Thursday 15th November 2018
Was Jesus the Messiah?
LO – Identify Gospel and prophecy texts, using technical terms
A written report from the scene (Matthew 1:18–24, 2:1–12). The Jewish followers of Jesus gradually began to believe that Jesus was this Messiah, and that he fulfilled the prophecies. Get pupil investigators to look for and highlight some of the evidence in Matthew’s Gospel that led Christians to believe this (Resource Sheet 2). What clues are there that Jesus is the promised Messiah? Link each of the expectations by highlighting or drawing a line to one or more clues in the text. (Most Jewish people at the time did not believe Jesus was the Messiah — and Jewish people today still do not think he was.) There is not evidence for all of the prophecies in the text.
Thursday 1st November 2018
Was Jesus the Messiah?
LO- Identify Gospel and prophecy texts, using technical terms
Recap the ‘big story’ of the Bible so far (see story outline in the Introduction and Essential Information). How far can pupils describe and explain the big story? Can they sort the core concepts alongside the Frieze? Explain that we are just about to begin studying the New Testament, but need to think about the time at the end of the Old Testament first.
• Examine the situation: The People of God were taken into exile in Babylon in 586BCE. They return after about 50 years, but their Promised Land is still occupied by foreign forces. They begin to have a New Hope — God will rescue them! He will send a rescuer, a saviour — a Chosen One or Messiah. This is the situation when the Old Testament ends. However, the land remains occupied by different forces — at the start of the New Testament, this is by the beastly Romans. The people have been waiting a long time — and some are despairing, but some still hope. • What kind of saviour? Introduce to the pupils their role as an investigative journalist, employed to answer the question: Was Jesus the hoped-for Saviour? Was Jesus the Messiah? Ask pupils to list the characteristics this person will need to have — a Saviour who could rescue the People of God in their current situation. • The first clues: Examining written evidence. As investigative journalists pupils have received a list of what the Jewish people are expecting in a messiah (Resource Sheet 1a gives some prophecies, and Sheet 1b summarises the key points.) Ask pupils to create a ‘Wanted’ poster or radio advert based on these expectations. Ensure that there is a link to each of the Messianic expectations: for example, wears a crown, holding a family tree with King David marked on it, birth certificate with place of birth as Bethlehem, and so on.
Wednesday 20th June 2018
What would Jesus do?
LO- Taking account of the context, suggest meanings of Gospel texts studied, and compare their ideas with ways in which Christians interpret biblical texts, showing awareness of different interpretations.
Read the story, but perhaps make the woman’s sin non-specific, in order to avoid the focus on adultery. Stop at the point where Jesus writes on the ground. What do pupils think he did next? What could he say? Various artists have portrayed this event. Dinah Roe Kendall’s image of ‘The Woman Taken in Adultery’ is excellent. Get pupils to trade places with the characters in the image. Ask them to explain what is going on, how they feel and so on.
Fast-forward five minutes — what is the scene then? Ask pupils playing the woman and Jesus to explain what has happened and what it means. Jesus’ refusal to condemn frees the woman for a second ‘go at life’. How do pupils respond to Jesus’ answer?
Consider some alternative interpretations: When Jesus rescues the woman caught in the act, is the main point about being judgemental, or about forgiveness? Does Jesus uphold the law, or undermine it?
Thursday 10th May 2018
What would Jesus do?
LO – Investigate the meaning of the 15 quotations that Jesus said during ‘The Sermon On The Mount’.
The Sermon on the Mount, Matthew 5–7.
Resource Sheet 1 gives 15 quotations from Jesus’ teaching, to be referred to every time pupils consider ‘What would Jesus do?’ Get the class used to thinking about how to apply these quotes.
You could use a guided story narrative or stilling and experiential reflection techniques to open up pupils’ thinking about the meaning of these texts and to get inside the Sermon and its meaning.
