Little Eyes Are Watching
Who will copy you?
by Janice Ross (revised, originally published in 2007)
Suitable for Whole School (Pri)
To consider how new Reception children will copy older children’s behaviour and attitudes.
Preparation and materials
Have available the poem, ‘Little eyes upon you’, and the means to display it during the assembly. The original version is available at: https://tinyurl.com/75mbrrp, or you can display the adapted version that is used in the ‘Assembly’, Step 7.
You will also need the following statements printed on cards to be held up at the front.
- Little ones watch you.
- Little ones listen to you.
- Little ones do what you do.
- Little ones trust you.
- Little ones want to be like you.
Ask for a few volunteers to play a game of Simon Says. Alternatively, play the game with all of the children.
Explain that what makes the game quite difficult is that it is easier to copy actions first rather than necessarily listening to instructions. We see people put their hands on their heads and we immediately do the same without listening for the magic words, ‘Simon says’.
We all find it easy to copy someone else. How many times have teachers heard a child say, ‘But so-and-so did it first’? How many times have adults pointed out that we’ve got to learn to think for ourselves and not always copy what others are doing?
In the Bible, people are often described as being like sheep. Sheep always follow each other. One takes off up the field and they all follow. One jumps over a fence and they all jump over a fence. They don’t think about whether an action is safe or dangerous.
Many of us know all about this because we have little brothers and sisters.
Ask for a show of hands of children who have younger siblings.
Now, ask for a show of hands of those whose siblings copy them. That is quite a responsibility. If our siblings learn to say ‘please’ and ‘thank you’ or to use a knife and fork through copying us, that is wonderful. It is not so good if they come out with words like ‘stupid’ or pull unusual faces. Sometimes, parents wonder where their children learned to do that. Most of the time, they can guess!
- Tell the children that we have some new, young children coming to join our school family. Everything is very new to them, so guess who they are going to watch . . . and copy? Sometimes, they are too young to think through whether something is right or wrong. They see a bigger child whom they admire doing it, so they copy that person.
Read through the poem, ‘Little eyes upon you’.
There are little eyes upon you
and they’re watching night and day.
There are little ears that quickly
take in every word you say.
There are little hands all eager
to do anything you do;
And little ones who’re dreaming
of the day they’ll be like you.
You’re the little child’s idol,
you’re the wisest of the wise.
When the little ones see you
no suspicions ever rise.
They believe in you devoutly,
hold all you say and do;
They will say and do, in your way,
when they’re grown up like you.
(Author unknown, adapted)
Ask five volunteers to come forward to hold up the statements printed on cards.
Ask the children if they can match up the statements with parts of the poem. For example, which bit of the poem tells us that ‘Little ones listen to you’? If possible, you could stick the statements on the poem as appropriate.
Time for reflection
Take a moment to think about older children and adults in your life who have set a good example to you by their behaviour and attitudes.
Think about the example you would like to set for these little ones to copy.
Thank you for our school and for what we learn here.
Thank you for the many children and adults who are trying to show us the right way to live.
Help us all to be a good example, especially to those younger than us.
‘I am planting my feet’ (Come and Praise, 103)