8.3  Lesson Two – Visualizing the Golden Rule

Time required: 60 minutes
Materials required: chart paper, marker pens, Scarboro Missions Golden Rule Poster (large and/or small size)

Teacher instructions:

In preparation for this lesson in which the students explore the visual and symbolic features of the Golden Rule Poster, the teacher is advised to read the short article, Visual impressions of the Golden Rule Poster – see Appendix 5.

This article contains comments by various individuals about the design of the poster.

The teacher reviews the previous lesson and the focus on the Golden Rule poster. The teacher reminds the students that in previous lessons they were invited to reflect on the place that rules, values, and guidelines for living play in their lives. And specifically in four areas of their lives: peer group, home, sports and society.

Next, the teacher invites the students to reflect on one of the following questions or on a related question composed by the teacher:

  • What would the world be like if you and everyone on the planet lived according to the Golden Rule?
  • If you were to live by the Golden Rule each and every day, what would be different in your life?
    1. In your personal life?
    2. In your relationships with your friends and fellow students?
    3. In your family life?
    4. In your life in the larger society?

Following the discussion, the teacher invites the students to study the visual elements of the poster – its overall design, its various shapes, lines, colours and other features. The students are invited to reflect on the various elements and dimensions of the poster and how they relate to one another.

Having received feedback from the students, the teacher may wish to further stimulate their thinking by posing some of the following questions:

  • Are any of these Golden Rules familiar to you?
  • Are any of the 13 symbols familiar to you?
  • Would anyone like to comment on the colors used on the poster? Why do you think these colors were chosen?
  • How do the various colors on the poster make you feel?
  • Where do you see lines (rays) on the poster? What purpose do these lines serve in terms of the overall design of the poster?
  • To you, what does it mean that the words, “The Golden Rule”, are superimposed on a globe at the center of the poster?
  • There are lines or rays going out from the centre. These could also be seen as going inward from the periphery. What does this mean to you?
  • Could the circle at the center of the poster be seen as the sun with rays going outward? Explain.
  • Do you see a connection between the visual qualities of the poster and the meaning and message of the 13 Golden Rules? Explain

After this discussion, the teacher may wish to terminate the class or continue with the following exercise.

The students have now become more familiar with the design of the poster and the 13 expressions of the Golden Rule. Next, the teacher advises the students to continue to gaze upon the poster, while the various Golden Rules are read consecutively by 13 students in a slow and clear manner. As a way of focusing the students, the teacher may want to read aloud the following text prior to the reading of the 13 Golden Rules:

In a moment, we are going to have a chance to again listen to the words of the 13 Golden Rules. We would ask each reader to read very slowly and very clearly so that we can really hear what is being said. We are also asking the readers to make sure that they pause briefly before they do their reading.

As you are listening to the readings, we invite you to look at the poster. Allow yourself to be absorbed by it. As you gaze on the poster, are there any images or pictures that come to your mind? If so, what are they? Describe them.

At this point, the teacher encourages discussion and feedback from the students, which is recorded on chart paper.

Next, the teacher may want to stimulate the students’ thinking with more questions and thoughts about the poster. The teacher may want to draw the students’ attention to features of the poster that they have not yet discussed or perceived.

Journal activity: Let’s write about it!

For journal questions to stimulate the students’ written reflections after or during class, see Appendix 6.