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OK to be different

To encourage students to see that difference need not be feared, but can be embraced and celebrated (SEAL theme 2: Getting on and falling out).

by Helen Redfern

Suitable for Key Stage 1/2

Aims

To encourage students to see that difference need not be feared, but can be embraced and celebrated (SEAL theme 2: Getting on and falling out).

Preparation and materials

  • Four readers (two boys and two girls) and possibly some simple props to illustrate what the children are saying.

Assembly

  1. Leader (with two girls)  Let me introduce [Name] and [Name]. They’re going to tell you some facts about themselves.

    Girl 1  I like cats. I have two cats called Troy and Lexi. They’re so cute.

    Girl 2  I prefer dogs. You can take dogs out for walks and have fun with them at the park.

    Girl 1  I love to watch Strictly Come Dancing. It’s my favourite television programme.

    Girl 2  I love X-Factor. I get excited every Saturday and can’t wait to watch it.

    Girl 1  I’m good at dancing. I practise every day in the playground.

    Girl 2  I’m good at gymnastics. I go to a club twice a week.

    Girl 1  My favourite colour is purple.

    Girl 2  My favourite colour is pink.

    Girl 1  I love fruit but I can’t stand vegetables.

    Girl 2  I love vegetables and I don’t really eat fruit.
  2. Leader  Well, these two young girls are so very different, aren’t they? They like different things, they’re good at different things, and they eat different things. How could they possibly be friends?

    Unfortunately, they are not friends.

    They get into arguments all the time about whether cats are the best or dogs are the best.

    They won’t go to each other’s houses on a Saturday because they can’t agree what to watch on television.

    They won’t play together outside because they can’t agree what to play.

    [Name] won’t wear anything pink. [Name] won’t use the colour purple.

    They won’t eat together because they don’t like what the other one is eating.

    How sad is that? Two lovely little girls who could be friends but are not. They’ve let their differences get in the way.
  3. Leader  So now let’s meet our two boys, [Name] and [Name]. They’re going to tell you about themselves.

    Boy 1  I like football. It’s my favourite sport.

    Boy 2  I like swimming. I feel great when I’m jumping into the water.

    Boy 1  I play on the Xbox. It’s great fun.

    Boy 2  I play on the Playstation every day when I get home from school.

    Boy 1  I’m good at numeracy.

    Boy 2  I’m good at literacy.

    Boy 1  I love Ben 10.

    Boy 2  I think Spider-Man is the best.

    Boy 1  I support Newcastle United.

    Boy 2  I support Man United.
  4. Leader  These two boys are very different, too, aren’t they? [Name] likes playing football best; [Name] would rather go swimming. They’re good at different things, and they support different football teams. How could they possibly be friends?

    Leader  The good news is that they are still friends.

    They take it in turns to choose what to play in the playground.

    They play on the Xbox at [Name]’s house and the Playstation at [Name]’s house.

    They help each other with their homework.

    They swap toys and cards and posters so that they can each make a collection of their favourite things.

    They try not to be unkind about the team that the other one supports. They feel sorry for their friend when his team loses and celebrate with him when they do well.

    Isn’t that fantastic? Even though they’re very different, they’ve found a way to be friends. They’re much happier because of it.

Time for reflection

Leader  Because, do you know what? It’s OK to be different.

Let’s think quietly about that for a moment.

It’s OK to be different.

It’s OK to look different.

It’s OK to sound different.

It’s OK to be good at different things.

It’s OK to like different things.

It’s OK to eat different foods.

It’s OK to support different teams.

We can choose to let being different be a problem.

We can choose to let being different be a reason not to be friends.

Or we can choose to find a way to be friends even though we’re different.

We can choose not to let being different get in the way.

What are you going to choose today?

Prayer
Listen to the words of this prayer and make them your own if you would like to:

Father God, we thank you that we are all different.
Life would be so boring if we were all the same.
Help us to embrace difference.
Help us to celebrate difference.
Help me to be a good friend.
Let us always remember that it’s OK to be different.
Amen.

Song/music

‘God is love; His the care’ (Come and Praise, 36)

Publication date: November 2011   (Vol.13 No.11)    Published by SPCK, London, UK.
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