Friday, June 11, 2010

RE-Inspired - ducks in Bangladesh

A number of the St John's congregation help out with RE-Inspired - a project in Reading whereby people from local churches go into schools to help teach aspects of the national curriculum on RE. A few months back, with my Reading Christian Ecology Link hat on, I invited one of their co-ordinators to a RCEL meeting to discuss weaving more creation care into the events offered by RE-Inspired. Within weeks they'd received an invitation from Whiteknights Primary School to talk to year 4s on how Christians respond to global issues and so got back in touch with us. The curriculum explanation specifically refers to Christian Aid so I took this as my starting point for talking about climate change.

The session was yesterday and the children were in three groups of twenty. I began with a Christian Aid envelope (which the majority of them recognised) and explained how the organisation is motivated by the great commandment to Love God and to Love our Neighbours as ourselves. Then I showed them a wonderful video from the Christian Aid website in which a batch of ducks was helping a farmer in Bangladesh to cope despite the flooding. I quizzed them about the commentary on the video leading into finding out what they knew about climate change. Following a very simplified explanation of cause and effects I asked if they knew what things they could do to reduce it, and suggested some more. Then I put up a picture of Noah's ark for them to identify and gave a brief version of the story, emphasising Noah's role as a man who listened to God and therefore looked after God's world and suggesting that the dove be seen as a symbol of hope that we can protect people and animals from climate change. They then made paper doves to hang in their rooms and some wrote on them suggestions of actions to limit climate change.

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