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A celebration of difference

To make children aware that being different from one another is something to be celebrated.

by Janice Ross

Suitable for Whole School (Pri)

Aims

To make children aware that being different from one another is something to be celebrated.

Preparation and materials

  • Display the following groups of words on the whiteboard:
    orange, apple, grapes, banana, raspberry
    Citroen, Ford, Peugeot, Volkswagen, Vauxhall, Renault
    pencil, whiteboard, desk, dictionary, paintbrush, calculator
    London, Paris, Nairobi, Stockholm, Beijing, Washington
    meconopsis, nigella, alium, leucojum, adonis, echinopsis.

  • Computer images of the above flowers (e.g. from Google images).
  • Prepare six pupils to be part of the assembly (see 3. below).

Assembly

  1. Show each group of words one at a time. Ask the children why the words have been grouped together. What do they have in common? Give graded examples so that younger through to older children can join in answering.
  2. Show images of the flowers. They are quite unusual flowers, but all grow in our country (UK and Ireland). They are all beautiful, and are all very different.

    * The meconopsis is a blue poppy-like flower – one of the few blue flowers about. It has a long stem with a number of flowers on each stem.

    * Nigella: What’s the same about this flower? It may be the same colour but that is about all. It has bushy growth, it’s good for cutting, with feathery foliage and striking seed pods.

    * The alium is from the onion family and grows from a bulb. It has beautiful purple flower heads on the end of very long stems. Have you seen any onions in the supermarket that are as attractive as this?

    * Leucojum: Like the alium, the leucojum is a bulb. It is called a snowflake, a bit like a snowdrop but with a rounder flower. All six petals are the same size, unlike the snowdrop whose inner three petals are smaller than the outer three.

    * The adonis has lovely bright yellow bowl-shaped flowers. You might see this flower early in the year flowering in rock gardens.

    * The echinopsis is a cactus, a greenhouse plant. It likes heat and has to be kept completely dry in winter. The flowers can be white, golden yellow or pink and are sweetly scented. In some species these open during the evening and last for about two days. Blink and you can miss it till next year!
  3. Now ask what the following group have in common. Give the names of six children in the school, different in size, age, sex, ethnicity, ability, etc. Ask these children to come out to the front of the assembly.

    Explain that what makes them all a group is that they are all children who belong and are welcome in this school. This is our school family and we are all part of it.
  4. Christians believe that our creator God loves variety. He made thousands of flower species and within each flower species thousands of variations. He took even more care when making us, that we will all be different. Even twins are not exactly the same! How wonderful! How boring it would be if we had 100 pupils in the school all exactly the same as (name one of the children at the front), or if all the teachers were the same as me!

    It would be a bit like a large garden, packed full of only one kind of flower. Our differences, in appearance, in ability, in background, in talents and gifts, in potential for the future, are what makes our school such a wonderful place to come to every day. Let’s enjoy one another today!

Time for reflection

Imagine a flower bed in a garden. In it grows all the lovely flowers we have been learning about today. How pretty it would look.

Now think about your class and each member of it. It is the combination of children with all their differences that make it such a rich place.


Prayer
Dear God,
We thank you for the beauty of your creation,

for all the new flowers out there yet to discover.
Thank you for our school,

for all the different people that make up our school family.
Thank you that we have so much to discover about one another.

Bless us as we start our new school year.

Amen.

Song/music

‘There are hundreds of sparrows’ (Come and Praise, 15)

Publication date: September 2009   (Vol.11 No.9)    Published by SPCK, London, UK.
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