Ethos Education

Twilight: New Moon: What makes us valuable?

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Learning Objective:

  • Understand Christian teaching about respecting and valuing yourself.

Learning Outcomes:

  • Reflect on what makes humans valuable and worthy of respect.
  • Analyse Bible verses to determine why Christians view people as valuable.
  • Evaluate the cause of a film character’s lack of self-respect.
  • Synthesise learning by applying the Christian view of self-respect to ethical/moral issues.
  • Synthesise learning by getting students to apply principles to real-life situations where people do not value themselves.

STARTER:

Put the students into pairs or small groups and give each group a set of Value Discussion cards. Explain that you want them to assess the value of the items on the respective cards. Students can either simply discuss and agree an order, ranking the items from most valuable to least valuable, or they could use a silent discussion to fulfil the task.

In a silent discussion, students take it in turns to pick a card and put it into an appropriate place in the order. On their turn they can also move one previously placed card if they disagree with where it has been put. Continue taking turns once all the cards are placed until either a consensus or a stalemate is reached.

Here are the items on the cards, listed from most to least valuable. The cards do not have the values printed on them. Full recommended retail price is listed in each case, without any discounts or special offers.

  • Christiano Ronaldo (the former Manchester United footballer was sold to Real Madrid for £80,000,000 in the summer of 2009).
  • Bugatti Veyron Super Sport: the world’s fastest production car (base price of £1,664,000).
  • John Lennon’s piano (the piano that former Beatle Lennon played in the Imagine video was sold at auction for £1,450,000 in 2000).
  • John Lennon’s toilet (a toilet removed from Lennon’s mansion in the late 60s was sold at auction for £9,500 in August 2010).
  • Smart car, fortwo coupe (base price of £8,780).
  • Alienware M17X Laptop computer (£1,599).
  • 32GB iPhone (£599).
  • Premier League replica football kit (shirt, shorts, socks): £69.97 (the price of a Fulham FC kit, available from the official club website).
  • Harry Potter box set, all seven books in paperback. (£59.99).
  • FIFA 11 game for the Wii (£34.99).
  • Robin Hood starring Russell Crowe. Extended director’s cut on DVD (£19.99).
  • Domino’s Large Deluxe pizza with Double Decadence crust (£17.49).

Once you have told the students the correct answers, allow a brief discussion about which of the items on the card are worth their price and which aren’t. Make the point that there is a difference between what something costs and its value, or what it is really worth. Explain that in today’s lesson you are going to be thinking about value, and in particular about what Christians understand about the basis for people valuing themselves and recognising a sense of self-worth.

MAIN ACTIVITIES:

Ask students to try and define what it is that makes human beings valuable and worthy of respect. If the students are struggling to come up with ideas themselves, you could suggest some or all of the following and see whether they agree or disagree with them: our abilities, what we can contribute to society, our relationships, our intellect, our behaviour. Do people have to earn respect? Do the students think that some members of society are more or less valuable than others?

Read Psalm 139 in pairs and get students to answer the following questions:

  • What three things does the psalm tell us about God in verses 1-4, 7-10 and 13-16? (He knows us, he is with us everywhere and he created us).
  • What do verses 13-16 suggest about humanity? (That God made us all, that we are wonderful pieces of craftsmanship, that our lives have a purpose).
  • How do you think this view of humanity might influence a person’s ideas about themself?

Introduce the clip from the film Twilight: New Moon (Summit Entertainment, 2010, certificate 12). Click here to buy the DVD online.

Explain that the film is the second in a saga about a human girl who falls in love with a vampire. In this clip the heroine Bella (Kristen Stewart) is struggling to come to terms with the apparent loss of her true love, Edward (Robert Pattinson), whom her whole life has come to depend on. Ask the students to pay particular attention to Bella’s behaviour and the reasons for it.

  • Start time: 27.10 (beginning of chapter 4 on the DVD)
  • End time: 33.42
  • Clip length: 6 minutes and 29 seconds

The clip starts with a slow zoom into Bella’s (Kristen Stewart) house and then to her bedroom. Captions show the passing of two months as Bella mopes. The first line is Bella (in voiceover) saying, ‘Alice, you’ve disappeared, like everything else.’ The clip ends after Bella has yelled ‘Stop, stop, stop!’ from the back of the motorbike, and seen the vision of Edward dissolve into mist.

Ask the students whether they can understand Bella being willing to put herself in danger just for a glimpse of Edward. Where do they think that Bella finds her sense of value and self-respect on the evidence of the clip? Is this a healthy or unhealthy attitude on Bella’s part? Earlier in the film Bella says that she would give up her soul to be with Edward. What sense of self-worth does this suggest? Would the students describe her actions as self-less, or selfish? Which other people, apart from herself, will be affected by them – for example, her father and her friends.

Explain that Christians find their value not in what they do or are but in what God has done for them and in their relationship with him. Explain that, as Psalm 139 suggests, Christians believe that all human life is precious to God because he created it and made humans ‘fearfully and wonderfully’.

Read 1 Corinthians 6:18-20. Ask the students what reasons the writer gives for telling Christians to avoid sexual immorality. Draw out that the thought that because God has bought them at a price (Jesus’ death on the cross), that shows that God regards them as valuable. Because Christians believe that the Holy Spirit lives in believers, that he dwells within them (making their body a temple of the Holy Spirit, v19), they should honour God with the way they treat their bodies.

Ask the students to think of areas where this view might influence the way Christians treat others, such as moral or ethical issues. (This is a chance to apply learning from other topic areas such as euthanasia, abortion, etc).

SUMMARY AND ASSESSMENT OF LEARNING:

Ask students in pairs to advise people from a Christian perspective who are in the following situations and are feeling or acting as if they are worthless. This could be done as a role play or as a Church magazine agony-aunt type letters page.

  • Someone who has lost their job.
  • Someone who has broken up with a long-term boyfriend/girlfriend.
  • Someone who has been in a car accident and has lost the use of their legs.
  • Someone who has failed all their exams/failed to get into University.

YOU WILL NEED:

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