pillars of the CCC, this series is based on seven concepts: God, Creation, Christ, Grace, Sacraments and Commandments. II. SPECIFIC STRENGTHS AND WEAKNESSES: CATEGORY STRENGTH WEAKNESS COMMENT/EPLANATION COMPATIBILTY WITH STANDARDS Covers all four pillars of the Catechism along with Scripture, Mary and the Saints, tradition of prayer as well as ways of prayer. PRAYER TOOLS & LITURGICAL TOOLS The liturgical seasons are covered to teach the meaning and tradition of the season. Although a liturgical celebration is not offered, the person of Jesus Christ and the Paschal mystery of His life, death, Resurrection and Ascension and honoring Mary and the Saints is enforced. Prayer is required at the beginning of each lesson and memorized prayer is encouraged and reinforced in the family activity pages. See below. CATECHISM & SCRIPTURE REFERENCE PARISH/SCHOOL COMPATIBILITY FAMILY INVOLVEMENT Teacher/catechist and student editions all have reference to Scripture. The teacher/catechist resource editions have reference to the CCC and GDC. The same teacher/catechist edition and student edition is used for both parish and school. The teacher/catechist edition has a plan for both school setting and parish setting. Suggestions for modifying for each teacher/catechist circumstance are offered. The teacher/catechist resource edition has family activity pages to copy and send home. These pages are to be sent home with the student at the beginning of each unit and are structured to reinforce each lesson with the family at home. VIII-12

10 CATEGORY STRENGTH WEAKNESS COMMENT/EPLANATION TEACHER RESOURCES The teacher/catechist resource edition is composed of various tools to provide assistance in lesson planning, supplemental classroom activities, excellent word index, glossary and prayers. ASSESSMENT TOOLS The teacher/catechist resource edition has very proficient standardized test forms for each chapter. These tests are black line masters to be copied for each student. OTHER SUPPLEMENTAL MATERIALS ONLINE RESOURCES None DIVERSITY FOR THE LEARNER (LEARNING STYLES, CULTURE, ETC. APPEARANCE & FORMAT III. SPECIFIC RECOMMENDATIONS: A video to help implement the Image of God series is available at no cost. None. See below. The student edition has some colored pictures of traditional Catholic works of art, some color and black and white photos as well as a few original colored drawings. While the paper is not glossy, its very sturdy and has easy to read type. The teacher/catechist teaching editions, as well as the resource editions, are all black and white. The scope and sequence subject areas of Image of God are those required by the Guidelines for Doctrinally Sound Catechetical Materials (1990), published by the United States Catholic Conference and by the General Catechetical Directory. The teacher/catechist edition has quotes from John Paul II. Without the glossy colored paper and boxes of helps on each page, this simple, plain series presents the Catholic Faith in a stimulating and easy-to-read format with solid doctrine and modern pedagogy. The teacher resource edition has eight pages listing additional books and videos covering many topics that would be of help to the teacher/catechist. Some of these resources may be checked out from the diocesan media or public library. This series gives the impression of being a theme series, however, it is a spiral series with each grade having a special emphasis on a theme. The lessons do build on each other as each grade is completed. The teacher/catechist using this series may seek additional direction about how best to use the teacher manual. The teacher/catechist using this series will have to seek other resources for materials for the learner with special needs. The teacher/catechist will have to call attention to social justice issues in the text and their integration into the students lives The teacher/catechist will need to offer a variety of prayer forms and liturgical experiences. VIII-13

11 ELEMENTARY SERIES APPROVED SERIES All of the following textbook series are approved by the Diocesan Catechetical Committee for their content, correlation with the diocesan Curriculum Standards for Catechesis, and conformity with the Catechism (as approved by the Ad Hoc Committee to Oversee the Use of the Catechism, United States Conference of Catholic Bishops.) SADLIER We Believe with Project Discipleship 2011 (Parish & School Edition) I. GENERAL OVERVIEW: This is a K through six series: A theme learning method based on the structure of the Catechism of the Catholic Church and the General Directory for Catechesis. Scripture, prayer, community and vocabulary are enforced in each lesson. II. SPECIFIC STRENGTHS AND WEAKNESSES: CATEGORY STRENGTH WEAKNESS COMMENT/EPLANATION COMPATIBILTY WITH STANDARDS PRAYER TOOLS & LITURGICAL TOOLS CATECHISM & SCRIPTURE REFERENCE PARISH/SCHOOL COMPATIBILITY FAMILY INVOLVEMENT Covers all four pillars of the Catechism along with Scripture, Mary and the saints, tradition of prayer as well as ways of prayer. This series has Catholic social teaching integrated throughout the program. We Believe invites the student to be an evangelizer through lesson review, prayer and activities, making this series compatible with the Diocesan Standards. As well, each week of lessons are supported by content activities tied to the six tasks of catechesis. Each lesson begins with a prayer including scripture and music. Teach/catechist and students all take part. Liturgical lessons are well done with sound doctrine. The web site has weekly liturgical readings and other seasonal material. Teacher/catechist editions have references to the CCC and scripture, and the student editions have quotations and references to Scripture. This series has a curriculum for both the school and the parish. The school edition is designed to offer a lesson each day while the parish edition offers a lesson for each week Each edition has a take home family page with activities the family will do together. This family page also has references to the CCC. VIII-14

12 CATEGORY STRENGTH WEAKNESS COMMENT/EPLANATION TEACHER RESOURCES This teacher/catechist edition is an excellent resource in itself. An orientation DVD designed for teacher/catechist, parents, and parish community groups is provided free with each order. Other resources are available at additional cost. See below. ASSESSMENT TOOLS The student edition has a one or two page review at the end of each lesson. Of all tests or review pages in student editions, We Believe has one of the best. Other assessment tools are available. See below. OTHER SUPPLEMENTAL MATERIALS In addition to the teacher and student books, there are student and teacher workbooks, music tapes and videos that accompany the series at extra cost. ONLINE RESOURCES Faith-filled activities for the family are online. A series of whole parish community events that celebrate the liturgical are found online There is a new website under development that should be completed by August Also available is their website, DIVERSITY FOR THE LEARNER (LEARNING STYLES, CULTURE, ETC. There is only one page in each catechist/teacher manual that says a little about students at that particular age. It is not enough to get a full grasp of learning style, intelligences, etc. APPEARANCE & FORMAT Glossy paper with beautiful color photos of Catholic art and religious places around the world. Both student and teacher/catechist editions are user friendly. III. SPECIFIC RECOMMENDATIONS: This series has an information packed, doctrine sound and tradition filled teacher/catechist edition. Other resources wouldn t be necessary. VIII-15

13 ELEMENTARY SERIES APPROVED SERIES - RETIRED The following series were previously on the Diocese of Duluth s Approved Textbook list. These series are either no longer being printed or are being phased into retirement. Parishes and schools may still use these series, knowing that the availability of these materials is limited. Our Sunday Visitor Call to Faith ( 05, 09) RCL Benziger Faith First Legacy Edition ( 06, 07) Faith First ( 00, 01) Loyola Finding God ( 05) ** Please note that the revised Finding God 2013 is NOT on the approved textbook list. VIII-16

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