Schoolchildren in Cambodia. Photo: Chanthea Nou/Caritas Australia.

The Common Good

Upper Primary

Teacher introduction

By the end of this unit, students will have explored the importance of Christian values in community; made connections between Biblical teaching and living in community; and demonstrated an appreciation of interdependence in community.  

Teachers, before you start:

  1. Watch the CST ‘Common Good’ film and familiarise yourself with the Lower Primary cartoon (found within the Learning Experience below).
  2. Download the various resources referenced below (worksheets, slides, etc.) and have them ready to go on your computer/interactive whiteboard.
  3. Locate any Scriptures and copies of Church texts (all hyperlinked within the Learning Experience below).
  4. Familiarise and decide on the use of online or app technologies.

Learn - Focus

Students explore the importance of Christian values in community.

Display the The Common Good Editorial cartoon Poster

Discuss: What is each panel in the poster trying to say?

On a T-chart with the headings ‘Behaviour’ and ‘Impact’, identify the inclusive and exclusive behaviours depicted.

Record a list of the behaviours demonstrated in the top panel of the poster. What impact do these each of these behaviours have?

Discuss/conduct a class audit: Are any of these behaviours demonstrated in your own learning community? How do students work together in the class? Why have the classroom guidelines/rules/values been chosen?

Learn - Explore

Students make connections between Biblical teaching and living in community.

Discuss: What does Scripture say about how should we be working together?

Students share principles/Scriptures that students can think of in response to this, or that they use in their day to day lives.

In groups students find and read Scripture passages such as

1 Corinthians 13:1-8

Romans 1: 7 – 12

Philippians 2: 2- 5, 14

Galatians 5:25 – 26

Colossians 3: 12 – 17, 20

and report back to the class summarising: ‘What does this Scripture passage teach us about how to love each other?’

Generate a class list of behaviours instructed by the Scriptures, contrasting the behaviours depicted and discussed in the cartoon.

Learn - Demonstrate

Students make connections between Biblical teaching and living in community.

Read 1 Corinthians 12:11-26

Discuss: What does this teach us about how we are connected? Does this Scripture teach us that we need each other or don’t need each other?

What makes a community?

Identify: What is better about working together?

What can be achieved working together?

What makes the classroom community good for everyone?

Students list examples of communities to which students belong and the reasons they belong. What are the benefits of belonging to a community?

Review the case study.

Discuss: How do the Scriptures apply to the situation where marginalised people are discriminated against and excluded?

What changes need to take place in the attitudes of people in the case study?

Teacher’s Note: This principle guides the work of Caritas Australia. Priority is given to development programs which involve collaboration with all relevant sectors of the community to promote the common good. It will also involve coordination of resources, planning and action across agencies and organisations. 


Students demonstrate an appreciation of interdependence in community.

Editorial The Common Good cartoon Poster.

Discuss: In pairs, students paraphrase quote “Each person is a member of society, and we are all called to further the development of human society as a whole.” (Pope Paul VI)

Complete a think-pair-share. Students individually think of one or two ways they can contribute to the class working better. They might write it on a post it note, or online using Lino.

As a class, complete an ‘If…then’ routine to respond to the question: “If human beings did not live in community then …”. Alternatively, generate an ‘If’ questions as a class.

Or, use 1 John 4:7-12 or choose one of the Scriptures from above to explore more deeply using the ‘If and then’ routine. 


Read and display Galatians 6:9-10

Students reflect silently and pray, asking God to help them work for the good of all.

Students write a reflection or record a video blog about a time when they made a decision that was for the good of others and not just themselves.

The video blogs could be collected and cut into one clip titled ‘How our class works towards the common good’. This could also be done as a fake twitters using Twister printed and displayed.