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Shining stars

To celebrate being different.

by Janice Ross

Suitable for Key Stage 1


To celebrate being different.

Preparation and materials

  • Be familiar with the story Elmer, by David McKee (published by Red Fox).

  • Torch.

  • Material.

  • Optional: a broom suspended across two chairs.


  1. Review the story of Elmer with the children if they are familiar with it, or retell the story in your own words.

    Bring out the following points:

    – Elmer was different, beautifully different.
    – Elmer was bright and cheery.
    – Elmer made people smile.
    – Elmer wanted to be the same as everybody else.
    – He tried to be the same, but in the end he had to be who he was.
    – Everyone was glad to have the real Elmer back!
  2. Explain that Elmer was a bit like a star. (Switch on the torch.) He brought light and life and joy to people’s lives, or in his case, to elephants’ lives!
  3. Identify what Elmer’s problem was: he wanted to be like everyone else. As a result, he became dull and ordinary. His light went out. He no longer brought brightness and cheer. People no longer recognized him

    (slowly cover torch with the piece of material)

    . . . until he could hide his own personality no longer!

    Do you remember what burst out? BOOO!
  4. Suggest that we can all sometimes be a bit like Elmer.

    (Switch on torch again.)

    Perhaps sometimes we forget how special we are. Even worse, sometimes we don’t like who we are.

    Maybe we forget that we are a shining star and we try to be like someone else, maybe like a friend in the class. Maybe we try to talk like this person; we start to behave like this person and to speak like this person.

    (As you are saying this, once again cover the torch slowly with the material.)

    Our special light goes out and teacher thinks:‘Where has lovely [child’s name] gone?’

Time for reflection

Show some gold star-shapes with the names of teachers and school-workers written on them. (These could be hanging from a broom across two chairs.)
Choose one person’s name and complete the description.
Here is Mrs . . . She is special to us. She brightens up our school day by . . .

Now read out a few more ‘star’ names.
Here is Mrs . . . She is special to us.
Here is Mr . . . He is special to us.

Ask the children to reflect for a few minutes on the ways in which each of these ‘stars’ brightens up their day.

As the children leave assembly, they could each be given a gold star on which to write his or her name. These would then be displayed for all to see as a reminder of how special each one is.

Thank you, God, for all the very special people in this assembly this morning. Thank you that each one is valued in our school and is part of our school family. Thank you that each one is different. Help us to enjoy being who we are.


‘God who made the earth’ (Come and Praise, 10)

Publication date: January 2011   (Vol.13 No.1)    Published by SPCK, London, UK.
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