Ethos Education

Spider-Man: No Way Home

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Assembly Objective:

If given the chance to start again, would we choose to wipe away our past? Are our relationships contingent on life going smoothly, or can we trust that our friendships and family relationships will stand our mistakes? This assembly invites students to consider how they respond to life’s uncertainties and their own mistakes. Through the words of a psalm about God’s love and forgiveness, students will reflect on Christian teaching on fresh beginnings, and on the importance of forgiveness in relationships.

Film:

  • Spider-Man No Way Home (Columbia Pictures, 2021, certificate 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 value of Respect and Tolerance call us to live as part of a community. This assembly invites pupils to consider how choosing to offer forgiveness will add to societal harmony.

OPENING ACTIVITY

Kim’s Game (game)

In advance of the assembly, put together a tray of around 12-15 objects. Cover the tray and instruct students that you are going to give them 30 seconds to study the contents of the tray before covering it over and removing an object. After you’ve removed the object, reveal the contents of the tray and ask students to raise their hand if they think they can spot what’s missing. Play a few rounds and, if you’re feeling generous, award a small prize for the first correct answer each time.

There are also plenty of online variations of this game:

https://www.didier-eforenglish.com/activites-numeriques/u1/index.xhtml

https://www.twinkl.co.uk/search?q=kims+game

https://boys-brigade.org.uk/bbathome_virtual/tray-memory-game/

Introduce today’s assembly topic by pointing out that it’s easy to forget a small object, but much harder to forget something you have done wrong, or to forget a person.


FILM CLIP

Play the clip from Spider-Man: No Way Home (Columbia Pictures, 2021, certificate 12).

  • Start time: 00:15:23
  • End time: 00:25:13
  • Clip length: 9 mins 50 seconds

If you are short of time, you could begin the clip at 00:16:25 (Ned reading his letter out loud) and end it at 00:24:13 (‘Call me sir.’)

Peter Parker (Tom Holland)’s secret identity as Spider-Man has been revealed to the world, and he has been subjected to negative news coverage. Together with his girlfriend, MJ Watson (Zendaya), and his best friend, Ned Leeds (Jacob Batalon), Peter has applied to study at MIT (Massachusetts Institute of Technology). The scene begins with the three friends opening their university offers and discovering that they have been rejected on account of Peter’s activities as Spider-man. Peter says that it is not fair but MJ and Ned both assure him that they wouldn’t change the way things have worked out. Peter decides to go and visit Stephen Strange (Benedict Cumberbatch) to ask him for help. Strange offers to cast a spell that will make everyone forget that Peter is Spider-Man, but just as he begins, Peter realises that this will mean that MJ, Ned, his aunt, and everyone who knew him before his identity was unveiled, will forget who he is. Eventually, frustrated by Peter’s constant changes, Strange stops the spell from taking effect, and tells him that the problem is him. Peter reveals that he hasn’t actually tried to contact the university to discuss the matter, and Strange kicks him out of his house.

TALK

Download the Spider-Man: No Way Home PowerPoint for use with this talk.

