Worship and learning for the whole Church – wherever you are
Resources for families with school-aged children to use at home
Welcome to #faith at home with ROOTS. We're delighted to be part of the Church of England's #faithathome initiative working with Oak National Online Academy.
1 Corinthians 13.1-13
Material for primary-aged children
A prayer and activity to introduce the theme.
we pray for all the people
who don’t know what love is:
we pray for lost children
and forgotten adults;
we pray for people who have been hurt
by their families or friends;
by the government of their countries,
or by natural disasters
that have destroyed their homes.
We pray that they will all be shown
what your love means.
Rainbow of love
Find a picture of a rainbow - you may have made one recently. Think about how God’s love is like white light split into different colours so we can understand it better.
Think of different kinds of love, e.g. parents and children, brothers and sisters, close family, friends, romantic love, strangers, people we don’t like/enemies. Some languages have different words for different types of love.
Download and use the Paul’s world sheet to understand the historical context of Paul’s letters.
Talk together to connect faith with everyday life
What does Paul mean by using those images of being without love?
How do you know when you are loved?
How can we show love to others in practical ways?
Play a game that explores loving, even when it’s hard
Talk together about what real love is like and where you might see it. Talk about times when it’s hard to love someone we don’t like, or who has hurt us, but also that we can choose to do the loving thing.
Think of examples of loving even in difficult situations, e.g. love… is sharing the last piece of cake with your brother; stopping to help someone even when you are in a rush; being kind to someone who has hurt your feelings.
Everyone completes the phrase, ‘Love is…’.
To love or not to love…
Act out loving responses and their opposites
You will need: scenario cards (see below), a card with YES on, and a card with NO on, turned over so you can't see YES or NO.
Choose a scenario card, and pick up one of the other cards. The YES or NO tells them whether their scene should show love or not.
Together work out an improvised scene about what happens next. Practise, then perform your scenes.
Afterwards, identify what kind of response was shown for each scene and what the opposite might be. Why is a loving response often hard, but better in the long run?
- A new person has joined your class. Everyone has friendship groups already, and this person seems a bit quiet and dull. You notice them coming over to your group at break time…
- Your brother or sister has borrowed your top. They asked you and you said they could but asked them to be careful. They have given it back to you with a big stain on it because when they were at a friend’s house they spilt sauce all over it. They are very sorry, but you really loved that top…
- Your friend at school had a goldfish for one month. It has just died. They are really upset and want to talk to you about it. You think they’re being a bit over the top and emotional about it…
Material for secondary-aged children
Based on 1 Corinthians 13.1-13
Download the Paul’s world sheet to read background and introduce the theme.
Write a poem about love. If you can, host an online poetry slam competition where you perform your poems about love. You could read a Christmas poem based on 1 Corinthians by Sharon Jaynes for inspiration.
If you were to put together a playlist to tell the world about distinctively Christian love, which songs would be on it? Work with others, if you can, to find suitable titles and lyrics.
Loving the Christian way
Based on Paul’s first letter to the Corinthians, chapter 13
Here are three monologues that focus on how three different teenagers are trying to love in a distinctively Christian way. See how creative you can be about how to present them: with your family at home, over a video call with relatives or friends; record and share them; make a collage of images and do a voice-over.Each monologue is interrupted with a verse from 1 Corinthians 13. If you can, use a different voice for the interruptions.
Monologue 1: Love is kind, love rejoices in the truth
Actor: Ideally female. Suggested props: school stuff, e.g. a school bag and some books.
Actor: Come on…you’d have found it hard too. I’m mean, it wasn’t just the clothing, but she smelt! You know, when everyone comes out of PE and tries to cover up the sweat with Impulse™, but it doesn’t quite work – that sort of smell. It’s no wonder no one wanted to go near her.
And what was she doing here anyway? You’ve got to ask questions when someone rocks up mid-term, Year 10, without an explanation. She hadn’t moved into the area because of a parent’s job or anything like that, so of course everyone started gossiping:
“Did you know, she’s been kicked out of five schools, this is her sixth!”
“Her Dad’s just been put inside up north and she’s had to move away from his criminal network.”
Or the worst I heard was, “She’s been in trouble with the police – grooming or something. That’s why she doesn’t have a mobile phone – the police have got it.”
Honestly, the clothes, the smell and the mystery, it was like she had the word ‘target’ written on her back. I knew she was going to get bullied from the moment she set foot in the classroom.’ (freeze)
Interruption: Love is kind, Love rejoices in the truth.
