Ethos Education

Snow White and the Huntsman: Light in the Darkness

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Assembly Objective: 

  • How can we bring hope to those who feel that the world is a very dark place? In the Christmas story the Bible teaches that Jesus’ birth marks the dawn of a new light in a dark world.

Film:

  • Snow White and the Huntsman (Universal, 2012, certificate 12). Click here to buy the DVD online.

Bible:

Supporting Values Education:

  • Living in a Democracy with Individual Liberty means that we can bring about changes in the world.

OPENING ACTIVITY

Blindfold Task (game)

  • Ask for a volunteer to perform a simple task. Once your volunteer has come to the front, demonstrate the task (see below for some options) and ask if the volunteer is confident that they can copy what you did.
  • Before the volunteer begins, inform them that there is one more thing you haven’t told them. They have to perform the task while blindfolded. Ensure that they are unable to see and watch them flail around trying to find the things they need to carry out the task, giving a running commentary for the sake of the audience as they do so.
  • After the task has dissolved into messy disarray, get the volunteer off the stage with a suitable round of applause and explain that it wasn’t really a fair challenge. The blindfold cut off the light from the volunteer and made it impossible for them to see what they were doing. Explain that in today’s assembly you are going to be thinking about the importance of light in darkness.
  • Here are some possible tasks you might want to use, and the equipment you will need to provide on a tray or table:

Prepare a sandwich:

  • Slices of bread
  • Tub of spreadable butter
  • Butter knife (don’t use a sharp one or one with a serrated edge, as it would be dangerous for someone to handle while blindfolded)
  • Slices of cheese
  • Bowl of salad
  • Jar of sandwich pickle (with the lid on)

Make a cup of tea:

  • Teapot containing cold tea (avoid using boiling water for safety reasons)
  • Cup
  • Teaspoon
  • Jug of milk
  • Bowl of sugar
  • Teaspoon

Build a tower:

  • Collection of children’s building blocks (to be built into a prescribed shape as demonstrated in advance, not just however the volunteer wants)

Facts of Light (something to think about)

Download the Facts of Light PowerPoint with this activity.

  • If possible, start the PowerPoint presentation with the room in darkness, and gradually bring the room up to its usual brightness as you operate the PowerPoint (or, better, have someone briefed to do it for you).
  • Display the slides, giving enough time for students to read each before moving on. You could provide a running commentary if you think that students might not pay attention without the focus of somebody talking to them.

FILM CLIP

  • Play the clip from Snow White and the Huntsman (Universal, 2012, certificate 12).
    • Start time:       0.58.55 (in chapter 11 of the DVD)
    • End time:         1.00.01
    • Clip length:      1 minute and 6 seconds
  • The clip starts with the Huntsman (Chris Hemsworth) saying, ‘I have to take this girl to Hamlets’, it ends after Muir (Bob Hoskins) says ‘I see an end to the darkness’ and before the Queen’s riders are spotted. Be careful when setting the clip up, as a few seconds before the start there is an incidence of swearing.
  • The clip shows the Dwarves discussing what to do with their captives, the eponymous Snow White (Kristen Stewart) and Huntsman, and discovering that Snow White is, in fact, the late King’s daughter.

TALK

Download the Christmas Snow White Talk PowerPoint for use with this presentation.