15 sentences that changed the world: point out that Christians and some non-Christians try to live by Jesus’ teachings: over 2 billion global Christians include 59% of the UK’s population too. For each of the 15 sayings from the Sermon on the Mount, ask pairs of pupils to suggest what they think it means, then summarise each saying with one topic word and a phrase of seven words or fewer. See if they can match another pair’s summaries with the texts. What does Jesus think people are like if he needs to give this sermon? Is he right?!
Create game – 4 summarised words on a card, answer on back of card.
Thursday 26th April 2018
What would Jesus do?
LO – Offer meaning to the parable of ‘The wise and Foolish Builders
Give pupils some scenarios where a choice must be made: truth or lies, kindness or mocking, generosity or greed. Ask: What would Bart Simpson do in each case? Taylor Swift? Show the class some artefacts from the ‘What would Jesus do?’ gift shop: online searches will give you plenty of options including wristbands, bumper stickers, mugs, badges and shirts, asking this question. Show these to pupils, and consider why they have become popular. Christians want to follow Jesus and apply his teachings to all of their lives. The pupils are going to try to work out what Jesus would do in lots of different tricky situations. It’s not guesswork: it will all be based on what he actually said and did.
Foundations for Living:
The Wise and Foolish Builders, Matthew 7:24–27. (parable)
Start with a fun design challenge: can the pupils in groups of three use 12 kebab sticks and some masking tape to create the tallest possible Bible stand? Give half the class sand trays from
Reception, the other half modelling clay for the base. Which is easier? Read the parable: imagine the scene from inside the story. Ask pupils what they think the story is about and why. This unit explores the kinds of things that form these foundations for living.
Coventry Cathedral Visit
What does it mean if God is loving and holy?
LO - Make clear connections between Bible texts studied and what Christians believe about God; for example, through how churches are designed.
Christians respond to the idea of God as omnipotent, eternal, and so on, in lots of ways. Here are two: Church architecture and worship.
What do cathedrals show about what Christians believe about God. How do they show that Christians believe God is worth worshipping? Find out about the parts of a cathedral (or a local church). Take the words from the description of God in the earlier activities using the Bible texts and see if they could be used to label parts of the building.
For example: stained glass tells stories; the altar talks of sacrifice; confessionals talk of forgiveness; in larger churches you can see where people used to be separated from the holiest part, the altar, by the rood screen; the size and scale of cathedrals speak of God’s power as well as human creativity (in God’s image); the cross shape and all crosses/ crucifixes talk of God’s love through Jesus (see Digging Deeper).
You might like to focus on Coventry Cathedral for this, with its stunning artwork and architecture: www.coventrycathedraltour.org.uk/node.php
What does it mean if God is both holy and loving?
LO - Explain connections between biblical texts and Christian ideas of God, using theological terms
Discuss the features of God pupils have come up with. They are now going to look at the words of three people who claim to know the God of the Bible personally — David (Psalm 103 — a psalm or prayer/ song), Isaiah (Isaiah 6:1–5 — a prophet tells of a religious experience) and John (I John 4:7–13 — a letter).
Divide these up and give a section to groups of pupils. They are looking for words and phrases from the texts to describe what God is like, what God does and what God does not do; and also to identify how the writer knows this.
Focus on two important ideas about God: Christians see God as holy as well as loving. God’s holiness is to do with being apart from all others, being pure, being without sin. Read Exodus 19:1-19 to show how serious this is in the Bible. Get pupils to go back to the texts and identify the ones that are to do with God being holy, and those to do with God being loving.
What does it mean if God is holy and loving?
LO- Investigate using technical terms accurately
Build a god: ask pupils to write down all the words they might use if they were to describe a being who could be ‘God’ — including this god’s power, character, actions. Resource Sheet 1 offers some words to help — some are more helpful than others! Use these to help pupils learn some key technical words, such as omnipotent, omniscient, holy, loving and spirit.
Why are those features important for a God?
Which feature is the most important?
What kind of world would your God be king over?