Big Questions Semester 1 Teacher's manual

Page 1

Christian education for the last year of primary school


Contents For the teacher What you will find in each lesson Curriculum stance Training and support Five circles of learning Big Questions icons

4 7 7 8 9


Who am I?

Matthew 7:7–12



Who really knows me?

Psalm 39:1–16; 23–24



Where does our world come from?

Genesis 1:1—2:4; Hebrews 1:3



Why are we here?

Genesis 1–2



What’s wrong with the world?

Genesis 3



What’s gone wrong with people?

Genesis 37



What is God really like?

Psalm 47 and selected passages



Does God really care?

Psalm 23



Does God speak to me?

2 Timothy 3:16; 1 John 1:1–2; Luke 1:1–4


10. How do I read the Bible?

2 Timothy 3:16; Hebrews 4:12; Psalm 119:105, 110–111


11. How does God forgive us?

Matthew 18:21–35; Colossians 3:13


12. Who is Jesus?

Luke 1–3; Matthew 1–2


13. Is Jesus so special?

Luke, various passages


14. What can he do?

Luke, various passages


15. Why did Jesus die?

Luke 22–23; Romans 5:10


16. Did Jesus really rise from the dead?

Luke 24


17. What difference does Jesus make?

Luke’s Gospel


18. Responses to Jesus

Luke 8:4–15


19. Will Jesus return?

John 14:1–4 186

Reference Help with classroom management 200 Helpful teaching techniques 202 Is your class different? 209 Teaching Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander students 210 Learning theory undergirding Big Questions 211 Using appropriate language in the (S)RE/RI class 214 What the Bible says about living as God’s friends 215



12 Who ■

Luke 1–3; Matthew 1–2

is Jesus?

Lesson aim

To encourage the students to understand that the unique circumstances of Jesus’ birth described in the Bible show that he is God’s Son. ■

Lesson outcomes

Students will: • identify some of the signs that accompanied Jesus’ birth • read various Bible accounts of Jesus’ birth • express what they think about the idea that Jesus is unique. ■

Key verse

He will be called the Son of God Most High. Luke 1:32 (CEV)

NOTE: Ideally for the next four lessons the class will need access to Bibles, or copies of Luke’s Gospel. They will need to be able to read the passages for themselves.

Bible background

This lesson and the following two lessons are intended to explore answers to the question: Who is Jesus? The methods used in teaching the lessons involve research and discovery to help the students formulate their own conclusions to the question. All three lessons point towards Jesus being God’s Son. This lesson considers the uniqueness of Jesus’ birth and the following lessons examine aspects of his ministry that reflect his deity. These three lessons will seek to establish who Jesus is while future lessons will raise the implications of this for all people. This lesson focuses on the signs and sayings that accompanied Jesus’ birth and which point to him being God’s Son. The virgin birth is specifically incorporated in the lesson. If the students wish to discuss this point further, explain that Jesus did not have a natural father as everyone else does, that he was born of a human mother but of a divine father and thus in conception was shown to be God’s Son.


12 ■

You will need

➔ Prepared cut-out Visual aids (see Teaching tips) ➔ String and pegs or Blu-Tack ➔ Photocopies of the verses on pages 114–115 for the different groups ➔ Luke’s Gospel or Bibles for students to read ➔ A CEV Bible ➔ Big Questions magazine for each student ➔ Materials for Extension Activities

Teaching tips

In this lesson you will use simple cut-out Visual aids to represent the main signs that are being told by the Bible verses the students are examining. You will need to prepare the Visual aids before the lesson. You will need to make one book, one star, one Mary and four angels as follows: Book: Fold sheet of A4 paper in half crosswise. Star: Use half a sheet of A4 paper. Draw a circle, mark six equidistant points on the circumference and join the points as shown. Cut out star shape. Angel: Use half (crosswise) A4 sheet of paper. Draw shape as shown and draw in face, arms, clothes. You will need four angels.

Lesson summary

• •

INTRO Recognition CORE Signs Sayings Combining the evidence

PULLING IT TOGETHER Jesus is the Son of God Big Questions magazine Concluding prayer OTHER RESOUCES PowerPoint presentation for Lesson 12 (see page 6 for more information)

Bethlehem sign: Use half (crosswise) A4 sheet of paper. Cut two diagonal lines at the top to meet in the centre, making a roof. Write out the word Bethlehem across the upper part of the stable shape. Refer to diagrams on page 112. You will also need a way to display these shapes. You could use a string and pegs to hang the cut-outs. You could tie string from one end of the chalkboard to the other or between two chairs. Alternatively use Blu-Tack to attach the shapes to the board or wall. The method used for this lesson is to split the class into six groups. Give a time limit that will require the students to work fairly quickly so that not too many will have extra time on their hands. Keep your eye out for any group that is lagging behind in the task and give them some assistance if necessary.

