Friend has to teach a Year 8 lesson entitled "Was Jesus the son of God" for an interview - HELP!(16 Posts)
It's for an RE & Citizenship post but she has social skills degree. Lots of overlap with the moral, values and ethics stuff & we have had some ideas but we are both v.tired and this question has been driving us bonkers.
Lesson is 1 hour and will be for Y8 pupils. Any ideas AT ALL? As in, what is the answer? Is there one? How Christian do you have to be for the answer to always be YES? Can the answer ever be that it might be a metaphor, etc.? SChool is not a church one. it's a state school that follows the Nat Curr.
Well, for a Christian, the answer is going to be yes, it's a pretty fundamental part of orthodoxy - but there's a few in the field of Christendom that would take it slightly differently, and I think Unitarians would put it very much in the metaphor place. Then you've got how He is viewed in non-Christian religion, where 'the son of God' has different connotations too.
Sorry, not sure that's any help, I've had a drink..
You could look at how Jesus described himself in the bible - how he responded to what other people said about him, what claims he made. Then what the early church taught eg in the epistles. Then the slightly less early church - Nicene creed was developed about 300-and-something I think. Plus what other people at the time and a little after thought of him - I think there's a handful of references from non-Christian sources. And what other religions teach about him - eg in Islam he is seen as a prophet I think.
Maybe it's a "What's more important - applying the teachings of the Kingdom of God or belief in the Resurrection?" type thing.
The answer being (perhaps) that the latter will give Christian's strength to do the former.
Or have I just confused matters. How old is Year 8?
Most Christians do believe that Jesus is the son of God, yes. In the Gospels, Luke 9 has the following passage:
"...32 Now Peter and his companions had been overcome with sleep; but when they were fully awake, they saw His glory and the two men standing with Him. 33 And as these were leaving Him, Peter said to Jesus, Master, it is good for us to be here; let us make three tabernacles: one for You, and one for Moses, and one for Elijahnot realizing what he was saying. 34 While he was saying this, a cloud formed and began to overshadow them; and they were afraid as they entered the cloud. 35 Then a voice came out of the cloud, saying, This is My Son, My Chosen One; listen to Him! Earlier in Luke, we read "He will be great and will be called the Son of the Most High".
For a Year 8 pupil (age 12-13) there are going to be a lot of questions about Mary and the virgin birth and whether that was a real event, I would think.
For the opposing view, they could try something very controversial likewww.atheistfoundation.org.au/mangod.htm which is an atheist essay on the matter?
You could also mention the fore-shadowing:
When Jesus's pregnant mother Mary meets her cousin ELizabeth, the child Elizabeth is carrying (who becomes John the Baptist) leaps for joy. Because the unborn John recognises the Christ.
She could always get them them to debate the mad/bad/son of God theory. For more resources the alpha book could help her as this is one of the sessions.
She could do some kind of textual criticism, and get the pupils to come to their own conclusion.
How long is the lesson for? She needs to look at the QCA site to see what the objectives are in the lesson, (hitting AT1 and 2 as well)and also if she can get hold of the syllabus (written by the SACRE for the LEA), that'll help as well.
Year 8 - I wouldn't make it too complicated.
Starter: What famous religious figures can you name? (might get Buddha, Muhammed, Guru Nanak, Abraham and hopefully JC). What do these figures have in common? (hopefully answer - they all are 'founders' of a religion).
Then, Christians think that JC is extremely 'special' - why - you'll get various responses.
Then, put JC in historical context - we know he exists as mentioned in Josephus - but what made him special, why did people then, and now think he was the son of God?
You may then get answers about miracles (need to define what one is perhaps), parables, teachings, actions, idea of sacrifice, resurrection. Put these in columns on the board.
Distribute in groups examples of a miracle, parable, teaching, event from JC's life, and in groups ask the students to say what about it points to JC being the son of God. Give ten minutes, and then get them to feed back to the class.
Plenary: Either one thing they've learned about JC today that they didn't know, or do they think from the evidence that he was or wasn't the son of God.
There is a series of lessons on www.standards.dfes.gov.uk/schemes3 that deals with a generic religious figure, and is for Year 7, but is usable for year 8.
Hope that helps.
The idea in teaching nowdays is not to tell them the answer so much as have a class discussion on 'analytical thinking' so they come to their own conclusions because there is no right answer to this.
Do NOT tell them yes or no, as they will all ahve their own religions (or rather their parents religion!) and you will have a class full of angry parents if you try to change anyones mind.
try to get them to think about metaphor,biblical history, biology etc.
p.s. its really worth recognising there are atheist children who have been told there is not such thing as god anyway! So make sure they can see this is not just a religious exercise, but a critical thinking one. Good luck!
Meant to say with the miracles, there are some alternative explanations that can be made for some of them...and that the bible could be a set of chinese whispers as it was all so long agao. You'll also get some pointing out it was propaganda for the early church, and those who couldn't give a toss anyway. getting them to back up their answers from the evidence and explaining their reasoning is important though.
Good website to check out is
In the KS3 Christian section there is a whole sub-section on Jesus.
why Jesus is unique this is very interesting about why the claim that he is the son of God makes Jesus unique in contemporary religion.
I think it is also useful to talk about other sons of Gods in Greek and Roman religions.
I would give them some similar stories about deities impregnating human women and giving birth to semi-god like people, e..g this happens a lot in Greek mythology. Also about the many messiahs around at the time of Jesus. This would introduce the idea of Jesus as a cultural product of the time.. set it in context as it were. This is a bit 'radical' but it is a way kids could look at it, they're given say 5 different stories about a god and a woman having a child (is there an example in Hinduism?), and one is the Jesus story, then they discuss why they have heard so much about the Jesus story and what, if anything makes it special.
Sorry Mabanana just saw your post which is saying the same thing!
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