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What's Inside?

An assembly from the Culham St Gabriel archive

Suitable for Key Stage 1


To look at what is on the outside and what is on the inside and decide what is important.

Preparation and materials

  • You will need an egg, a jack-in-the-box toy and two wrapped presents – one present wrapped beautifully, but containing a torn, worn, old magazine inside a larger box, the other present wrapped badly, but containing an expensive toy or the toy that everyone wants at the moment, also in a box so you can’t tell what it is when it is wrapped.


1. Show the children the egg and the jack-in-the-box toy. Ask them if they can tell you or describe what is inside. Create interest by asking, ‘Are you right?’ and, after, ‘How did you know?’

2. Show the children the two presents. Ask them if, just by looking, they can guess what they contain. Ask them which one they would prefer to receive. Open the presents.

Once the boxes have been opened, ask the children if their views have changed? Ask the children if they could tell from the outside what was inside each present.

3. In what ways are we like these presents? What do people think when they see us? Can they tell from the outside what we are like inside? Are we a good or a bad surprise?

4. Share some ideas about how we can make ourselves attractive on the outside – showing kindness, smiling and so on – and how we can make ourselves into something special on the inside – be honest, kind, thoughtful and so on.

5. Reflect on how it is what is on the inside of a person that really matters. We should worry more about what we are like inside than our appearance – the wrapping.

Time for reflection


Dear Lord,
Help me to be and feel like a good present, inside and out.
Help me to remember to smile so people will want to know me better.
Help me to be a good and happy person inside, kind and gentle, remembering you in all I do.

Ideas for follow-up activities

1. Read the story of David and Goliath in 1 Samuel 17. Explore how, from the outside, David didn't look capable of fighting and defeating Goliath, but he had inner strength and skill – a surprise inside – and he had faith in God, so he did great things.

2. Return to the final thought in the ‘Assembly’. Ask, ‘What is inside us?’ – not biologically, but spiritually, morally and emotionally. Encourage the children to think of, or list, five good things inside them and help them to think of a target, something to work on, to make them feel even more special inside.


‘Give me oil in my lamp, keep me burning' (Come and Praise, 43)

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

Publication date: June 2015   (Vol.17 No.6)    Published by SPCK, London, UK.
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