School Lesson Plans

An Educational Resource
For Parents, Teachers And Catechists To Familiarize Students With The Life And Witness Of Saint Katharine Drexel

Sister Anne Marie Burton, IHM, Immaculata University

Note to Parents, Teachers & Catechists

The suggested Resource Units are designed to provide Learning Activities that could be used to acquaint students with Saint Katharine Drexel and the impact of her life on society. Parents, teachers and catechists can choose the Learning Activity (Activities) which would be grade appropriate and applicable to the students in the classroom. A Resource Unit is designed to provide activities that could be completed over a period of time not as a single lesson. The Learning Activities could be group activities in which students would collaborate with each other to achieve the objective. An excellent culminating activity for all students would be a visit to the Shrine of St. Katharine Drexel at the Basilica-Cathedral of SS. Peter and Paul, Philadelphia.

 

Bibliography For Adults

(*books available from Amazon.com)

*Baldwin, Lou (1987) A Call to Sanctity. Lansdale, PA. Kerryman Press Baldwin, Lou (2007) Saint Katharine Drexel, Apostle to the Oppressed. Philadelphia, PA.
Catholic Standard and Times.
*Burton, Katharine (1957) The Golden Door: Life of St. Katharine Drexel Duffy, Sister Consuela Marie, SBS (1996) Katharine Drexel, a Biography. Philadelphia, PA.
Peter Reilly Company
*Holt, Mary van Balen, Meet Katharine Drexel: Heiress and God’s Servant of the Oppressed. Ann Arbor, Michigan, Servant Publications
*Hughes, Cheryl (2014) The Riches to Rags Life of an American Catholic Saint Matthew 5: 3-11 Catechism of the Catholic Church # 1831 and 1832 (Gifts and Fruits of the Holy Spirit)

Bibliography For Students

Websites: explore pa history.com YouTube: Saint Katharine Drexel (varied videos)
*Saint Katharine Drexel: The Total Gift Pauline Books and Media (2003)
*Biddle, Cornelia Frances, The Life of Katharine Drexel (Amazon.com)
*Jablonski, P. and Hausmann, M.J. (2001) Kate from Philadelphia: The life of St. Katharine Drexel for children

SAINT KATHARINE DREXEL (1858 – 1955)
OBJECTIVE: Students will study the life of Katharine Drexel. They will learn about her early life, her call to religious life, the founding of the community of the Sisters of the Blessed Sacrament, and her work with black and Native American people.

ACTIVITIES
Initiating activities:
Students will become familiar with the life of Katharine Drexel by viewing a short YouTube video titled St. Katharine Drexel HD as well as hearing selected readings from Lou Baldwin’s biography of the saint (Chapter 2 – selected passages providing a background of Katharine’s family)

Learning Activities
Grade Levels 9—12:
1. Students will have the opportunity to research (via the internet) various short biographies of Saint Katharine Drexel.
2. They will share the researched material by developing a timeline of Saint Katharine’s life
3. Further research will help students learn what other events were occurring in the history of the United States: who were government leaders, who were the Catholic Church leaders in Philadelphia at that time, what care /concern was given at that time to black and Native American people,
4. What led Katharine Drexel to the religious life and how did she follow her call to become a Sister?
5. How did the Sisters of the Blessed Sacrament work with the black and Native Americans. What schools / institutions did they establish to help these people?
6. Since Katharine Drexel was from a family with great wealth, how did she use that wealth to help others? What does philanthropy mean?
7. What steps are followed to have a person declared a saint? What miracles occurred because of intercessory prayer to Katharine Drexel?

Enrichment Activities
Explore the topic of philanthropy. Who are philanthropists of today, and who are the beneficiaries of their work?
Examine the topic of racism in today’s society. Based on what you have learned about Saint Katharine Drexel, what do you think she would do and would want us to do to combat racism at this period in history?

Culminating Activities
Students will be encouraged to develop a final project that captures the story of Saint Katharine Drexel. Suggested formats could be a power point presentation, a booklet highlighting the works of Saint Katharine, or a presentation / play that captures the story of Saint Katharine.

Saint Katharine Drexel (1858 – 1955)
OBJECTIVE: Students will study the life of Katharine Drexel. They will learn about her early life, her call to religious life, the founding of the community of the Sisters of the Blessed Sacrament, and her work with black and Native American people.

ACTIVITIES
Initiating activities:
Students will become familiar with the life of Katharine Drexel by viewing a short YouTube video titled St. Katharine Drexel HD as well as hearing selected readings from Lou Baldwin’s biography of the saint.

Learning Activities
Grade Levels 5 – 8

  1. Students will use the internet to research short biographies of Saint Katharine Drexel or the teacher could read selections from the book written by Lou Baldwin Saint Katharine Drexel Apostle to the Oppressed
  2. Based on what students learned from the internet research or the readings about the life of Saint Katherine Drexel, they can develop a timeline of the events in St. Katharine’ s life and include the missions that were developed to help the black and Native American people. (group activity).
  3. Student research the steps used by the Catholic Church to declare a person a saint.
  4. Students will learn the miracles that occurred because of prayers to Saint Katharine, and which led to her canonization.
  5. Students will explore ways in which they can imitate the works of St. Katharine Drexel in today’s society.
  6. Review the Gifts of the Holy Spirit. Based on what you have learned about the life of St. Katharine Drexel, give an example of how St. Katharine lived out one of the gifts of the Holy Spirit.
  7. Read Matthew 5:3-11. How did St. Katharine Drexel live the Beatitudes?

Culminating Activity
Students will illustrate the timeline developed as a learning activity and present the story of Saint Katharine to students in Grades 1to 4.
Students can develop a prayer to Saint Katharine Drexel asking her to intercede for the problems that are evident in today’s society.

Classes In Parish Religious Education Programs

Because of time constraints, teachers in PREP classrooms could choose one of the Learning Activities applicable to the grade level as the focus for the lesson on Saint Katharine Drexel. As a preview, viewing one of the offerings on YouTube (applicable to grade / age level) would be a good introduction to the life of Saint Katharine Drexel. It is suggested that students work in small groups to explore the selected Learning Activity for a portion of two classes. The Culminating Activity could be a presentation of what they have learned to either another classroom of students or there could be an assembly of all the PREP classes where the culminating activity of various grade levels would be presented.

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