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Tackling injustice

To recognize and challenge injustice and to know the importance of taking appropriate action against unfairness.

by Janice Ross

Suitable for Key Stage 2

Aims

To recognize and challenge injustice and to know the importance of taking appropriate action against unfairness.

Preparation and materials

  • Ask two or three groups of children to prepare small scenarios to act out (see point 2).
  • Be ready to tell the story of the feeding of the five thousand using the version below or from Mark 6.30–42.

Assembly

  1. Talk about times when we have seen something happening that we know is wrong. We call these ‘injustices’, which simply means that they are not ‘just’ or not right. Although it is wise not to put ourselves in danger when we see these things happening, we are sometimes faced with small injustices that we could do something about.
  2. Introduce the improvised scenarios acted out by small groups. Some ideas might be:

    A group of children have taken another child’s schoolbag or lunchbox and are teasing him/her, not giving it back, but passing it around the circle.

    A boy or girl is being told off by the teacher who says something like, ‘Why is it always you, why do you get in so much trouble?’ In the next scene two children are talking and one confesses that she/he is really responsible this time but isn’t going to own up.

    One child distracts a second child so that another child can steal the second child’s pencil. Other children are laughing at this.
  3. Discuss the scenarios and ask what children should have or could have done in each case. Point out that it often takes only one person to speak up or to act and then everyone joins in to help put the situation right.
  4. There is a story in the Bible about just this sort of situation (Mark 6.30–42).

    Jesus had taken his disciples away in a boat to a quiet place for the day, but many people had heard where he was going. They came from villages and towns all over Galilee to be with him, walking on foot and getting there ahead of Jesus and the disciples. When Jesus saw this great crowd he felt sorry for them and began to teach them many things about God’s love. By this time it was late in the day and they were miles from anywhere.

    ‘Send them away to the surrounding villages,’ said the disciples, ‘so that they can buy something to eat.’

    ‘You feed them,’ replied Jesus.

    The disciples thought he was joking! After all, there were about five thousand people sitting there! That would take about eight months of a man’s wages!

    Jesus asked them what food they could find, and they produced five loaves and two small fishes donated, it is said, by a little boy.

    Jesus took the food and made everyone sit down on the grass. He thanked God for this small amount of food, he broke the bread, divided up the fish and then told the disciples to each take some and share it all out. After everyone had eaten they collected up the leftover food.

    ‘They all ate and were satisfied and there were twelve basketfuls left over.’

    Christians believe that Jesus knew that the disciples didn’t have enough to feed everybody. What he wanted them to learn was that if they took responsibility for the welfare of others and did what little they could to help, he would work the miracles.

Time for reflection

Reflection

When have I simply passed by when I could have done something?
When have I expected someone else to do something which I could have done?

 

Prayer

Dear God,
There are many small injustices happening daily all around me,

things that cause people hurt, loneliness, or fear.

Help me to notice and to do the small things I can do to ease their hurt.

Amen.

Song/music

‘Would you walk by’ (Come and Praise, 70)

Publication date: May 2008   (Vol.10 No.5)    Published by SPCK, London, UK.
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