Scripted Talk

  • [PowerPoint slide 1]
    • Have you ever had an experience that was so bad, that you wished the ground would swallow you up? Maybe you’ve said something embarrassing in front of your class or you’ve done something that has landed you in a lot of trouble. Perhaps something you have done has affected other people, and you wish you could turn back time. [If there is time, you could ask students to share some of their best embarrassing moments, or you could share a story of your own].
  • [PowerPoint slide 2]
    • In today’s assembly we’re going to watch a clip from Spider-Man: No Way Home.
  • [PowerPoint slide 3]
    • Peter Parker has a secret identity as Spider-Man, but this has been revealed to the world, causing him to be viewed as a danger to society. Peter has applied to study at MIT, a university in Boston, and his girlfriend and best friend have both applied to study there too. They are about to find out whether they’ve been accepted.
    • Watch the clip.
  • [PowerPoint slide 4]
    • Peter, MJ and Ned had been discriminated against because of something people thought Peter had done. Peter was right when he said that it wasn’t fair. He was also right when he said it was especially unfair that MJ and Ned had been rejected because of him. I wonder if you noticed what MJ said in response? She remarked that she wouldn’t change the way things had worked out. Peter thought differently.
  • [PowerPoint slide 5]
    • All of us make mistakes or do things that we regret. If we had the chance to turn back time, and make different choices, I’m sure that many of us would want to do that. When Peter went to see Stephen Strange, he found out that this wasn’t possible. However, Strange then gave him the opportunity to be forgotten. As Peter worked out, though, that’s not straightforward. Being forgotten would mean that MJ and Ned would be able to get into university, but it would also mean that they would forget ever knowing Peter.
  • [PowerPoint slide 6]
    • All of the good things would be forgotten as well as the bad. I’m not sure how many of us would want to take up the offer of being forgotten if we really thought about it.
    • At the heart of the Christian faith is the idea that everyone who has ever lived has done things to hurt others and turned their backs on God. The Bible calls this ‘sin’. Everyone, according to the Bible, has sinned, and fallen short of the standard God sets for humanity. This is a huge problem, and it doesn’t just affect God. It affects the relationships human beings have with one another and with the planet we live on.
  • [PowerPoint slide 7]
    • If there was a way to make God or other people forget about the things we’ve said, done or thought, then most of us would probably choose that option but, a bit like Peter Parker’s situation, it would mean that all the good things would be forgotten too, and that all the relationships we have with other people, and with our Creator, would be broken.
    • The good news is that the Bible doesn’t end with the description of sin. It also describes the infinite amount of love that God has for human beings, and goes on to explain how God, in his love for people, provided an answer to the problem of sin. The answer is not forgetfulness, but forgiveness.
  • [PowerPoint slide 8]
    • God’s forgiveness is described in a poem written many years ago:
    • Psalm 103:9-12 (NIV-UK)

‘He will not always accuse,
nor will he harbour his anger for ever;

he does not treat us as our sins deserve
or repay us according to our iniquities.

For as high as the heavens are above the earth,
so great is his love for those who fear him;

as far as the east is from the west,
so far has he removed our transgressions from us.’

  • [PowerPoint slide 9]
    • At the time the poem was written people didn’t fully understand how God would forgive people, but later in the Bible, we read about someone who made that possible. Jesus came to earth as God in human form, and he did not sin. He died on a cross and he rose from the dead, and because of this, he made it possible for people to be forgiven by God.
  • [PowerPoint slide 10]
    • Forgiveness is better than forgetfulness because it’s a way to have a fresh start, and to keep friendship with God and other people alive. For Christians, this lies at the heart of what they believe about God, and about how they believe they should live – knowing that God has forgiven them, means that they have no excuse for not forgiving other people!
    • Forgiveness is important for everyone, though. Whether or not you believe in Jesus, being forgiven when you have done something wrong, or have made a mess of things, is vital. And learning to forgive other people when they hurt us or mess up our lives, is important for making good friendships and for making a fresh start.
  • [PowerPoint slide 11]
    • Choosing to forgive someone when they have hurt you or broken your trust isn’t the same as pretending the bad thing didn’t happen, and it isn’t the same as forgetting how it made you feel. Choosing to forgive means letting your resentment towards the other person go, and deciding not to let it continue to hurt you. Not forgiving someone means that you resent them – you continue to feel angry and bitter towards them. In the end, resentment and lack of forgiveness ends up hurting even more. But thankfully, we have choices that mean we don’t have to turn back time or be forgotten to make a fresh start.

Headings and Bullets

Download the Spider-Man: No Way Home PowerPoint for use with this talk.

  • [PowerPoint slide 1]
    • Bad experiences.
    • Have you ever wished the ground would swallow you up?
    • Saying or doing something that is embarrassing, gets you into trouble or hurts others is horrible.
    • Do you ever wish you could turn back time?
    • [If there is time, you could ask students to share some of their best embarrassing moments, or you could share a story of your own].
  • PowerPoint slide 2]
    • Introduce Spider-Man: No Way Home.
  • [PowerPoint slide 3]
    • Peter Parker has a secret identity as Spider-Man.
    • This has been revealed to the world.
    • Peter has applied to study at MIT along with his girlfriend and best friend.
    • Watch the clip.
  • [PowerPoint slide 4]
    • Peter, MJ and Ned have been treated unfairly.
    • MJ said in response that she wouldn’t change the way things had worked out.
    • Peter thought differently.
  • [PowerPoint slide 5]
    • If we had the chance to turn back time, and make different choices, we probably would.
    • Peter went to see Stephen Strange and found out this wasn’t possible.
    • Strange then gave him the opportunity to be forgotten.
    • Being forgotten would mean that MJ and Ned would be able to get into university, but it would also mean that they would forget ever knowing Peter.
  • PowerPoint slide 6]
    • All of the good things would be forgotten as well as the bad.
    • At the heart of the Christian faith is the idea that everyone who has ever lived has done things to hurt others and turned their backs on God.
    • The Bible calls this ‘sin’.
    • Everyone, according to the Bible, has sinned, and fallen short of the standard God sets for humanity.
    • This is a huge problem.
    • It affects God, it affects the relationships human beings have with one another and with the planet we live on.
  • [PowerPoint slide 7]
    • Forgetting we existed would mean breaking our relationship with God and other people forever.
    • The good news is that the Bible doesn’t end with the description of sin.
    • It also describes the infinite amount of love that God has for human beings.
    • It explains how God provided an answer to the problem of sin.
    • The answer is not forgetfulness, but forgiveness.
  • [PowerPoint slide 8]
    • Psalm 103:9-12 (NIV-UK)