Scripted Talk

  • [PowerPoint slide 1]
    • It’s easy to think that things are a bit of mess. Across the world, nations face economic difficulties. Natural disasters leave people struggling to rebuild lives after losing homes and businesses. More and more public figures, the great and the good of our society, are exposed for a variety of crimes and misdemeanours. It’s hard to escape the conclusion that we are living in a bad news world, a time of darkness.
    • We’re going to watch a film clip set in a very different world, but one which is also experiencing a time of darkness. The film is Snow White and the Huntsman, and Snow White, played by Kristen Stewart is on the run from the wicked Queen, her stepmother. The Queen married then murdered Snow White’s father and seized power for herself. Not only are the people oppressed, but her evil magic has even corrupted the land itself. Whichever way you look at it, it’s bad news. In this scene Snow White is on the run with a Huntsman, played by Chris Hemsworth, and they are trying to talk their way out of a tight spot – with the Queen’s men hard on their heels, they’ve been captured by a group of Dwarvish bandits. Look out for what happens when the Dwarves realise just who it is they have captured.
    • Play the clip from Snow White and the Huntsman:
      • Start time:       0.58.55 (in chapter 11 of the DVD)
      • End time:         1.00.01
      • Clip length:      1 minute and 6 seconds
    • The clip starts with the Huntsman (Chris Hemsworth) saying, ‘I have to take this girl to Hamlets’, it ends after Muir (Bob Hoskins) says ‘I see an end to the darkness’ and before the Queen’s riders are spotted. Be careful when setting the clip up, as a few seconds before the start there is an incidence of swearing.
    • If you are unable to play the clip, say, ‘One of the Dwarves, when he realises that Snow White is, in fact, the Princess, tells his comrades that she is destined to bring an end to their darkness.’
  • [PowerPoint slide 2]
    • To Muir, Snow White was suddenly more than just a prisoner. She was more than just a Princess too – she was a sign of hope, a promise of light in the darkness, a promise of peace to come.
    • I don’t think I’m spoiling the film too much by saying that Snow White goes on to fulfil that promise, leading the people to overthrow the evil Queen and restore the Kingdom to its former glories. If you hadn’t worked that much out, you probably haven’t paid much attention to 99% of Hollywood’s output in the last fifty years.
    • At Christmas, we celebrate another promise of light in the darkness. These are the words of the prophet Isaiah, written approximately 2,700 years ago:
  • [PowerPoint slide 3]
    • Nevertheless, there will be no more gloom for those who were in distress. In the past he humbled the land of Zebulun and the land of Naphtali, but in the future he will honour Galilee of the nations, by the Way of the Sea, beyond the Jordan – the people walking in darkness have seen a great light; on those living in the land of deep darkness a light has dawned.
  • [PowerPoint slide 4]
    • For to us a child is born, to us a son is given, and the government will be on his shoulders. And he will be called Wonderful Counsellor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace. Isaiah 9:1-2, 6, Today’s New International Version.
    • Like Muir, Isaiah saw the prospect of a great light for the people walking in darkness. A child would be born who would set Israel free and bring peace and freedom to the oppressed people of Israel. Fast forward 700 years or so, and another man laid claim to fulfilling Isaiah’s words in Israel:
  • [PowerPoint slide 5]
    • When Jesus heard that John had been put in prison, he withdrew to Galilee. Leaving Nazareth, he went and lived in Capernaum, which was by the lake in the area of Zebulun and Naphtali – to fulfill what was said through the prophet Isaiah:
  • [PowerPoint slide 6]
    • ‘Land of Zebulun and land of Naphtali, the Way of the Sea, beyond the Jordan, Galilee of the Gentiles – the people living in darkness have seen a great light; on those living in the land of the shadow of death a light has dawned.’
    • From that time on Jesus began to preach, ‘Repent, for the kingdom of heaven has come near.’ Matthew 4:12-17, Today’s New International Version.
    • Jesus laid claim to be the great light that Isaiah was talking about. He was speaking to the descendents of the people that Isaiah spoke to, the people of Zebulun and Naphtali, and he promised to be the great light for people living in the shadow of darkness.
  • [PowerPoint slide 7]
    • That’s what Christmas is all about: good news in a bad news world; the coming of light in a time of darkness. But what is the darkness? [click] Christians believe that humanity has rebelled against God, rejecting his ways and his rule over humanity, putting themselves in charge instead of him. The result is all the dark things that we talked about earlier, all the things that make ours a bad news world. Human rebellion not only makes the world a worse place to live, it also separates people from God. Christians believe that Jesus is God’s rescue plan, his way to restore human relationships with God and to restore the world. That’s why, after claiming to be the great light Isaiah spoke about, Jesus tells people to repent – to change their ways and turn back to God.
  • [PowerPoint slide 8]
    • Jesus is good news for a bad news world, and Christmas is a time to remember the great light that has come into our darkness. It’s easy to miss the meaning of Christmas in the middle of all the parties and presents, and it’s easy to be so focused on the darkness around us that we forget we have already been given a light to drive it out. This Christmas, I hope you find good news in our bad news world, and remember the light God has given us.

