Ethos Education

First Man

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Assembly Objective:

  • How does it feel to be the first person to accomplish something? And what difference did it make that Jesus was crucified? The Christian festival of Easter celebrates an event that Christians believe is the turning point of history. This assembly invites students to consider the significance of Easter by examining the events of the evening prior to the trial and crucifixion of Jesus Christ.

Film:

  • First Man (Universal, 2019, cert 12). Click here to buy the DVD online.

Bible:

Supporting Values Education:

  • The value of mutual respect for and tolerance of those with different faiths and beliefs, and for those without faith, demands a respectful examination of the truth claims of a belief system. This assembly encourages students to consider the Christian claim that Jesus’ death and resurrection brought about reconciliation between God and humankind, and the Christian belief that Jesus was God incarnate.

OPENING ACTIVITY

The Marshmallow Test (YouTube clip/activity)

Show the Marshmallow Test clip (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QX_oy9614HQ) illustrating deferred gratification. This shows a number of individual children being placed in a room with a table, chair and one marshmallow on a plate. The children are told that if they can stay in the room and not eat the marshmallow before the researcher comes back they will receive a second marshmallow. Some manage it, some fail. There are various versions of the test available to view online.

Make the point that it can be very hard to resist temptation but the promise of a better reward means that it is possible to choose to delay gratification.

If you wanted, you could set up a version of the Marshmallow Test over the course of the assembly or a whole day, by giving each student a sweet (e.g. a Haribo or a lollipop) and telling them that if they can get to the end of the assembly, or the day, without eating it you will give them a second one.


FILM CLIP

First Man (Universal Pictures, 2019, cert 12). Click here to buy the DVD online.

  • Start time: 01:34:50
  • End time: 01:41:20
  • Clip length: 6 minutes 30 seconds

Neil Armstrong (Ryan Gosling) has been selected to command the crew on the mission to travel to the moon. In this clip we see him and his crew members eat a final meal, before having their spacesuits and equipment checked, then walking along a corridor, past some waiting press and eventually onto the bridge into the Apollo 11 spacecraft. Once there, he and his team await lift-off. We then see the spacecraft take off and eventually the earth’s surface is seen from the deck of the craft. Throughout the clip, the music builds a sense of anticipation.


TALK

Download the First Man PowerPoint for use with this talk.

