The Prodigal Son, Forgiveness Pope John Paul II forgives his Shooter Ali Agca

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Intended Learning Outcomes:  

  • Students will be able to recall the story of May 13th 1981 when Ali Agca shot Pope John Paul II.
  • Students will be able to highlight similarities between the parable of the Prodigal Son and the story depicting the shooting of Pope John Paul II.
  • Students will understand the importance of forgiveness within the Christian faith
  • Students will understand concept of “morally good” actions.

Assessment of Learning Outcomes.

Students will part take in Group Work. Each group will consist of two pupils. As a team they will construct a newspaper article retelling the story of May 13th 1981 when Ali Agca shot Pope John Paul II. The article must contain Key Words from both the story of the Prodigal Son and of Pope John Paul’s shooting i.e Forgiveness, Sinner, God, Jesus, Ali Agca, Prodigal Son.

 Lesson Outline

Students will watch a short video clip recalling the main events of May 13th 1981, the day Pope John Paul II was shot. As a class the pupils will then identify the two main people involved in the story. They will then outline comparisons and similarities between the characters within the parable of the Prodigal Son and the day of May 13th 1981. i.e Ali Agca represents the younger son from the prodigal son who sinned against his father.

Students will watch a short video clip showing Pope John Paul visiting Ali Agca in prison and forgiving him for shooting him on May 13th 1981. They will then consider and answer questions verbally and on a sheet considering the action of forgiveness.

  1. What did the Pope do? What else could he have done?
  2. What were the effects of his actions?
  3. Why did Pope John Paul forgive Ali Agca?
  4. Is this a ‘morally good’ action?

They will then progress onto more personalized questions such as:

  1. Can we learn from the actions of Pope John Paul II?
  2. How does this persons actions challenge each of us?

Students will now be spilt into groups of two. They will be given the task of compiling a short newspaper article incorporating the key words and message of forgiveness in the Prodigal son and the shooting of Pope John Paul II. The article should reflect the message of ‘Forgiveness within the Christian community’ and how important it is. They will also have to choose an appropriate title and picture for the article. When they complete their tasks a select number of groups will read their articles and they will be handed up for correction.

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