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Cats: All Different, All Special!

An assembly from the Culham St Gabriel archive

Suitable for Whole School (Pri)

Aims

To consider cats to help us reflect on the diversity of people and the natural world.

Preparation and materials

  • Prior to the assembly, compile a list of the names of cats owned by some of the members of staff and children in the school. Write about ten of these names on separate cards and give them to teachers and children who are not the cats’ owners. Ask them to bring the cards to the assembly.

  • Arrange to interview two or three children about their pet cats.

  • You will need the poem ‘Cats sleep anywhere’ by Eleanor Farjeon to read out during the assembly. A copy of the poem is available at: www.catquotes.com/catssleepanywhere.htm

  • Optional: have available some of the music from the musical Cats by Andrew Lloyd Webber and the means to play it at the end of the assembly.

Assembly

  1. Ask the members of staff and children to whom you gave the cards to stand up where they are and, in turn, read the name on their card.

    Ask the children if they can think of how the names might be connected. Establish that each is the name of someone’s pet cat.

  2. Invite the two or three children you arranged to interview to come up and talk about their cats. Ask each child a selection of easy questions such as the following.

    – What is the cat’s name?
    – How long have you had your cat?
    – Is the cat part of the family?
    – What colour is your cat?
    – Where does your cat like to sleep?

  3. After the interviews, read out the short poem ‘Cats sleep anywhere’.

  4. Discuss with the children how all cats are different: there are short-haired ones, long-haired ones, pedigrees and moggies, ones with black fur, ones with ginger fur and so on.

  5. Say that people are like cats: they are all different shapes and sizes, old, young, dark-haired, light-haired and so on. People, like cats, need to be loved and feel that they belong.

Time for reflection

Ask the children to look around them. Everyone is different!

The world is a wonderful place, full of variety. Whether we look at plants, trees, animals or humans, we see differences that make the whole world more exciting and amazing. If we were all the same, the world would not be as much fun. The fact that we are all good at different things and get on with different people makes the world better.

Let’s always thank God for the differences around us. We are all different . . . we are all special!

Prayer
Dear God,
Thank you for the amazing world in which we live.
Thank you for our pets, like the cats we have thought about today.
Thank you that each of us is different.
Thank you that these differences make us even more special.
Amen.

Song/music

‘Think of a world without any flowers’ (Come and Praise, 17)

Follow-up ideas

  • Read a selection of the entries in T. S. Eliot’s Old Possum’s Book of Practical Cats. Ask the children to invent a cat to add to the book and write a short poem about it.

  • The children could compose a short piece of music or write a song to describe cats at night, cats asleep and so on.

  • The children could use dance to interpret one of the songs from the musical Cats.

  • Cut out a large cat shape and ask the children to write on it words that describe cats’ characters, such as mysterious, aloof, mischievous and so on.
Publication date: April 2018   (Vol.20 No.4)    Published by SPCK, London, UK.
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