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Backwards to Go Forwards

To challenge the children to do something different and to encourage creativity

by Gordon and Ronni Lamont

Suitable for Whole School (Pri)


To challenge the children to do something different and to encourage creativity.

Preparation and materials

  • You will need a copy of the song book that you normally use in assemblies.


  1. Hold up the song book and ask the children how many songs they think they know - how many would they recognize if they heard the words? Test this out by reading the first line of a few of the better-known songs.

  2. Explain that you're going to make things a bit more difficult now. Choose a song that most children will know and read it backwards. So if, for example, you chose 'Rejoice in the Lord' (Come and Praise, 95), you'd read out: 'rejoice say I again and', etc.

    Continue until the children guess the song.

  3. Have some fun trying out several sets of words in this way and then try singing a song backwards.

  4. When everyone has recovered from this, say that you have a serious point to make. Just because we always do things in one way, it doesn't mean that we have to. Challenge the children to think of something that they could do differently today - could they try to play with a new person, do something different at breaktime, challenge themselves to achieve something new in a particular subject, etc. Ask them to think about this in the reflection below.

Time for reflection

After a pause for thought, use this prayer if appropriate.

Dear God,
You made us to be clever, inventive and creative.
You don't want us to be the same day after day.
Please help us all to do some good in a new way today.


Any of the songs used in the assembly - sung backwards, forwards or both!

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