Jesus for Tomorrow - Ideas for use in schools

On the DVD the second programme has been put together with reference to Unit 8b of the RE scheme of work for KS 3 that had recently been published around 2000 - What does the Resurrection of Jesus mean for Christians today?  This part of the DVD is not at the moment on the web.  The video clips that are here can be used.  In particular, they are valuable for the interviews of ordinary people on the streets of Cheltenham giving a cross section of views about Christianity and Easter.   The DVD can be paused after each section as the following discussion questions appear on the screen:  Friendship: What barriers need breaking down today?  Conflict:  Why do people reject Jesus and Christianity today?  Betrayal: Would you have gone along with the crowd or stood up for Jesus?  Death:  Is death the end?  Resurrection:  Could it really be true?

Children are introduced to the Easter festival at Primary School.  Students at Key Stage 3 are encouraged to seek out the deeper meaning behind the stories of Jesus.  With the help of those who took part in the Passion Play they focus on the Easter story and explore not just the historical evidence for resurrection but the importance of Easter and a belief in resurrection to Christians.  Matt Medhurst, who played Jesus in the Passion Play, talks to students of Pittville School, a secondary school in Cheltenham, about playing the part of Jesus and about the importance of Christian faith and the Easter story to him.

The activities below relate to the questions posed in the scheme of work., our web site, provides background material for teachers and can be used by a class as part of their work for this Unit either before or after watching the video.

What happened at the first Easter?
·      Compare our video with another (eg The Miracle Maker or Jesus of Nazareth) and explore the differences between a cinema presentation of the story and our community production of a Passion Play using street theatre.
·      Our account of the Easter story was based closely on John 20.  Study the text and ask students to underline all the sensory words they can find in John 20 and 21 - show how John was so convinced of the reality of resurrection that he described the way people had seen, heard, and touched the risen Jesus, and how they had smelled his cooking ... and tasted it too!

What does the resurrection mean?
·      Use the interviews in the programme to contribute to a discussion of concepts such as life after death and the impact the story of Easter has on Christians today.
·      Explore the way street theatre can be used to bring the message home in new and exciting ways.
·      Compare the use of banners in the Passion Play to depict the stations of the cross with other ‘stations of the cross’ in local churches or on the web.
·      Make a banner or picture to depict a station of the cross or another aspect of the Easter story.

 What about life after death?
·      Use the experiences of bereavement described during the programme to stimulate discussion on the way the Christian hope of resurrection helps people through sad times.
·      Use the prayer meditation on Death in Jesus for ever the same to reflect on the grieving process.

What does the Resurrection of Jesus mean for Christians today?
·      Find out how churches in your own locality plan to celebrate Easter next year and compare it with Cheltenham’s celebrations for Easter 2000..
·      Use Looking further on location, to make a story board planning a Passion Play in your own community.