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Lamp to be lit

To help the children to understand the unique part each has to play in his/her own learning.

by Janice Ross

Suitable for Key Stage 2

Aims

To help the children to understand the unique part each has to play in his/her own learning.

Preparation and materials

  • The following words of a Hebrew proverb on the whiteboard:
    ‘A child is not a vessel to be filled, but a lamp to be lit.’

  • A new schoolbag.
  • Large books, jotters, dictionary, atlas, microscope.
  • Lamp (oil or candle).

Assembly

  1. Say to the children:

    Some people think you go to school to learn things.
    Some people think you go to school to cram lots of facts in your head.
    Some people think you go to school to pass tests and exams.
    Some people think you go to school, then go to college, to get a good job and earn lots of money.

    Are they right? What do the children think?
  2. Display and read the Hebrew proverb.
    Show the new schoolbag. Start to stuff it with books, a dictionary, an atlas, jotters, a microscope etc.

    Hold it up and say ‘A child is not a vessel to be filled . . .’

    This proverb is saying that you don’t come to school with a head like an empty bag waiting to be filled with stuff, even if that stuff is called knowledge!

  3. Show the lamp. Light it and say ‘. . . but a lamp to be lit’.

    This means that you come to school with great potential within you. There is something unique within each one, which it is both your job and the teacher’s job to discover and to allow it to burst into flame.

    This might be an interest, a skill or a creative ability. Some of you may know what this is already, some may not. That is what school is about. In school there may be a teacher, or a book, or a computer programme or a course to help you develop that interest, or skill or talent. You the pupil have that great potential to shine within you.

Time for reflection

Ask the pupils to reflect on the proverb quietly for a few minutes.

Ask them to choose to develop that skill, or talent or interest to its full potential this year.

Prayer
Dear God,
Thank you that I am unique.
Thank you that I am created in your image with creative ability and talent.
Give me a desire to learn and to make the most of my education.
Thank you for my school.
Amen.

Song/music

‘Give me oil in my lamp’ (Come and Praise, 43)

Publication date: September 2010   (Vol.12 No.9)    Published by SPCK, London, UK.
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