This weekend, pop stars including Justin Bieber joined Ariana Grande for the One Love Manchester benefit concert, an event that honored the victims of a recent terror act at one of her shows and raised money for organizations helping them.
After playing an acoustic version of the song “Cold Water,” Bieber told the 50,000 in attendance to hold on to faith and hope even in the aftermath of tragedy and violence:
I’m not going to let go of hope. I’m not going to let go of love. I’m not going to let go of God. Put your hand up if you’re not going to let go. God is good in the midst of the darkness. God is good in the midst of the evil. God is in the midst, no matter what’s happening in the world, God is in the midst and he loves you and he’s here for you.
My favourite Easter assembly is the egg on your head assembly, but having done this at our local special educational needs secondary school I needed a different Easter assembly. Lacking time to plan I turned to the fantastic schoolwork.co.uk website where I came across a brilliant assembly on Hidden Meanings.
They provide a script and Keynote and PowerPoint presentations:
You will need:
- “Hidden Message “PowerPoint/Keynote presentation (see above)
- Small eggs as prizes
- A Barbie novelty easter egg (or something equally as exciting!)
- The Real Easter Egg (see note at bottom of next page)
Welcome the students to their assembly, introduce yourself and say that you’d like to begin the assembly today by talking about easter eggs. Explain that you don’t mean the kind of chocolate easter eggs that you eat. Easter eggs are hidden messages in computer games, art, tv shows and even web sites. Say that before introducing them to some of those hidden messages, you will first have some fun with chocolate easter eggs too.
Easter egg games:
You can show some pictures of classic easter eggs on screen and get the assembly to cheer for their favourite (award the head of year with whichever one they pick!). Then say if they want to win an Easter egg too, they have a chance to do that by seeing whether they can guess the favourite Easter egg of these stars:
- Justin Bieber: An American easter candy called Peeps (marshmallows in the shape of easter chicks)
- Adele: Green & Blacks Organic Easter Egg
- Usher: Cadbury’s Crunchie
- The Wanted: Cadbury’s Creme Egg
(NB: You will need to control this game well, keep up the pace and award any winners with a small egg)
Hidden message ‘easter eggs’:
Remind students that you were about to show them some examples of easter eggs in movies, art and even computer games. Go on to show what you mean by introducing three examples of easter eggs (pictures on the PowerPoint/Keynote accompany these):
- UP (2009): In the part near the end, where Carl and Russel are pointing out red and blue cars, it starts to zoom out. There, in the back parking lot to the left, is the Pizza Planet truck. The Pizza Planet truck has been in every Disney/Pixar film since Toy Story.
- Michelangelo’s art: On the ceiling of the Sistine Chapel in the Vatican in Rome, the center of the ceiling is “The Creation of Adam” also know as the “ET” part of the painting. The figure on the right who represents God has a red robe flowing around him and angels surrounding him. This is actually a cross section view of a human brain. The robe forms the outer limit and the feet of God and the angels form the spinal cord.
- Call of Duty Modern Warware: After You’ve finished the last level (Game over/The end) the credits come up. What you have to do is to listen through all the credits until the first song ends, then Sgt. Grigg’s brand new rap Song about the COD4 series (you can look it up on YouTube).
[Hold up a large classic chocolate egg]: This is the kind of egg most people imagine when we talk about Easter. Choose an egg that’s as silly and frivolous as possible, a Barbie branded egg for example, and ask students to think about whether there could be a hidden message in this egg as well. The answer is ‘no’! This is just a cheesy silly egg, although at least it’s made of chocolate.
Hold up the ‘Real Easter Egg’ * and explain this is an egg that does claim to have a hidden meaning. It’s been made by a company that wanted to make an egg that explained the meaning of Easter for millions of Christians around world. For them, Easter symbolises the belief that Easter brings new hope through the death and resurrection of Jesus. To Christians, it’s one of the most sacred and important moments of the year, especially given their belief that Jesus was seen alive by hundreds of people on Easter Sunday after being crucified on Good Friday. To these Christians, the chocolate egg has often been seen to represent the boulder or stone that was rolled away from the burial tomb where Jesus’ body had been put.
Allow the students reflect on the question on the final slide of the presentation “What might the hidden message of Easter mean for you this year?” and use a moment of silence while they reflect.
Some people love Justin Bieber’s songs, others of us struggle with them. But Steve Pycroft felt that, while Bieber’s songs had potential, one song in particular coud be raised to a new — and baroque — level.
Pycroft took Bieber’s pop tune “Beauty and Beat” and rearranged it for a performance by the counter-tenor Robin Blaze and the University of York Baroque Orchestra and Chamber Choir. The song maintains the original lyrics, but has a whole new feel when slowed down and classed up.
It’s a very different type of cover song to the usual I see on YouTube:
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