Teacher’s prayer

Lord God, I praise you and thank you for all you have shown us through your Son, Jesus. Help me to grow more like him each day as I study your word. Amen.



12 INTRO Discuss with the class the following situation or something similar involving a popular television or sporting celebrity. Imagine that your class has just completed a tour of Parliament House in Canberra. As you wait outside for your bus, a group of people carrying cameras and microphones appear. A large black limousine pulls up at the main entrance and three men get out. One of them looks like the Prime Minister. • What reasons would you have for believing that the man really was the Prime Minister?

CUT OUT VISUAL AIDS: One book, one star, four angels and Bethlehem will be needed. You will need: A4 paper, scissors, pencils/pens, stapler.

BOOK: Fold sheet of A4 paper in half(crosswise).

Ask the class to list as many reasons as they can e.g. man looked/spoke like the Prime Minister, he was at Parliament House, the presence of the press, bodyguards and the limousine and so on.

CORE SIGNS When Jesus was born there were a number of unusual things that happened which suggested his birth was special. • What were some of these unusual things? Accept suggestions without comment. Hold up your completed cut-outs when appropriate ideas are suggested or use them to prompt answers. A star: that led the wise men. An angel: that appeared to Mary, to Joseph and the shepherds. A book: which represents the prophecies that told about Jesus’ birth years before it happened. Bethlehem: where Jesus was born.

STAR: Use half (crosswise) A4 sheet of paper. Draw circle. Mark six equidistant points on circumference. Join points as shown. Cut out star shape.

ANGEL: Use half (crosswise) A4 sheet of paper. Draw shape shown. Cut shape. Draw face, arms, clothes etc.

BETHLEHEM: Use half (crosswise) A4 sheet

SAYINGS The Bible explains what was so special about Jesus’ birth. It was unique—that means there has never been anyone like Jesus. I’d like you to spend some time now, working in groups, to help make a display about the events surrounding Jesus’ birth. I’ll put you into six groups. Each group will have a ‘sign’ symbol (hold up a couple of your cut-out Visual aids) and a set of Bible verses (hold up one copy of a set of verses as an example). As a group, read the verses and the instructions at the bottom of the page. Write the answers clearly on your sign. When you have all finished we will make a display.

of paper. Cut two diagonal lines at the top to meet in the centre, making a roof.



Bible icon I’ll do one now to demonstrate. My sign is Bethlehem (show sign of Bethlehem). The verses that go with this symbol are Luke 2:3–7 and Matthew 2:5–6 (show the paper with these verses and read it). What could I write for my answer? Receive some ideas and write something like: It was predicted that Jesus would be born in Bethlehem and he was. Write your answer on your Bethlehem sign. Now I’m ready to display it. Take time to remind students of the Classroom code, any guidelines for group work and your signal for when it is time to stop and listen. Divide the class into six groups and distribute symbols and verses copied from pages 116–118. Encourage the students to write their answers on the sheet and discuss them. They can then write the main points they have learned onto their shape ready for display. While the students are working attach the string to the board and peg Bethlehem in place, or prepare to display the students’ signs.

Jesus is God’s Son. He was born as God’s Son in a miraculous way. His birth showed he is a Bible exploration icon King to be worshipped and a Saviour to bring joy and peace to all people. Distribute the Big Questions magazines magazine icon and invite the students to turn to pages 22 and 23 and complete the activities. Collect the magazines ready for the next lesson.

Space & Vision icon

I’m going to pray now. This is how Christians talk to God. If you would like to pray too, please join me. If you would rather not, that’s Music icon OK. Please just sit quietly so we don’t get distracted.

Self icon CONCLUDING PRAYER Dear heavenly Father, thank you for sending Jesus. Thank for all the signs we can read wordyou icon about in the Bible that show he is your Son. Help us to understand what it means to trust and follow him. Amen.

CD icon

Maths icon

PULLING IT TOGETHER JESUS IS THE SON OF GOD When all the signs have been displayed, read through each sign. At the beginning of the lesson we thought about reasons why we could believe a particular man was the Prime Minister. You have now read and listened to many descriptions about Jesus. • What do you think all these things tell us about who Jesus is? Accept student comments and suggestions. If you have Luke’s Gospel or Bibles available, ask the students to find Luke 1:31–32 and read it together.


