To encourage children to think about how they speak to each other
by The Revd Canon Paul Williams and the Revd Catherine Williams
Suitable for Whole School (Pri)
To encourage children to think about how they speak to each other.
Preparation and materials
- You will need: two cans of aerosol 'squirty' cream; two kitchen rolls; a whistle; two school benches (optional).
- Note: There is the potential for some mess in this assembly but the results in school have been wonderful - it's an assembly children will remember!
- Tell the children that you are going to hold a race today and you need four volunteers. It's probably best to have older children for this.
- Give two children the cans of 'squirty' cream, and the other two the kitchen rolls. Line up the two benches side by side (or use the stage so that all can see).
Explain that when you blow the whistle you want each team to squirt a line of cream onto the kitchen roll. One child in each team will unroll the kitchen roll along the bench while the other squirts a long line of cream. The team with the longest cream line when you blow the whistle again for the end of the race time is the winner.
- Hold the race, encouraging the audience to cheer on the participants. Declare and celebrate the winners.
- Say that the race isn't yet over, because there's a second round. What they have to do now, when you blow the whistle, is get the cream back into the can. Try to do this and the children will soon discover that it's impossible - some of the cream may have already dissolved, and you can't put something back into a pressurized can once it's come out. If appropriate you could make a science point by explaining how the cream has expanded.
- Say that the cream is rather like the words we use to each other. Sometimes we squirt out things very fast without thinking and we can say very hurtful, damaging or unkind things. Once the words are said the damage is done and it's often impossible to 'unsay' hurtful things.
- Explain that the Bible says that we should be careful to control our tongues, and the things that we say, and that we should use our voices for good.
We use our tongues to praise our God, but then we curse people whom God has made. Praises and curses come from the same mouth. This shouldn't happen (see James 3.9-10).
Say that we all make mistakes, but we can always say sorry. God will forgive us, and we can forgive each other too. But it is better not to say hurtful things to each other in the first place. So we should try really hard to say good things about each other. Suggest that the children try to say something really nice to someone today.
Time for reflection
We're really sorry for the times we've said hurtful things to each other.
Help us to say good things to one another,
and to use our words for kindness.
'Give me joy in my heart' (Come and Praise, 43)