June 30, 2014 at 1:12 pm #5788REFiendModerator
RRC member Caroline Boardman was challenged to find a creative way to use the RRCs new Playmobil Church to explore the unti ‘What can we learn about Christian symbols and beliefs by visiting churches’.
Here is her idea – we love it and we hope you do too!
Borrow the Playmobil church from the RRc and set it up before you start. It may work best if it is covered by a cloth.
Don’t use the word “church” yet! Don’t have anything to do with church on IWB/objective etc as this will spoil the activity.
Let the children look at the outside – what do they think it is? Why? What makes them think that? Don’t use this as a teaching time – accept their thoughts, challenge them to give reasons where you can. This could be an opportunity to find out what they now know.
What do you think we might see inside? If they use specific names you could ask them what it is and what it is for.
Look inside. You might need to allow time for a small group at a time to do this. Could groups then go back to their tables and together write or draw what they noticed? While groups are waiting could they be thinking about what they expect to see inside?
Time for feedback – what can we see/did you see that makes this a church? Or…..what did you expect to see in a church? Is there anything missing that you thought would be there? Opportunities to relate this activity to their visit to a church.
Points to note for staff:
* The Playmobil church is set up for a wedding – the fact of a wedding happening doesn’t make it a church, could’ve been a hotel, stately home etc. Do the children know of other types of services or special events which might happen in a church? Baptism/christening, funeral, confirmation (when an adult or older child makes their own decision and commitment to belief and membership of the church, usually no younger than 13ish in Anglican churches.), Sunday services in the morning and/or evening.
* There is a tower with steeple top – not all churches have these.
* There are stained glass windows – not all churches have them.
* The Playmobil church has wooden pews – not all churches have these, some now have individual chairs.
* There are organ pipes/an organ – some churches may have pianos as well as or instead of an organ. Why do churches have music? Hymns and songs – praise and worship – this is a way of expressing belief.
* There is a table – more like a table than the kind of altar in some more traditional churches.
* There are candles in the Playmobil church (on the table and on the walls) – a symbol of light – cf Christmas unit about Jesus as Light of the World.
* There is a picture of a dove (and other doves in the stained glass windows) – a symbol of the Holy Spirit cf unit on belief about God (Trinity – Father, Son and Holy Spirit) and unit about Jesus and story of Jesus’ baptism.
* The white book could be a Bible but looks more like a service book with wedding service words.
* No lectern or stand for a Bible for readings in a service.
* No pulpit or particular place for preaching/delivering the sermon/giving the talk.
**** No cross! No font! Have any of the children noticed this? The cross is a fundamental symbol of Christian belief and the font is the place where people may be christened/baptised and therefore ‘entered’ into the church community – both of which Playmobil have missed!
June 30, 2014 at 1:13 pm #5789REFiendModerator
After Caroline had given us the activity she gave us some feedback on how it had gone:
“I asked staff to use the Playmobil church and the notes after they had visited two local churches, a Methodist church and an Anglican church. Two classes used them as the starter for their feedback session about what they had discovered on their visits. Staff were pleased that children were identifying different aspects of church and that they spotted there was no cross. I felt it was a good exercise to see what the children now knew but staff felt it would have been more useful to them to look at the Playmobil church at the start of this unit.”