Scripted Talk

  • [PowerPoint slide 1]
    • This time of year is an exciting one. There are holidays, the weather is better, there are lots of chocolate eggs around. But it can also be a daunting time of year for teenagers and students. As we approach the summer, exams and assessments loom into view.
    • Those of you who don’t have exams to sit this year can breathe a sigh of relief and enjoy all the chocolate, but those of you who have studying to do may be feeling a little flat. What’s the point in having sunny weather if you know you should be sitting inside studying? And what’s the point in having holidays if you know that you have lots of homework to complete?
    • The point is that if you study hard then you will have a much better shot at doing well in your exams and assessments. It’s worth giving up some fun in order to do well and give yourself more options when you leave school.
  • [PowerPoint slide 2]
    • To accomplish a goal in life, you sometimes have to make a sacrifice. Anyone who trains for a sport or a performance understands that. If you have a goal of swimming in the Olympic Games, you will have to give up sleeping late in order to get to the pool early to train. If you have a goal of performing on stage in front of an audience, you will have to give up watching YouTube in order to learn your lines. If you have a goal of looking good in your summer clothes, you might even have to give up eating Easter eggs. Anything worth doing requires sacrifice.
  • [PowerPoint slide 3]
    • We’re going to watch a short clip from a film about a man who had a very clear goal. In 1969, Neil Armstrong was the first man to set foot on the moon. He and his crew had to train for months in order to give them the best possible chance to survive this dangerous mission.
  • [PowerPoint slide 4]
    • When the time came for them to set off in the Apollo 11 spacecraft, they knew that there was every possibility that something would go wrong and they might not return to Earth. I wonder how you might have felt about that.
  • [PowerPoint slide 5]
    • Do you think it would be worth sacrificing the time and effort required to travel to space? And do you think it would be worth the risk of losing your life in order to accomplish your goal of being the first person to walk on the moon? And I wonder how you would have felt just before you set off into space. Nervous? Emotional? Excited?
    • Play the clip from First Man (Universal Pictures, 2019, cert 12).
      • Start time: 01:34:50
      • End time: 01:41:20
      • Clip length: 6 minutes 30 seconds
    • Neil Armstrong (Ryan Gosling) has been selected to command the crew on the mission to travel to the moon. In this club we see him and his crew members eat a final meal, have their spacesuits and equipment checked then walk along a corridor, past some waiting press and eventually onto the bridge into the Apollo 11 spacecraft. On there, he and his team await lift-off. We then see the spacecraft take off and eventually the earth’s surface is seen from the deck of the craft. Throughout the clip, the music builds a sense of anticipation.
  • [PowerPoint slide 6]
    • It’s not giving any spoilers to tell you that the mission was successful. Not only did the crew survive the journey into space and back, but Neil Armstrong and his colleague Buzz Aldrin, did walk on the moon.
  • [PowerPoint slide 7]
    • Famously when Neil Armstrong stepped onto the moon he said, ‘That’s one small step for (a) man, one giant leap for mankind’.
    • Armstrong and Aldrin made history when they stepped on the moon, and human knowledge about the universe advanced as a result of their actions.
  • [PowerPoint slide 8]
    • Easter is a festival when Christians celebrate a significant action by one man that they believe changed history for all people. Easter marks the moment in history when Jesus Christ died by crucifixion – being executed by being hung on a cross – then rose from the dead three days later. Christians believe that this is significant because when he died, Jesus made it possible for human beings to be forgiven by God for all the sin (the mistakes and bad choices they make). They also believe that by rising from the dead, Jesus made it possible for human beings to have life beyond their earthly life.
    • The Bible contains four different accounts of what happened during the first Easter, some of them with more detail than others. All four of these stories include the fact that the night before he was unjustly arrested, Jesus ate a last supper with his followers then went to a garden called Gethsemene to pray. It was in the garden that he was later arrested by the Roman authorities.
  • [PowerPoint slide 9-10]
    • Read Mark 14: 32-42:
    • ‘They went to a place called Gethsemane, and Jesus said to his disciples, “Sit here while I pray.” He took Peter, James and John along with him, and he began to be deeply distressed and troubled. “My soul is overwhelmed with sorrow to the point of death,” he said to them. “Stay here and keep watch.” Going a little farther, he fell to the ground and prayed that if possible the hour might pass from him. “Abba, Father,” he said, “everything is possible for you. Take this cup from me. Yet not what I will, but what you will.” Then he returned to his disciples and found them sleeping. “Simon,” he said to Peter, “are you asleep? Couldn’t you keep watch for one hour? Watch and pray so that you will not fall into temptation. The spirit is willing, but the flesh is weak.” Once more he went away and prayed the same thing. When he came back, he again found them sleeping, because their eyes were heavy. They did not know what to say to him. Returning the third time, he said to them, “Are you still sleeping and resting? Enough! The hour has come. Look, the Son of Man is delivered into the hands of sinners. Rise! Let us go! Here comes my betrayer!”’
    • Jesus knew that he was going to be arrested and that he would be crucified. He also knew that his death was not just an unjust killing of an innocent man, but that it would bring about a good purpose for the whole of humankind. Even so, it said that he was distressed and troubled. He knew what he had to do, but he also knew that this was a hard sacrifice he had to make.
  • [PowerPoint slide 11]
    • Anything worth doing requires sacrifice. Neil Armstrong was prepared to put his life in danger in order to walk on the moon. Jesus Christ was prepared to die a horrible death so that people could experience God’s love and forgiveness.
  • [PowerPoint slide 12]
    • There are verses later in the Bible in Hebrews 12:2-3 that say,
    • ‘For the joy set before him he endured the cross, scorning its shame, and sat down at the right hand of the throne of God. Consider him who endured such opposition from sinners, so that you will not grow weary and lose heart.’
  • [PowerPoint slide 13]
    • For Neil Armstrong, the thought of being the first man on the moon meant that he was willing to sacrifice time, effort and his life. For Jesus, the joy of making it possible for people to experience God’s love, meant that he was willing to sacrifice his life.
  • [PowerPoint slide 14]
    • Easter is a celebration of a death but also of life, a sign of the new life that God gives people that was made possible by Jesus’ death and resurrection.

Headings and Bullets

Download the First Man PowerPoint for use with this talk.

