Labyrinths are mazes where you can’t get lost (well, you shouldn’t anyway) but instead follow (with the help of iPods) a trail of about 9 activities at certain stations leading you back out of the maze. Step has a generic 7m x 7m mat with a labyrinth painted on and resources for several themed labyrinths. Currently we have labyrinths related to:
Young people explore a variety of relationships, from friendships and romantic relationships to their relationship with God. Students make a pair of glasses that become their ‘God Lenses’ to help them consider what God might have to say about the different relationships they have been reflecting on.
Students get the chance to journey through the story of Easter through CS Lewis' The Lion, The Witch and The Wardrobe, a book written to explain the meaning of this important festival in the Christian Calendar
This labyrinth helps young people to prepare for Christmas by reflecting on the true meaning of Christmas.
The Space Mats are often used in lessons but can be organised at other times as well. If you haven’t seen them, please be encouraged to find a time to experience them for yourself as a description and photos fail to do them justice. Essentially, each of the Space Mats use four massive coloured triangular mats. Each triangular mat has a theme with three separate reflective activities relating to that topic. The participants listen to instructions on iPods, allowing them to fully focus on the activity. The Space Mats needs an approximate 7m x 7m space to fit all 4 mats but each mat can be used individually without the others.
With each Space Mat having 12 unique activities for up to 36 participants at any one time, these are great activities to help young people reflect. Below is a brief description of the Space Mats currently available.
The Original Space Mat
The original Space Mat was designed by some amazing interns at Step several years ago. The four topics are 'God', 'Identity', 'Global' and 'Community'. Students get to explore self worth, spirituality, justice and forgiveness. You can listen to one of the tracks below.
The Justice Mat's four topics are 'Social Justice' (including homelessness and the refugee crisis), 'Crime and Punishment', 'Environmental Justice' and 'God's Justice'. You can listen to one of the tracks below
The Stress Mat's four topics are 'Causes of Stress', 'Resilience', 'Responses to Stress' and 'Stress & Faith'. Young people are given the opportunity to reflect on their stressors and how they might be able to manage them, including how faith may play a role in this. You can listen to one of the tracks below.
ME, MYSELF AND I
Students work alone, using iPods and props to explore six key issues of identity and personal formation. The activities enable young people to look at what they're good at, what they value and challenges them to consider how the media can distort our view of our identity through the images and messages they publish. Throughout the session, they fill out an 'ebay' sheet where they populate it with positive things about themselves, as if they were being sold online (don't worry, no children are actually sold during this activity!)
The main content of the lesson involves students working on their own, using simple object-based activities, guided by mp3 tracks which explain the practical activity, raise the topic and questions concerned and introduce a faith-based perspective. The activities are brief opportunities for pupils to think through eight themes, considering their own thoughts and beliefs on the topics. The lesson then ends with a final small group activity, reminding the pupils of the main questions from the resources, encouraging them to continue thinking through the questions they’ve tackled during the lesson.
RAGE, DESPAIR, HOPE (STORY OF JOB)
Have you ever been challenged by the story of Job in the Bible? If so, you’ll appreciate the difficulties this story poses but at the same time the incredible revelations about God that Job made on the back of his experience. Many young people in sixth form study Job as part of their RE curriculum but this resource can be used for the wider post-16 cohort. Rage, Despair, Hope is a selection of 22 images portraying the story of Job. The students journey through the images while listening to the story and are encouraged to reflect on this once they have finished.