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8. HOPE – How can we have hope in our world?

GROUND RULES

Share Article 12 of the UN Convention on the Rights of the Child: ‘You have the right to give your opinion, and for adults to listen and take it seriously’ and remind the children of the ground rules:

  • We have the right to an opinion and for it to be listened to and taken seriously.
  • Thumbs up if you want to speak.
  • One person talks at a time.
  • Everyone is valued.
  • Respect each other’s responses.

GETTING SET

Ask the children to sit in a circle and then to make a choice between dancing in a ballet or playing in an orchestra. Give them time to think about their choice as a reason will be required! Explain that there is no right or wrong answer but what is important is the reason for their choice. In turn ask the children the question:

  • Would you rather dance in a ballet or play in an orchestra?

Children respond with such answers as, “I would rather play an instrument in an orchestra as I can’t tie ballet shoes.”

INTRODUCTION

Explain to the children that today they are going to be exploring what it means to have hope in the world.

ACTIVITIES

Ask the children to talk in groups of four or five about the following quote, commenting on what they think it means and what the most important words in the quote might be:

“Hope… Sometimes that’s all you have when you have nothing else. If you have it, You have everything.”

Tell the story of ‘Amazing Grace’ by Mary Hoffman [You Tube film]

Grace was a little girl who loved the stories her grandmother told her. In fact, she loved them so much that she would act out all the parts. When her teacher announced that the class was to present Peter Pan as a play, Grace knew she would make a wonderful Peter Pan. Her classmates told her that she could not play the part because Peter Pan was a boy and he wasn’t black. But when time for auditions came, Grace was by far the best Peter Pan and after the evening performance she felt as if she could “fly all the way home.” Her mother had told her all along that she could achieve anything she wanted if she tried hard enough… even “fly all the way home!”

Invite the children to think about the following ‘I wonder…’ statements and to offer some responses:

  • I wonder what made Grace feel so confident about becoming Peter Pan?
  • I wonder why people thought she couldn’t be Peter Pan?
  • Should we judge people by their appearance?

Invite the children to raise their own questions about this story, particularly about the idea of hope. Invite them then to vote for a question that they think the class could discuss. [Encourage the children to close their eyes when voting so they are not influenced by their peers’ votes.]

Once a question has been voted for, invite the children to share some initial answers. Clarify the question where needed and help them to build their understanding – agreeing and disagreeing with the ideas they are airing. Encourage them to listen carefully to each other so that they can appreciate other points of view and learn more about what they need to know to answer the question. After everyone has had an opportunity to participate, thank the children for their contributions. 

Draw an outline of a tree and explain that this is going to be the class ‘Hope Pledge’ tree: every child who writes a hope on a leaf is pledging that they will make it happen. Just like Grace: she worked hard for something and believed she could do it. Encourage the children to think that they could work for something similar. Ask them to draw a leaf and to write their pledge [that is, something they promise to do] and to stick it on the tree.

CONCLUSION

Offer some reflections on the importance of hope in our world; believing that they can make a positive difference to the world. Challenge them with this final thought:

  • I wonder what you will be doing in one year, five years and ten years’ time…?

A printable (pdf) version of this session can be found here

© Sea of Faith 2018

Sea of Faith is a Registered Charity no: 1113177

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