Christianity : Christmas How do Christians celebrate Jesus’ birth, and show their beliefs about Jesus? What are my hopes for the future? Year 5 or Year 5/6 on a two year rolling programme



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Christianity : Christmas

How do Christians celebrate Jesus’ birth, and show their beliefs about Jesus?

What are my hopes for the future?

Year 5 or Year 5/6 on a two year rolling programme


Background Story/ Information

In this unit pupils learn about how the birth of Jesus is celebrated in the life of the church. They learn about Advent as a period of preparation before Christmas. Pupils explore some key Christian beliefs about Jesus e.g. that he was God Incarnate; that he is Messiah, foretold by the prophets of the Old Testament; about the Christian belief in the Second Coming [as explored in Advent]



Cross Curricular Links

ICT Power Point presentation, Art, SMSC





Key Vocabulary

Messiah (Christ) Jesus (God saves) Advent (the coming)


Skills

Investigation – I can ask appropriate questions, voice my ideas and give reasons. I can gather evidence from different sources.

Exploration – I am willing to look for answers to difficult questions.

Analysis – I can suggest and explain meanings.


Attitudes

Self- awareness

Respect for others


Key Questions

  • What does Advent mean to Christians?

  • Why was the birth of Jesus so important to Christians?

  • How do Christians celebrate the birth of Jesus?

  • What makes a good promise?

  • What message would God want to send to us today?

  • Who was Jesus?’‘What does he represent to Christians?’

  • ‘How trustworthy are gospel sources and artists representations about Jesus?’


Assessment opportunities are indicated by a  throughout the document



Learning Objectives


PossibleTeaching/Learning Activities


Learning Outcomes


Resources


To explore the Christian belief that Jesus was God’s promise to mankind.

Lesson 1

Advent is a time of great hope for Christians. It is a period leading up to Christmas. At Christmas Christians celebrate the coming of Christ. The word advent means ‘coming’. Advent is the beginning of the Christian year therefore a time of hope for the year ahead. Why are new beginnings times of hope? Children give examples of hope at times of new beginnings e.g. new school year.

Explore the idea that a messiah (one who would save his people) was promised in the Old Testament and that this gave people hope for a better future. What did people hope for?

Christians believe that Jesus’ birth was the fulfilment of this promise and a new beginning. Read extract from Isaiah 9-11.What was promised?



  • In pairs, children look at extract from Isaiah and highlight what was promised- what sort of world did Isaiah hope for?

  • What promises do we need for the world today? Each child to create a promise for the future and create a class collage with pictures.

  • Children work in groups to produce their own pyramid of promises in order of importance

Plenary

Are Isaiah’s hopes still the hopes of Christian’s today?

Is the world that Isaiah promised still the world that Christians and others hope for today?


AT1

I can describe and understand why advent is an important time of year for Christians.


I can show some understanding of the Jewish sources that foretell the coming of a Messiah.



Bible – Old and New Testament.

Extract from Isaiah. Ch 9 – 11.

Bible passages can be found and printed from

www.biblegateway.com

Suitable Bible




To learn how the birth of Jesus is remembered by Christians
To raise questions about its significance to Christians, themselves and others.

Lesson 2

Open with a thought shower on how and why the children celebrate Christmas? Read the’ Lion Bible’ version of the Christmas story and highlight that Christians celebrate it because they believe that in Jesus God became man.
Choose ONE of the following activities to extend their understanding.


  • Look at a selection of Christmas cards (religious and non-religious). Children select the one that captures the Christian understanding of Christmas best. Discuss which things occur in every picture and why they are important?

  • Use odd one out template - Give the children 3 pictures e.g. Nativity scene, Father Christmas, Snowman. Children discuss which the odd one is and why.




  • This raises questions such as Father Christmas is linked to Christian idea of giving presents but is not a religious symbol.

  • Create a Christmas card that you think captures the true meaning of Christmas for Christians today?

Plenary

Why is the birth of Jesus so important to Christians?



AT1

I can describe the significance of Jesus to Christians


AT2

I can raise and respond to a range of questions in relation to the significance of Jesus.


I can suggest appropriate answers to these questions.


Selection of Christmas cards – religious and non religious.
Odd one out template.
Lion Bible for Children by Murray Watts

ISBN 0 7459 4046 3



To understand the significance of Jesus to Christians and others.

Lesson 3

Introduce the idea that Christians believe that Jesus came to show people what God is like. Discuss with the children where they think Christians find out about Jesus.


  • Through art - Hold a class discussion about a picture of Jesus. How is Jesus represented by the artist? Model asking questions to stimulate a debate. Using different images of Jesus as a start for research -what does this artist want to portray about Jesus? Children use template to raise and answer questions for their picture.




  • Through the gospels - Explain that the four gospels in the New Testament tell us all that we know about Jesus. Give the children extracts from the gospels. Ask the children to match pictures to the different descriptions of Jesus e.g. the extracts under headings which show Jesus God’s son, Jesus the healer, Jesus the teacher. Extend the task by allowing the more able to provide their own headings.

  • Extended writing – Why is Jesus so important to Christians? 

Plenary

Discuss points raised by the Children.



AT2

I can raise questions and respond to a piece of art/text relating to the significance of Jesus to Christians.



Images showing Jesus as the Son of God, healer, special teacher.
Extracts from the four gospels showing aspects of Jesus with title headings.
‘Picturing Jesus’ Pack A and B - a useful resource produced by RE Today

www.retoday.org.uk



To explore the Christian belief that Jesus is amongst us at all times.

Lesson 4

Imagine how Jesus would appear to us today? What do the children think he would look like? Where would he appear to us and how? What message would he have for people today? Select the music track, ‘One of Us’ by Joan Osbourne.



  • Give the children a selection of pictures of Jesus in a modern setting, such as the picture of Jesus on the tube, the nativity scene surrounded by high rise buildings etc. If you were an artist where would you paint Jesus today and explain why?




  • Using the picture of ‘Jesus on the tube’. Children raise and respond to questions about it. 

Plenary

How do the paintings and songs reflect Christian belief about Jesus being with them at all times?




AT1

I can understand the significance of the Christian belief that Jesus is amongst us at all times.



Paintings or images of Jesus in modern day society.
Picturing Jesus pack - Picture of Jesus on the Tube by Antonio Rolls

Music – ‘One of Us’ by Joan Osborne




To raise and respond to questions about the significance of Jesus and his message for Christians in today’s society.

Lesson 5 and 6

Ask the children to think about current issues [both personal and global] that concern them.



  • Create a power point presentation to show what Jesus might be concerned about today. Choose some suitable music to accompany this. Discuss the message being communicated. Children design and produce Power Point presentation of their message which could include images, text and a music soundtrack. Examples such as , Black Eyed Peas – ‘Where is the Love?’, Louis Armstrong –‘Wonderful World’, R.E.M – ‘Everybody hurts’ 


  • Show a speech made by a prominent Christian figure e.g. U2s Bono, Martin Luther King. Research the message of this prominent leader. In groups prepare a speech to deliver to the class.


  • How would you get your fellow believers to listen? 

  • Show the children a newspaper article written by a prominent Christian figure. Go away and research and prepare questions to hot seat the character.

Plenary

Children present to the class and reflect on the issues raised.




AT2

I can raise and suggest answers to questions.


I can apply my own and others’ ideas.
I can describe what inspires me.

Images of current issues see Google e.g. ‘suffering’.
Newspaper reports.



Assessment Opportunities



  • Children can describe and show understanding of the significance of Jesus to Christians.

  • Children can ask, and respond to, a range of questions in relation to the significance of Jesus and suggest appropriate answers to these questions












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