Supporting Material for the Syllabus Light Upon Light.

The attention span of students increases with age. Thus a lot of activities are needed for very young ones, while fewer activities would be more appropriate in later years. There cannot be an exact formula for how many; at each age it will depend on the maturity of the students, the length of a lesson, and other factors. However, as a rough guide, about which the teacher will no doubt be flexible, for a lesson time of 105 minutes, the following is suggested.

Every class could start a lesson with about 5 minutes of prayers (unless school prayers immediately preceded, in which case the class prayers might be more appropriate just after the break). Some teachers find that a short game helps to get students receptive to learning, this could also take 5 minutes; on the other hand, this time could be used for news items, if students have their say first (it can be about anything, so long as it is fairly brief) then they are more likely to be ready to listen to the teacher. It could easily take 5 minutes to mark homework and another 5 minutes to revise previous work; if it’s the first lesson of the year, or for any other reason there’s no homework to mark, 10 minutes’ revision would not be out of place – the more times students hear something, the more likely they are to remember it, and there may be someone present who missed it before.

At some point it is recommended that a virtue is studied for at least 10 minutes; when is up to the teacher, it could be at the start, or just after break, or near the end. Certainly at the end there will be a need to set homework; this does not always have to be written down, although it often is; if the teacher realises that there is only 5 minutes left and no homework has been organised, at the very least the students can be reminded of what has been taught this lesson and asked to think about it (or read about it if there has been a handout, or if they have a suitable book) before the next lesson.

So one third of the lesson time (35 minutes) has already been allocated (6 activities for the very young, less for older students) before we consider the new topic for the day! The 70 minutes for the new topic can be divided into 14 activities for a nursery class, whereas the youth class could probably cope with one, although 2 is suggested here. Since the classes between are likely to be on rolling programmes, they will be considered in groups of 3 for this matter; thus a simple sliding scale gives the following, as a rough guide:

YearsActivities for new topicOther activities Total 
N1, N2, 014620
1, 2, 311516
4, 5, 68412
7, 8, 9538
10, 11, 12, 13224

Some example lesson plans are very detailed, to suit a complete newcomer to teaching, whereas others are mere skeletons which need a lot more detail to be added by the teacher; whether this is written down or just carried in the head will probably depend on the experience of the teacher. The first set of plans, for years N1,1,4,7,10, are all quite detailed; in fact evaluation indicates that many of them contain too much material, so the teacher should prepare to be selective where necessary.

Distinguishing between Teachers' and Students' Material.
There are two categories of files for lessons, the first of which consists of files intended for use by the teacher only; these are coloured blue and are listed first. The second category includes files which are intended to be handouts for students; in the accompanying indices, these are coloured green; in addition these are listed last.

Evaluation
Included, for each of the 5 years of lesson plans, are evaluation sheets for teachers.

These were used for evaluation at the author’s school. Other schools may wish to use them, edited if required. If you use them and think that the filled in sheets could help us to improve the lesson plans, please send copies to the OBE Secretary c/o 27 Rutland Gate, London, UK – SW7 1PD.

If they are used, and the director finds that the planned lessons are being completed (or at least the ‘new topic’ items are nearly all being completed), then further filling in of forms about the National Curriculum is not necessary; careful planning of this syllabus ensures that the National Curriculum is being fully implemented.

Copyright
We are grateful to the following publishers for permission to use extracts from their books as listed:

Bahá'í Publishing Trust, UK: Stories for children (Jackie Mehrabi), Nine Holy Days (Jackie Mehrabi), Pokka Stories (Betty Reed), Distinctive Aspects of Bahá’í Education (Editors: Hooshang Nikjoo & Stephen Vickers), Bahá’u’lláh and the New Era (J.E.Esslemont), Stories of the Greatest Holy Leaf (Jackie Mehrabi), Fire on the Mountain Top (Gloria Faizi), Trends in Bahá’í Education (Editor: Hooshang Nikjoo), Principles of Bahá’í Administration (NSA), Teaching and Consolidation Manual (NSA).

Kalimat Press: The Creative Circle (Editor: Michael Fitzgerald).

George Ronald: Vignettes from the life of ‘Abdu’l-Bahá (Annamarie Honnold), Thoughts: Education for Peace and One World (Compiler: Irene Taafaki), Stories Of Bahá’u’lláh (Compiler:’Alí-Akbar Furútan), Bahá’í Families (Patricia Wilcox), The ECO Principle (Arthur Lyon Dahl), Social & Economic Development (Holly Hanson Vick), ‘Abdu’l-Bahá (Balyuzi), God Loves Laughter (William Sears), The Báb (Balyuzi) , the Heavens are Cleft Asunder (Huschmand Sabet), God and His Messengers (David Hofman), Ali’s Dream (John Hatcher), the Evolution Of Religion (K.J.Spalding), the Promise of All Ages (George Townshend), The Covenant for Young People (Enoch N. Tanyi), Baha'u'llah - The King of Glory (Balyuzi), Prescription For Living (Rúhíyyih Rabbani), The Revelation of Bahá’u’lláh (Adib Taherzadeh), The Covenant of Bahá’u’lláh (Adib Taherzadeh).

We are also grateful to various individuals for allowing us to include extracts of their work, in particular to Maggie Manvell, Arthur Weinberg, Becky Maude, and Olya Roohizadegan (book: Olya’s Story). Our thanks to www.bahai-education.org for producing the “Ocean Library” CD, which we used to obtain some virtues quotations.

We have built on the excellent work of Lea Iverson for the Glad Tidings Bahá'í School; many thanks to the Bahá'ís of Golden Valley for permission to copy it.

Availability of the e-text on this Website in no way modifies the copyright status of the publications from which it was extracted.

If we have inadvertently omitted any acknowledgement, please let us know at obe@bahai.org.uk and this will be rectified.

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