Ethos Education

Searching

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Assembly Objective: 

  • In a world where our online presence reveals our likes, dislikes, friendships and whereabouts, is it possible to be known for who we really are? This assembly raises questions of online versus true identity and prompts students to consider the biblical perspective that only God truly knows us.

Film:

  • Searching (Sony Pictures, 2018, cert 12). Click here to buy the DVD online.

Bible:

Supporting Values Education:

  • The value of Individual Liberty affirms each person’s right to self-determination, but the values of Democracy, Respect and Tolerance call us to live as part of a community. This assembly encourages pupils to consider how they relate to other people online and in real life, and to foster a sense of well-being in both communities.

OPENING ACTIVITY

What do you know?  (Quiz)

Use the What do you know? PowerPoint to show the following six statements, asking students to vote on whether they are True or False before clicking to the next slide to reveal the answer. If you want, you could ask students to discuss the final slide, commenting on whether or not they trust information they find online.


FILM CLIP

Searching (Sony Pictures, 2018, cert 12). Click here to buy the DVD online.

  • Start time: 00:27:22
  • End time: 00:32:40
  • Clip length: 5 minutes 18 seconds
  • The clip begins with David Kim (John Cho) hacking into his daughter Margot’s Facebook account in order to work out who she is friends with. We hear the voice of the police officer, Detective Vick (Debra Messing) telling him that since it’s been 36 hours since her last call they have to move quickly. She says that any information he can give her will help the investigation. He creates a spreadsheet and begins phoning her friends to find out when they last saw her. As he works his way through the list we realise that Margot did not have many friends. She sat alone at lunchtime and people felt sorry for her because she lost her mother. His brother advises him to try searching off line, so he calls the girl who organised the study group she attended the night she went missing. She tells him that Margot left the study group at 9. She tells him that they weren’t really that close. She also tells him that Margot was often on Tumblr. While he is searching Tumblr he gets a message from Detective Vick with CCTV footage of Margot’s car. He marks the point on Google maps, stating that the exit she is last seen at leads out of town.

TALK

Download the Searching PowerPoint for use with this talk.

