Solidarity-We Are One Body

By Suzanne Heidel, February 27, 2017

Grade Level

  • High School


  • Current Events

Subject Area

  • Social Studies

Lesson Time

4 class periods


This lesson plan is created for a high school theology class in a Catholic school.   It can easily be adapted to any humanities course.   The focus of this lesson on human interdependence and mutual responsibility.  The present (2015) Syrian Refugee Crisis serves as the example of how human beings are called to see everyone as part of our human family and to act as good neighbors to all - whether a person, people or nation.  The 10th grade students are naturally curious about events they hear on the daily news.  Goals for this lesson include increased empathy, promote attentiveness to people suffering around the world and the needs of those around us, and show how love binds the Church together.


Students will understand and be able to explain the Christian virtue of charity and friendship = solidarity. Students will discover why we profess one mark of the Church as One - With more than one billion members how can the Church be unified? Students will be able to share with family and friends a general knowledge of the Syrian refugees crisis.


Students have access to the internet each class period and at home. assad interview


Handouts  from Watson Institute for International Studies Brown University   craft supplies for quick build of emergency shelters


solidarity -A Christian virtue of charity and friendship whereby members of the human family share material and spiritual goods (or more generally: union or fellowship arising from common responsibilities and interests, as between members of a group or between classes, peoples, etc.) Solicitudo Rei Socialis (\\\"On Social Concern\\\") St. John Paul II encyclical calling us to see all as neighbor Caritas in Veritate -  Pope Benedict XVI encyclical in which he writes writes \\\"solidarity is first and foremost a sense of responsibility on the part of everyone with regard to everyone....\\\" The Church\\\'s unity is modeled on the perfect, intimate relationship of the Trinity


(1)Lesson begins with a 10 min lecture on Syrian Crisis and the refugee crisis.  Concept of solidarity presented and discussed.  (2)Students explore internet for personal interests on Syria. (3) Students complete worksheets from Brown University source in groups of four.  (4)Homework - Journal on "walking a mile in a refugee's shoes" meditation; interview 2 people ask why they know of Syrian crisis and if US should allow refugees into the United States. (1) students watch interview with Syrian president, & discuss interview results and journal as all class (2) students experience Ready, Set Design - "young mother with an infant has to carry groceries up several flights of stairs" (1) review solidarity and mark of One in Catholic Church (2) brainstorm needs for group in crisis - discussed fires in California, Katrina etc... (3) Quick Build - Refugee Center for chosen "user" (1) cont build (2) present to groups (3) hear feedback "I Like" "I wonder" "I wish"


Concept of solidarity will be included on Chapter 2 Test Have students find another current event and journal of call to solidarity. Journal solidarity in our homes and school. Rubric for groups to self-evaluate Design Project after feedback session

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