Who am I?
An assembly from the Culham St Gabriel archive
Suitable for Whole School (Pri)
To explore the fact that we are both the same and unique.
Preparation and materials
- Gather a group of six to ten children from the school community who share the same first name. Prepare them to answer the question 'Who are you?' with one word - their first name.
- You will need a mirror, concealing it in a bag or box so that it can be handed round and the children will not know what it is.
- Choose some quiet music and have the means to play it at the end of the assembly.
- Before the assembly starts, seat your group of children who share the same first name at the front.
- Ask each child in your group in turn the same question: 'Who are you?' Each child will answer by giving his or her first name.
Suggest that, as all the children share the same name, they must all be the same. Ask the rest of the children if these children are, in fact, all the same. They will say, 'No'.
- Speak to each of the children in the group in turn, saying, 'You are called . . . the same as these other children sitting with you here and everyone else out there who shares that name. Can you tell us something about yourself that makes you different from all the other children who share your name?'
Try to draw out answers that will establish these children are the same, but different.
- Explain to the children in the group at the front with the same name that you are going to show them something special, then ask each one to look in the mirror, concealing it from the other children.
After they have all looked into the mirror, say, 'I think you saw something very special just now, didn't you? At the end of our assembly, perhaps we should let everyone see this?'
Time for reflection
Let the children know that next you are all going to sing a hymn, but ask them to think about the words as they sing them. Each verse talks about some things that are the same but also different - sparrows, flowers, planets, children. Sing the hymn 'God knows me'.
Suggest to the children that, before they all have a chance to see something special, you would like them to sit quietly and listen to the words of the last verse of the hymn they've just sung:
There are hundreds of children, thousands, millions,
And yet their names are written on God's memory,
There are hundreds and thousands, millions of children,
But God knows every one and God knows me.
After a few moments of silence, play the chosen piece of quiet music and ask the children to file out to make their way back to their classrooms. As they leave, invite them to see the something special you promised by giving each child the opportunity to look in the mirror to see for themselves that each of them is unique.
'God knows me' (Come and Praise, 15)
- The children could make self-portraits to explore further this idea of how they are both the same and unique.
- The children could write poems beginning with the sentence, 'I look in the mirror and what do I see?'
- At circle time, each child could be asked to say what is special about the person sitting next to him or her.
- Ideas of specialness - how everyone is created with their own gifts, physical characteristics, likes, dislikes and so on - could be explored in RE.