Being Thankful Every Day
Seeking things to be thankful for
by Manon Parry (revised, originally published in 2010)
Suitable for Key Stage 2
To reflect on how an attitude of thankfulness helps us to feel more able to cope with each day.
Preparation and materials
Have available the following three symbols or images and the means to display them during the assembly:
- a symbol of celebration, such as a champagne cork, available at: https://tinyurl.com/r3n2phd
- a symbol of ordinariness, such as a carrot, available at: http://tinyurl.com/zqdw4o2
- a symbol of sadness, such as a box of tissues, available at: http://tinyurl.com/44sg5gc
You will also need five volunteers for the ‘Time for reflection’ part of the assembly. These could be chosen during the assembly or could have been given time to prepare prior to the assembly.
Ask the children, ‘How are you feeling today?’
Point out that each of them would probably answer that question differently on different days. Some days can be sad, happy or ordinary depending on what’s going on. For example, we feel happy when something nice happens to us, like when we make a new friend, or when it’s the day of the school trip or when we are invited to a party.
Show the champagne cork, or the image of it.
Explain what the symbol is used for, and speak personally if possible. For example, ‘This is the cork from the bottle of champagne that I drank with my family and friends when I . . .’
Ask the children about their own happy days. Encourage them to remember special birthdays or special events in the family, such as weddings, or even when their team wins at football. How do they feel when they wake up on Christmas morning, or on the day of their birthday? What does a happy day feel like?
Show the carrot, or the image of it.
Explain how most days are very ordinary and nothing exciting or sad happens. Ask the children if they like carrots. Ask them if they would pay £50 for this carrot. The obvious answer is that a carrot is not worth that much money even if we do enjoy eating them! Carrots are a very ordinary food.
Show the box of tissues, or the image of it.
Discuss how some days can unfortunately be very sad days, when something bad happens to us or to someone we love.
Explain that even though we might be having an ordinary day or a sad day, there are things that we can do to make ourselves feel better. We can still try to stop and think about things for which we are thankful. If we can do this and remind ourselves about good things in our lives, it can sometimes stop us from feeling as bad. (Clearly, this needs to be handled sensitively at this point depending on the circumstances of the children at the school.)
Time for reflection
Ask the children to think about things for which they are thankful. Ask for five volunteers to come forward to share with the school. Ask each volunteer in turn to share what they are thankful for, and then say a prayer, thanking God for what they have just said.
Thank you, God, for . . . (Repeat this after each child has shared.)
Ask the volunteers to sit down. Ask the children to think quietly about all the good things in their lives.
We thank you for all that’s good in our lives.
We thank you especially for what we remember quietly in our hearts now . . . (silence)
Help us always to be thankful, whether we are happy or sad.
Help us to know that you are with us during ordinary days, good days and bad days.
‘Thank you, Lord’ (Come and Praise, 32)