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Walk By on the Other Side

Everyday sayings from the Bible. To explore their relevance today.

by Peter Mattacola

Suitable for Key Stage 2


To appreciate how sayings from the Bible have integrated into our language and to demonstrate the relevance of this saying today.

Preparation and materials

  • Familiarize yourself with the story of the Good Samaritan (Luke 10.25-37).
  • Actions could be mimed by some children as the story is told so you may need to prepare the children in advance. You will need to take particular care with the 'mugging', perhaps preparing a slow-motion version or presenting the fight as series of controlled still pictures.
  • For more on using drama in assemblies see our Resources section.


  1. Ask if anyone has heard the expression 'to walk by on the other side'. Explain that it is used where people ignore someone in need.

    Point out that this saying comes from a story that Jesus told about a man who was in need but ignored by the people who should have cared for him. He was looked after by someone everyone despised, just because he belonged to a certain group of people.

    The man who cared was a Samaritan. Samaritans were not liked or trusted by the Jews of Jesus' day. You might feel it appropriate to have a short discussion about who might represent these people who were not liked or trusted in our society today. If this is too sensitive or difficult you could refer to some historical parallel that the children will know from their work, such as Germans living in Britain in World War II.

  2. Tell the story of the Good Samaritan (possibly with mimed actions).

  3. Invite the children to think about how this could apply in school. Tell the following story.

    One day a new boy called Carlos came to school. He was from another country. He spoke English with an accent and sometimes mixed up his words. The children were not sure about him as they had never met children from this country before. Some children made some bullying comments about him. Although he took a little while to settle in, he was very good at lots of things, including sports, and soon became a popular child.

    There was also another new boy, called Ian. He was quiet and shy and did not join in with things very easily. At playtimes Ian sat on his own and no one talked to him. He was noticed by the older children, but they walked past and ignored him. He was also noticed by the younger children, but though they spoke to him they didn't play with him.

    However, Carlos noticed Ian, and began to spend time with him at playtimes. They soon found out that they both enjoyed the same Playstation games. Carlos invited Ian round to his house one evening and this was the beginning of a real friendship. Eventually, because of this friendship, Ian began to join in with the playground football and felt he was now enjoying school. He felt at last that he had some friends, thanks to the care of Carlos.

    But why was it Carlos, an 'outsider', another new boy, who became Ian's friend? Why didn't all the other children help him?

Time for reflection

Try to think of people in school who you are not very friendly towards. Perhaps they are often on their own. Think about trying to befriend them, and help them to join in the things you enjoy. You could try to learn something from them.

Dear God,
We know that we are all important to you
and that you know all our needs.
We pray that we will be sensitive to the needs of other people
especially in school, especially today.


'Would you walk by on the other side' (Come and Praise, 70)

Publication date: February 2003   (Vol.5 No.2)    Published by SPCK, London, UK.
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