Lead the following activity using the prepared gift box, to facilitate a discussion about how we know if something is good or bad. If unable to prepare a gift box in advance, talk your class through the scenario instead:
• Explain to children that you have a gift for someone in the class. Show the gift box.
• Ask who would like to open it. They have to guess what is inside and then tell the class.
• Select someone, pass the gift box to them. Have them guess what is inside by the weight, shaking it etc.
• You might like to blindfold them and ask them to guess what it is by reaching in and feeling it. Take final guesses and reveal – something horrible, like cold cooked spaghetti, jelly or baked beans – or all three mixed together!
• Ask them how they felt whilst opening the present (excited) and when they felt/saw it (disappointed/revolted).
• Ask, “Was this a good present?” (Answer: NO!)
Explain that surprises and the unknown can seem really exciting and attractive. Sometimes these things can be good, but sometimes they are bad. The present from the exercise was bad and disappointing, but it didn’t hurt anyone. But sometimes bad things can hurt us.
Introduce today’s episode as about seeing good and bad things online. You might like to ask children if they have any experience of this, or how they know if something is good or bad, before watching the episode.
Click to play “Paradise Street”, Episode 8.
In this episode, we explore the relationship that the characters have with their phone and online devices. Leyla and Siobhan rave about a vlogger they have discovered, whilst Finn secretly discovers a pornographic website. Initially shocked and scared by what he has seen, he becomes more and more drawn to it. When his Dad discovers what Finn has been looking at, he sits down with him for a chat to explain the effect that these videos and images will have on his young brain.
See the Module Overview for further guidance on this section.
Use the Lucky Dip Questions in Appendix 1 to generate discussion.
Alternatively, here are some questions you can use to facilitate a conversation with pupils about the drama:
• Why did Leyla’s Mum tell her she’s ‘best leaving romance alone for a few more years yet’? What do you think of that?
• Do you think Leyla will recover from her heartbreak over Gabriel?
• What do you think of the vlogger Tasha Sparkes? Why do Siobhan and Leyla like her?
• Are the Tasha Sparkes videos ‘bad’? Siobhan enjoys watching them, but they start to make her feel bad about herself. Why does she keep watching them?
• When Siobhan was looking in the mirror, what do you think was going through her head?
• Can you describe what Finn saw online when he was researching his history homework? Why did he keep looking up at his parents?
• Was it good or bad? How do you think Finn felt before and after he clicked on it?
• Should Finn have known in advance that it was good or bad? Why/how?
• What would his parents say if they knew what Finn was looking at?
• Why do you think Finn keeps going back to the website and looking again?
• Sometimes his body language suggests he doesn’t want to look at it. Can you describe what you think is happening?
• Why does Finn show the website to Marcus?
• How do you imagine Finn feels when his Dad asks him about it?
• What is pornography?
• Why does Finn’s Dad say that pornography is bad for the brain?
• What are the two parts of the brain Finn’s Dad talks about and how do they work?
• What part of the brain was Finn listening to when he kept going back on the website?
• What three tips does Finn’s Dad give him, for if he comes across pornography again?
• How do you imagine Finn feels when he hears his parent’s news?
Click to play “Delving Deeper into Episode 8”
“Delving Deeper” is a presenter-led film which highlights some of the key ideas presented in the film, gives some teaching and provides a Christian context by linking to the Kester storyline.
This teaching includes:
• There is a difference between harmful and harmless images and videos.
• Some harmless images and videos can lead the viewer into looking at harmful images and videos
• Harmful videos and images affect the brain in a hidden way
• How the brain works (eg the ‘thinking brain’ and the ‘emotional brain’)
• How pornography can be addictive – and what addiction means
• How to protect the brain when it is faced with pornography:
o Eyes – look away, close what you’re looking at
o Do something else to distract you
o Talk to someone about what you’ve seen – don’t make it a secret
• How to counter negative thoughts with truths about how God made us with love and wants us to respect ourselves and others.
Children should complete the ‘Seeing Things’ activity in their Paradise Street Workbooks.
Today’s activity gives pupils the space to consider the material they view online and how it makes them feel. It will consolidate teaching about how to deal with anything that makes them feel uncomfortable and provide an opportunity to reflect on their relationship with God.
It is advisable for children to complete these workbook activities independently. You might like to play music in the background to encourage focus, before bringing the class back together to conclude.
Invite children to close eyes and listen to the following reflection read by teacher:
O St Lucy, preserve the light of my eyes so that I may see the beauties of creation, the glow of the sun, the colour of the flowers and the smile of children.
Preserve also the eyes of my soul, the faith, through which I can know my God, understand His teachings, recognise His love for me and never miss the road that leads me to where you, St Lucy, can be found in the company of the angels and saints.
St Lucy, protect my eyes and preserve my faith. Amen.
Excerpt from traditional prayer of St Lucy – patron saint of the eyes (edited for sense for younger audience)
Sit in silence for a moment and ask God to help you always use your eyes and mind for goodness and truth.
Play: “My Dedication”