Lesson 1 – Gifts and Talents

Slide 1 - Introduction

Introduce the Paradise Street series and the structure of each of the sessions:

1. Watch the film
2. Discuss as a group
3. Film: Delving Deeper
4. Personal Activity using the Workbook
5. Reflection

Slide 2 - Film: Paradise Street - Episode 1: The One About Gifts and Talents

Click to play “Paradise Street”, Episode 1.

We are introduced to the four main characters who live on Paradise Street and see their family backgrounds. Siobhan excels at everything she does which leaves others feeling inferior and/or jealous, especially Finn who doesn’t get into the school football team. This knocks his confidence and self-esteem, but his Mum is able to build him up.

Slide 3 - Film: Paradise Street - Episode 1: The One About Gifts and Talents

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 discussion points you can use to facilitate a conversation with pupils about the drama.

• Children to recall the family setups of the four main characters
• How do you think Siobhan feels about winning a swimming medal? Why might she have worn it to school?
• How do the others respond?
• Is it Siobhan’s fault that she got full marks in her test? Is there anything wrong with how she behaved, could she have done anything better? How does she make Marcus feel?
• How do you imagine Finn feels when he doesn’t make the football team? Does Siobhan help him feel better or worse?
• How does Leyla feel when she doesn’t get the main part? Is she right to be upset?
• After Siobhan says, “I told Finn that if I could give him my place then I would. I mean, he has so much more experience playing football than me. It’s totally not fair that…”, Finn walks off annoyed. Why do you think he is annoyed? Is he right to be annoyed?
• Marcus accuses Siobhan of showing off. Can you describe how Siobhan might have been showing off in this episode?
• When he first saw his results, how did Marcus feel about getting 12 in the test? What did Siobhan say that made him feel differently about it? Marcus couldn’t find the right word to describe how Siobhan had made him feel. Can you think of some that might work?
• Finn’s Mum said, “We can’t always be the best or get the things we want all of the time. But that doesn’t mean you’re better or worse than anybody else.” Do you agree? If so, why?
• Finn’s Mum also said, “God made you just as you are, with all of your gifts and your talents and your faults and failings. You are totally unique.” Do you think this will reassure Finn? How does his Mum say knowing this can help us change how we feel about ourselves?
• Do boys and girls like different things?

Slide 4 - Film: Delving Deeper into Episode 1

Click to play “Delving Deeper into Episode 1”

“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:

• People have different family backgrounds and experiences (including blended families, single-parent families, same-sex parents, adopted families, etc)
• People have different skills and talents, given to them by God.
• That means you will be good at some things and less good at other things.
• Sometimes life can feel difficult when you’re not as good as others at something.
Our value and self-confidence should arise from knowing that we are God’s children and that we are loved by God.

Slide 5 - Personal Activity: Paradise Street Workbook - Identity

For each Paradise Street lesson, there is an activity for children to complete in their Paradise Street Workbooks. These activities are personal writing exercises based on the themes and topics covered in the session, in order for children to consolidate learning and apply the teachings to themselves.

Today’s activity is about identity and provides an opportunity for children to consider their own gifts, talents, faults and weaknesses in addition to other characteristics that make up their identity.

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.

Slide 6 - Reflection

Invite children to close eyes and listen to the following reflection read by the teacher. Play music in the background if you wish:

O Lord my God,
Teach my heart this day where and how to see you,
Where and how to find you.
You have made me and remade me,
And you have bestowed on me
All the good things I possess…
Teach me to seek you,
For I cannot seek you
Unless you teach me,
Or find you
Unless you show yourself to me.
Let me seek you in my desire,
Let me desire you in my seeking.
Let me find you by loving you,
Let me love you when I find you.
(from Prayer of St Anselm)

Sit in silence for a moment and give thanks that God has made you, knows you and loves you.

Slide 7 - Reflection

Play: “My Dedication”