Catholic Association of Religious and Family Life Educators of Ontario

Grade Eight Links

Unit Links
1. We Believe In the Holy Spirit


Catholic Culture: Liturgical Year, Documents, Site Reviews, and More
It is sometimes a tricky subject to cover the Gifts and Fruits of the Holy Spirit. This site has some activities that are dedicated to the Gifts and Fruits of the Holy Spirit. It provides a good supplement to the material covered in Stand by Me. This site can be used by teachers, but it is designed to give ideas to parents on how to teach their children about, among other things, the Gifts and Fruits of the Holy Spirit. The Sacrament of Confirmation (covered in more detail in Unit 2 - We Believe in the Holy Church) is also addressed fairly well on this site. For each of the activities, there is a "rating scale" type indicator on the left hand side of the screen that covers important things on the activity, namely difficulty level and the supplies needed. For this reason, alone, you could say that this site is geared towards teachers or catechists of any kind. -- Brett McClellan

Disciples Now!

I found this site as a link to The site has many newsletters on it, written by teens. I believe that these newsletter articles end up being published in the "Youth Update" section of I list both units in this case, because the Fruits and Gifts of the Holy Spirit tie in very well with the sacrament of Confirmation. Also, since there are articles written by other students with similar issues and views, our students should be able to connect better with them than if they were written by adults. For instance, there is an article entitled "Gifts of the Holy Spirit: Yours to Open and Use". The article lists the Gifts of the Holy Spirit, but it also gives some better examples about what the Gifts entail. -- Brett McClellan

Pentecost - The Holy Spirit

This website would be useful for the teaching of this first unit because it offers a lot of background information on the Holy Spirit and on the Pentecost. Many teachers may not be as informed on the Pentecost, and students may ask questions that they may not be able to answer. This website offers sections on: Basic Doctrine, Reflections, Prayers, Church Documents, and Audio. The teacher may consult this website her/himself or may wish the students to explore it on their own before beginning the unit. The section on Basic Doctrine is especially useful for grade 8 students preparing for the sacrament of Confirmation. This section provides information on The Holy Spirit, and it is followed by a question-answer format section dealing with the Holy Spirit and Pentecost. It also contains a section on the 7 gifts of the Holy Spirit (wisdom, understanding, knowledge, counsel, fortitude, piety, and fear of the Lord) and a section on the charismatic gifts. This website is a link from the main site at []. The main site (Eternal Word Television Network, Global Catholic Network) provides a wealth of information on many other catholic topics.--Irene Vecchiato

The Holy Trinity: Biblical Proofs

This website would be useful for teachers needing background information on the Trinity. The doctrine of the Trinity is encapsulated in Matthew 28:19, where Jesus instructs the apostles: "go therefore and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the father and the Son and the holy Spirit." In this passage, the father, the Son, and the Spirit are said to share one name and the name is almost certainly Yahweh, the personal name of God in the Bible. Our understanding today is that the father, the Son, and the Spirit are three divine persons who are one divine being (God). This website is helpful for grade 8 teachers wanting to do a bible lesson, searching scripture passages that show proof of the Trinity. The website is divided into 10 main sections (ie., the Holy Spirit and Trinitarianism, The Holy Spirit is God, Descriptions applied to all three in the Trinity, etc.). Each section further contains biblical references and the actual passages that illustrate / prove the title. Teachers can use this as a personal reference on background information, or can direct students to these passages. The site also contains a super-link section, where teachers can search other related subjects.--Irene Vecchiato

Catechetical Resources
This web site is valuable for all educators at any level. It is quite user friendly because it is divided by grade level. I would use this web site when preparing my students for the Sacrament of Confirmation. There are many useful activities and worksheets that explore the gifts of the Holy Spirit and the purpose of Confirmation. This web site would also prove to be useful for teachers because it has some excellent classroom resources surrounding the preparation of Confirmation.--Laura Grano

