Answers to Your Questions

What Grade Levels Are Included in the Middle School Curriculum?

This Middle School Curriculum is appropriate for seventh and eighth grade students.

What are the Topics Included in the Middle School Curriculum?

  • Discovering and affirming the value of our lives as persons made in God’s image
  • Discovering our gifts and abilities
  • Decision making based on confidence in God’s directions for life
  • Identifying possibilities for the heroic adventures we were created for
  • God’s design for marriage and family
  • The human body isn’t just biological; it’s also theological
  • God’s design for us as male and female
  • Finding meaning and purpose in the celibate life
  • God’s design for sexual relations

What is distinctive about Whole Life Curriculum?

  • The focus is on life transformation informed by a biblical worldview.
  • The curriculum’s format and the creative learning activities provided in the lesson plans lead to head and heart and life changes.
  • It creates opportunities for honest and valuable classroom discussions.
  • Gender identity is addressed as students learn to value God’s design for us as male and female.
  • Theology of the Body concepts and language are incorporated into lesson plans at every grade level.

Is this a sex education curriculum, abstinence curriculum, or pro-life curriculum?

Whole Life Curriculum meets the need for sex education, abstinence, and pro-life curriculums. However, the K–6 curriculum lays the foundations for middle school family life education as it teaches truths about God’s gifts of marriage and family without introducing any biological information.

Where Can I Find the Expected Outcomes of Each Lesson Plan?

A lesson objective is stated at the beginning of each lesson plan. This is the one big idea to be communicated by the lesson, and every part of the lesson will contribute to the achievement of this objective. The lesson objectives are further developed into three (sometimes four) sub—objectives, which are preceded by the phrase “Each student will—.” These sub—objectives restate the truths being taught, as well as the desired student response to those truths. They aren’t merely informational; they connect the head with the heart.

The result—students at each grade level will change the way they think, which will also affect their feelings, choices, and behavior.

Biblically, it’s clear that the condition of the heart is important to God. Behavior change without heart change is often shallow and temporary. This curriculum cultivates a way of thinking and feeling that will change the students’ whole lives for the long term. Learning activities will include writing letters to God, reading stories, creating artwork, going on treasure hunts, role—playing, planning class projects, and a variety of relational activities, all which will enable the students to holistically experience truth.

Where Can I Find an Overview of Each Lesson?

The Outline follows the statement of lesson objectives, listing the content to be covered in each lesson. This will give the instructor an overall idea of how the lesson should flow. Each point in the outline contributes to the realization of the lesson objective and sub—objectives.

Realized Impact will help you connect the individual lesson to the big picture. The curriculum promotes a way of thinking that’s decidedly different than the world’s way. Therefore, instructors must be able to understand it well. And they must also be able to verbalize it in order to help their students form this new, countercultural perspective for themselves.

What Are the Components of Each Lesson Plan and How Do They Contribute to the Instructional Process?

Making an Entrance introduces the truth to students. The activity is designed to help students not only think, but also consider the personal value and implications of what they’re about to hear. It answers the question “Why should I care about what comes next?” It also communicates to students that what’s coming is fun, interesting, and an interactive learning process.

Informing provides the truth to be considered. In most of the lessons, the biblical background is included in this section. Students will actively participate in discovering and exploring God’s instructions for life.We realize that people with varying religious backgrounds will use this curriculum. Therefore, it’s likely that some may have differing preferences and convictions regarding the version of Scripture we’ve used. Thus, we’ve indicated our suggested Bible translation for each passage based on the child-friendliness of the text. However, we invite you to use the version of Scripture that you’re most comfortable with, making sure the children understand any unfamiliar vocabulary terms.

Valuing gives students the chance to think about how this truth might change the way their peers choose to do life each day. Again, they’re actively engaged in these considerations as they discuss, act out situations, talk with one another, draw, plan, and get involved.

Changing helps students identify a change that needs to happen in their own lives as a result of all they’ve learned in the lesson. As they’ve participated in the first three sections of the lesson plan, they’ve grown to desire a change and are now ready to plan for it as they participate in the culminating learning activity. Finally, each lesson ends with a simple statement of how that individual lesson fits into the big picture of the Whole Life Curriculum.

The last four parts of the lesson—Making an Entrance, Informing, Valuing, and Changing—all contain sections of text in bold print. These are guidelines for instructors to refer to when speaking directly to their students. You know your students best, so after reading our suggested text, please feel free to adjust your instruction for your own audience.

What Additional Materials Will I Need?

The Materials list includes all of the items needed for each lesson. Some will require giving advance notice to students and their parents, so be sure to read through the entire list before you begin teaching the curriculum.

All Middle School Curriculum lessons suggest the Life Begins interactive CD-ROM. (It can be purchased at www.lifebegins.com.) There is also a DVD version; however, it’s not as complete, nor does it offer as many options as the CD-ROM. The benefit of using the Life Begins CD-ROM is that each educator may decide what’s appropriate for the students who will view the material. And the CD-ROM provides a great deal of flexibility in terms of the type of presentation of these sensitive topics (from drawings to slides to video clips). In each lesson plan, the suggested areas for educators to explore are indicated.

Does Whole Life Curriculum have the Imprimatur?

Yes, Whole Life Curriculum was given the Nihil Obstat by Bernadeane Carr on January 15, 2010 and the Imprimatur was granted by Robert H. Brom, Bishop of San Diego on January 15, 2010.