Actor: At first, I decided to avoid the situation.
I know, I know…I’ve been going to church forever, I know what the deal is, but it’s hard to be kind to someone like that AND risk public humiliation from the popular crowd. I like to keep my head down.
So, you can imagine the stress when I realised her surname started with the same letter as mine and in literally every class she was put next to me – it’s the alphabet’s fault!
I thought I’d go down the ‘ignoring her’ route. I did that thing where you carefully place all your books and equipment in the centre of the table to make it clear there’s a divide – I didn’t want social death by association. But I didn’t account for the fact that in some lessons we would have to work as partners or discuss stuff with the person sitting next to you.
It’s interesting that when you stop looking at somebody and judging them, and really talk to them, you begin to see lots of things that others can’t. She’s funny and kind and knows all sorts of interesting things. Now I am starting to like her… (freeze)
Monologue 2: Love is patient
Actor: Male or female. Suggested props: some sports equipment, a school diary and a calendar full of dates.
Actor: Sometimes life feels like such a massive rush.
Teachers give out homework one day and expect it back the next.
I love going to athletics training sessions, but we always seem to be racing to get there on time after school.
Even the weekends are jam-packed; sport in the mornings, more homework in the afternoons, and then there’s the household chores Mum insists I do in order to qualify for my allowance. It’s all so rushed.
That’s why I don’t feel like I’ve got much time to deal with Sarah. I don’t dislike her, but she’s such a time-eater: always wanting to sit down and talk through this problem or that issue. I know, I know, she has a tough time. Her personal stuff is pretty intense, and that thing that happened at school was really bad. I get it, she needs to talk, it’s just that I’ve got things to do! (freeze)
Interruption: Love is patient.
Actor: I have to say I’ve taken to trying to avoid her. I’m just too busy for it all and I think she’s realised. So you can imagine my embarrassment when I’d had the worst day of my life and ended up crying at the bus stop, only to be caught by… yes, you’ve guessed it – Sarah!
I’m usually so together but this was an epically bad day. I had managed to lose my phone, lose my race at the athletics meeting, fall out with my best friend and forget my bus money – all in one day! I couldn’t believe she saw me in that state. And I really couldn’t believe she asked me, so nicely, what the matter was. She knows I’ve been ignoring her and her problems for months, but she stopped and asked. Then she listened while I went on and on about it all. She was very patient… (freeze)
Monologue 3: Love is not envious
Actor: Male or female. Suggested props: a pair of worn out trainers and an old mobile phone (not a smart phone).
Actor: It’s hard, right? There’s always something you need. I don’t mean in the food and shelter type of way, I mean in the ‘need to keep up’ type of way.
Non-uniform days are the worst. Such a nightmare if you get it wrong, and I have got it badly wrong more than once.
I’m not blaming Mum, she works hard and always gets me the basics, it’s just that sometimes you want a bit more than the basics. You need the other things: the trainers EVERYONE is talking about, the brands that are totally in, the must-have backpack.
Not to mention the other things that mark you out as a ‘have’ rather than a ‘have not’: the right games consul, and of course the right games and being allowed to watch the TV show literally everyone is going on about. I realise it’s an 18 rating, but seriously, why put it on TV if they don’t want us to watch it?
The thing is, it would all be okay if it wasn’t for the fact that you have to watch the kids that do seem to have it all LORD it over the rest of us. Jamie, for example. He’s always on top of the latest craze. His shoe collection must stretch between here and Mars, never mind the fact that he’s seen everything practically before it’s been released! I find it really hard not to feel jealous of him.
I know the theory – you can’t buy happiness – but having all that stuff, and being able to watch what you like and practically do whatever you like, does make the rest of us feel jealous, right? (freeze)
Interruption: Love is not envious.
Actor: But then I found out something about Jamie, totally by accident.
I was clearing out the cupboard in art for Mrs Hampson and she must have forgotten I was there, because Mr Wright walked in and started talking about Jamie. I couldn’t believe what I was hearing. The stuff going on in his house sounds awful! I suddenly felt really sorry for him, the boy who has everything. Maybe he needs a friend… (freeze)
Mending broken hearts
Write a list of current news stories, e.g. from a newspaper, a news website or TV news. Draw a heart next to stories where love is being shown, and a ripped heart where it isn’t. Discuss how love could be shown in the stories of the broken-hearted.
Last week 15-21 May we explored Courage
Next week 29 May - 4 June we explore Humility - prayers to use through the week.
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Find more ROOTS at home resources for families worshipping together while schools and gatherings are suspended.