Lesson 1 – Life Cycles

Slide 1-2 - Introduction: Before I Was Born

To begin this session, invite a pupil to share with the whole class the worksheet that was completed in Session 3 of “Me, My Body, My Health” called My Timeline. This worksheet gave pupils the opportunity to describe their life stages and experiences from the day that they were born to the present day.

After the pupil shares his/her timeline, reveal the text on the slide which reminds the pupils what was learnt previously; that there are stages of life from Childhood, through Puberty, to Adulthood.

Click again to reveal a fourth stage of life which appears before Childhood called “Life Before Birth” and explain that this is what we are going to look at today.

Slide 3: How Kester Was Made

Let’s go back to Kester’s story, where Abraham reveals to Kester how he made him. Here, we see a flashback to Abraham lovingly creating Kester with the help of parents.

Click to play.

Slide 4 - Film: How Kester Was Made

After the film, ensure that the pupils have grasped the ideas presented in the story by asking the following questions:

• At the beginning of the story, what has Kester asked Abraham about?
• Why is Kester a bit annoyed when Abraham starts making a plasticine model?
• What is written on the foot of every real person in Edendale?
• Why does Abraham say he is making the plasticine model?
• How does Abraham behave when he’s making the model? Is he hurried and uncaring or focussed and careful?
• What does Kester think of Abraham’s creation to start with?
• What can Kester see etched into the skin of the plasticine model?
• Kester is surprised to find he’s been enjoying watching Abraham work. What does he think of the finished model?
• Abraham says the plasticine model is an illustration to show how much care and attention he takes to make real people. What does Abraham say he knows about real people before they are born?
• But Kester knows that he wasn’t modelled with plasticine. How does Abraham say Kester was made? How were his parents involved?
• What does Abraham say about his fingerprints on Kester’s body?
• Kester takes the plasticine model home. What does it remind him of?

Key Point
Click on the slide to make the Key Point that like Kester was lovingly made by Abraham with his parents’ help, we too have been lovingly made by God with our parents’ help.

Slide 5 - Explore: How We Were Created

Invite two pupils to play the roles of Sophie and Aidan in the the script Appendix 1: Sophie and Aidan Have Questions.

In this drama, to be read by two pupils, the characters of Sophie and Aidan have questions about how they themselves were created. When indicated, click to play the video.

In the video, AJ explains to Sophie and Aidan and the rest of the class how they were created. AJ guides us through real-life footage of the main stages of development of a baby, including:

• Conception (sperm meeting the egg)
• Implantation (the egg finding its home in the womb lining)
• Embryo (growing fertilised egg is called this until 8 weeks)
• Foetus (growing fertilised egg is called this after 8 weeks)
• Birth

At the end of the video, AJ asks Sophie and Aidan what they thought of that. The pupils reading these parts should continue with the second part of the script when prompted.

Slide 6 - Group Discussion: Life Before Birth

To establish some of the key ideas and facts discussed in the film, ask the children the following questions:

After each word has been revealed, ask the class the repeat the word after you.

What is the special name for the mum’s tummy where babies begin life and grow?

W _ _ _

(womb)

Slide 7 - Group Discussion: Life Before Birth

Which part of the mum creates a new life?

_ _ G

(egg)

Slide 8 - Group Discussion: Life Before Birth

Which part of the dad creates a new life?

S _ _ _ M

(sperm)

Slide 9 - Group Discussion: Life Before Birth

The sperm swims down the F_LL_P_ _N TUB_ looking for the egg.

(fallopian tube)

Slide 10 - Group Discussion: Life Before Birth

When the sperm and egg become one thing, we say that it has become…

_ERTILISED

(fertilised)

Slide 11 - Group Discussion: Life Before Birth

When an egg has been fertilised, a new life begins! This is the moment of…

C_ _ _ _ _ PTION.

(conception)

Slide 12 - Group Discussion: Life Before Birth

After conception, the fertilised egg settles down and finds a home in the womb where it will be safe. This is called…

IM_ _A_TATION

(implantation)

Slide 13 - Group Discussion: Life Before Birth

When it is less than 8 weeks ago, the fertilised egg is called an…

E_B_YO

(embryo)

Slide 14 - Group Discussion: Life Before Birth

When it is more than 8 weeks ago, the embryo is called a…

_OETUS

(foetus)

Slide 15 - Group Discussion: Life Before Birth

The mum feeds the baby through the…

U_ _ILICAL C_ _D

(umbilical cord)

Slide 16 - Group Discussion: Life Before Birth

The baby grows in the mum’s womb for…

_ MONTHS

(9 months)

Slide 17 - Group Discussion: Life Before Birth

God created every one of us inside our mum’s womb. For this, we should say T_ _ _ _ Y_ _ to God!

(thank you)

Slide 18 - Personal Worksheet: Life Before Birth

To help children ingest the teaching, give each a pupil a worksheet and ask them to fill it in. The words on the screen will help them to find the right answers.

Slide 19 - Reflection: Thanksgiving Meditation

To conclude the session, lead the children in a Thanksgiving Meditation. This is the same meditation which has been introduced as the Daily Prayer for this Unit.

The meditation gives children the opportunity to reflect on how they have been wonderfully made and that they are formed of body and soul; of the physical, psychological and the spiritual.

Suggested follow-on activties

Make fingerprints – Children to use ink and paper to see their own unique fingerprints. They could analyse the loops, arches and whorls using this guide/adapt for your pupils: http://www.forensicsciencesimplified.org/prints/principles.html
Life Cycle Diary – Each day, children should write a different diary entry about a different stage of life cycle.
Book of Life – Draw a picture of each life stage, pre birth and after birth. Put these in order and bind together.

Home Activity:

If you have any, show photographs of the child when he/she was “in the womb”. Support the sense of wonder about life before birth.

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