‘He will not always accuse,
nor will he harbour his anger for ever;

he does not treat us as our sins deserve
or repay us according to our iniquities.

For as high as the heavens are above the earth,
so great is his love for those who fear him;

as far as the east is from the west,
so far has he removed our transgressions from us.’

  • [PowerPoint slide 9]
    • Jesus made it possible for God to forgive people.
    • Jesus came to earth as God in human form, and he did not sin.
    • He died on a cross and he rose from the dead.
    • This made it possible for people to be forgiven by God.
  • [PowerPoint slide 10]
    • Forgiveness is better than forgetfulness.
    • It’s a way to have a fresh start, and to keep friendship with God and other people alive.
    • For Christians, this lies at the heart of what they believe about God, and about how they believe they should live – knowing that God has forgiven them, means that they have no excuse for not forgiving other people!
    • Forgiveness is important for everyone.
    • Learning to forgive other people when they hurt us or mess up our lives, is important for making good friendships and for making a fresh start.
  • [PowerPoint slide 11]
    • Choosing to forgive when someone has hurt you or broken your trust isn’t the same as pretending the bad thing didn’t happen.
    • It isn’t the same as forgetting how it made you feel.
    • Choosing to forgive means letting your resentment towards the other person go, and deciding not to let it continue to hurt you.
    • Not forgiving someone means that you resent them – you continue to feel angry and bitter towards them.
    • In the end, resentment and lack of forgiveness ends up hurting even more.
    • Thankfully we have choices that mean we don’t have to turn back time or be forgotten to make a fresh start.

Photo Copyright for Spider-Man No Way Home PowerPoint: Slide 1 Pixabay.com / Slide 2 Marvel Studios/Sony Pictures / Slide 3 Marvel Studios/Sony Pictures / Slide 4 MJ and Spiderman Marvel Studios/Sony Pictures Ned Marvel Studios/Sony Pictures / Slide 5 Marvel Studios/Sony Pictures / Slide 6 Pixabay.com / Slide 7 Pixabay.com / Slide 8 Pixabay.com / Slide 9 Pixabay.com / Slide 10 Marvel Studios/Sony Pictures / Slide 11 Pixabay.com / Slide 12 Pixabay.com / Slide 13 Pixabay.com 


RESPOND

Prayer

  • [PowerPoint slide 12]
    • The Lord’s Prayer is the prayer that Jesus taught his followers to pray. At the heart of the prayer is the line asking for forgiveness and deciding to forgive.

Our Father in heaven,
hallowed be your name,
your kingdom come,
your will be done,
on earth as in heaven.
Give us today our daily bread.
Forgive us our sins
as we forgive those who sin against us.
Lead us not into temptation
but deliver us from evil.
For the kingdom, the power,
and the glory are yours
now and for ever.
Amen.

Reflection

  • [PowerPoint slide 13]
    • Play some reflective music and show the slide with two questions:
    • Is there someone you need to ask to forgive you?
    • Is there someone you need to forgive?
    • Invite pupils to spend a moment looking at the slide and thinking about the two questions.

YOU WILL NEED:

  1. A copy of Spider-Man: No Way Home (Columbia Pictures, 2021, cert 12). Click here to buy the DVD online.
  2. Spider-Man: No Way Home PowerPoint.
  3. A tray of objects and a covering for Opening Activity.

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