1. Who is Jesus? 2. Discussion questions for PULLING IT TOGETHER. 3. Key verse: Luke 1:32



12 ■



Music icon Power and authority (track 7) on CEP’S Big Questions Semester 1 album. Jesus rocks the world (track 2) on Colin Buchanan’s Jesus rocks the world album. PORTABLE POSTER Space & Vision icon DISPLAY You may want to make a portable display from the activities completed in the lesson. Paste them on a large sheet of cardboard entitled: JESUS IS UNIQUE. Take a photo of the display and print them out to distribute to the students the following lesson so they can take them home and show them to their family members. DISCUSSION

word icon If you don’t do the Bible quiz (opposite) as an individual activity you may wish to use the questions as a basis for class discussion.

Bible exploration icon

Try the following quiz. • How well do you know the account of Jesus’ birth? This quiz is intended to distinguish biblical facts from traditions and false impressions given about Christmas. Distribute copies of the quiz sheet from page 119 and encourage students to write their answers. Answers: 1. Yes. See Luke 1:26; 2:4; 2:39 2. Yes. See Luke 2:1–5 3. We are not told. 4. We are not told. 5. Yes. See Luke 2:7 6. We are not told. 7. We are not told. 8. We are not told. 9. We are not told directly but many assume three because there were three gifts. 10. Luke 2:11 implies this is true. 11. No. Matthew 2:1 implies the wise men arrived in Bethlehem after Jesus’ birth and Matthew 2:1–10 suggests it was some time later that they found him. Luke 2:11–20 implies the shepherds visited on the night Jesus was born. 12. Yes. See Matthew 2:11.


12 DAILY BIBLE READINGS AND QUESTIONS Explore other significant events surrounding Jesus’ birth and childhood. DAY ONE: Luke 1:5–25, 57–66, John the Baptist • What was unusual about John’s birth? • What role would he later play in Jesus’ life? (See Luke 3:3–4) DAY TWO: Luke 2:1–7, Jesus’ birth in Bethlehem • Why was Jesus born in an animal shed? • Do you think this is a surprising way for God’s Son to be born? Why? • What do you think Mary made of the situation?

• • • ■

DAY THREE: Luke 2:8–20, The shepherds • What did the angels say about Jesus? • How did the shepherds react to the events of that night? • How did Mary react to the shepherd’s story about the angels? DAY FOUR: M atthew 2:1–23, Fleeing from Herod • Why had the wise men from the east come looking for Jesus? • Why did Herod react the way he did? • Can you recall another time when God’s people sought safety in Egypt? (See Genesis 42ff.) DAY FIVE: Luke 2:41–52, Jesus in the temple • How did the teachers in the temple react to Jesus? Why? • What do you think Jesus meant by saying he was in his Father’s house? • Explain what verse 52 says about the way Jesus grew up.

Teacher reflections What worked well?

What do I need to follow up?

What will I pray about?

Students’ questions




SIGN: Bethlehem

Luke 2:3–7 (CEV) Everyone had to go to their own hometown to be listed. So Joseph had to leave Nazareth in Galilee and go to Bethlehem in Judea. Long ago Bethlehem had been King David’s hometown, and Joseph went there because he was from David’s family. Mary was engaged to Joseph and travelled with him to Bethlehem. She was soon going to have a baby, and while they were there, she gave birth to her firstborn son. She dressed him in baby clothes and laid him on a bed of hay, because there was no room for them in the inn. Matthew 2:5–6 (CEV) They told him, ‘He will be born in Bethlehem, just as the prophet wrote, “Bethlehem in the land of Judea, you are very important among the towns of Judea. From your town will come a leader, who will be like a shepherd for my people Israel”’. What do these verses say about the place Jesus was born?


SIGN: Book

Matthew 1:23 (CEV) A virgin will have a baby boy, and he will be called Immanuel, which means ‘God is with us’. Matthew 2:6 Bethlehem in the land of Judea, ... From your town will come a leader. Write three things that these verses tell about Jesus. 1. 2. 3.


SIGN: Angel

Luke 1:31 (CEV) You will have a son. His name will be Jesus. Verse 32: He will be great and will be called the Son of God Most High. Verse 33: He will rule the people of Israel forever, and his kingdom will never end. Write three things the angel explained about Jesus. 1. 2. 3. © 2007 The purchaser of this manual is entitled to photocopy this page for classroom purposes.




