Valuing Our Senses
An assembly from the Culham St Gabriel archive
Suitable for Reception / Key Stage 1 - Church Schools
To consider the value of our senses.
Preparation and materials
You will need to prepare the following birthday party items: a pass-the-parcel present, a bowl of crisps and a cake with some candles on it.
You will also need some blindfolds and some pairs of headphones.
Please note that this assembly is about the five senses of the body. Please be aware of children who have additional needs.
Explain that you are having a pretend birthday party and that you would like a few volunteers to help you. Explain that you are going to do some of the things they might expect to do at a party and you want them to think especially about their senses and how they use them.
Invite the volunteers to sit in a circle. Explain that you are going to take away two of their senses and see if they can tell what is happening at the party. Give each child a blindfold and a pair of headphones. Point out that you are taking away their senses of sight and hearing.
Give the ‘pass the parcel’ present to one child and encourage him or her to play the game. It will not work well because none of the children can see where the present is or hear when the music stops.
Help the children to remove their headphones. Explain that they are going to play a game of ‘pass the parcel’ and you want them to work out how they will know when the parcel arrives at them. This time, they can use their ears.
The children may say the next child’s name or tap them on the arm when it is their turn.
Ask the children to replace their headphones. Offer the bowl of crisps to each child – they will not take any because they will not be able to see what you are offering.
Help the children to remove their headphones. Explain to them that you are going to pass the crisps round again and you want a different volunteer to come forward and work out a way for each child to take one. (The volunteer may simply call out a child’s name and say that the bowl is in front of them or move a child’s hand towards the bowl.)
Ask the children to replace their headphones. Place the cake in front of each child (it is not necessary to light the candles). The children will not attempt to blow out the candles because they will not be able to see that the cake is there.
Help the children to remove their headphones. Explain that you wanted them to blow out the candles, but again, they couldn't carry out the task because they couldn’t use all of their senses.
Discuss how all of our senses work together to enable us to carry out everyday tasks. If one of our senses stops working, we are hindered for a while, but often, our other senses begin to work even better to make up for this. For example, some people who are blind often develop very good hearing.
Ask the children to identify their five senses: sight, hearing, smell, touch and taste.
Time for reflection
Our bodies are amazing! Too often, we forget how amazing we are.
Ask the children to perform a range of tasks that show how wonderful and talented they are. For example, standing on one leg, hopping and smiling.
Explain that, during the prayer, you want the children to listen and think of special things as you pray.
Lord, I am thinking of my favourite thing to eat . . .
and I thank you that I am able to taste things.
I am thinking of the softest thing I have ever felt . . .
and I thank you for my sense of touch.
I am thinking of the sweetest smell I know . . .
and I thank you for my sense of smell.
I am thinking of the sounds that make me feel safe and happy . . .
and I thank you for my sense of hearing.
I am thinking of the people I love to see . . .
and I thank you for my sense of sight.
Thank you, Lord, for my wonderful body and my senses that let me enjoy the world around me.
‘Autumn days’ (Come and Praise, 4)
‘Thank you, Lord’ (Come and Praise, 32)
‘He made me’ (Come and Praise, 18)
Gather examples of things we like to taste, touch and smell, and be thankful for them.
Read about Jesus visiting Mary and Martha (John 12.1-8). Mary and Martha made Jesus and the disciples comfortable and happy by using their senses: they saw them, talked and listened to them and gave them food to eat. Mary also put beautiful-smelling oil on Jesus' feet.
Try to think of times when you use all - or several - of your senses together.