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To show that beauty is more than skin deep, and that God sees beauty in each of us.

by The Revd Guy Donegan-Cross

Suitable for Whole School (Pri)


To show that beauty is more than skin deep, and that God sees the beauty in each of us.

Preparation and materials

  • You will need a video of Shrek. If you cannot show the actual video, you could refer to the appropriate scene verbally.
  • The words 'Love other people as you love yourself' written on 7 separate cards.
  • A box with a mirror at the bottom. You will need to test this out in advance to check that there is enough light to see yourself when you look into the box. If necessary, cut holes in the sides of the box and cover them with tissue paper to let more light in.


  1. Show, or talk about, the scene in the film Shrek where Shrek keeps rejecting the donkey's offer of friendship when they first meet, believing himself to be ugly. (It's at 14 min 12 secs: 'Why are you following me?', to the arrival at Shrek's home - about a minute and a half long.)

    Ask the children:

    What does Shrek think of himself?
    Why does Shrek keep telling the donkey to go away?
    Why does the donkey like Shrek?

  2. Say that beauty is more about what is on the inside than what is on the outside. Show the box. Say that inside the box is something of great beauty. Invite a few children to look in the box - they will see themselves in the mirror. Take out the mirror and show it to all the children. Say that what they can see is something of real beauty to God.

  3. Give seven volunteers a word each from the phrase, 'Love other people as you love yourself', in random order. Say that Jesus said some really important things, and one of the most important was what is on these cards. Ask the children to arrange themselves into a sentence, guiding them towards standing in the right order, and then read out the sentence.

    Ask the children: How can you love other people if you don't love yourself? Shrek didn't love himself, and so he couldn't love other people. But God wants you to know that you are beautiful inside and out. He wants you to love what he has made - you, because to him you are beautiful.

Time for reflection

In a time of quiet, ask the children quietly to thank God that he sees them as beautiful.

Dear God,
You see each one of us
inside and out.
You know how we are beautiful.
Teach us to bring out
the beauty in each other.


'God who made the earth' (Come and Praise, 10)

Publication date: September 2003   (Vol.5 No.9)    Published by SPCK, London, UK.
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