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Differences are great

To celebrate God-given differences between people, and to make racism look ridiculous

by Guy Donegan-Cross

Suitable for Whole School (Pri)

Aims

To celebrate God-given differences between people, and to make racism look ridiculous.

Preparation and materials

  • Have six small chocolate bars, out of sight but within easy reach.

Assembly

  1. Ask the children: Can they tell you something about themselves that is different from everybody else in the world? Suggest: hair, nose, fingerprint, family, voice, history, shape. Say that the amazing thing about the world is that God made everyone different - and God loves that. But sometimes we do silly things to each other because we are different from each other.

  2. Pick six volunteers, three with one particular physical attribute that they share with you, e.g. same hair colour, colour of clothes, eye colour, and three without any similar attributes - but don't tell the children. (NB: Do not use sex or race to decide your categories. If you have a multi-ethnic gathering, ensure that pupils of different races can be on the winning side.)

    Say that you are going to play a game. You are going to ask each child three questions, and after the questions some will receive chocolate and some won't. The children will have to guess why you have chosen the winners.

  3. Ask each volunteer three questions that they can all easily answer, e.g. Who is your head teacher? What town are we in? What day is it tomorrow? Give the chocolate to the three children who share the same physical characteristic as you after they have answered correctly, without explanation.

    Ask everyone why they think those children who got the chocolate won and the others didn't. Reveal why you gave them the chocolate, e.g. Because they have green eyes, and you have green eyes too. Ask the children if they think this is fair.

  4. Point out how ridiculous it is to treat people unfairly because they look different or sound different, but sometimes this happens. Say that Christians and members of other faiths (you might particularly mention faiths represented in your school) believe that God wants us to treat everyone with love and respect, however they differ from us.

    Ask the volunteers to sit down, but as they move off, call them back, as if you've just realized the folly of your ways. Repeat, as if remembering: it is ridiculous to treat people unfairly because they look different or sound different. Give chocolate bars to those who didn't get them.

Time for reflection

Dear God,
Thank you that you made us each different from each other,
yet each the same in some ways.
Help us to love the differences in other people.
Amen.

Song/music

'The ink is black' (Come and Praise, 67)

Publication date: 2001   (Vol.3)    Published by SPCK, London, UK.
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