Canadian Catholic Organization for Development and Peace
This organization was founded in 1967 and is aimed at uniting the church and laity to fight poverty in developing countries and to promote greater international justice. This site supports initiatives by Third World people to take control of their lives and to educate Canadians about North-South issues. The organization centers around issues peace-building, human rights, agrarian reform, education, community development and economic justice. The site also deals heavily with the importance of clean drinking water and provides statistics and ways that countries are trying to provide its citizens with ways to access clean water.
This site is useful to teachers and students because students are able to see first hand the actions of the church and laity to try to help others that are in need. The site shows how people can get involved and use the gifts that God has given us to help others. For example, all visitors to the site can sign the Development and Peace's Water Declaration which states that water is a sacred gift that connects all life, access to clean water is a basic human right, the value of the earth's fresh water to the common good takes priority over any possible commercial value and fresh water is a shared legacy, a public trust and a collective responsibility.--Nancy Malta

2. We Believe In the Holy Church

Catechetical Resources: Confirmation

This is an absolute must see for all grade eight teachers. The teacher site features a handy 26 page booklet on the sacrament of confirmation that can be downloaded and photocopied into individual student workbooks. It contains a title page, explanation of how the Holy Spirit will come upon them (a very easy, comprehensive read), question sheet on the reading, the sacrament of confirmation explained in a clear easy read using the (CCC) as a reference, question worksheet to support the reading, effects of confirmation, reading 'Be Sealed with the Gift of the Holy Spirit', worksheet as support, gifts of the Holy Spirit, quiz or worksheet (up to teacher), virtues and true/false quiz, 'Who is the Holy Spirit?' and worksheet, who can be confirmed and who can be a sponsor?, what to expect the day of confirmation, chrism, confirmation quiz, fruits of the Holy Spirit word search, confirmation Pre-test. You simply cannot ask for more. -- Eleanor Aresta

YM Central Confirmation Curriculum

The site gets student's critically thinking and examining their belief system by posing reflective questions on their belief system. It also allows the teacher to click on the (CCC) #26-49 for personal reading on the subject matter. It gives the teacher scriptural references that the teacher may either want to enhance their lesson through personal knowledge or assign to students for bible work. This unit can be used by the teacher to lead students into a confirmation retreat or a 'Day of Renewal' approach in their preparation for the sacrament of confirmation. Approximate lesson time is 55 minutes. -- Eleanor Aresta

Catechetical Resources

This website has links to worksheets, question and answer sheets and hands-on activates for teachers to easily incorporate into Confirmation Preparation. There is a link to a 26 page printable student booklet as well. The booklet includes question sheets, quizzes, word searches and prayer services. The booklet uses age-appropriate language and meaningful images that would appeal to students in Grade 8. You need to fill in the search form by clicking on "Confirmation"--Elizabeth Comper

Catholic Catechist

This website offered many extended metaphors that teachers could use to explain the gift of the Holy Spirit and Confirmation in general. Some activities included Celebrating your Saint Name and Stations of the Spirit Prayer Service. What appealed to me most about this website was that the concepts being taught are presented in a way that is 'real' and meaningful for students, offering them practical ways to apply the teachings of Confirmation to their own lives.--Elizabeth Comper

Taking it Global htpp://

Taking it Global is an International organization led by youth and enables by technology. It connects to the youth to find inspiration, access information and get involved and take action to improve thier local and global communities. This project is headquartered in Toronto and is the most popular online community of young people interested in connecting across countries and making a difference. There is alot of information of social justice issues that face many people today. Get information on life issues and get involved.


Questia is the world's largest online library of over 49,500 books and 392,000 journal, magazine and newspaper articles. There are articles in the humanities and social sciences. Anyone doing research or just interested in topics that touch on humanities and social sciences will find titles of interest. Questia also offers a range of note-taking and writing tools. These tools will help students locate the most relevant info on their topic.

