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To consider the importance of caring for people that we may not naturally be attracted to.

by Rebecca Parkinson

Suitable for Whole School (Pri)


To consider the importance of caring for people that we may not naturally be attracted to.

Preparation and materials

  • Pieces of paper (A4, cut lengthways) with about 20 words that go together (these can be opposites) written on separate pieces. For example:

    cup – saucer, fork – knife, up – down, light – dark, hot – cold
    pen – paper, fat – thin, horse – carriage, hand - glove, left – right
    table – chair, fast – slow, cheese – biscuits, good – bad, light – dark
    black – white, quiet – noisy, shirt – tie, shoes – socks, salt – pepper

  • Cards (old Christmas/birthday cards) cut in half in different ways – about 20 cards – for step 2.


Before the children enter the hall, spread the pieces of paper with the words written on them, on the floor at the front.

  1. Ask for two volunteers, and divide the rest of the children down the middle to make two teams. Explain that when you say ‘Go!’, you want the volunteers to collect a pair of words that match from the floor and give them to a child in their team to hold. (This child can stand at the front so the other children can see the words, or can be asked to stand at the end.) The volunteers should continue to do this (handing the matching pairs to different children) until all the words are in pairs.

    Add up how many matching pairs the teams have.
  2. Explain that you now want two (or four, with two children on each team) different volunteers to play another matching game. Without the volunteers looking, spread out the mixed-up cards at the front of the hall. Ask the rest of the children to count down from ten, at which point the volunteers can open their eyes and begin the game! The aim is for the volunteers to make as many complete cards as possible and hand them to children in their team, as above.

    When all the cards are in pairs, add them up to see which team is the winner.
  3. Explain to the children that, in the same way that the words above go together, and just as the two halves of the cards match, sometimes we meet people whom we immediately feel we ‘match’ with. We find them easy to be around. We can immediately laugh with them, feel comfortable with them, talk to them and find it easy to become their friend.

    There are other people who are more difficult to be around. Maybe they are very shy; maybe they are too noisy! Maybe they are sometimes naughty; maybe too good!
  4. In the Bible Jesus teaches us how we should treat people who are not popular, or people who are difficult to get along with. Jesus often spent time with people who were disliked or distrusted by those around them. For example:

    Zacchaeus – a tax collector, who stole from people.

    Simon – one of Jesus’ disciples, who was a zealot (people described as zealots in Bible-times were often involved in violent action against the Roman authorities).

    Matthew – one of Jesus’ disciples, who was a tax collector (tax collectors were usually very unpopular in Bible-times).

    Jesus provides a great example for us to follow. Like him, we should make an effort to get along with people whom we find it more difficult to like. We should remember that everyone is special in some way . . . it just takes a while longer to see the good in some people!

Time for reflection

Is there someone whom you find it difficult to like? Why not make a decision to try to talk to them today and look for something good about them? You may be surprised how much you like them when you make an effort to be with them.

Dear God,
Thank you that we are all special to you.
Thank you that you made us all different.
Please help us to look for the good in those around us.
Please help us to look beyond our circle of friends
to see those who may be on their own, lonely and needing someone to talk to.


‘When I needed a neighbour’ (Come and Praise, 65)

Publication date: April 2011   (Vol.13 No.4)    Published by SPCK, London, UK.
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