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Engaging Faith: Practical lesson ideas and activities for Catholic Educators

January 16, 2009

A New Day

In a beautiful meadow at the bottom of a great mountain lived a people called the "Greens." They wore green clothes, lived in green homes, drove green cars, and believed that God was green.

At the top of the great mountain were another people, the "Blues." They wore blue clothes, lived in blue homes, drove blue cars, and believed that God was blue.

One day a Green boy had his leg trapped between two big rocks in Blue territory....

A Blue boy stood by the Green boy for a few minutes. Then he went to a tree and broke off a branch. The Green boy said, "Don't hit me with the branch," thinking that is what the Blue was about to do.

Blue answered him, "I am not going to hit you. The branch is to pry loose the rocks that are holding your leg."

Blue pried loose the rocks. He tore his blue shirt into long strips and tied the branch to Green's leg. Then he helped Green walk home.

The two boys became close friends. They often visited each other. They made up a new song which they taught to the children. It had these words:

Green is good, but so is Blue,
Purple, Yellow and Red, too—
All the children should be glad;
There is no color that is bad.

Little by little more Blues and Greens started visiting each other. They began going to each other's schools and churches. They even went beyond their lands and visited the Yellows, Reds, and Purples. After awhile most people didn't call themselves "Greens" or "Blues" but simply "Rainbow People." And to this day their children sing, "There is no color that is bad."
—-adapted from The Rainbow Peopleby Lawrence Castagnola S.J.

Ask an older person from the community who grew up in a time marked by racism to give the class a short presentation detailing society's (and his or her own) changing attitudes during the course of his or her life.

In small groups have the students role-play peaceful resolutions to situations that are often marked by racial tensions (for example: teens of different races sharing the same lunch room, a teen's parents reacting to a son/daughter dating someone of a different race, two schools with students of different races competing in athletics).

Watch the inauguration speech of President Barack Obama and the "I Have a Dream Speech" of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Write an essay comparing the two.

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