SIGN: Angel

Luke 1:35 (CEV) The angel answered, ‘The Holy Spirit will come down to you, and God’s power will come over you. So your child will be called the holy Son of God’. Write three things the angel explained about Jesus. 1. 2. 3.


SIGN: Angel

Matthew 1:20 (CEV) (Before they were married, Joseph found out that Mary was going to have a baby.) While Joseph was thinking about this, an angel from the Lord came to him in a dream. The angel said, ‘Joseph, the baby that Mary will have is from the Holy Spirit. Go ahead and marry her.’ Verse 21: Then after her baby is born, name him Jesus, because he will save his people from their sins. Write three things the angel told Joseph about Jesus. 1. 2. 3.


SIGN: Angel

Luke 2:8–10 (CEV) That night in the fields near Bethlehem some shepherds were guarding their sheep. All at once an angel came down to them from the Lord, and the brightness of the Lord’s glory flashed around them. The shepherds were frightened. But the angel said, ‘Don’t be afraid! I have good news for you, which will make everyone happy. Verse 11: This very day in King David’s hometown a Saviour was born for you. He is Christ the Lord. Verse 14: ‘Praise God in heaven! Peace on earth to everyone who pleases God.’ Write four important things in the angel’s message. 1. 2. 3.

© 2007 The purchaser of this manual is entitled to photocopy this page for classroom purposes.




SIGN: Star

Matthew 2:2 (CEV) The wise men asked: ‘Where is the child born to be king of the Jews? We saw his star in the east and have come to worship him.’ Matthew 2:9 (CEV) The wise men listened to what the king said and then left. And the star they had seen in the east went on ahead of them until it stopped over the place where the child was. Matthew 2:11 (CEV) When the men went into the house and saw the child with Mary, his mother, they knelt down and worshiped him. They took out their gifts of gold, frankincense, and myrrh and gave them to him. Write one thing from each verse that shows how Jesus’ birth was special. 2:2 2:9 2:11

© 2007 The purchaser of this manual is entitled to photocopy this page for classroom purposes.




How well do you know the account of Jesu s’ birth?

Tick which of the follow

ing we know for sure,

i.e. that we are told in

1. Joseph and Mary usua

lly lived in Nazareth.

2. Joseph took Mary to 3. Mary rode a donk ey


of a census. ______

to Bethlehem. ______

4. Jesus was born on a 5. Jesus was place d in

Bethlehem because

the Bible.

cold night. ______

a manger when he wa

s born. ______

6. There were cows and do

nkeys near Jesus’ ma

nger. ______

7. Jesus was born on 25

th December. ______

8. The shepherds sa w the sta

r that led the wise me

9. There were three wise

n. ______

men. ______

10. The shepherds vis

ited Jesus on the nig

11. The wise men arr

ht that he was born.

ived while the shephe

12. The wise men pr


esented Jesus with go

rds were visiting Jesu

ld, frankincense and

s. ______

myrrh. ______

© 2007 The purchaser of this manual is entitled to photocopy this page for classroom purposes.



12 Teaching tips for Luke’s Gospel WHO WAS LUKE? Luke was not one of the first followers of Jesus. We don’t even know if he ever met Jesus personally. We do know that Luke was a doctor and very interested in history. He was determined to get the facts straight about Jesus. In the beginning of his history of Jesus he says: ‘I made a very careful study of everything and then decided to write and tell you exactly what took place’ (Luke 1:3).

Luke’s Gospel is full of details that no-one else recorded. How did he get this information? He talked to those who were eyewitnesses. We know that Jesus’ mother, Mary, told him her story. Others also told him of their experience of Jesus. Luke took care to find out what really happened when Jesus walked the dusty roads of Palestine. Luke discovered that Jesus cared for all kinds of people. Luke shares stories of Jesus showing compassion for people that no-one else cared about—the sick, the poor, the helpless and the sinful.

WHY USE LUKE’S GOSPEL WITH KIDS? Luke’s Gospel is ideal for kids to read as they begin to discover for themselves who Jesus is. They will find out that Jesus was unique in his birth and his life. He spoke with gentleness and power. He laughed and wept. He showed courage and determination. He obeyed and trusted God no matter what. He cast out demons. He raised people from the dead. He is a commanding figure. People who met him could not ignore him—and neither can Luke’s readers today. Luke’s Gospel is full of dramatic stories Jesus told about God’s kingdom. Luke shares the most dramatic story of all—Jesus’ death and resurrection.