Talent and Determination
To identify talents and recognize when they need to be used. Talent alone is not enough, hard work is also needed.
by Jude Scrutton
Suitable for Whole School (Pri)
To help children identify their talents and recognize the need to use them. To understand that talent alone is not enough - hard work is also needed.
Preparation and materials
- Photocopy some pictures of well-known athletes onto OHP acetates or enlarge to A3 or A2 size, depending on the size of the hall. Pictures should include a variety of gifted athletes, sportspeople, musicians, scientists, etc. Include a range of people, male and female, from as many ethnic groups as possible.
- Alternatively, the children can prepare a large collage showing talented people.
- You will need a flip-chart or board.
- Rehearse the play in advance.
Characters: Narrator (has the most lines - could be a teacher); Teacher; Dad; Mum; Romeo (has very simple lines but needs some hockey skill!); Doctor; Friend 1; Friend 2.
- You can find more about the use of drama in assemblies in our resources section.
- Introduce the assembly theme - talent and determination. Discuss the different talents that the children may have. Using the OHP or pictures, refer to well-known and talented people. Who are they and what are they famous for? Ask how the person in the photograph became good at their activity.
- Focus on the need for training and practising, no matter what the weather or what all of your friends are doing, and listening to constructive criticism from coaches or managers.
Mention that some people might have to overcome shyness or fear of playing to an audience. Some would need to recover from injury or illness. Point out that all would have to believe in their own talent, even when things go wrong.
- Ask the children to watch the short play and look for the answers to the following questions (write them on the flip-chart):
What is Romeo's talent?
What does he miss out on?
What might have happened if he had given up, and done the easy thing?
Narrator: Romeo was in year 3 when his teacher asked his parents to come into school for an important meeting. Romeo, worried about what his teacher had to say, looked really sad when his parents came into the classroom.
Teacher: Good afternoon, would you like to take a seat?
Dad: What's he done now? I'll kill him when I get him home.
Teacher: It's good news this time. I've noticed that Romeo is an excellent hockey player and I think he could really make something of himself. If he started playing for a local team now he might even end up playing for England.
Mum: But it's really expensive. He would need his own hockey stick and his own boots and strip.
Narrator: Romeo really wanted to play hockey and have a chance at the England team. He decided that he would work after school on a paper round until he could afford his own hockey stick and equipment. He worked through the whole of the summer until he could afford the equipment he needed, then he joined his local club and played and trained every week.
When he was 13 he was invited to play for his county: Lancashire against Northamptonshire.
Romeo: (using a stick and airflow ball, dribbles along the hall and scores a goal) Gooooaal.
Narrator: When he was 16 he was asked to train for the England schoolboys' team, but he got distracted and would sometimes miss training sessions in favour of hanging out with his friends from school.
One day he was messing about with his friends when he should have been practising with the England schoolboys - and he broke his leg. The doctor had bad news for him.
Doctor: You won't be able to play any sport for a whole year.
Romeo: But I'm supposed to be playing in the schoolboys' world cup this year!
Doctor: Not this time, son. Maybe next year.
Narrator: Romeo slowly recovered from his injury and spent many hours in physio making sure that he would be strong and fit enough to play for England the next year.
One evening there was a knock at his door.
Friend 1: Hi Romeo, are you coming to the disco?
Romeo: No, sorry, I'm training.
Friend 2: You've gotta come. Everyone's gonna be there.
Narrator: But Romeo was determined that he would not miss the next year's tournament. He trained hard and only saw his friends on his evenings off. Most of his true friends understood and supported him. And sure enough, the next year:
Romeo: (Romeo dribbles the ball and scores) Gooooaal!
Narrator: He scored the winning goal in the schoolboys' world cup final.
Time for reflection
Ask the children to look back at the questions on the flip-chart. Can they answer them? Ask the children to think of their own talents. Where do they feel they shine? Ask them to focus on some way that they can improve their talent today. We can't all be England players but we can all do our best to use our talents.
'Simple gifts' (Come and Praise, 97)