Lesson 3: The Life of a Hero: Amy Carmichael and the ‘Shawlies’

This lesson examines the work of Ulster-Scot Amy Carmichael with the Belfast mill workers known as the ‘shawlies’ and also briefly introduces pupils to her work in India. Pupils will have an opportunity to carry out a research activity to explore the traits of Amy Carmichael. They will also carry out a Talking and Listening activity to order Amy Carmichael’s character traits from most important to least important.

Main Areas of Curricular Focus

Lesson Plan

 

Learning Intentions

Learning Intentions

Pupils will:

  • understand the work that Amy Carmichael carried out with the Belfast ‘shawlies’; and
  • show an understanding of the qualities of a hero of the faith.
  • Amy Carmichael
  • shawlie
  • missionary
  • character traits
  • William Conor

Starter

Starter

Ask the pupils to name their heroes (they may be from the world of sport, religion, politics etc). Now ask pupils to join with a partner in a think, pair, share activity giving reasons to their partner why their chosen person is a hero. Now ask pupils, working in their pairs, to come up with four qualities that make their person a hero. Pupils should record these qualities on ‘Post-its’. They may suggest qualities such as a good role model, talented, doesn’t give up easily, hard worker etc. Now ask pupils to stick their ‘Post-its’ around the classroom. Are there common qualities appearing? Discuss this with the pupils.

  • Amy Carmichael
  • shawlie
  • missionary
  • character traits
  • William Conor

Main Lesson

Main Lesson

Display Resource 4.13: Amy Carmichael (IWB) and briefly introduce the pupils to Amy Carmichael, telling them who she was and where she was born and subsequently worked. See Resource 4.14: Teacher Information Card 3, on the story of Amy Carmichael, and Carmichael, Amy Beatrice.

At this point you may also want pupils to watch the video created by the pupils of Millisle Primary School.

Introduce pupils to the term ‘shawlies’ and display Resource 4.15: ‘Shawlies’ (IWB). Ask pupils what they think a shawlie was. Now display Resource 4.16: ‘Shawlies’ Description (IWB).

You may wish to show pupils the video clip of Anne Rowntree, who was born in Belfast in 1928, recalling the ‘shawlies’ during the time when her grandmother was alive.

Pupil Activity

Now distribute Resource 4.17: Traits of a Hero (Cards) and ask pupils to work in pairs to find examples of these traits from the life of Amy Carmichael. Pupils should use information from Resource 4.14, as well as the video mentioned above.

You should use information from Resource 4.14: Teacher Information Card 3 and the video clips of an interview with Jonathan Clarke, the pastor of The Welcome Evangelical Church in Belfast, which was previously called the Tin Tabernacle where Amy Carmichael taught the ‘shawlies’. He has researched the life of Amy Carmichael and read many of her 37 books and poems. Listen to what he has to say about Amy Carmichael:

Pupils should complete Resource 4.18: Character Traits in the Life of Amy Carmichael (Worksheet) by using the evidence from their sources to support each of these character traits in the life of Amy Carmichael.

Once this activity has been completed, ask pupils to join with another pair to exchange their ideas. Pupils should now be asked, working in groups of four, to diamond rank the nine traits of Amy Carmichael placing their most important trait at the top and their lowest priority trait at the bottom to form a diamond. For further information on this activity, see Diamond Ranking: Active Learning and Teaching Methods for Key Stages 1&2, page 22. Pupils should justify their decisions in their group, coming to a collective consensus amongst themselves.

Plenary

Plenary

Amy Carmichael was a hero of the faith. Ask pupils to identify one aspect of their character which they could improve on to try and emulate the life of Amy Carmichael.

  • Amy Carmichael
  • shawlie
  • missionary
  • character traits
  • William Conor

Assessment Opportunity

Assessment Opportunity

If you wish to assess pupils’ responses to this lesson, see the suggestion below.