Free the Children

Thirteen and Fourteen year olds have a difficult time seeing that they can DO SOMETHING about wourld problems. " I don't have a job and therefor no money, I don't know about giving up something of mine, they live so far away, I don't know how to help these people..." are some of the reasons I hear in my class about helping others. Although, it was a long time ago for me to be in their place, I do remember that feeling of
what am I suppose to do to help?
This particular website is inspiring because Craig Keilburger started this project when he was 12 years old and it has grown to be an international organization, that is making a difference in children's lives. I would hope that students would be inspired by his work and start to believe that they too can make a difference perhaps not on such a grand scale but every little bit helps.--Frances Street Sparkes

Channels of Divine Grace

This is an informational site that not only describes the seven sacraments we celebrate as Catholics, but why we celebrate them. I feel that this site provides a spiritual outlook on what many people view as "rituals" in the Church. The language my be a little advanced for some of the grade eights, but can be used and/or modified by the grade eight teacher if comprehension is an issue.--Diana Febbraro

The Spirituality of the Sacraments

The Spirituality of the Sacraments is a series of stories written by John Shea illustrating the Sacraments. Shea provides insights into thoughts and feelings around the sacraments in a realistic manner. For example, in the story of the Baptism, Shea writes about the godfather practicing his best Marlon Brando impression from the movie The Godfather while providing information on how baptism "works". The grade eight teacher can use these stories to begin each sacrament. --Diana Febbraro

3. We Believe In One Catholic Apostolic Church

This website provides additional supplementary material other than what's provided in the text regarding this topic. This website is directed towards men and women who wish to dedicate their entire lives to God. Students can go onto this website and read the descriptions of certain vocations related to the church. Students have an unclear understanding of the role these people (brothers, sisters, deacons, missionaries, etc) have in our Catholic faith. This site helps to bring to life the impact these vocations have on the Catholic faith. --Sharlene Abate

American Catholic: Sacraments

In chapter 2 in Stand by Me, students are introduced to all seven sacraments and their importance in the Catholic faith. This website provides students with an opportunity to explore each sacrament other than the brief explanation that is provided in the text. Each sacrament is broken down into a variety of questions that students can click on (frequently asked questions such as why baptism is not performed during lent). The site is also useful in the sense that it has an easy to use search engine that students can look for information on other similar topics.--Sharlene Abate

4. We Believe in the Communion of Saints

Talk with your child: dealing with death
This web site has communication tips on how to talk with your child when dealing with death. The site focusses on not only on a small child but a teen as well. It has a summary on what to know and steps on what to do. It also provides a list of sources and Additional Resources a teacher can use when dealing with questions that arise in a class discussion on how to mourn the death of those we love. --Domenica Gizzo

Resources for Catholic Educators

This site is full of information pertaining to unit 4, We believe in the Communion of Saints. There is a section outlining lesson plans, artwork, clip art and much more. If you want to look up a specific topic such as "death and dying" click on the "religious education, lesson plans teaching tools, and links"section and you will given a wide variety of lessons plans, articles, and other resources to choose from. The lesson plan: To die for: Martyrdom, for example, provides a good outline for a lesson on
Saints/martyrdom. You may have to weed though some of the information but there is a great deal of valid material on this site. --Lou Defelice

Patron Saint Index

This site is extremely user friendly. The students can easily choose from the main table of contents the "List by name" or "list by topic" option, which will lead them to an alphabetical listing of all the saints. This site has information on topics with patron saints, and profiles of those saints. Profiles have portraits, biographical information, areas of patronage, prayers, links to related sites, readings, etc. It's heavily cross-indexed, and there are several ways to access the information, none of which require frames, image maps, applets, or scripts. --Anna Liburdi

The Catholic Community Forum

This website is an index of patron saints. One of the most interesting features is the way this website is organized. Users can click on Countries, to be taken to a page where each continent and country arelisted with the names of patron saints celebrated. This website is great for a multicultural and inclusive aspect to the saint unit. Teachers can assign students a particular patron saint, not well known,to research. Students may create saint cards, with pictures of their saint (usually provided on this website), their continent/saint, and asynopsis of their life.--Karen Ebanks

