1 Growing Up as a Christian Introduction The following lesson plan is provided to give teachers an idea of the kind of activities they could use when using the TrueTube film Holy Cribs: The Anglican Church. It can be used as it is, or as a springboard for your own ideas. The lesson focuses on the experience of young Christians, and how growing up in a Christian family and as part of a Church community can lead someone to believe in God. The plan is a companion to TrueTube s lesson The Church, which examines the features of a traditional church building and the eucharist service. Contents Lesson Overview 2 Specifications 3 Film Digest 4 Lesson Plan 5 Resources 10 1 P a g e
2 Overview Suitable for: Lesson Objective: Key Question: Time: TrueTube Film: Resources: Key Words: Key Stage4 To think about how a Christian upbringing might lead someone to believe in God. To think about how being part of Church community can support someone s belief in God. How does a religious upbringing lead someone to believe in God? 1 hour Holy Cribs: The Anglican Church Theme: Ethics and Religion Topic: Religious Traditions Internet connected whiteboard or enough PCs for the class. Large sheets of blank paper (at least A1) Glue sticks Growing Up as a Christian sheets (below) Sort a Sentence sheets (below) Exam Question planning sheet (below) Upbringing Numinous Religious Experience Dedication Infant Baptism First Communion Confirmation Believer s Baptism 2 P a g e
3 Specifications This lesson would be useful for the following GCSE Specifications: EdExcel OCR A OCR B OCR C AQA A AQA B Religion & Life Section 1 Believing in God Religious Upbringing Unit B572 Worship, Community and Family, Sacred Writings Religion in the faith community and the family Unit B601 Deity, Religious and Spiritual Experience, End of Life Public and Private Worship Unit B613 The Individual Key Area 3 The Impact of Religion on Everyday Life Religion and the Family Young People and Religion Unit 1 Christianity 2. Commitment and Membership Unit 1 Religion and Citizenship Topic 5 Religion and Identity Unit 2 Religion and Life Issues Topic 6 Religion and Young People WJEC A Unit 1 Christianity Practices and Way of Life Identity, Diversity and Belonging 3 P a g e
4 Film Digest Holy Cribs: The Anglican Church (Running time 10m 13s) Theme: Ethics and Religion Topic: Religious Traditions Alice and Bethany take us on a tour around their Church and share their personal experiences and views about their faith highlighting the significance of certain artefacts, expressing their thoughts about being baptised and demonstrating what happens during Holy Communion. 4 P a g e
5 Lesson Plan Starter Begin by asking your students to write down all the things that children inherit from their parents, e.g. eye colour, language, traditions, the football team they support, even family words and jokes that no one else gets. Take a few answers, and if no one else mentions it, include religion! 2 mins 2 mins Illustrate the point by (politely) asking students to reveal if they have the same religion as their parents. Or if they have no religion, if their parents are the same. In the majority of cases, Christians will have Christian parents, Muslims will have Muslim parents, atheists will have atheist parents and so on. If people believe in God, or follow a religion, most of the time it s because they have been brought up to. It is passed down from one generation to the next with the rest of the family s culture, like a language. (NOTE: if you have exceptions, you might want to return to the subject of religious conversion in another lesson!) Explain the meaning of the key words: 2 mins (More will follow as part of the Growing Up as a Christian task below.) Upbringing Numinous Religious Experience The teaching people receive and the example they follow when they are children. The wow feeling that you are in the presence of something greater than you. A spiritual experience that makes someone feel that they have come into contact with God or something holy. 5 P a g e
6 Main Activities In pairs, ask the class to discuss and write down as many features of a Christian upbringing as they can think of. What would happening the life of child being brought up in Christian family that wouldn t necessarily happen in a non Christian family? E.g. Baptism, bedtime prayers, going to Church, etc. Take some answers from the class and collate them on the board (or get a student to collate them on the board) as a Brainstorm or Thought Cloud. Give out the blank Growing Up as a Christian grids. 2 mins 2 mins 10 mins Remaining in their pairs, the students should fill in the blank spaces. Depending on how much time you have, and on the ability of your class, you could either: get your students to fill in the boxes themselves, using the internet to do some research; or you will need to cut out the slips provided so the students can glue them in the correct places. Don t forget to keep one of the completed sheets intact so you have the answers to hand! Go through the correct answers with the class. 3 mins Before showing the film below, get your class into groups of five and hand out the Sort a Sentence strips to each member. There are three sets of five sentences, so groups will have just one of them don t get them mixed up! 1 min Each student should listen carefully to Alice and Bethany (the girls in the film) for when their sentence appears. After the film, each group will decide on the order that their sentences appeared, but DON T tell them that before they ve seen it! 6 P a g e
