Read the article ‘A just immersion’ and answer the following questions. Then share your answers in pairs, small groups or in a classroom discussion.
1. In her article ‘A just immersion’, Anna Watt asks, ‘How much of what we do is really for others? Is our main drive to satisfy peoples’ needs, or do we sometimes help others to make ourselves feel good?’ Why do you think Anna asks these questions? Why are these questions important?
2. Why is 'because it makes me feel good' not a good enough reason to volunteer? What is a reason to get involved in social justice?
3. In what ways do you help others? Why do you like to help others?
4. Explain the quote, ‘We had the experience, but missed the meaning’. How does this quote relate to social justice immersion programs? How would students know they ‘missed’ the meaning of their social justice experience? How would they know they ‘got’ it?
5. In social justice immersion programs, why is it important to learn from one another?
1. As in the article ‘My first social justice experience’, write about your first experience in social justice. If you haven’t volunteered or participated in a social justice movement, write about what issue matters to you and how you could get involved.
When you’re finished with your reflection, share it with your class.
2. Think about the quote ‘We had the experience, but missed the meaning’. In this exercise, you’ll write two short stories from two different perspectives. Write one of the short stories about a student who missed the meaning of a social justice immersion experience. How did the student miss the meaning? How did the student act while they were on the immersion? How did the student treat others while on the immersion? Then write the other short story about a student who ‘got’ the meaning of the immersion. What was it they got? How did this student act? How did this student treat others?
After your stories are complete, read them to your class.
For younger students
Teachers can either read the story ‘A just immersion’ to the students or tell it to them in a simpler form. As a class, discuss the importance of helping others and how, while helping one another, we can learn from each other. Ask students what Jesus taught us about reaching out and helping others. Then, students can share about a time they learned from someone they helped. What did they learn? How did it change them?
On a piece of paper, students can draw or cut out a heart on coloured paper. Within the heart, students can write words that describe what their volunteer experience meant to them and what they learned from it. Students can then decorate their hearts.
Students can present their hearts to the class or hang them up!
Caritas has a range of resources to help schools and students reflect more deeply on their immersion resources.
Check out Caritas’s ‘Just Visiting?’ resources here
Or you can view the Just Visiting resource PDF here