Welcome and settle the pupils, explaining that in today’s session they will be thinking about ‘Catholic Social Teaching’ – guidelines to help us remember how God wants us to live.
The following two slides invite pupils to think about what God’s love actually means. Feel free to use the suggested script or your own words.
Say: God loves us? Yes, of course He does. I don’t think anyone would disagree with that!
Say: God wants us to love others. Yes, again, of course He does. That’s
what we hear all the time, isn’t it?
Click to reveal emoji.
But what does that actually mean?
Love letters? Candlelit dinners? Valentines’ cards? To everyone?!
How do we really love our neighbour?
Explain that this exercise demonstrates some ways in which God has shown His love for us throughout history.
• Hand out Appendix 1 – Timeline Exercise.
• Ask the pupils (in pairs or individually) to either cut up the sheets and place in chronological order or arrange the pre-cut sheets in chronological order. (The correct order is c, e, i, d, b, f, a, h, g.)
• Ask for observations on these examples of God’s action in the world.
• Click to reveal possible responses on screen:
• God created us in His image, to be like Him.
• Jesus cared about how we live together and how we care for the vulnerable.
• The examples are about equality, justice and being active in the world.
Use the following or your own words:
As a community of believers in God, the Church has tried to spread God’s love through ways of living harmoniously together. In the early Church, believers lived together and shared their possessions. As the Church has grown, it’s written down ideas on how to live lovingly in the different sorts of society that exist now. This is called Catholic Social Teaching.”
Click to reveal each of the Seven Principles of Catholic Social Teaching.
(We’ll look at these in simpler language in the next exercise.)
• Give out Appendix 2 and ask pairs to fill in the blanks.
• After some time, use Appendix 3 to share the answers. Go through each sentence, clarifying to ensure that children have understood.
• Ask the class for examples of what we might do to uphold each principle in daily life, for example:
Dignity – assist organisations that campaign for peace
Family, Community, Participation – give to charities
Rights and Responsibilities – not take more than our share
Care for Poor and Vulnerable – donate to foodbanks
Rights of Workers – treat people who help us in shops with respect
Solidarity – sponsor a child to go to school
Care for God’s Creation – recycle, not use more than we need
Small Group Activity
• Split the class into seven small groups.
• Give each group a large sheet of paper (A3 if possible) and coloured pens or pencils.
• Assign each group one of the principles of CST.
• Each group is going to create a superhero to champion the principle they’ve been assigned. They must draw their superhero, invent a name and motto, then write answers to the following:
o What injustices in the world would they fight against?
o What good things in the world would they stand up for?
o Who, particularly, would they protect?
o On what occasions would they be summoned to help?
• NOTE: Don’t mention anything about superpowers. If someone asks, say they can decide, but the questions above are most important.
• Give the groups 10-15 minutes to come up with ideas and then ask each group to present their superhero to the class.
When everyone has presented, explain that these superheroes have no superpowers. They are just ordinary people!
• (Click to reveal first image) These superheroes are US! We are capable of making the world a better place on our own!
• (Click to reveal second image) But that we can work with other people (solidarity) and that makes us stronger.
• (Click to reveal third image) And we can work with God and that makes us INVINCIBLE!
• Acknowledge the effort that the class has made in this lesson and prepare them for a final writing exercise to draw the learning together.
• Ask pupils to copy down from Slide 9:
“We know that God loves us and that He wants us to pass on His love to others. This means….”
• Ask them to write a sentence or two to complete the thought.