A Historical Look at the Book of Luke

Your Name: Brooke Hansen
School: Southview Christian School, Burnsville, MN
Published Date: April 8, 2012
Subject(s): History, English
Intended Grade Level(s): Upper Grades

Description: This is an in-depth look at the Roman world during the time of Jesus and when the Book of Luke was written.

Pathways Theme, Goals, and Skills:
The Pathways Theme for this project is Social Issues and Culture.
The Pathways Goals are the following:
Spiritual Connections: Applying what the students read to their own lives
Word Study: Building on spelling patterns and mechanics skills
The Pathways Target Skills are the following:
Target 1: Writes using a variety of genres
Target 2: Write for various purposes and audiences; Presents ideas and information

Faith Integration:
Since this unit is based on the Book of Luke, it will be easy to integrate faith into teaching this lesson. The goal of the lesson is to allow the students to see the world that Jesus was born into and lived and how that affected what He taught, who He taught, and how He taught.

Technology Standards:
1: Creativity and Innovation--Students demonstrate creative thinking, construct knowledge, and develop innovative products and processes using technology.
a. Apply existing knowledge to generate new ideas, products, or processes
b. Create original works as a means of personal or group expression
6. Technology Operations and Concepts--Students demonstrate a sound understanding of technology concepts, systems, and operations.
a. Understand and use technology systems
b. Select and use applications effectively and productively
c. Troubleshoot systems and applications
d. Transfer current knowledge to learning of new technologies

Books, references, worksheets:
Online Versions of the Bible
Modern Interpretations of Biblical Parables

Modern Parables Videos
TV with DVD player or Computer with Overhead projector
Microsoft Photo Story, VoiceThread, Google Presentation, or Google Drawings

Teacher Preparation:
The teacher needs to have review the lessons and read any additional information required for teaching the lessons. The teacher needs to make sure that the TV & DVD player or computer is working. The computers should also be checked to make sure they're connected to the internet and that any sites that the students might need to use are not blocked by a firewall. The teacher should also make sure to either provide digital cameras or make sure that the students have recording devices of their own.

Student Preparation:
Students need to have some familiarity with the Book of Luke. They should also know some about Ancient Roman history, especially during the time of Jesus. Students should be comfortable using computers and digital cameras and creating projects using digital storytelling.


Museum Tour: Find a local museum that has a collection of Classical Roman and Greek art. Visit the museum on a field trip or see if the museum will do a Skype tour of the Roman and Greek collection.

Extension Activity: Bible--Roman gods and goddesses (p. 25): Instead of writing a regular report, have the students create a digital story of the Roman gods or goddesses that were chosen by them. They should still include all of the information required in the regular reports. The students should record themselves acting out at least one of the stories their gods or goddesses are famous for and have this included as part of their report. If there are more students than there are Roman gods and goddesses listed on p. 25, here is a more extensive list so that none of the students have to double up on the Roman gods and goddesses.

Extension Activity: Math--Roman Numerals (p. 26): While the students are learning the Roman numeral system, have them practice how well they know them by using the Roman Numeral Challenge website.

Extension Activity: Social Studies--Roman History and Culture (p. 26): Divide the students into groups of three to five. Have them choose one of the topics on Roman life and culture. They will research their topic and create a report on it. They will also create a project based on their topic. Suggestions for these projects include the following:
Roman Homes--Create a diorama of a Roman house
Roman Fashion--Create a male or female Roman outfit that can be life-sized or doll-sized
Roman Art--Create a Roman bust of one of the team members
Roman Laws and Government--Take Roman laws and adapt them to fit the classroom
Roman Roads--Create a working groma
Roman Cities--Draw a map of Ancient Rome
Famous Roman Structures--Create a diorama of a Roman structure
Organization of the Roman Army--Make a flow chart of the Roman Army
Roman Weapons and Armor--Create a Roman weapon

Vocabulary: Latin prefixes (p. 32): The students should find words that use the Latin prefixes listed on p. 32 of the Daily Language Guide. They will then find or create pictures that show or describe the words and create a powerpoint presentation of them.

Modern-day Parables: To help inspire the students for this project, either show them at least one of the Modern Parables movies (either just the trailers or the complete movies) or read them some of these parables. Divide the students into groups of three to five. The students will choose five parables from the Book of Luke. They will rewrite the parables as modern tales. Then they will choose one of their parables and perform and record a skit of it. Here is a list of the parables in Luke:
Lamp under a Bowl--8:16, 11:33
Wise and Foolish Builders--6:47-49
New Cloth on an Old Coat--5:36
New Wine in Old Wineskins--5:37-38
Sower and the Soils--8:5-8, 11-15
Mustard Seed--13:18-19
Lost Sheep--15:4-7
Fig Tree--21:29-31
Faithful and Wise Servant--12:42-48
Talents (Minas)--19:12-27
Watchful Servants--12:35-40
Good Samaritan--10:30-37
Friend in Need--11:5-8
Rich Fool--12:16-21
Unfruitful Fig Tree--13:6-9
Lowest Seat at the Feast--14:7-14
Great Banquet--14:16-24
Cost of Discipleship--14:28-33
Lost Coin--15:8-10
Lost (Prodigal) Son--15:11-32
Shrewd Manager--16:1-8
Rich Man and Lazarus--16:19-31
Master and His Servant--17:7-10
Persistent Widow--18:2-8
Pharisee and Tax Collector--18:10-14

Differentiated Instruction:
Depending on the grade of the student, the projects can be made longer or shorter. For students who need more help, they can be paired with more advanced students for the Roman gods and goddesses reports, the Roman numeral practice, and Latin prefixes powerpoint presentations.

Multiple Intelligences:

Visual-Spatial-The students will create a model of a town that could have existed during the Book of Luke. It can be a town that would be found in Judea, Samaria, or any other part of the Roman Empire.

Musical-The students will create a song in the style found in Judea or the Roman Empire during the Book of Luke. The lyrics will be based on one of the parables that are found in the Book of Luke.

Intrapersonal-The students will create a journal based on the lives of children their own age who would have lived during the time of Jesus' ministry. It will cover a week in the lives of those children.

Logical-Mathematical-The students will figure out the supply logistical needs of a Roman legion.

Classroom Management and Decoration:
The classroom does not need to be organized differently for these lessons than how it is usually set up. There will need to be access to computers and the internet for some of the activities, so organizing a schedule for the order of students using the computers might be helpful. To decorate the room, place various items and pictures that represent the different parables found in the Book of Luke around the room so the students have a daily visual reminder of some of the Biblical parables. Create a bulletin board that allows the objects to be searched for in a scavenger hunt.

This unit should be done later into the school year so that the teacher has a chance to observe and learn the academic levels of the students in the class. The teacher should pre-assess the students based on previous levels of work turned in by the students.
For the Roman History and Culture project (p. 26), use the rubric provided on p. 27/Blackline Master p. 11 of the Book of Luke's Daily Language Guide

For the post-assessment, have the students choose three of the parables found in the Book of Luke and write the spiritual lessons that are found in them and how the lessons can be applied to their own lives.

Credits: Rayleen Hansen