Not the Same, but Different
Being different is a great thing
by Rebecca Parkinson (revised, originally published in 2009)
Suitable for Whole School (Pri)
To look at diversity and valuing differences.
Preparation and materials
You will need some flowers of different colours and types.
You will also need pictures of a variety of animals, or a list of animals that volunteers can imitate for the remaining children to guess.
Optional: you may wish to have available a means of recording the children’s answers in the ‘Assembly’, Step 1.
Ask the children to name as many different kinds of flower as they can. You may wish to help the children to record the names of the flowers in some way.
Ask the children to describe some of the flowers on the list.
- What colour are they?
- Do they have a strong smell?
- At what time of year do they grow?
Show the children the flowers that you have brought. Ask them to name the flowers and ask some children to come to the front to describe the features of the flowers.
Show the animal pictures to the children and ask them to describe the differences between the animals.
Alternatively, show individual children an animal name on a slip of paper and ask them to act like the animal for the rest of the children to guess.
Explain that Christians believe that, when God made the world, he didn’t just make one type of flower or one animal. He didn’t make every plant the same shade of green or give every animal four legs to walk on. He made a world full of colour and variety. A world full of interest, where there is always so much more to find out about and enjoy!
Explain to the children that, just as God loves variety in nature, he also loves variety in us. He didn’t make us all the same and he doesn’t want us all to be the same.
Encourage the children to realize and accept that it is fantastic to be different from other people.
Time for reflection
In the quietness, pause for a moment and think about yourself. Is there something about you that makes you different from other people? What do you enjoy doing most? What are you good at? Take a moment to realize that you are special just the way you are.
Thank you that I am special.
Thank you that our world is full of variety.
Thank you for beautiful flowers and for animals that are so different from one another.
Please help us to realize that we don’t need to be the same as other people, but that we can be proud of who we are.
‘God knows me’ (Come and Praise, 15)
'A wiggly, waggly worm’ (Kidsource (Kevin Mayhew), 16, 2002 edition)