by Rebecca Parkinson
Suitable for Whole School (Pri)
To look at how each of us has a part to play in making summertime happy for everyone.
Preparation and materials
- You will need a baton used in relay races (any tube will do if you don’t have one) and a daisy chain or a paper chain.
- You might also like to have available the YouTube video Dropped baton, showing athletes dropping the baton in the Olympics, and the means to show it during the assembly (available at: www.youtube.com/watch?v=6asJ2q4XWPs). It is 0.29 minutes long.
1. Explain that you are going to describe two different types of day and you want the children to imagine how they might feel on each of them. Make sure your voice makes the first scenario sound miserable and the second exciting!
2. Begin by describing a cold, wet, dreary day. It is raining so much that you can’t go out to play. For example, ‘When I woke up one Saturday morning, it was still very dark outside. I climbed out of bed, and opened the curtains. Outside it was pouring with rain – it looked miserable. I got my clothes on and went downstairs. My mum was there, looking sad. “We were going to go out today,” she said, “but it’s so wet and dreary that we’ll have to stay here. At least you can do your homework all day!”’
Ask the children how they think they would feel in that situation.
3. Now describe a different day. For example, ‘I woke up one morning and the sun was streaming through my curtains. I leapt out of bed, opened the curtains and threw open the window. Outside the birds were singing and the beautiful scent of a nearby blossom tree wafted towards me. I ran downstairs and out into the garden. It was a beautiful day. “I think we’ll play here for the morning,” Mum called from the kitchen, “then maybe we’ll go to the beach for an ice-cream!”’
Ask the children how they think they would feel on a day like this.
4. Hopefully the children will have described feeling sad and disappointed in response to the first scenario and happy and excited in response to the second.
Point out that the weather can have a big effect on how we feel. Often children love the summer term in school, when they can play on the field and feel warm and happy outside. Explain that ‘happy summers’ are about much more than good weather, however!
5. Ask about eight children to come to the front and then position them at equal distances from each other around the edge of the room.
Give the first child the baton or tube and explain that the eight children are going to run a relay race in slow motion. (If the children are not familiar with what a relay race entails, explain what it is first.)
When the ‘race’ has been completed, explain that each child had to pass the baton on to the next. In the same way, our feelings can be passed on to other people. If we shout at someone, it is likely that that person will feel angry and upset and he or she may well then shout at someone else, that person will then feel angry and pass it on and so on. If we don’t let someone play with us, they could feel upset and may take that feeling out on someone else who would like to play with them. Other people often follow our examples.
6.Explain that, in the same way, we can also pass happiness on to one another. If we are kind to someone, that person is likely to be kind to another person and so on. If we let others play with us, they are likely to follow our example. Even a smile is likely to be passed on as, if we make someone feel happy, that person is likely to make the next person happy and so on.
7. Hold up the daisy chain or paper chain. Explain that many people like to sit and make daisy chains in the summer or paper chains at Christmas. They look beautiful when they are first made, but they are also very fragile. Snap the chain, showing how easily it breaks.
Explain that, in the same way, people’s happiness can be easily broken. People’s feelings can be easily hurt. Point out that sometimes it only takes something little to turn people’s happy summer’s day into a sad one.
8. Challenge the children to think about their actions. Are they passing on happiness to others this summer? Are they thinking about others’ feelings and trying their best to keep people ‘joined together’ in a happy chain rather than a sad one?
Time for reflection
How could you make someone else happy today?
Have you made someone sad recently? Do you need to go to that person and say sorry and put things right?
Remember, we all have our part to play in making each other’s summers happy! There is something very special about making other people happy – it makes us feel great, too!
Thank you for all the people who make me happy.
Thank you for beautiful summer days when we can play outside and feel warm and excited.
Please help me to do my part to make everyone else’s summer happy.
Thank you that I can bring happiness to others in something as simple as a smile.
‘Thank you for the summer morning’ (Come and Praise, 109)