Catholic Online Saints Index

This site offers an alphabetized listing of all saints. It could serve as a research tool for students to complete a study of saints as it offers a historical account of the lives of many saints. This will assist students to gather information for an activity called "The Saints' Newspaper" or it could be a teacher resource for teaching this unit.--Nancy Capozio

Saints' Lives
This web site is a focus on saints. It is broken down into different categories, each having various links. Categories such as: Information about saints, Saints in arts, Lives of saints and general information about Catholicism and Christianity (many include info about the aints or writings by the saints). It also has a category on Catholic books and bookstores including links. This web site can help the classroom teacher discss how saints are more intimately united with Christ but not always linked.--Domenica Gizzo

Church of Saint Patrick

This is a very beneficial website as it provides information about many saints. It is helpful because the site is organized in different ways. The user could look up information on specific saints, or the user may also look up a day of the year and find out which saint(s)' feast day it happens to be. A good assignment could be for each student in the class to look up his/her birthday, choose a saint (as there is more than just one saint per day) and complete a research project. It is important to note, that this site gives information, but may not be enough to sustain an entire research project. But the basis is given, and is enough to know what and where to search next.

New Advent

This particular site also offers the user to gain valuable, useful and extensive background information on various Saints. The site lists the Saints in alphabetical order which makes it very user friendly and easy to locate. This site unfortunately doesn't offer pictures or images as previously mentioned in the first site. This site however outlines the sections of the Communion of Saints with scriptural references. The site also outlines the Catholic Doctrine and explains the importance and view of the Communion of Saints in the Anglo-Saxon Church and Protestant Church. This site will help teachers gather important factual information for their students.--Jason Baumgarten

Bruderhof Peacemakers Guide
Anyone can be a peacemaker. The Bruderhof Peacemakers Guide was created to inspire and empower you to work for peace, and to arm you with living proof of the power of nonviolence to effect change and resolve conflicts. Some of the peacemakers featured on this website are famous, others obscure, but all have dedicated their lives to building a more peaceful and just world through nonviolent means. For each you will find a short biography, an original portrait, and links to further reading.

5. We Believe in the Forgiveness of Sins


What would make for a better world?

Unit 5 as mentioned above, encourages students to reflect on sin by examining The 10 Commandments. In addition, it encourages students to reflect on how our sins hurt our relationship with God and with other people. We as teachers are encouraged to guide our students in making moral choices. We need to provide them with the opportunity to reflect on the decisions that they make and how these decisions can affect themselves and others around them. This internet site provides a practical approach to teaching how and why rules and codes of goodness make life better. The lesson is taught in the form of a game. The instructions and materials needed, are provided on the site. In small groups, students are asked to consider all of the 23 statements presented and personally rate them in order of importance using words such as: perfect, excellent, very good ideas, good ideas, not such good ideas. Some of the statements include values such as: be a good friend, respect other people for who they are, stick up for other people.

As a follow-up to the activity questions are provided to allow for reflection and discussion. The questions allow students to focus on their beliefs and ideals and to listen and respect the opinions and ideals of others. Additional follow-up activities are provided for the discussion.

In my opinion this site can be very useful to teachers, because it provides a practical approach to teaching values and codes of conduct, while enabling students to reflect on their personal morals and rate their values. The activity also enables students to contemplate how their values and actions fit into God's view and expectations of the world.


This website is valuable for teachers when discussing the 10 Commandments with students. It educates students on the original meaning of each sin and then how people interpret the 10 Commandments today. The website quotes each commandment and discusses each more thoroughly from different points of view. This will help the teacher and students translate and understand the 10 Commandments which will can better help students to relate the commandments to their own lives as, outlined in the specified unit plan.--Krista McCracken

Ten C's Teaching Tips and Suggested Lesson "Hikes"
This is a website which describes a CD called "Ten Commandments". The website suggests that teachers use the CD with older students and are there to help guide the students through the CD. It provides lesson plans as well as worksheets for students to follow. This provides the teacher and
students with further discussion away from the program. This CD is an interesting way for students to explore the 10 Commandments. For example, students are asked to translate, rewrite and apply the 10 Commandments to their own life as well as taking "hikes" up the mountain that Moses travelled.--Krista McCracken

