Manchester Diocesan Board of Education Religious Education Syllabus for Church of England Schools



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Manchester Diocesan Board of Education

Religious Education Syllabus for Church of England Schools





Unit 5.7: Christmas around the world.

No. of Hours 4

Christian Value: Creativity

Key Questions

How do Christians in the UK celebrate Christmas?

How is Christmas celebrated around the world?

How do the celebrations reveal Christian beliefs?

Why is the celebration of Christmas different around the world?


Key Vocabulary

St Nicholas, St Lucia and Orthodox



Key Experiences

Making comparisons between the variety of Christmas traditions



Looking at multi-cultural Christian Art

Programme of Study to Include

  • Christmas celebrations around the world (religious not secular although they do merge)

  • Stories, food, decorations, music, artwork and Church services

  • Story of St Nicholas and December 6th celebrations

  • Story of St Lucia and celebrations in Scandinavia

  • Orthodox Christmas celebrations




The aim of this unit is to: develop children’s perceptions of Christmas beyond their experiences in Britain and to increase their understanding of Christianity as a world faith.

Learning Objectives

Pupils should……




AT1

Level 3




  • make the links between the story, belief and action;

Level 3




Level 4




  • be able to give reasons for the similarities and differences between Christmas celebrations around the world;

Level 4



















AT2

Level 3




  • be challenged to highlight the answers to questions about identity, belonging and purpose revealed in the Christmas celebrations.

Level 4































AT1

AT2

Suggested Activities

Possible Level of Achievement




The challenge is to create either as a class or in groups ‘A guide to Christmas around the World’.

Level 3-4

Investigate

Gather information and ask questions

AT1

Begin with a brief visit to the children’s own experiences of Christmas celebrations in the United Kingdom. Although the secular influences are very strong focus upon and highlight the aspects that are clearly linked to the true meaning of Christmas.

Then hop on an aeroplane and travel the world.









Resources are limited but growing. There is a wealth of material that can be found easily by searching ‘Christmas around the world’ using Google.

A great opportunity for developing research skills.






AT1

Impact

For example

One tradition in Brazil is to create a nativity scene or Presépio. The word originates from the Hebrew word "presepium" which means the bed of straw upon which Jesus first slept in Bethlehem. The Presépio is common in North Eastern Brazil. Nowadays presépios are set up in December and displayed in churches, homes, and stores.










The most important part of the Christmas morning worship service in the Congo is the love offering, this is the gift in honour of Jesus. At about 8 or 9 o'clock everyone makes their way to the celebration of the birthday of Jesus. Everyone who attends the service goes forward to lay down their gift upon the raised platform near the Communion table. Not one person will attend the service without giving a gift.








In Greece on Christmas Eve people gather together to eat ‘Christopsomo’ (Christ Bread)

In the traditional Russian Christmas, special prayers are said and people fast, sometimes for 39 days, until January 6th Christmas Eve, when the first evening star in appears in the sky. Then begins a twelve course supper in honour of each of the twelve apostles - fish, beet soup or Borsch, cabbage stuffed with millet, cooked dried fruit and much more.

More interesting facts can be found at www.santas.net/aroundtheworld.htm











The Lion Storyteller Christmas Book by Bob Hartman ISBN 0 7459 4684 4, is brilliant and tells the Biblical story plus Christmas tales and legends from around the world.







Christian charities such as Christian Aid, Traidcraft and CAFOD sell Christmas cards that use designs and art from other cultures along with sets of Nativity characters from around the world.




AT1

In many European Countries December 6th, St Nicholas’ day is a huge celebration. Why? What happens?









St Lucia is remembered and celebrated on December 13th. This is an important celebration in Scandinavian countries and is known as the festival of Light. Why is this so important? What happens?








Some branches of the Orthodox Church celebrate Christmas in early January. Why?

The BBC website had some beautiful photos of Orthodox Christians celebrating Christmas.










Throughout the unit make comparisons and highlight the differences and similarities.

Level 3-5




Make sure the children are guided to make links between the story, beliefs and the celebrations.

Record Individually

Level 3-4

Synthesis

Make connections between beliefs and practices

AT1

Look at images of the nativity portrayed in art work from around the world.

How do they interpret the story?









Does looking at art work give us a greater understanding of the story?


Level 4

AT2

What do the children find most interesting.

Record Individually







Have fun making and tasting Christmas food from around the world. (Many of the foods have symbolic meaning.)

Sing carols and wish everyone a Happy Christmas in another language.



Don’t forget to take photos.







Use clay and other art mediums to create nativity scenes in the style of other cultures.

Cross curricular link - Art







Invite the whole school to contact any family or friends around the world asking them to send Christmas cards and decorations for your display.










Transform your classroom into a worldwide multi-cultural experience of the celebration of Christmas.

Invite other classes, staff and parents to visit.

Children can give short presentations, show their art work.

Guide books can be viewed and special food tasted.



Take photos and record in your class RE Scrapbook





AT1

Belief

Why is the celebration of Christmas so important?

How does all the work they have done in this unit provide evidence that Christmas is considered by many as so important?

Is it the celebrations that are most important or the reason for the celebrations? Why?


Level 4

Evaluate

Different views and give your own




Why is the celebration of Christmas different around the world?

Record Individually




AT1

Belief

How do the celebrations reveal Christian beliefs?

What could Christians learn from studying all these different traditions?




Level 4





Ask the children what new things they have learned and what they have found most interesting.

Record Individually













Opportunities for Assessment: Some Examples

Levels 3-5

Throughout the unit make comparisons to highlight the differences and similarities.

Make sure the children are guided to make links between the story, beliefs and the celebrations.

Record Individually

Alternative assessment activities: Teacher’s Notes

Note here assessment activities used not mentioned above





I can…..

AT1

  • make the links between the story, belief and action;

Level 3




  • describe the similarities and differences between Christmas celebrations around the world;

Level 3




  • give reasons for the similarities and differences between Christmas celebrations around the world;

Level 4




  • describe with understanding why Christmas is such an important time for Christians;

Level 4




  • explain distinctive beliefs within Christianity highlighted in this unit.

Level 5










AT2

  • ask important questions about religious beliefs;

Level 3




  • tell you how the Christmas celebrations highlight the answers to questions about identity, belonging and purpose.

Level 4

Learning Challenges
Create their own nativity storybook and illustrated with artwork from around the world.





© Blackburn Diocesan Board of Education 2013 – Lisa Fenton Unit 5.7 Page



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