It's so hot!
by Alan M. Barker
Suitable for Whole School (Pri)
To reflect on the effects of a heat wave and promote personal safety and well-being.
Preparation and materials
- This assembly can be tailored to reflect your school’s policies and practices.
- A large thermometer could be used to support the presentation and a sun hat, sun cream, bottle of water, lunch box and mini-icepack could also be displayed, but this is optional.
- Church schools wishing to include Step 3 will need to display the relevant Bible verses, such as Psalms 42.1–2 and 121.5–6 (GNB or NIV).
- Observe that ‘It’s so hot’. Refer to the temperature, explaining to younger children that ‘temperature’ means how hot or cold anything is. Read the thermometer, if using. How hot is it inside? How hot is it outside in the sun? Ask the children, ‘At what time of day will the temperature be highest?’
- Reflect on the effects of a ‘heat wave’. Establish that lack of water causes plants to wilt. Animals seek the shade. Dogs pant to cool their bodies down. Owners must take special care of their pets. (Imagine running around on a hot day without being able to take off your coat!) Fires break out in the countryside, sometimes caused by carelessly lit barbeques.
Ask, ‘How does heat affect people?’ Reflect that very high temperatures can make everyone feel uncomfortable, tired and irritable. Sweat forms to cool our skin and, as our bodies lose water, we become thirsty. The sun can quickly cause skin to become very red and sore, or ‘sunburnt’.
- Observe that this is why, in hot weather, everyone in school should take special steps to care for themselves and others. Some of the following points might form the basis of conversation and guidance.
– Have regular drinks of water.
– Cover up with light clothing to prevent sunburn.
– Wear a sun hat.
– Use sun cream.
– Find shady spots at playtime.
– Use an icepack to keep packed lunches fresh.
– Inform a first-aider if anyone feels dizzy or unwell.
– Keep calm and cool!
In some localities it may be appropriate to warn older children about the dangers of swimming in rivers, reservoirs and pools.
- Church schools might invite everyone to find some ‘hot weather’ words in Psalms 42.1–2 (thirst, water) and 121.5–6 (shade or protect, sun). Observe that the authors show they know what hot weather is like – and understand the importance of keeping calm!
Time for reflection
Take time to be still.
Be thankful for summertime:
for hot sunshine and cool refreshing water;
for bright blue skies and green shady trees.
Take time to be still.
‘Now that summer has come’ (Songs for Every Season, Out of the Ark Music, 1997)
‘All things bright and beautiful’ (Come and Praise, 3)