June 30, 2014 at 1:52 pm #5790Karenza PassmoreParticipant
RRC Member Caroline Boardman wanted an activity that would allow pupils to explore and respond to Christian beliefs about Good Friday and Easter Sunday. She was mindful of the advice from the Durhamn LA Adviser that dance, drama, poetry and art were appropriate pupil responses to these beliefs if they showed understanding of the themes of sadness, fear and solemnity (Good Friday) and joy, hope and celebration (Easter Sunday).
Caroline therefore designed the following art based activity based around a set of pictures (and following discussion with Christian friends). The idea is for children to use the activity to create a piece of art that will show understanding of the Easter themes and ideas, not just retell the story!
Use Google images and search for “stained glass windows showing Resurrection”. If it doesn’t come up make a specific search for the ‘Resurrection Window’ in the church in Lisburn, Northern Ireland.
Use NATRE /Spirited Arts gallery picture gallery to gather other children’s images of Easter.
Show the children the stained glass window pictures. (teachers can note that these windows show examples of abstract representations of the themes and ideas of “Resurrection” or “Easter Sunday” rather than telling the story with an actual picture of the event from the Gospels).
Encourage the children to notice the :
* bright colours – yellow, gold, orange, red, bright blues and fresh greens.
* the sunburst/star-burst type designs.
* the idea of flames or water bursting out – energy, power, new life.
* the use of the butterfly as a symbol of Easter Sunday/Resurrection – to consider how ‘dead’ a cocoon or chrysalis seems to be and then a butterfly emerges.
Focus on the Resurrection Window in the church in Lisburn, Northern Ireland, (this window was made from fragments of glass following a bomb blast in 1981). It combines the Christian belief in resurrection (new life, hope) and the idea of the church in Lisburn being restored and carrying on.
Caroline used the picture “Remember Easter!” in the NATRE/Spirited Arts Picture Gallery. “It is a good representational picture for Easter Sunday with bright colours like flowers or the colours of the rainbow – indeed the picture includes a rainbow in the middle. The story of Noah’s Ark has led Christians to associate the rainbow with hope. The use of the word “celebrate” sums up the theme of Easter Sunday for Christians.”
Allow the children (in groups or as a whole class) to consider what they heave learned about Christian beliefs about Good Friday/Easter Sunday from the art work they have looked at.
Next encourage them to identify the words/images/colours that they (as a group or personally) think are the best to explore beliefs about Good Friday and Easter Sunday, the most significant day in the Christian year:
* Thinking about Good Friday and Easter Sunday – how do they think people like the disciples would have felt at these times? * How do they think Christians feel now at these times – refer to how churches are decorated at these times of year, what kind of services are held…
* Think of Good Friday – if it were represented by a colour what would it be? A time of day or season? Type of weather? If it was represented by something in nature – flower, tree, animal, natural feature – what would it be? What kind of music would be best to explore this day? (Refer back to starter activity?) What words might be associated with it?
Take the children through the same process for Easter Sunday.
Its best get the children’s ideas but these thoughts from Christians might help:
Good Friday – grey, black, dark colours dark brown, very dark blue; night (even though the actual event wasn’t at night); rain, storm, cold weather, dark clouds, dreary, dismal; winter, dead time of year; bare dark trees outlined against the sky, bare rock or desert, desolation; solemn, sombre, quiet, sad, sorrowful music; ‘the end’, ‘no hope’, ‘despair’, ‘death’, ‘disappointment’, ‘defeat’, ‘grief’, ‘powerlessness’, ‘suffering’, ‘darkness’.
Easter Sunday – yellow, gold, brightness,orange (sun colours), fresh green and pale blue, bright blue (colours of new life); sunshine, warm weather; spring and summer; sunrise; snowdrops, daffodils, buds on trees, fresh green grass, mountain streams and waterfalls, lamb, chicks, kangaroos and Tigger (bouncing with life!);happy and joyful music, dancing, like a party, majestic, trumpets; ‘new life’, ‘beginning’, ‘hope’, ‘joy’, ‘power’, ‘energy’, ’light’, ‘celebration’, ‘life’.
Give the children the challenge of creating their own piece of art about Good Friday or Easter Sunday (or a picture in two halves showing each of the two days) using the ideas that they have formed and the preferences that they have expressed. Their picture could be an illustration of the actual events or a representational picture (stained glass windows might help here) but it should include some of their symbolic colours, scenes, words so that it does more than “tell the story”. Challenge children to say or write why they have made their picture as they have.
Create a Class Art gallery exhibiting the work with notes.