Ethos Education

The Lego Movie 2: Who are we?

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Learning Objectives:

  • Consider the person they are and who they would like to be.
  • Understand how the Bible shapes a Christian’s sense of identity.

Learning Outcomes:

  • Reflect on the different elements that form our sense of self.
  • Evaluate film clips to describe the characters and their feelings about their identity.
  • Analyse a Bible passage and a contemporary Christian song for their perspectives on identity.
  • Synthesise learning by writing a paragraph to describe what a Christian might say about who they are, and a paragraph about their own identity.

Supporting Values Education:

The value of tolerance recognises that people are different, and diversity is to be celebrated. This lesson encourages students to value themselves and others for their unique qualities, and helps them to understand the basis of a Christian perspective on identity.

STARTER:

Show the students images of well known people, perhaps from celebrity magazines. Ask them to choose someone they know a bit about, and consider how that person came to be the way they are now. Students should consider the choices they have made; the experiences they have had; the way they were born; the hopes and dreams they have treasured; the culture around them; and the influence of family and friends (it will be easier for this discussion, and later exercises, if you are able to display this list of factors where students can see them throughout the lesson.) Ask a few students to share their ideas with the class. Explain that in today’s lesson you are going to be thinking about what makes us who we are: finding out how Christians might answer that question and coming up with our own ideas too.

Give the students a few minutes to consider the list of factors that might shape someone’s identity. Ask them to think of an example for each that has shaped who they are today (there is no need to share these answers). Given their examples, ask students to choose their top two factors that have shaped them. You could hold a vote to see which factors the class judge to be most influential.

MAIN ACTIVITIES:

Show the clip from The Lego Movie 2: The Second Part (Warner Brothers, 2019, certificate U). Click here to buy the DVD online. Explain that this clip shows how the Lego heroes have had to change to cope with invasions from Duplo aliens. The clip comes early in the film. Emmet (Chris Pratt) is just realising that his sunny nature is not celebrated in these grim times, and he may need to adapt to survive and save the day. The clip starts as a new alien threat appears in the Lego city of Apocalypseburg. Ask the students to pay particular attention to what Emmet is like and how the other characters view him.

  • Start time: 0.15.23 (in chapter 4 of the DVD).
  • End time: 0.19.56.
  • Clip length: 4 minutes and 33 seconds.

The clip starts with Lucy (Elizabeth Banks) looking out of the fortifications towards the arriving alien. The first line is Lucy saying ‘What in the heck?!’ It ends with General Mayhem (Stephanie Beatriz) saying ‘So long, Jerksburgers!’.

Ask the students what they think about Emmet. What good qualities does he have? Remind the students that his qualities of hope, creativity and friendliness were key to saving everyone in the first Lego Movie. In what ways might Emmet need to change now? Do they think it is right for someone to try to change who they are, and to what extent is it possible to do so? Point out to students that not everybody will share the same views about this subject. While some people think that our identity is made for us from birth, others believe we are shaped by what happens to us, while others say we can choose who we become.

Introduce a second clip from The Lego Movie 2: The Second Part. Explain that the next clip shows a character with a very fluid identity. Queen Watevra Wa’Nabi (Tiffany Haddish) changes her shape at will, and asks the Lego heroes to believe that she is not evil, despite some evidence to the contrary. Ask the students to consider whether it is possible to change every part of who you are, or whether there are some parts of our identity that are fixed.

  • Start time: 0.24.06 (in chapter 5 of the DVD).
  • End time: 0.28.25.
  • Clip length: 4 minutes and 19 seconds.

The clip starts with the Lego heroes looking at Ice Cream Cone (Richard Ayoade), who is standing on a floating disc. The first line is Ice Cream Cone saying ‘Presenting Her Majesty Queen Watevra Wa’Nabi.’ It ends with the Queen singing ‘that’s so not me’, and the Lego heroes clapping.

Ask the students if the Queen’s song is convincing to them. Is it enough to say what you are like, or should there be evidence to prove that is your identity? Give an example of a teacher claiming that they are the cleverest person in the world. Should such a claim be accepted by the students, or could they require proof? Are there any aspects of our identity which we can simply choose for ourselves and make them true simply by saying it?

Point out that in The Lego Movies, the characters are actually toys whose identities are decided by the children who play with them. Explain that this has some similarities with the Christian worldview, which claims that people are made by God. Most Christians believe that God gives them free will to choose who they want to be, but that they can be their best selves by choosing to live the way God intends them to.

Give out copies of the God and His people worksheet and explain that the Bible is the starting point for most Christians when they consider who they are. Ask the students to look in their Bibles at Ephesians 2:1-10 and make notes under two headings on the worksheet: What God is like and What God’s people are like. In the first column students should write down everything the passage says about God’s identity. In the second column, they should note anything the passage says about God’s people’s identities (referred to as you, we and us in the passage). After a few minutes, invite the students to share what they have found. Point out that many Christians find their sense of identity in relation to what they believe about who God is and what he has done. Discuss what it might feel like to believe these things, and how it might shape a Christian’s view of who they are.

Ask the students to read the lyrics on the worksheet of the contemporary Christian song, ‘Who you say I am’ (Hillsong Worship, 2018). (There is an optional link to play the video of this song in the You Will Need section below.) Explain that this song is a way of expressing what many Christians feel about their identity. Ask the students to underline key words in the lyrics and use these ideas to add further notes under the two columns on their worksheet.

SUMMARY AND ASSESSMENT OF LEARNING:

Ask students to summarise what they have learned by writing a paragraph in each of the two thought clouds at the bottom of the worksheet. The first should be written from the point of view of a Christian, and should answer the question ‘Who are you?’. It should include at least one quote from the Bible passage they have looked at.

The second should be their own point of view, answering either the question ‘Who are you and what has made you that way?’, or ‘Who would you like to be and how can you become that person?’

If there’s time, encourage a few students to read their answers to the rest of the class. This will help the students develop listening skills and understanding of diversity.

YOU WILL NEED:

  • A copy of film The Lego Movie 2: The Second Part. Click here to buy the DVD online.
  • Images of celebrities (perhaps celebrity magazines).
  • Bibles.
  • Copies of the God and His people worksheet.
  • You don’t need, but might like access to a video of the song ‘Who you say I am’ (Hillsong). You can view it on YouTube at https://youtu.be/lKw6uqtGFfo if your internet firewall allows. (This link is best because it shows the song in the context of a contemporary church service, which is informative for students to see. If you can’t show YouTube in your school, try this link to a lyrics video https://vimeo.com/295171008).

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