SACRED TEXT PRACTICES CHEAT SHEET

HAVRUTA

Divide students into partners. One partner will choose a passage (no longer than a couple of sentences), and then ask and answer
their own analytical question about that passage. They will then invite their partner to add to their interpretation or offer a different
one (i.e., “The question I want to ask is why we meet Fawkes on a burning day when he’s in flames and then new and ugly instead of
when he’s beautiful. I think the answer might be that it’s a reminder to Harry that we can start over but it doesn’t always look pretty.
What do you think?).

SACRED IMAGINATION

This can be done in partners or a group. One student will select a scene that is rich in imagery, description, or language. As that
student reads the passage aloud, the partners will close their eyes and imagine themselves in the scene. The reader can ask them to
imagine themselves as a certain character, or from a certain vantage point, but they can also just immerse themselves in the passage
generally. Afterwards, students have a discussion about what this exercise brought to light for them.

LECTIO DIVINA

Students can be in partners or in a group. Someone chooses a short passage and reads it. Students then address the passage through
the following layers (and may re-read the passage during the process if necessary).

1. What is the literal meaning of this passage? What is happening in the text or narrative when this passage occurs?
2. What is the figurative meaning of the passage? What symbols do you see, and what imagery is important?
3. Where do you see elements of this passage in your own life?
4. What does this passage call you to do in your own life?

FLORILEGIUM

While reading a chapter, a passage, a story, or a poem, instruct students to look for “sparklets”: words, phrases, or sentences that
jump out to them as being particularly meaningful or lovely. They will write their “sparklet” down on a sheet of paper or an index
card. After reading, students will assemble in random groups of 4-6. They will then engage in the following practice:

1. Each student will share their “sparklet” and explain why they chose it.
2. As students share their “sparklets”, other students should feel free to add to what the sharer said. Students may consider
symbolism, theme, diction, or any other way of looking at an excerpt.
3. Students will then place their “sparklets” in the center of the table, and as a group they will attempt to make connections
between the “sparklets”. It’s okay if they are seemingly unconnected in the chapter or the book. What they are practicing is
making larger ideas out of smaller ones, and taking a text outside of the confines of the covers.