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Somebody's feeling lonely

How can we be good friends to people who feel alone?

by Becky May

Suitable for Key Stage 1

Aims

To consider appropriate responses to loneliness and encourage children to be good friends to others.

Preparation and materials

  • You will need a puppet (a human character would work best for the script given here, but you can use any puppet available to you). Hide the puppet in a box. Note that the puppet is used in the ‘whispering’ style – that is, the puppet communicates with the puppeteer by ‘whispering’ in the puppeteer’s ear and the puppeteer then shares what has been said.
  • Have available for the ‘Assembly’, Step 5, the following passage from Matthew 25.35-40, NRSV:

    “  . . .    35for I was hungry and you gave me food, I was thirsty and you gave me something to drink, I was a stranger and you welcomed me, 36I was naked and you gave me clothing, I was sick and you took care of me, I was in prison and you visited me.” 37Then the righteous will answer him, ‘Lord, when was it that we saw you hungry and gave you food, or thirsty and gave you something to drink? 38And when was it that we saw you a stranger and welcomed you, or naked and gave you clothing? 39And when was it that we saw you sick or in prison and visited you?’ 40And the king will answer them, ‘Truly I tell you, just as you did it to one of the least of these who are members of my family,* you did it to me.’

  • If using, have available the song ‘Help me be your eyes Lord Jesus’ by Doug Horley, on his Fandabidozzie album (Integrity Music, 2003), and the means to play it at the end of the assembly.

 

Assembly

  1. Good morning, I wonder how you are feeling today?

    Feelings are interesting things, aren’t they? One day you can feel happy or excited and another day you can feel a bit sad or unsettled. We’re going to be thinking about feelings.

  2. Let’s take a look in this box and see what is in there today. 

    Take a look in the box.

    Oh, hello you! How did you sneak in there?

    Carefully bring out the puppet on your arm, with it looking down as though it is feeling sorry for itself.

    You’re not looking very happy today.

    Puppet whispers into your ear.

    You’re not feeling very happy today? Well, how are you feeling?

    Puppet whispers into your ear again.

    Oh dear, that’s not very good. You’re feeling lonely? Why is that?

    Puppet whisper into your ear.

    You don’t really know?

    Puppet shakes head.

    Well, when did you start feeling lonely?

    Puppet whispers into your ear.

    When you got in the box?

    Puppet nods and then whispers in your ear.

    Why do you think you were feeling lonely in the box?

    Puppet whispers in your ear.

    Because you were all on your own? Well, that does make sense, I suppose, but, look, you’re not on your own any more – we’re all here with you now!

    Puppet whispers in your ear.

    You still feel lonely?

    Puppet nods.

    Why do you feel lonely now?

    Puppet whispers in your ear.

    Because you don’t know anybody and everyone is staring at you? Well, everyone wants to see you. You’re our special assembly guest! I tell you what, I think these children here will be able to think of some things they could do to stop you feeling lonely. What do you think children?

    Encourage the children to put their hands up when they have an idea to share and continue the interaction between the children and the puppet as appropriate.

  3. When you want to bring this time to a close, say the following.

    Well I’m glad you’re feeling better now. Do you think you will be OK if you go back into the box now? That’s good. Say goodbye to the children.

    Puppet waves goodbye and goes back into the box.

  4. You have thought of some really good ideas today. I wonder if you can think about one more question. What do you think Jesus had to say about caring for people who were feeling lonely? 

    In the Bible, there are some instructions from Jesus about the way we should care for people who are shut out, who aren’t in the popular groups or who are finding life hard.

  5. Either read out the passage from Matthew 25.35-40 yourself or invite someone else to do so. 

    There are lots of groups of people mentioned there. You may never meet someone who is in prison or someone who has nothing to eat or wear, but you will meet people who feel left out and who need a supportive friend.

Time for reflection

Let us make ourselves really quiet so that we can think about some of those people we know are feeling alone. Perhaps there is someone in your class or in your family. How can you be a good friend to them and help them to know they are not alone, that someone cares for them. 

Prayer
Dear God,
Thank you that you are always with us and never leave us on our own. 
Help us to keep our eyes wide open to notice when other people need a friend to care for them. 
Amen.

 

Song/music

‘When I needed a neighbour, were you there, were you there?’ (Come and Praise, 65)
‘Help me be your eyes Lord Jesus’ by Doug Horley 

Publication date: September 2014   (Vol.16 No.9)    Published by SPCK, London, UK.
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