I Can Be Myself
All different and all special
by Revd Alan M. Barker and Laura Barker (revised, originally published in 2002)
Suitable for Reception / Key Stage 1
To celebrate our God-given individuality.
Preparation and materials
- You will need a collection of teddy bears of contrasting character (imagination needed!). If possible, the teddy bears should be different ages and different sizes.
- Introduce the bears to the children, one by one. Ask the children to describe what they think the bears would be like if they were alive. You may wish to ask the following questions to help them in their descriptions.
- Is this bear big or small?
- Is this bear young or old?
- Is this bear a happy bear or a grumpy bear?
- Is this bear a noisy bear or a quiet bear?
- Is this a bear who likes to be on its own or with others?
- Is this a bear that likes to run and jump or one that prefers to sleep?
- What does this bear like to eat when it goes to the teddy bears’ picnic?
- What does this bear like to wear?
- Can you think of a name for this bear?
- Point out that none of the teddy bears are quite the same. Each one is different. Ask the children to consider which bear they would most like to be friends with and why.
- Invite the children to reflect upon their different choices: some people will prefer one bear and others will prefer a different bear. Like the bears, we are all different. We each look different. We are of various ages and have different birthdays. We like doing different things. We each have our own name.
- Ask the children if they found it difficult to choose just one bear as a favourite. Ask if they would have liked to choose all the bears to be friends with.
- Share the thought that, like the bears, everyone is different, but Christians believe that God chooses to be friends with all of us. Sometimes, Christians use the term ‘children of God’, which means that although we are all different, each one of us is special.
Time for reflection
Invite the children to look round quietly at the people sitting close by as you read out the following prayer.
Thank you for the different ways in which we are each special.
Together, we belong to your family.
Help us to care for one another in the way that you care for us all.
‘He’s got the whole world’ (Come and Praise, 19)