Kids Sunday School Place

This site can be used as support to Unit #5 in the grade 8 program. The site offers teachers lesson plans and activities regarding The Ten Commandments and the life of Jesus. Students are expected to review the Ten Commandments and examine their conscious based on these rules. The website can also be used as an extension to the Ten Commandments and the issue of sin. There are a total of six lesson plans on this page: Moses as a baby (God's protection), God speaks with Moses (God's holiness and desire to communicate with us), Pharaoh's last chance (fearing God), Parting the sea (God's power), wandering in the desert (contentment).

The Ten Commandments For Children

This website can be incorporated within the teachings of the Ten Commandments in Unit #5 of the grade 8 program. This website can be used by students themselves. It offers an explanation of each of the Ten Commandments using contemporary examples that students can easily relate to in their own lives. Students are given a real life definition of what each commandment expects of us as Christians. The website writer states "The ancient words aren't easy for children to understand. So I added practical illustrations of how each commandment might apply to the modern lives of my kids--and yours". Students should be given the opportunity to read the Ten Commandments given to Moses from the bible, and be given this opportunity to better understand what each commandment entails.

The Ten Commandments

This Website would be extremely useful in teaching this unit because it begins with a brief history of the Ten Commandments. It describes Moses' journey and refers to the Exodus experience. It relays the magnitude of the commandments as the document with the greatest significance to our global society. It lists the commandments and provides a brief interpretation/explanation of each one. Thus, enabling the teacher and students to achieve a greater understanding of the moral significance of each commandment. Furthermore, it outlines how the commandments can be divided into two categories: those which pertain to the individual's relationship with God and those which denote how individuals should act in relation to each other. This site would further be useful in facilitating the understanding that the commandments are the guiding principles in deciding right from wrong. It will speak to make decisions through an informed moral conscience, and in doing so, refrain from committing sin.

Disciples Now

This site is excellent to use as a resource as it is geared specifically to youth. This page gives you access to articles that have been organized under specific areas. For example, under the subject of social justice, one may review several articles that relate to life within a culture, a society. Such articles deal with the and explain the need to act on the teaching of the catholic church that we have a responsibility to respect and care for the earth and each other, particularly the poor and our persecuted brothers and sisters. This site will enable the grade 8 student to relate to issues of sin, social justice, morality and forgiveness, all addressed in unit 5. The articles available through this Website are written specifically for the youthful reader. Thus, not only would this be an excellent site for individual student study and reflection but, it provides the teacher with articles that can be effectively used in the classroom as supporting resources. The Website is further appealing because the articles included address questions that are commonly asked by youth and such questions and answers are relevant to the issues presented in unit 5.

6. We Believe in the Resurrection of the Body


Kids Health

This website offers excellent research information for teachers and parents regarding current health topics and issues. It is especially effective in this unit to give teacher background infomation to the students on STD's, Contraceptive Methods and Abstinence. It has a question and answer section that students may access where they can read answers to issues they may have, but are too embarrassed to discuss. It provides an excellent website to allow students to explore on their own without having to worry there would be any inappropriate material. It is also a great way to connect home and school as there is a parent link that allows parents to gain knowledge about certain issues that may be discussed in school.--Sandra Fiorini

TeachingSexuality.Ca - Alberta Heath and Wellness

This website can help to supplement teacher knowledge in preparing for the Grade 8 Religious Education and Family Life courses. It is not recommended as a student resource. This website gives the teacher an opportunity to learn more about the curriculum and policies. It shows them through grade appropriate lesson plans, the most effective ways to teach sexual health. It also explains how to prepare for your class, along with parent and student concerns you may encounter along the way. The reproducible lessons are excellent. They are grade specific and also tie into the family life program. There are links to other websites that could help further strengthen the teachers knowledge on this subject. I know that I was very apprehensive in teaching sexuality my first year and this would have been an excellent resource.--Sandra Fiorini