  • [PowerPoint slide 1]
    • Exciting time of year:
    • There are holidays, better weather, chocolate eggs.
    • But it can also be a daunting time of year for teenagers and students.
    • Exams and assessments.
    • What’s the point?
    • What’s the point in having sunny weather if you know you should be sitting inside studying? And what’s the point in having holidays if you know that you have lots of homework to complete?
    • The point is that if you study hard then you will do well in your exams and assessments.
    • It’s worth giving up some fun in order to give yourself more options.
  • [PowerPoint slide 2]
    • To accomplish a goal in life, you sometimes have to make a sacrifice.
    • If you have a goal of swimming in the Olympic Games, you will have to give up sleeping late in order to get to the pool early to train.
    • If you have a goal of performing on stage in front of an audience, you will have to give up watching YouTube in order to learn your lines.
    • If you have a goal of looking good in your summer clothes, you might even have to give up eating Easter eggs.
    • Anything worth doing requires sacrifice.
  • [PowerPoint slide 3]
    • Introduce the film clip.
    • A man who had a very clear goal.
    • In 1969, Neil Armstrong was the first man to set foot on the moon.
    • He and his crew had to train for months in order to give them the best possible chance to survive this dangerous mission.
  • [PowerPoint slide 4]
    • Apollo 11 spacecraft.
    • Every possibility that something would go wrong.
    • They might not return to Earth.
    • How would you have felt about that?
  • [PowerPoint slide 5]
    • Is it worth sacrificing the time and effort required to travel to space?
    • Is it worth the risk of losing your life in order to accomplish your goal of being the first person to walk on the moon?
    • How would you have felt just before you set off into space.
    • Nervous? Emotional? Excited?
    • Play the clip from First Man (Universal Pictures, 2019, cert 12).
      • Start time: 01:34:50
      • End time: 01:41:20
      • Clip length: 6 minutes 30 seconds
  • [PowerPoint slide 6]
    • The mission was successful.
    • Not only did the crew survive the journey into space and back.
    • Neil Armstrong and Buzz Aldrin walked on the moon.
  • [PowerPoint slide 7]
    • ‘That’s one small step for (a) man, one giant leap for mankind’.
    • Armstrong and Aldrin made history when they stepped on the moon.
    • Human knowledge about the universe advanced as a result of their actions.
  • [PowerPoint slide 8]
    • Easter is a festival when Christians celebrate a significant action by one man that they believe changed history for all people.
    • Easter marks the moment in history when Jesus Christ died by crucifixion.
    • Then rose from the dead three days later.
    • Christians believe that this is significant because when he died, Jesus made it possible for human beings to be forgiven by God for all the sin (the mistakes and bad choices they make).
    • They also believe that by rising from the dead, Jesus made it possible for human beings to have life beyond their earthly life.
    • Introduce the Bible passage.
    • Four different accounts of what happened during the first Easter, some of them with more detail than others.
    • All four include the fact that the night before he was unjustly arrested, Jesus ate a last supper with his followers then went to a garden called Gethsemene to pray.
    • It was in the garden that he was later arrested by the Roman authorities.
  • [PowerPoint slide 9-10]
    • Read Mark 14: 32-42.
    • Jesus knew that he was going to be arrested and that he would be crucified.
    • Knew that his death would bring about a good purpose for the whole of humankind.
    • Even so, it said that he was distressed and troubled.
    • He knew what he had to do, but he also knew that this was a hard sacrifice he had to make.
  • [PowerPoint slide 11]
    • Anything worth doing requires sacrifice.
    • Neil Armstrong was prepared to put his life in danger in order to walk on the moon.
    • Jesus Christ was prepared to die a horrible death so that people could experience God’s love and forgiveness.
  • [PowerPoint slide 12]
    • Hebrews 12:2-3: ‘For the joy set before him he endured the cross, scorning its shame, and sat down at the right hand of the throne of God. Consider him who endured such opposition from sinners, so that you will not grow weary and lose heart.’
  • [PowerPoint slide 13]
    • Sacrifice:
    • Neil Armstrong, was willing to sacrifice time, effort and his life.
    • For Jesus, the joy of making it possible for people to experience God’s love, meant that he was willing to sacrifice his life.
  • [PowerPoint slide 14]
    • Easter is a celebration of a death but also of life, a sign of the new life that God gives people that was made possible by Jesus’ death and resurrection.

Photo Copyright for First Man PowerPoint: Slide 1 Universal Studios / Slide 2 Pixabay.com / Slide 3 Public Domain / Slide 4 Universal Studios / Slide 5 Daniel McFadden – © 2018 Universal Studios and Storyteller Distribution Co. LLC / Slide 6 Universal Studios and Storyteller Distribution Co. LLC / Slide 7 Universal Studios / Slide 8 and 13 Richard Penderyn / Slide 9-11 Beko / Slide 11  2018 Universal Studios and Storyteller Distribution Co. LLC / Slide 12 image 12 www.LumoProject.com / Slide 14 Daniel McFadden – © 2018 Universal Studios and Storyteller Distribution Co. LLC / Slide 15 Pixabay.com


RESPOND

  • [PowerPoint slide 15]
    • Play some music and invite the students to reflect in silence on the following questions:
    • Do you ever feel weary?
    • Are you tempted to give up?
    • What goal do you have that is worth sacrificing for?

Prayer

Dear God, thank you for this time of year with sunshine, chocolate and holidays. Thank you for the sacrifice we remember at Easter. Thank you for the offer of new life and forgiveness. Show us how to not grow weary and give up when we feel under pressure. Amen.


YOU WILL NEED:

  1. A copy of First Man (Universal Pictures, 2019, cert 12). Click here to buy the DVD online.
  2. A link to The Marshmallow Test You Tube clip (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QX_oy9614HQ).
  3. First Man PowerPoint.

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