Scripted Talk

  • [PowerPoint slide 1]
    • Who knows you best in the world? It’s an interesting question to think about. Some of us might say our parents or our siblings, as they have known us the longest. Some of us would say that our families definitely do not know us best, and we’d like to keep it that way! Some of us might say that our friends or our girlfriends or boyfriends know us best, but all of us know that there are some things we just do not tell even the closest of friends. Who knows us best? Perhaps the answer is that we know ourselves best, but lots of people find it hard to know who they really are.
  • [PowerPoint slide 2]
    • Another question that might cause us to think, is what does it mean to know someone at all?  In our social media world, it’s possible to know a lot about someone, but not actually have met them, and in fact, even someone with a very active social media presence really only shares what they choose. Do we really know anyone? And can we ever really be known? These are hard questions to think about!
    • We’re going to watch a short clip from the film Searching. The whole film is shot from the perspective of a man whose daughter has gone missing. David Kim’s daughter, Margot, has been missing for around 36 hours at the point where we join the story, and he is in touch with a police officer, Detective Vick, who has asked him to search Margot’s online profiles to find out more about her life.
  • [PowerPoint slide 3]
    • Play the film clip from Searching (Sony Pictures, 2018, cert 12).
    • Start time: 00:27:22
    • End time: 00:32:40
    • Clip length: 5 minutes 18 seconds
    • The clip begins with David Kim (John Cho) hacking into his daughter Margot’s Facebook account in order to work out who she is friends with. We hear the voice of the police officer, Detective Vick (Debra Messing) telling him that since it’s been 36 hours since her last call they have to move quickly. She says that any information he can give her will help the investigation. He creates a spreadsheet and begins phoning her friends to find out when they last saw her. As he works his way through the list we realise that Margot did not have many friends. She sat alone at lunchtime and people felt sorry for her because she lost her mother. His brother advises him to try searching off line, so he calls the girl who organised the study group she attended the night she went missing. She tells him that Margot left the study group at 9. She tells him that they weren’t really that close. She also tells him that Margot was often on Tumblr. While he is searching Tumblr he gets a message from Detective Vick with CCTV footage of Margot’s car. He marks the point on Google maps, stating that the exit she is last seen at leads out of town.
  • [PowerPoint slide 4]
    • I wonder how you would feel to have a parent go through your online contacts to try and find out more about you! I wonder what they would learn about you, and who would say that you were their friend. David thought that he knew his daughter well. If you watch the whole film you realise that they have always had a close relationship, but both have struggled to know how to cope after the death of Margot’s mother. Margot’s life had appeared to be full and happy. He thought she had lots of friends and was doing lots of activity. In fact, she was a rather lonely character who didn’t have any real friends. David didn’t know her at all.
  • [PowerPoint slide 5]
    • Meanwhile, although the internet could help him find out facts about her past, and lead him to the spot where she was last seen, he still couldn’t locate her once she drove out of town. With all the technological skill he possessed, David still couldn’t track her down.
  • [PowerPoint slide 6]
    • Identity is something that the Bible talks about a lot. Identity, or knowing who you are, is linked to working out what you believe about God. There is a psalm, or poem, written by a king called David. It appears in the Old Testament, the early part of the Bible, and it describes how David views his identity.
  • [PowerPoint slide 7]
    • Psalm 139:1-6 (The Message)
    • ‘God, investigate my life; get all the facts firsthand. I’m an open book to you; even from a distance, you know what I’m thinking. You know when I leave and when I get back; I’m never out of your sight. You know everything I’m going to say before I start the first sentence. I look behind me and you’re there, then up ahead and you’re there, too — your reassuring presence, coming and going. This is too much, too wonderful — I can’t take it all in!’
  • [PowerPoint slide 8]
    • The words sound just like they have been written for today. David is saying that there is nothing about his life that God does not already know. It’s as though God has a search engine to find out every thought we have, word we speak and action we take. That might sound a bit creepy until you notice the word he uses to describe what that feels like. David says that God’s presence with him is reassuring and wonderful. In other words, God knows everything there is to know about David, and he is with him to reassure him or comfort him.
    • If David was asked who knows him best, his answer would definitely be that God does. Not only does God know him, but he won’t leave him. He loves him and he will be with him whatever happens.
  • [PowerPoint slide 9]
    • When we think about likes and follows, it can be overwhelming. If our identity is shaped by what other people think about our posts and profiles, then we are in trouble. But if our identity is shaped by being known and accepted despite what we do or think, then that gives us freedom to be who we really are.
  • [PowerPoint slide 10]
    • There is more to the Psalm. Part of Margot’s problem was that when she got into trouble, her dad couldn’t find her. That’s a frightening idea. Whether or not we are sociable people, and however many or few friends we have, none of us likes the idea of being completely alone and lost. Here’s what the next part of the psalm says:
  • [PowerPoint slide 11]
    • Psalm 139:7-12 (The Message)
    • ‘Is there any place I can go to avoid your Spirit? To be out of your sight? If I climb to the sky, you’re there! If I go underground, you’re there! If I flew on morning’s wings to the far western horizon, you’d find me in a minute — you’re already there waiting! Then I said to myself, “Oh, he even sees me in the dark! At night I’m immersed in the light!” It’s a fact: darkness isn’t dark to you; night and day, darkness and light, they’re all the same to you.’
  • [PowerPoint slide 12]
    • David, the writer, is saying that there is nowhere on earth where God is not present. There is no situation too dark that God can’t see. There is nothing that he faces that God does not know about.
    • The online world can be a dark place, and the real world can be frightening at times too. This song from the Bible, written thousands of years ago, reminds us all that God is with us wherever we go and whatever we face.
  • [PowerPoint slide 13]
    • Perhaps you feel alone in the world. Perhaps you are facing a situation that is dark and frightening. Perhaps you feel as though you don’t know who you are. Perhaps you feel lost at times.
    • God is not like David Kim. He knows everything about us, and he is there for anyone who feels lost and frightened. That’s important for all us to know.

Headings and Bullets

Download the Searching PowerPoint for use with this talk.

