Lesson 3 – The significance of Harvest to Christians today

What is the significance of Harvest to a Christian believer today?

In this lesson pupils  will investigate how the Christian harvest festival has adapted and changed over time,  in order to understand what ‘harvest’ means to Christian believers today in the UK and overseas.  They will compare and contrast how Harvest is celebrated individually, locally and globally, for example in the UK and overseas (Mozambique) and will reflect on what they can learn from their overseas neighbour in relation to harvest.

 Key Questions

What difference does celebrating Harvest make to a Christian believer?

How has the celebration of harvest changed over time?

What influences Harvest celebrations today?

Learning Objectives

  • To investigate the history of the Harvest Festival celebration in Christianity
  • To explain the key beliefs about Harvest  in Christianity
  • To understand the significance of Harvest to a Christian believer in the UK and overseas

Starter

Recap previous lesson – What difference does celebrating Harvest make to a Christian believer?

Brainshower special events that the class have experience of? Pose the question: Why do you think Christians celebrate Harvest?

Main Activity

Exploring the history of Christian Harvest celebrations in UK and how it has changed over time.

See the Project Britain website to get an overview of the facts about Harvest and its History

 Activity 1

Explore Lamas, (Loaf Mass) This was celebrated on the 1st August at the start of harvest, when a loaf of bread from the first sheaves of ripened  corn is made and given to the local priest to used as the communion  bread in a special thanksgiving Harvest mass for the first fruits, dedicating the Harvest to God, and asking for his blessing upon it. This custom ended when Henry VIII in the 16th Century, broke away from the Catholic church. However in 1843 Harvest in the UK was first officially celebrated when Rev R S Hawker, vicar of Morwenstow, Cornwall revived Lamas the Loaf Mass, but at the end of the Harvest season in the autumn.

Activity 2 Making bread

Pupils could work in groups to make loaves of bread and reflect on what it might mean to a Christian believer to celebrate Loaf Mass at the beginning of Harvest in a rural area.

 Plenary

In what ways might it be different for someone living in a city celebrating harvest?

What might Harvest mean to someone living in a country where there are environmental problems, such as drought or flooding, e.g Mozambique?

What might influence their attitude? In what ways could faith in God help?

Learning Outcomes

  • I can recall the facts about the history of the Harvest festival
  • I can explain the key beliefs about Harvest  in Christianity
  • I can describe the significance of Harvest to a Christian believer in the UK and overseas

Resources and Points to Note

  • Michaelmas – landowners giving
  • Pentecost – wheat harvest, agricultural festival in Jewish tradition a time of giving thanks for harvest. New Testament Jesus disciples received Holy spirit – and remembering Moses  and spirit of God Acts
  • Woodlands Junior resources provide useful background information http://projectbritain.com/harvest/index.html