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Reality School

To consider what it would really be like to be on television all the time!

by Gordon and Ronni Lamont

Suitable for Key Stage 2

Aims

To consider what it would really be like to be on television all the time!

Preparation and materials

  • Think in advance about the most appropriate children to read the statements - you might like to practise with them in advance (just before the assembly would be ideal to keep the secret of what's in the envelopes).
  • You might like to use a flip-chart or OHP to help categorize the responses.
  • Use a microphone as a prop for the interviews or something to represent it, such as mobile phone or a banana.
  • Prepare five envelopes, each containing one of the following statements:

    (1) I loved being on the TV every day, I want to be a model and I've already had someone interested in employing me when I'm older - who needs school? I'm going to be famous. Jodie, aged 11

    (2) At first it was great being on the TV, but then I came into school upset one day because my gerbil had died and I didn't want to talk about it, I just wanted to be left alone. But that night the whole country saw me upset and I didn't like it. Pete, aged 9

    (3) Me and my best mate had a row - we're always arguing and then making up, but this time Tom saw me on the telly that night talking about him and he says he doesn't want to be my friend any more. Mahinda, aged 10

    (4) The cameras have been here for a month now and I've never been on the TV, they just show the loud ones like Jodie. It's just making the big-heads worse - that's what I think anyway. Victoria, aged 11

    (5) Jodie was full of it. Sure, she was going to be famous, but it's a year later now and the TV company won't reply to our letters and the modelling agency said to come back when she's 16. To be honest I think they don't want to know any more now the series is over. Jodie's mum, age: mind your own business!

Assembly

  1. Ask what the children are watching on television at the moment. Discuss the responses, categorizing them into different types of programme: drama, animation, comedy, documentary, news and reality TV (some programmes will be hard to define and might spread across the categories).

  2. Ask who would like to appear on television in a reality TV show? Choose a couple of the respondents and interview them using your 'microphone' (you could also go into 'presenter mode' here and have some fun with the idea). Why would they like to be on TV? What would they get out of it? Can they foresee any problems or difficulties?

  3. Ask the children to imagine that their school has been picked for a special reality TV programme. Cameras and microphones will be installed in every classroom, the hall, the corridors, the playground and fields. Ask them to think for a moment or two about what this would be like; try to imagine this is real, that from now on everything you say and do will be recorded and could be shown to the whole country.

    Ask for a show of hands - who would like to go ahead with the project and let the cameras in? Who would prefer not to go ahead - to carry on as we are?

  4. Interview some children from each side, using your microphone, asking them to explain their views.

  5. Ask the children with envelopes 1 to 4 to stand and read what it says inside their envelope.

    Talk about the comments - has the reality TV project been a good thing for most people? What do they now think are the good and bad things about the idea?

  6. Ask to hear the comment from Jodie (1) again. Do they think she's right to feel so positive and happy about what's happened?

    Ask the person with envelope 5 to read what's inside her envelope.

Time for reflection

We all need time to be ourselves, without the world watching
We all need time to make mistakes, without the world judging
A famous person is just an ordinary person,
but they sometimes can't find the time to be themselves or to make mistakes,
without the world watching.

Song/music

'If I had a hammer' (Come and Praise, 71)

Publication date: May 2004   (Vol.6 No.5)    Published by SPCK, London, UK.
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