  • [PowerPoint slide 1]
    • Who knows you best in the world?
    • Parents or our siblings have known us longest.
    • Some of us would say that our families definitely do not know us best, and we’d like to keep it that way!
    • Friends or girlfriends or boyfriends.
    • There are some things we just do not tell even the closest of friends.
    • Perhaps the answer is that we know ourselves best.
    • But lots of people find it hard to know who they really are.
  • [PowerPoint slide 2]
    • What does it mean to know someone at all?
    • It’s possible to know a lot about someone, but not actually have met them.
    • Someone with a very active social media presence really only shares what they choose.
    • Do we really know anyone?
    • And can we ever really be known?
  • [PowerPoint slide 3]
    • Introduce the film clip:
    • Short clip from the film Searching.
    • David Kim’s daughter, Margot, has been missing for around 36 hours at the point where we join the story.
    • Detective Vick has asked him to search Margot’s online profiles to find out more about her life.
    • Play the clip from Searching (Sony Pictures, 2018, cert 12).
    • Start time: 00:27:22
    • End time: 00:32:40
    • Clip length: 5 minutes 18 seconds
  • [PowerPoint slide 4]
    • How would you feel to have a parent go through your online contacts to try and find out more about you?
    • What would they learn about you?
    • Who would say you were their friend?
    • David thought that he knew his daughter well.
    • Margot’s life had appeared to be full and happy.
    • He thought she had lots of friends and was doing lots of activity.
    • In fact, she was a lonely character who didn’t have any real friends.
    • David didn’t know her at all.
  • [PowerPoint slide 5]
    • With all the technological skill he possessed, David still couldn’t track her down.
    • The internet could help him find out facts about her past.
    • It could lead him to the spot where she was last seen.
    • But he still couldn’t locate her once she drove out of town.
  • [PowerPoint slide 6]
    • Identity, or knowing who you are, is linked to working out what you believe about God.
    • There is a psalm, or poem, written by a king called David.
    • It appears in the Old Testament, the early part of the Bible.
    • It describes how David views his identity.
  • [PowerPoint slide 7]
    • Psalm 139:1-6 (The Message)
    • ‘God, investigate my life; get all the facts firsthand. I’m an open book to you; even from a distance, you know what I’m thinking. You know when I leave and when I get back; I’m never out of your sight. You know everything I’m going to say before I start the first sentence. I look behind me and you’re there, then up ahead and you’re there, too — your reassuring presence, coming and going. This is too much, too wonderful — I can’t take it all in!’
  • [PowerPoint slide 8]
    • The words sound just like they have been written for today.
    • It’s as though God has a search engine to find out every thought we have, word we speak and action we take.
    • Sounds a bit creepy until you notice the word David uses to describe what it feels like.
    • God’s presence with him is reassuring and wonderful.
    • If David was asked who knows him best, his answer would definitely be that God does.
  • [PowerPoint slide 9]
    • Likes and follows:
    • Can be overwhelming.
    • If our identity is shaped by what other people think about our posts and profiles, then we are in trouble.
    • But if our identity is shaped by being known and accepted despite what we do or think, then that gives us freedom to be who we really are.
  • [PowerPoint slide 10]
    • Lost and found:
    • Part of Margot’s problem was that when she got into trouble, her dad couldn’t find her. That’s a frightening idea.
    • None of us likes the idea of being completely alone and lost.
  • [PowerPoint slide 11]
    • Psalm 139:7-12 (The Message)
    • ‘Is there any place I can go to avoid your Spirit? To be out of your sight? If I climb to the sky, you’re there! If I go underground, you’re there! If I flew on morning’s wings to the far western horizon, you’d find me in a minute — you’re already there waiting! Then I said to myself, “Oh, he even sees me in the dark! At night I’m immersed in the light!” It’s a fact: darkness isn’t dark to you; night and day, darkness and light, they’re all the same to you.’
  • [PowerPoint slide 12]
    • The psalm says there is nowhere on earth where God is not present.
    • There is no situation too dark that God can’t see.
    • There is nothing that he faces that God does not know about.
    • The online world can be a dark place, and the real world can be frightening at times.
    • This song from the Bible reminds us all that God is with us wherever we go and whatever we face.
  • [PowerPoint slide 13]
    • How do you feel at the moment?
    • Perhaps you feel alone in the world.
    • Perhaps you are facing a situation that is dark and frightening.
    • Perhaps you feel as though you don’t know who you are.
    • Perhaps you feel lost at times.
    • God is not like David Kim.
    • He knows everything about us, and he is there for anyone who feels lost and frightened. That’s important for all of us to know.

Photo copyright for What do you know? PowerPoint: Slide 1 and 2 Pixabay.com / Slide 3 and 4 Pixabay.com / Slide 5 and 6 Pixabay.com / Slide 7 and 8 Pixabay.com / Slide 9 and 10 Pixabay.com / Slide 11 and 12 Pixabay.com 

Photo copyright for Searching PowerPoint: Slide 1 Sony Pictures / Slide 2 Pixabay.com / Slide 3 Sony Pictures / Slide 4 Sony Pictures / Slide 5 Sony Pictures / Slide 6 Sony Pictures / Slide 7 Pixabay.com / Slide 8 Pixabay.com / Slide 9 Sony Pictures / Slide 10 Sony Pictures / Slide 11 and 13 iStockphoto.com / Slide 12 Pixabay.com 


RESPOND

  • [PowerPoint slide 13]
    • Play some music and invite the students to reflect in silence on the following questions:
    • Do you ever feel alone?
    • Are you facing a situation that is dark and frightening?
    • Do you feel as though you don’t know who you are?
    • Do you ever feel lost?
    • Do you know people who need you to be a good friend today?

Prayer

  • I look behind me and you’re there, then up ahead and you’re there, too — your reassuring presence, coming and going. This is too much, too wonderful — I can’t take it all in! Thank you, God, for your reassuring presence with us wherever we go. Thank you that you know us. Amen.

 YOU WILL NEED:

  1. A copy of Searching (Sony Pictures, 2018, cert 12). Click here to buy the DVD online.
  2. What do you know? PowerPoint.
  3. Searching PowerPoint.

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