Headings and Bullets

Download the Christmas Snow White Talk PowerPoint for use with this presentation.

  • [PowerPoint slide 1]
    • Things are a bit of a mess:
      • Global economic problems.
      • Natural disasters.
      • Disgraced public figures.
      • We live in a bad news world, a time of darkness.
    • Introduce film clip:
      • Set in a very different world.
      • Also a time of darkness.
      • Snow White and the Huntsman.
      • People oppressed and land corrupted by Queen’s magic.
      • Snow White and the Huntsman on the run from evil Queen.
      • Captured by Dwarves, trying to talk their way out of trouble.
    • Play the clip:
  • [PowerPoint slide 2]
    • To Muir, Snow White was more than just a prisoner.
      • A sign of hope.
      • A promise of light in the darkness.
      • A promise of peace to come.
      • Snow White goes on to fulfil this promise.
    • At Christmas we celebrate another promise of light in the darkness.
      • These words written approximately 2,700 years ago.
  • [PowerPoint slide 3]
    • Nevertheless, there will be no more gloom for those who were in distress. In the past he humbled the land of Zebulun and the land of Naphtali, but in the future he will honour Galilee of the nations, by the Way of the Sea, beyond the Jordan – the people walking in darkness have seen a great light; on those living in the land of deep darkness a light has dawned.
  • [PowerPoint slide 4]
    • For to us a child is born, to us a son is given, and the government will be on his shoulders. And he will be called Wonderful Counsellor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace. Isaiah 9:1-2, 6, Today’s New International Version.
    • Like Muir, Isaiah saw the prospect of great light for those in darkness.
      • A child would be born to bring peace and freedom.
    • Fast forward 700 years to a man who claimed to fulfil Isaiah’s words:
  • [PowerPoint slide 5]
    • When Jesus heard that John had been put in prison, he withdrew to Galilee. Leaving Nazareth, he went and lived in Capernaum, which was by the lake in the area of Zebulun and Naphtali – to fulfill what was said through the prophet Isaiah:
  • [PowerPoint slide 6]
    • ‘Land of Zebulun and land of Naphtali, the Way of the Sea, beyond the Jordan, Galilee of the Gentiles – the people living in darkness have seen a great light; on those living in the land of the shadow of death a light has dawned.’
    • From that time on Jesus began to preach, ‘Repent, for the kingdom of heaven has come near.’ Matthew 4:12-17, Today’s New International Version.
    • Jesus claimed to be Isaiah’s great light.
      • He spoke to the descendents of the people Isaiah spoke to.
      • He promised to be the great light for people living in darkness.
  • [PowerPoint slide 7]
    • Christmas: good news in a bad news world, the coming of light in the darkness.
      • What is the darkness?
      • [click] Humanity rebelled against God.
      • This rebellion spoils the world.
      • It also separates people from God.
      • Jesus is God’s rescue plan, enabling people to return to God.
      • That’s why Jesus follows his claim to be the light with a call to repent.
  • [PowerPoint slide 8]
    • Jesus is good news for a bad news world.
      • Christmas is a time to remember the great light that has come into our darkness.
      • Easy to miss the meaning of Christmas for parties and presents.
      • Easy to miss the light because we’re so aware of the darkness in our world.
      • This Christmas, I hope you find the good news in our bad news world and remember the light God has given us.

RESPOND

Prayer

  • Dear God, thank you for the promise of hope. Thank you for a light to shine in our darkness and for the chance of restored relationships with you. Help us this Christmas to see past the news headlines and the presents and to remember your son and the true meaning of Christmas. Amen.

Reflection

  • Do you agree that Jesus is good news in a bad news world? What part does Jesus usually play in your Christmas? What difference does he usually make in your life? What could you do this year that might change those answers?

YOU WILL NEED:

  1. Snow White and the Huntsman (Universal, 2012, certificate 12). Click here to buy the DVD online.
  2. Facts of Light PowerPoint.
  3. Christmas Snow White Talk PowerPoint.
  4. Whichever items you need for your chosen activity if you are using opening activity: blindfold task.

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