7 (NOTE: The grammar of the sentences is dangerously precarious and your students should not attempt to imitate it.) Show the film: Holy Cribs: The Anglican Church 10 mins Now ask the groups to get their sentences in order, according to when they appeared in the film. Depending on how much room you have, the students could either do this sitting down by moving the slips of paper around on a desk, or they could stand up and get themselves in the correct order from left to right according to the slip they are holding. Go through the students answers and get the groups to help each other out if the order is wrong. Again, don t forget to keep some Sort a Sentence sheets intact so you have the correct answers! Discuss with the class: 2 mins 2 mins How does going to Church every Sunday and being part of a Church community continue to support Alice and Bethany s belief in God? E.g. They feel welcomed, they are surrounded by people with the same beliefs, they feel part of the community (helping in services etc). Show the students the following exam style discussion question: 1 min It is wrong to force children to follow a religion. Do you agree? Give reasons for your opinion. Give reasons why someone might disagree with you. 7 P a g e
8 Have a Silent Debate. It works like this: 8 mins First of all you ll need to arrange your desks into two islands with enough room for students to walk around them. In the centre of each island, spread out a large piece of paper an A1 piece of sugar paper, perhaps but the bigger the better. Write the statement from the question above in the centre of each piece of paper (or you might like to use different statements on the same theme). Make sure each student has a pen. Divide the class into two groups one for each island. Each group should stand around their island and the piece of paper. NO TALKING IS ALLOWED! Give the students 5 minutes to debate the statement by writing their arguments for and against it on the paper in Spider Diagram style. Every argument must be backed up with a good reason. Students can walk around the paper and answer other students by writing counter arguments near to something they disagree with. Chains of argument and counter argument soon begin to build up. Insults and unhelpful statements such as You re wrong, You re mad or Your Mum are not allowed. Questions, such as Why?, How? or What do you mean? are allowed as long as they are justified. After five minutes, get the groups to swap islands to look at what has been written on the other group s piece of paper, and to contribute if they can. It is worth trying another Silent Debate in following lessons. The students get used to the idea of argument and counterargument and soon begin to enjoy the thrust and parry. You will, of course, always have one or two students who just want to doodle, so be vigilant and occasionally join in. Play devil s advocate when the debate begins to flag. 8 P a g e
9 Now get your students back into their seats to write their own individual answers to the exam style question. A writing scaffold is supplied in the Resources section to help students to structure their answers correctly. Plenary Has Learning Taken Place? 8 mins 5 mins Ask a few students to read out their answers and allow other students to give (kind) feedback. Does the answer have three reasons for and three reasons against? Are the arguments clearly explained? Are the reasons connected (argument and counter argument) or just a list? Adapt as necessary to the marking criteria of the Specification you are following. Extension Suggested Further Activities Brainstorm some of the features of an upbringing in other religions. E.g. What would happen in the life of child being brought up in Muslim family, that wouldn t necessarily happen in a non Muslim family? How might these things lead someone to believe in God? Do some research! What happens in the ceremonies that were mentioned in the lesson? E.g. Infant Baptism, Confirmation, Believer s Baptism. Why do some churches baptise babies, and some insist on waiting until someone is older? 9 P a g e
10 Resources Growing Up as a Christian 2 pages for the matching exercise Sort a Sentence 3 pages Exam Question planning sheet 1 page 10 P a g e
11 Sort a Sentence Group 1 At this Church, everybody gets on really well with each other. It s like a family kind of atmosphere, really. And we ve got friends here that are our age as well. It s really good to come here because we re able to, like, worship God and learn about God in a comfortable environment with friends, family, like, no one will judge you here. As much as you can worship God at home and read your Bible at home, I think it s quite nice to come to Church because you know you re coming to Church to worship God. At home there s so many distractions, whereas here you it s only for, like, an hour but you re just completely focussed on God. It s good. And it s really uplifting for the rest of the week. Neither of us were baptised as babies. My parents wanted me to choose when I m older when I wanted to get baptised for myself.
