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Growing and Changing

Children individual gifts and potential

by An assembly from the Culham St Gabriel archive

Suitable for Whole School (Pri)

Aims

To help children realize and be proud of their achievements.

Preparation and materials

  • You will need the poem 'The end' from Now We Are Six by A.A. Milne, which can also be found online at: www.poemhunter.com/poem/the-end-2
  • You will also need large pieces of paper, some pens and a wall or board to display the pieces of paper so all can see them.
  • Have available the passage Matthew 19.13–15, when Jesus didn’t want the children to be sent away, but wanted to see them.

Assembly

1. Read the poem 'The end' from Now We Are Six by A.A. Milne.

2. Make a large number line display, starting at 0 and ending with the age of the oldest child present, writing one number at the top of each piece of paper. Beneath each number, make lists of the things children can do at each age. For example, 0 breathe, 1 walk, 2 feed self, 3 start preschool, 4 start school, 5 ride a bike, 6 swim, 7 tie own shoelaces. Call this an achievement timeline.

3. Encourage sensitivity to answers suggested by other children and explain that children develop and are able to do things at different ages, but we are just gathering some ideas here.

Focus on how amazing it is that there are all these things children can do when they are so young, particularly when we think of how little babies can do when they are born.

4. No wonder Jesus cared so much about children. It's very easy to think that adults generally aren't impressed with what children can do or they are too busy with their own lives to notice, but let us remember how Jesus felt when his friends tried to stop children seeing him, saying he was too busy to. Read the passage Matthew 19.13–15 about Jesus and the children.

Time for reflection

Prayer

Dear God,
We thank you for all the wonderful things we can already do and for those things we are learning to do.
Help us to keep trying when we find things hard and live our lives in a way that will make you and our families proud of us and happy.
Amen.

Follow-up activity

1. Encourage the children to think about the most amazing thing they can do and how special it is that someone of their age can do it. Share some examples from the Bible of amazing things that children did:

– 1 Samuel 3: God called Samuel as a child to do special work for him

– 2 Kings 22: Josiah became a king at the age of eight and, even as a child, he repaired God's temple and encouraged people to live their lives following God's rules

– 1 Samuel 17: David was only a child when he faced Goliath, but he trusted God and did the right thing, overcoming someone who was in the wrong.

2. Read the last verse of the song 'There are hundreds of sparrows' (Come and Praise, 15). Some children find it hard to acknowledge their strengths, but encourage all the children to think of one reason for God wanting to love and know them individually. If possible, extend the exploration of ideas into a group discussion of what characteristics are desirable in people/children. Can they work towards acquiring the characteristics that they feel they don't currently have?

3. Remind the children of the 'achievement timeline' they made in the assembly. Childhood is a time of real change. Encourage the children to make their own individual timelines based on past, present and future. In each of the first two sections, have them record a special achievement of theirs, recently and when they were younger. Then have them think of one thing they hope to do in the future and consider how that reflects the sort of person they want to be. 

Hymn

'There are hundreds of sparrows' (Come and Praise, 15)

'Lord, I love to stamp and shout' (Someone's Singing Lord, 2)

Publication date: April 2015   (Vol.17 No.4)    Published by SPCK, London, UK.
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