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Curriculum overview
Key teacher background knowledge
1. The story of the miracle of the Feeding of the Five Thousand is the only
one told in all four gospels, with each telling having intentional differences
that guide the reader to make different meanings from the story (Bock,
1994; Henry, 1706; Poon, 2003). The structure of the gospel of Luke
suggests that he intended for the story to prelude Jesus questioning of his
own identity (Poon, 2003). Furthermore, Bock (1994) suggests that the
miracle is told to help identify Jesus and to teach the disciples something
about trust and provision.
2. When Jesus says to the disciples Make them sit down in groups of about
fifty each. (Luke 9:14, NSRV) this suggests that Jesus has organised the
people to allow for better distribution of the food, and to count the number
of the crowd. This is possibly symbolic of the gifts of the church being
received orderly (Gill 1746-8; Henry, 1706). The miracle of Jesus providing
food for this vast amount of people can be seen as an indication of Jesus
power over the forces of nature (Carpenter, 1992).
3. The story took place near Bethsaida, a desert place, in which there would
have been no accommodation or any food supplies (Gill, 1746-8). Jesus took
and broke the five loaves of bread, and divided the two fish into parts so

that there was enough food for the five thousand to be filled (Gill, 1746-8).
The breaking of the bread within this story is symbolic of the feeding of the
five thousand being a sacred meal that presaged the occasion of the Last
Supper (Carpenter, 1992), and thus can be viewed as symbolic of the
Eucharist (CEOM, 2008). Additionally, the role of Jesus in breaking, blessing
and delegating the distribution of food highlights Lukes intention to portray
Jesus as a figure of authority (Bock, 1994).

Connections to local religious education curriculum

Curriculum document: Coming to Know, Worship and Love (The Good Shepherd
Unit: Celebrating with the People of God
Level: 2 Grade: 1
Relevant connections
Doctrinal Focus:
#1346 The Liturgy of the Eucharist unfolds according to a fundamental
structure which has been preserved throughout the centuries down to
our own day. It displays two great parts that form a fundamental unity:
o the gathering of the liturgy of the Word, with reading, homily and
general intercessions;
o the liturgy of the Eucharist, with the presentation of the bread and
wine, the consecratory thanksgiving, and communion.
The Liturgy of the Word and the Liturgy of the Eucharist together form
one single act of worship; the Eucharistic table set for us is the table
both of the Word of God and of the Body of the Lord. (p. 1)
Unit Specific Learning:
Students will learn about:

o The words and actions of Jesus Christ in the story of Too Many To
Feed (p. 4)
Students will learn to:
o Express their feelings, ideas, perceptions and thinking in response
to the story of Too Many To Feed (p. 4)

The scripture story of Feeding the Five Thousand found in Luke 9:10-17 (NSRV)
was selected for this task as it is a story I am familiar with and I believe it is
appropriate story for introducing students of the lower primary years to the
concept of the Eucharist. The use of this scripture story in the early primary years
is also supported by the Coming to Know, Worship and Love curriculum
documentation that outlines how it can be used to explore the action of the
Eucharist in Grade 1.
The materials chosen to enact this story are of both 2D and 3D nature, with some
aspects moving and others remaining stationary to create interest and maintain
engagement, reflecting the Godly Play work of Jermome Berryman. Additionally,
the materials created and used have been selected as they support the audience
in visualising the situation. For example, Material 4 aims to give insight into the
enormity of the crowd that followed Jesus to the desert.


Word Count (Curriculum Overview): 659

Bock, D. L. (1994). Luke: Authority to provide revealed (9:10-17) . In The IVP New
Testament commentary series. Retrieved from
Carpenter, E. E. (1992). Luke. In W. McCown (Ed.), Asbury Bible commentary.
Available from
Catholic Education Office, Melbourne [CEOM]. (2008). Coming to know, worship
and love: A religious education curriculum framework for Catholic schools in
the Archdiocese of Melbourne. Melbourne, VIC: Catholic Education Office.

Gill, J. (1746-8). Luke. In John Gills Exposition of the New Testament. Retrieved
Henry, M. (1706). Luke. In Matthew Henry commentary on the whole Bible
(complete). Retrieved from
Poon, W. C. K. (2003). Superabundant table fellowship in the kingdom: The feeding
of the five thousand and the meal motif in Luke. The Expository Times, 114
(7), 224-230. Retrieved from Sage Journals database.