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How Do You Feel?

Our feelings often depend on our circumstances

by Rebecca Parkinson (revised, originally published in 2010)

Suitable for Whole School (Pri)

Aims

To encourage us to see that our feelings can be affected by changes around us.

Preparation and materials

  • Optional: you may want to show images of the different seasons.

Assembly

  1. Explain that you are going to describe four scenes. Explain that you will pause at different points to ask the children to explain how they think they would feel in that situation.

    Scene 1
    You wake up early one Saturday morning and can feel a chill in the air. You snuggle further down in your bed and pull your duvet up round your face and ears.

    Pause and ask the children how they would feel.

    Suddenly, you hear a shout from another room. ‘It’s snowing!’ You leap out of bed and dash to the window. Outside, the ground is a brilliant white and snow is falling from the sky.

    Pause and ask the children how they would feel.

    You pull on your clothes and run outside. All morning, you build snowmen and throw snowballs with your friends. At lunchtime, you go inside to eat. Your fingers and toes tingle as they thaw out. You place your chilly hands round a warm drink and snuggle down on the settee. The Christmas lights are glowing on the tree, cards are hanging on the walls and a few presents are underneath the tree.

    Pause and ask the children how they would feel.

  2. Scene 2
    The weather has become warmer, so you’ve been taken out with your family for a drive and a walk. You don’t really like walks very much and didn’t want to go.

    Pause and ask the children how they would feel.

    As you walk through the countryside, you look over a fence and see some new lambs skipping around in a field. You stand and watch them for a while and realize that the sun is quite warm on your back. As you continue to walk, you notice that there are little buds on the trees and bushes. You look at the ground and see that shoots are appearing and some early flowers are beginning to blossom.

    Pause and ask the children how they would feel.

  3. Scene 3
    You are about to go on holiday to the seaside.

    Pause and ask the children how they would feel.

    The journey should take about two hours, but after only half an hour, you get stuck in a huge traffic jam. You’ve not managed to drive any further forward for ages. You’ve eaten the entire picnic and have run out of things to do.

    Pause and ask the children how they would feel.

    The traffic eventually begins to move and one and a half hours later, you spot the sea! You watch out for the caravan site where you’re staying. When you find the caravan, you quickly unpack the car and then race down to the beach, which is only a short walk away. You run and dive in the water. It’s beautifully warm.

    Pause and ask the children how they would feel.

  4. Scene 4
    The summer is over and for weeks, it seems, there has been nothing but rain, rain, rain! You can’t go out to play. You’re stuck inside all the time.

    Pause and ask the children how they would feel.

    At last, it stops raining and you’re allowed to go to the park with your friends. You put on your wellies and jump through the puddles on your way. You arrive at the park and play for a while. Suddenly, the sun comes out from behind a cloud. One of your friends gasps and points upwards. A huge double rainbow has appeared in the sky.

    Pause and ask the children how they would feel.

  5. Ask the children to picture the four scenes you have described. When in the year do they take place? (Answer: in winter, spring, summer and autumn.) Explain that we can be certain that every year, there will be four seasons. The dates may vary slightly and we may get small variations in the weather, but the seasons still continue, along with the life cycles of plants, trees, insects and so on.

    All of us have different feelings about the seasons. Some of us love the winter; others prefer summer, spring or autumn. Some seasons of the year may make us feel sad; others make us feel happy. This isn’t wrong – it’s just the way we’re made.

  6. Just as the seasons change, so in our lives there are changes. We may move school, have a new teacher, someone close to us may die, our family may separate, we may have a new baby in the family or move house.

    You may want to ask the children for their own ideas about things that change.

    All of these changes can make us feel many different emotions. These feelings are not wrong; they are totally normal.

  7. Explain that it’s important for us to learn to understand how we feel and also how other people are feeling. If we do this, we will be able to work together with others to make the school, our homes and the world better and happier places.

Time for reflection

How do you feel right now?

Some of you may feel happy. Some of you may feel sad or angry. Some of you may be lonely or puzzled.

Maybe you need to talk to your teacher or share what you feel like with a friend. Remember that it’s good to share happiness with people, not just sadness. A verse in the Bible says, ‘Rejoice with those who rejoice, weep with those who weep’ (Romans 12.15). Let’s try to do this today.

Prayer
Dear God,
Thank you for giving us feelings.
Please help us to care for those who feel sad today.
Please help us to be friends with people who are lonely.
Please help us to bring peace when people are angry.
Please help us to share joy and laughter.
Amen.

Song/music

‘The prayer of St Francis (Make me a channel of your peace)’ (Come and Praise, 147)

Publication date: February 2017   (Vol.19 No.2)    Published by SPCK, London, UK.
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