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Suffering Session Plan

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Teacher Activities

Learner Activities

Big Questions


Starter Options – (5-10 mins)

  • Flash up Big Questions and/or Common Themes and/or Quotes

  • Introduce video-clip, distribute question(s) if required


Contribute further questions, respond to quotes.

Why is there suffering in the world?

How can God let animals die in pain?

How should we react to suffering?

Is real mourning possible in today’s society?

Does torture show that humans are basically evil?

Are pain and ‘evil’ essential to the world of nature?




Common Themes:



Activities (10-20 mins)

  • Play video-clip eg You are not alone

  • Introduce ‘Hot Topic’ eg Cancer and God, Effects of suffering on family

  • Discuss Faith Perspective on suffering (eg Dukkha, the Passion)

In Group (or plenary):

  • explore responses to video

  • each group discusses 1 or 2 questions: one presents response

Christopher Hitchens interview on Cancer and God

“You are not alone” video

Mel Gibson's Passion (Strong extract – 16+ only)

Married life suffering? Cartoon

Conclusion (10-20) mins

  • Invite student responses

  • Introduce discussion on suffering

  • Report back – how did video make you feel?

  • What moral questions does it raise?






Assessment Options: Write up and compare responses

KEY LEARNING OUTCOMES: By the end of the session the learners will have: (1)Reflected on suffering as it affects them, (2) Explored own questions on suffering, (3) Identified own faith/belief community’s views on suffering

KEY DIFFERENTIAL CRITERIA: Level, Gender, Individual Learning Need, Ethnicity, Faith/Belief Background,

ECM CRITERIA: Awareness of moral development, social well-being

EMPLOYABILITY CRITERIA: Self confidence, Team working in diverse contexts, Communication, Personal Effectiveness, Reliability


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