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Give yourself a smiley

To encourage positive thinking about ourselves (SEAL theme 5: Good to be me).

by Manon Ceridwen Parry

Suitable for Key Stage 2


To encourage positive thinking about ourselves (SEAL theme 5: Good to be me).

Preparation and materials

  • Background: the thinking behind this assembly is the Transactional Analysis (TA) idea of positive and negative ‘strokes’.
  • Two images, either on paper or on PowerPoint, one of a smiley face and the other a big black scribble made with a thick pen.


  1. Ask the children: How many of you have been given a smiley today?

    When they look confused, explain that you will tell them what a smiley is. Ask: How many of you have said something nice to someone? How does it feel when someone says something nice to you? You feel all smiley.

    For example, if you had thanked your mum for breakfast this morning, it would have made her feel good. When your friends tell you they like the way you’ve done your hair today, or like your new trainers, that makes you feel happy.

    Let’s call these nice words ‘smileys’. (Hold or show the smiley picture.)
  2. But it’s not just other people who give us smileys; we can give ourselves smileys, too.

    Perhaps we think we’re not very good at a subject at school – for example, maths. We think we always do it wrong. But if we sit there and think, ‘I’m going to have a go at this. I’m going to try’ – we’re more likely to do well.
  3. Hurtful thoughts about ourselves, I’m going to call scribbles. (Hold or show the scribble picture.) If we think we’re hopeless at maths – we are more likely to do badly.
  4. We can give other people smileys or scribbles. When we say nice things (smileys) we can make people happy, and make our school and community happy.

    But when we say horrible or mean things (scribbles), it can bring everyone down and make our school, community or family a sad place.

    Each moment we have a choice: either to make ourselves and other people feel bad or feel good.

    Choose to give yourself and them a smiley!


    This could be linked to Christian teaching about love, for example, 1 John 4.7–12 teaches us that God loves us so much that he sent Jesus, and we should therefore love one another.

Time for reflection

When we talk to ourselves in our own heads we can say smiley things or scribbley things. We need sometimes to tell the scribbles to go away. So let’s spend some time thinking quietly.

What are the things we are good at? Think quietly for a few moments about what they are – it could be football, or netball, or another game. You could be good at a subject in school, or maybe you are a good friend . . . or are good at telling jokes.

Think about this phrase – it’s good to be me. Why is it good to be me?


help me to give smileys and not scribbles
to myself and other people.


‘Peace, perfect peace’ (Come and Praise, 53)

Publication date: May 2012   (Vol.14 No.5)    Published by SPCK, London, UK.
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