  • You may wish to assess pupils’ Talking and Listening during this lesson. Ensure that you set the success criteria for the activity prior to assessment using the Levels of Progression for Talking and Listening as your guide together with the Expansion Document.

or

  • You may wish to ask pupils to peer assess using the TS&PC Thinking Card: Solving disagreements.
  • Amy Carmichael
  • shawlie
  • missionary
  • character traits
  • William Conor

Resources

Levels of Progression for Communication (Levels 1-5)

TS&PC Thinking Card: Solving disagreements

Other Activities

Additional Pupil Activities

1. Leadership Qualities – Amy Carmichael

Using Think, Pair and Share : Active Learning and Teaching Methods for Key Stages 1&2, page 70, ask pupils to talk about Amy Carmichael and address the questions below giving reasons for their responses:

  • What were the qualities that Amy Carmichael had?
  • Do you think Amy Carmichael was a good leader?
  • Was there anything in her life that she had to overcome?
  • Would you have picked her to be your leader?

You may wish to use the interview with Jonathan Clarke after pupils have completed their responses to the questions. Did the pupils come to the same conclusions?

2. What makes a good citizen?

Ask pupils to record their ideas on a whiteboard (for example, a good citizen would not throw gum on the street).

Distribute Resource 4.19: Citizen Characteristics (Cards) to small groups of 4 or 5 pupils and ask them to identify and agree on eight characteristics that they think make a good citizen. They should justify their choices with their peers and come to a consensus agreement. This activity supports the aim of PD&MU, ‘to benefit your school, children, and the local community’.

You may also wish pupils to design a PowerPoint presentation entitled, A Good Citizen Charter.

Take feedback from each group by asking how they would compare their own conduct with the charter and how would they compare Amy Carmichael’s conduct with their charter.

3. The Work of William Conor

Look again at Resource 4.15: ‘Shawlies’ (IWB) drawn by the Belfast artist William Conor. How has he portrayed the ‘shawlies’? Make a list of words to describe how the pupils feel after looking at the pictures. You may provide pupils with an opportunity to create their representation of a shawlie using charcoal, pencil or crayon and pencil. Pupils may also research the life and work of William Conor.

Links to Curriculum

Cross-Curricular Skills

Cross-Curricular Skills: Communication

Children should be given opportunities to engage with and demonstrate the skill of communication and to transfer their knowledge about communication concepts and skills to real-life meaningful contexts across the curriculum. (Language and Literacy)

Talking and Listening
  • Participate in group discussion about their heroes; and
  • Share, respond and evaluate ideas, arguments and points of view about the character traits of Amy Carmichael.
Reading
  • Use traditional and digital sources to locate, select, evaluate and communicate information relevant for a particular task, for example, when researching the life of Amy Carmichael; and
  • Justify their responses logically by reference to evidence within texts about Amy Carmichael.

TS&PC

Thinking Skills and Personal Capabilities

Working with Others
  • Listen and share, respect the views of others and reach agreement.

Religious Education

Religious Education

Developing Contributors to Society
  • Citizenship; and
  • Ethical awareness.

The Arts

The Arts

Art and Design
  • Look at and explore the work of artists – for example the work of the Belfast artist William Conor; and
  • Use a range of media and processes with understanding of line shape, texture, pattern – for example when studying the work of William Conor.

PD&MU

Personal Development & Mutual Understanding

Strand 2 (Mutual Understanding in the Local and Wider Community)
  • Valuing and celebrating cultural difference and diversity;
  • Playing an active and meaningful part in the life of the community and being concerned about the wider environment; and
  • Recognising the importance of democratic decision making as they diamond rank the nine traits of Amy Carmichael.

Active Learning and Teaching Methods

Active Learning and Teaching Methods for Key Stages 1 & 2

These active teaching and learning approaches encourage active participation from pupils, making the learning a more relevant and enjoyable experience.

Pupils will diamond rank the nine traits of Amy Carmichael placing their most important trait at the top and their lowest priority trait at the bottom to form a diamond.

Suggested Websites & Resources

Ulster-Scot Amy Carmichael wrote many books and one of her many quotations is, ‘One can give without loving but one cannot love without giving.’

In partnership with  Ulster Scots Agency