RCL Sacraments
This website is a fantastic resource for teachers, students, and parents. While mainly focusing on the sacraments of the Eucharist and reconciliation, the website provides a thorough look at the seven sacraments. It offers teachers lesson plans, activities, reflection questions, and stories from the scriptures that relate to each sacrament. For students, review activities, crossword puzzles, and interactive games can help the student enhance their understanding of the sacraments. Also, a section called Ask Father Bob allows teachers and parents to ask Father Bob Duggan, a priest from Maryland, for advice on the preparation of students for sacraments in their faith journey. This site can also prove to be of great value for Unit 5 of the Grade 8 religion program.--Fabio Nardo

Discovery Channel School: Dealing with Sexual Pressures

This website is a great resource for helping teachers introduce students to the differences between sex and sexuality. While this site was originally intended to facilitate a Health lesson plan, its cross-curricular ties to the 'What's sex worth?' stream in the Grade 8 religion program can prove to be invaluable. It addresses the many pressures students recieve towards having sex and helps students gain the perspective of the parent and teacher. Once students have addressed these pressures and conflicting messages within society, they will then be better ready to reflect on the Catholic Church's teachings. For the teacher or parent, I would suggest that background information on the Church's stance and interpretation of sexuality be found at the following site: --Fabio Nardo

7. We Believe in Life Everlasting

 Amnesty International

This site would be an excellent place to start in a discussion of social justice. The site is very clearly laid out and would provide students a solid background in what human rights issues are and how human rights are being abused across the world. The use of the Canadian site is suggested to give students a connection with the country in which they are living. The main amnesty site (org instead of ca) will have even more info that students can access. There are three parts on the site that would be particularly helpful at the start of students' instruction. Resource Centre provides background on issues and annual reports. Human Rights Issues offers a backgrounder in some of the main issues taking place around the world. Take Action allows students to see some of the current campaigns that are taking place and identify how they can take a stand for justice. The fact that the home page also includes "good news" stories can serve to help students understand that no action is too small. I used this site to provide my class with background on human right issues and as a springboard into a research project where each student choose their own issue to present. --Roy Fernandes

Maquilla Solidarity Network
This site would be appropriate to use if you choose to tackle the topical issues of sweatshops. The Maquilla Solidarity Network is a leading group in the fight against sweatshops. They are based in Toronto and as such are very available to provide background info on any issues that need clarification. The website includes current campaigns known as ACTION ALERT UPDATES as well as information on "No Sweat" campaigns throughout Canada. The list of links provides an excellent venue for students to research. From this site students will be able to discover how the Golden Rule is the foundation for just relationships as they see the injustices many workers (some as young as they are) are suffering. The site will also provide input into how they can help this issues and thereby help students to identify what living justly requires in students' lives.

My Gr. 8 class used this website as a springboard to writing our own website, creating our own play and running a public awareness campaign on sweatshops --Roy Fernandes

Poverty Tour USA A Catholic campaign for Human Development - A hand up not a hand out

The site deals with the issue of poverty and the problems that families face. The site begins with an average dollar amount that a family of four makes and who is considered to be living below the
poverty line. Throughout the tour, students are able to see how a family has to budget their money. At the end of the tour students can see that many families are living in over budgeting conditions and have not even dealt with buying the essentials such as food and clothing. All of the statistics are gathered and compiled from social justice organizations. This program for the poor works to end poverty and injustice.

This website is useful for teaching religion and a number of other subjects such as geography because the site provides a virtual tour to that helps students understand that life is truly a gift from God and how we are all responsible to care for life and serve those less fortunate. The aim of the religion chapter is to help students see that we are all connected. This tour can help students and other adults put into practice the idea of stewardship and the need for our involvement to help stop hidden poverty through taking up and being involved in a social justice cause.--Nancy Malta

8. Amen