Session 1: What is wonderful? What is so wonderful about the world?
We are going to find out…. Look at the front cover of Wonderful Earth! by Nick Butterworth. Why is it called Wonderful Earth? Why is the world so wonderful? Now watch the YouTube video below.
Activity: We are going to look at the wonderful world. Go for a walk round the local environment, with magnifying glasses and cameras. Children look for living things that interest them / are really special. Encourage children to look closely and choose their favourite thing to photograph. Look at each photograph – why did you choose this? What makes it special? Children could write about their chosen things and why they are so special.
Discussion: Why is our world so wonderful? Think about what we saw on our nature walk.
Watch ‘Creation Calls’ or ‘Planet Earth - what a wonderful world’ or other clips showing wonderful shots of earth, plants and animals. Talk about what we’ve seen. What was your favourite part?
What is a caretaker? How can we take care of something that is precious?
Some children go to a local church and their family are Christians, they love God and believe he is the maker of the whole world. Maybe the children remember the story from Tom and Tessa’s special book about God making the world (from the unit: Why is the word ‘God’ so important to Christians?)
Look in Tom and Tessa’s treasure box (have a box of special glass beads / marbles). I wonder why they are special to Tom and Tessa. Think of reasons. Tell them Grandad gave them to the twins as a present; they were his so the twins wanted them to be kept safe.
Activity: Invite the children to look after one of the special beads / marbles for a whole day. How will they take care of it, keep it safe, look after it, treasure it?
Discussion: at the end of the day. Collect the beads / marbles back. How did they keep them safe?
What would Tom and Tessa say to them for doing a good job? Their Grandad said that taking care of things was important; God made us caretakers for the whole world and that meant taking care of it as if it was treasure. Enjoy looking at the rest of the ‘Wonderful Earth’ book together. Have people taken care of the world properly?
Session 3: What does the Bible say about God creating the world?
Watch the video above or read the creation story from the Bible.
Activity: Have an empty Tuff Spot or tray. Can you remember who Tom and Tessa say created the world? Does it make you wonder how God created it? Ask two children to create a world in the Tuff Spot but do not give them any resources. Wait for a response! We cannot do it – it is impossible!
Christians say God is different; he created the world from nothing – that makes God unique. None of us can create something from nothing BUT we are made a bit like God because we can make things when we have the stuff to do it. Retell the Creation Story using the Tuff Spot together. A children’s Bible Story book will be helpful. Bring useful things to the Tuff Spot for retelling the story, and creating their own ‘small world’.
Whose job is it to take care of things?
Come back in after being outdoors to a carpet area covered in mess. What has happened? Why do we need it to be clean and tidy? Whose job is it to clear up? Whose job is it to take care of the school? Insist on calling the School Caretaker. Is it the caretaker’s responsibility to clear up the mess on the carpet? Talk to the school caretaker about his / her job. Go on a trip to see what has to be looked after and what work has to be done. Come back to the mess in the classroom and set about clearing it up together.
Activity: Take photos of parts of the classroom / school / outside area which need a tidy up or mending e.g. litter, broken fences, in the classroom. Can we be caretakers and put any of these things right? Make a lift the flap book / display in the style of ‘Wonderful Earth’ (Butterworth and Inkpen), but the other way around. Use a photo of something that needs looking after as the top of the flap. Put pictures of the finished product under the flap. Link with further on in the unit: EXPLORE: Christian Living example. Get together as a class/whole school – you could involve the local community too – and really tackle bits that you have noticed need sorting out.
How can we take care of the world? Whose job is it to look after the whole world?
Unpack Tom and Tessa’s gardening things and identify rake, watering can, gloves, seeds etc. Where do Tom and Tessa use these? Helping Grandad in the garden. They love helping to pot plants and planting seed for flowers and vegetables. They love filling the bird-bath and watering tomatoes. They like picking strawberries too and eating them. Try some fresh garden fruit and vegetables from a local / school garden.
Grandad is a good gardener; he looks after his garden well. And he likes Tom and Tessa to help too. We can’t look after everything in God’s world, he says, but we can look after some of it. God has given the world to all its people to look after; we have to work together to care for all the land and animals and plants.
Activity: Plant some seeds / bulbs with care and plan how to look after them. This could be done locally in someone’s well-kept garden or with help from KS2 gardeners in the school garden.
Biblical Narrative – What do Tom and Tessa learn about caring for the world in the stories and words of the Bible?
Tom and Tessa learn about God from the Bible at church and home. Christians believe God is behind all there is in the world; he is the creator and giver of life. God loves the world he has made and has put humans in charge of caring for his creation; it is a big responsibility. Check out the story of Adam (Genesis 1 v.20-25) naming the animals so you can tell it.
Tom and Tessa got lovely magnifying glasses for their birthday. They have been using them to find and identify bugs in Grandad’s garden. They have handled the bugs carefully. Look at Tom and Tessa’s bug books, collecting ‘box’ and magnifying glasses. Name some bugs they might have found.
Grandad said, ‘Be careful with the bugs because they are part of God’s world too, just like you.’ Then he sat them under a tree and told them a wonderful story of how God had asked the first human, Adam, to name all the animals.
Activity: Learn a bug song from Out of the Ark’s Mini-Beasts song book. Look at a picture of Adam naming animals and see if you can name the animals in the picture – easy to find on the internet.
Discussion: Church – How do people in Tom and Tessa’s church celebrate God’s wonderful world?
In churches, Christians talk about God a lot. They say and sing words of praise and worship to God who has made all things. They say together the creed: I believe in one God, the maker of heaven and earth. Some church members work hard to preserve the environment and to ensure that animals and people are looked after too; they believe it is part of the mission of the church to ‘treasure’ the world God has given.
At Tom and Tessa’s church, they are getting ready for a special service for Animal Welfare Sunday (or a Pet Service). A ‘service’ is when all the Christians at church get together usually on Sunday to sing and pray to God and learn from the Bible together. The special service will have prayers and songs and readings from the Bible.
Tom and Tessa are going to teach everyone some actions to a song. Maybe you could help them.
Watch and clap/ hum along to at least one song e.g. The Earth is the Lord’s by Graham Kendrick/ From the Tiny Ant / He’s got the whole world / Our God is a great big God. Some excellent versions can be downloaded.