- Students reflect on their own reactions to human mortality.
- To understand how the Bible gives hope to Christians facing death.
- Communicate personal beliefs, feelings and questions about death.
- Apply student’s ideas by writing dialogue for a scene based on a film clip.
- Enquire into Christian beliefs about life after death by examining a Bible passage.
- Contextualise Christian views by analysing an account of a Christian funeral.
- Evaluate Christian hope for life after death by adding further dialogue to their film scene.
Supporting Values Education:
The value of tolerance recognises that people are different, and diversity can offer new and helpful ideas. This lesson encourages students to understand other people’s views and feelings about a sensitive subject, learning to listen and express their own thoughts respectfully.
Show the students a picture of Thanos from Avengers Endgame (https://www.marvel.com/characters/thanos). Explain that, at the start of the film, Thanos has used the infinity gauntlet to get rid of half of all life in the universe. Some of the Avengers have survived, others have died. Everyone alive has lost people they care about. Divide the class in half and propose the following motion: this class believes it would be better to die in the Infinity War than to survive it. Ask one half to come up with some arguments in favour of this statement, and the other half to argue against. After a few minutes to think and discuss, ask a few students from either side to share their ideas with the class. You could take a vote to see which arguments the class has found most persuasive. Explain that in today’s lesson you are going to be thinking about what happens when people die, how people cope with death, and what hope Christians have when considering these questions.
Show the clip from Avengers: Endgame (Walt Disney Studios, 2019, certificate 12). Click here to buy the DVD online. Explain that this clip shows how everyone, heroes and ordinary people, are trying to cope with the deaths of their friends and families. The clip comes early in the film, but is set five years after Thanos won the Infinity War. Captain America (Chris Evans) is hosting a meeting for people to talk about what happened and help each other move on. Ask the students to pay particular attention to what the characters are finding most difficult, and what sort of encouragement they offer each other.
- Start time: 0.20.09 (the start of chapter 3 of the DVD).
- End time: 0.22.09.
- Clip length: 2 minutes.
The clip starts with the words FIVE YEARS LATER. People have gathered to discuss the question: ‘Where do we go, now that they’re gone?’. The first line is a man saying ‘So I, uh, went on a date last night…’ It ends with Captain America (Chris Evans) saying ‘…Thanos should have killed all of us’.
Ask the students what they thought about the counselling session. Would they have found it helpful? What questions would they have wanted to ask? What might they have said to offer hope to those who were struggling to cope? Point out to the students that this is a sensitive subject for many people. Remind them that people have many different views about death, and it is important to listen respectfully to other opinions. If the students are reluctant to share their thoughts with the class, encourage them to write down their questions and ideas to revisit later in the lesson.
Ask the students to now imagine a Christian attends Captain America’s meeting. To get an idea of what they might say, explain to the students that we need to look at what the Bible says about death and what happens afterwards. Give out copies of the Resurrection Hope worksheet and explain that the Bible teaches that there is life after death, and this can give Christians hope when they experience loss. Ask the students to look in their Bibles at 1 Corinthians 15. They should find and read the verses listed on the worksheet, answering the questions for each set of verses. Next they should match the summaries on the worksheet to the correct passages. Finally they should write their own summary of why this Bible passage might give Christians hope. If they finish early, ask the students to make notes of any questions or comments they have about what they have read.
Point out that while Christians may have some different ideas about exactly what happens after death, they all share hope because of their belief in the resurrection of Jesus. Ask the students to look at the Funeral woksheet. Give them a few minutes to underline elements of this Christian service that reflect the ideas they have read in the Bible. Discuss together how does a Christian funeral offer hope to those who attend?
SUMMARY AND ASSESSMENT OF LEARNING:
Ask students to think back to the film clip where Captain America and others were considering how to deal with the loss of those they loved. They should imagine a Christian has joined in with the meeting. The students should write a paragraph about what the Christian might say about their experiences of loss and the hope they have because of their faith. They should then write some possible questions that the other people at the meeting might ask, and finish the dialogue with a response to these questions from the Christian. Students should include at least one quote from the Bible passage they have looked at and refer to one aspect of a Christian funeral in their paragraphs.
If there’s time, encourage a few students to read their finished scenes to the rest of the class. This will help the students develop listening skills and understanding of different points of view.
YOU WILL NEED:
- A copy of the film Avengers: Endgame. Click here to buy the DVD online.
- Image of Thanos (you could use one from this page https://www.marvel.com/characters/thanos).
- Copies of the Resurrection Hope worksheet.
- Copies of the Funeral worksheet.