Exploring the advantages of working together
by Kirk Hayles
Suitable for Whole School (Pri)
To explore the idea of teamwork and the advantages of working together.
Preparation and materials
- You will need two plastic hoops, two chairs and some pieces of fruit.
- Note: Care is needed as this assembly involves some running games against the clock and there is also a danger of tripping over the hoop (see below).
- Introduce teamworking as the theme of the assembly and invite two children to come to the front. Place a hoop in front of each of them and ask each of them to stand in their hoop.
- Place a piece of fruit on each of two chairs - one on either side of the hall. Tell the two children that whichever one of them picks up their hoop and runs (while inside the hoop, holding it around their waist) and fetches the piece of fruit closest to them (one runs left and other right) and gets back to you first, gets to keep it and eat it.
Tell the children that they have no more than 10 seconds to complete the challenge (which should take no longer than about 5 seconds), and say 'go!' The children both dash for the fruit and the first one back wins - encourage lots of applause. The other child is sent back to their seat empty-handed.
- Replenish the fruit on each chair. Ask for two more volunteers.
This time remove one of the hoops and get both children to stand in the one hoop (aim for two equally sized children with approximately the same strength!). Explain that the rules are the same - they have no more than 10 seconds to complete the challenge - and say 'go!' The children will try to go in opposite directions, pulling against each other, and end up running out of time - so neither one of them wins the fruit. Both are sent away empty-handed.
See the safety advice above and be prepared to intervene if necessary.
- Ask the children to think how the two volunteers could have worked as a team to achieve a better outcome for both of them. Then invite two more volunteers to come up and see if they can do better, show how it should have been done. Still giving the two only 10 seconds to complete the challenge, set the children going.
This time hopefully the two children will get the idea that they can both win if TOGETHER they go for the fruit one piece at a time, running first to one side and then to the other (if you do not think your volunteers have got the idea you could always whisper some instructions). The children complete the challenge within the time limit and BOTH win a piece of fruit.
Time for reflection
There are many opportunities here to relate the assembly to everyday life. Think about the teams we are in - our family, our friends, our class, our school. What are the qualities of 'team players'? Who else is on our team? God is always on our team!
There are many Bible stories that could be related to this theme: Noah building the Ark with his team; David working with and trusting God that he could slay the giant; Daniel in the lions' den believing that God was on his side, so he survived without being eaten.
Help us to work together as a team.
Help us to remember that sometimes we need our friends
to help us to do things better.
May we not be afraid to ask for help.
Please help us to realize that even when we feel alone
you are always on our team.
'Cross over the road' (Come and Praise, 70)