12 Sort a Sentence Group 2 This symbolises, just like a baby s baptism Starting a new life. Yeah, with God. And when you come up out of the water, you feel, like, really fresh and clean and new. Yeah, it s really great. It was really cold. We ve always come to Church, but with our parents and it wasn t really, like, our choice, but then when we got baptised it was, like, symbolising that we wanted to make that choice for ourselves. Like when you choose it for yourself and you feel God in you personally, you want to make it known to everyone else that that s, like, what you want to be for yourself and you want to be a Christian. Bible reading can also be done at home. Sometimes it can be quite comforting Like sometimes, you said, if you open the Bible Yeah, if you open the Bible, sometimes at a random page, sometimes it s exactly what you want to to hear. Christians believe it s the word of God. Sometimes you can read it and it could be the answer to prayer. It can help you make the right decision sometimes. Like, shows you the way.
13 Sort a Sentence Group 3 In a few weeks time, the Youth Group that me and Alice go to, we re going to be running the service from beginning to end: so all the music, the readings, the talk, everything. Communion is really important to Christians because we believe that Jesus died on the cross for us and he took all the pain so that our sins can now be forgiven. It sort of helps you remember. It s not like you forget but it just reminds you, like, refreshes you. Because Jesus died and took, like, all our wrong away, we can be forgiven for what we do, and we can still have a relationship with God. Being a Christian affects your everyday life, especially for us, because we re in school and we re with other people of different faiths, but normally it can change your perception on things the decisions that you make. We have to try and make sure that we re living, say, how Jesus would want us to live. Church is welcoming, it s full of people your age, every age. And we do get stuff out of it. If you re, like, struggling with anything then you know you can come here and feel at home and welcome.
14 What happens? What does it mean? How does it lead to a belief in God? Infant Baptism Bedtime Prayers Bible Stories Going to Church Festivals Sunday School Church School First Communion Youth Clubs Confirmation Believer s Baptism Religious Experience Youth Leadership
15 What happens? Infant Baptism Bedtime Prayers Bible Stories Going to Church Festivals Sunday School Church School First Communion Youth Clubs Confirmation Believer s Baptism Religious Experience Youth Leadership What does it mean? A baby is sprinkled with water as a symbol of God taking away their sin, and parents promise to bring their child up as a Christian. Children are often encouraged to talk to God, to thank him for good things and to ask for his help with the bad things. Children are encouraged to read the Bible, beginning with picture books that re tell the stories in a simple way. Christian families often attend a Family service or All Age Worship at Church. Families celebrate Easter and Christmas and other important events such as Lent (before Easter) and Advent (before Christmas). Most churches run special classes for children to teach them Christian beliefs and how to live a Christian life. Some schools are owned, or partly owned, by the Church and they encourage worship in assemblies and Christian teaching in RE. In Roman Catholic Churches, there is a special ceremony for 7 year olds when they take Communion for the first time. Many Churches run youth clubs where young people can have fun and attend Christian events together. If someone was baptised as a baby, there is another ceremony when they are older to confirm that they are Christians. Some Christians are baptised when they are older, often by full immersion. This is when someone is dunked completely under water. A spiritual experience when people feel that they have come into contact with God, or something holy. Some churches encourage young people to help lead Sunday School for younger children. How does it lead to a belief in God? Parents bring their children up with Christian beliefs. Young children follow their parents example and believe what they are told. Children grow up with the belief that God is listening to them. They may believe that God has answered their prayers. Children learn stories from the Bible and are taught that they are true. They learn that God has always been involved in history. Children are surrounded by people who all seem to believe the same thing. Belief in God is seen as normal. Children are taught the Christian meaning of Easter and Christmas and celebrate it in Church, sharing in everyone s happiness. Learning in more detail about God, Jesus and the Bible helps to back up what a child s parents taught them. Children and young people continue to be surrounded by Christians at school. Belief in God is still seen as normal. Children dress up and feel proud to have taken Communion for the first time with all their friends. Young people are surrounded by other teenagers with the same beliefs, leading to positive peer pressure. Young people are blessed by a Bishop and are fully accepted into the Church when they confirm their beliefs. Young people make a public declaration of their faith and feel that they are starting a new life, washed clean of sin. Young people might experience a feeling of the numinous in Church, or an answered prayer, or even a miracle such as healing from illness. Young people pass on their beliefs to children, and often learn more themselves in the process.
16 Exam Question It is wrong to force children to follow a religion. Arguments For Arguments against Now write your answer in full sentences try to fill in every box. I agree/disagree because Another reason why I think this is because A final reason why I think this is because Again, write in full sentences and try to fill in every box. Some people might disagree with me because They might also disagree with me because A last reason why people might disagree with me is because