To consider time and its impact on our lives.
by Jan Edmunds
Suitable for Whole School (Pri)
To consider time and its impact on our lives.
Preparation and materials
- You will need: A personal diary (one where you record meetings, etc., not your personal thoughts), a copy of a famous diary, e.g. The Diary of Anne Frank or The Diary Of An Edwardian Lady by Edith Holden. You could also use children's books that use a diary format.
- You might also like to show different types of 'Date Book' - a physical book, a palm/pocket PC type, a computer (laptop), 'Outlook' type.
- Read through the verse at the end of the assembly; this may need some explanation.
- Begin by asking the children what day it is. And what month it is. With very young children this gives an opportunity to say the days of the week and the months of the year. Ask them: how do we measure time?
- Remind the children that time can seem to go very slowly when we are waiting for something special to happen. We often hear comments like: 'I can't wait for the weekend,' or 'I can wait until after school.' It's usually when something exciting is going to happen, like a birthday party or a special outing.
Ask them if they have heard comments like: 'There isn't time!' 'In a minute!' 'Next time!' or 'I'll do it in a minute!' We're often in such a rush and have so much to do that we don't take time to do things properly. Sometimes this means that someone or something might suffer.
- Suggest that there are some things we really have to find time to do, things like feeding our pets, eating our food, washing ourselves, showing that we care for our family and friends. Sometimes we would rather not have to find the time to do things like homework, cleaning out the rabbit, tidying our bedroom, or taking the dog for a walk when it's pouring with rain. Ask the children to consider what might happen if they didn't do some of these things.
- Remind them that time cannot be repeated. Once it has passed it is gone for ever. It is history. With the passing of time we get older every day.
- Show the children your diary.
Tell them how useful it is. You have written in it the things that need to be remembered, like appointments, meetings, what needs to be done when and reminders of birthdays or anniversaries. Explain the difference between a diary for reminding you when to do things (sometimes called a Date Book), and a diary in which people record their thoughts and impressions about the day.
- There are many famous diaries of the second type that have been kept by people who lived way back in history. Show/talk about some of these, e.g. The Diary of Samuel Pepys and The Diary of Anne Frank, etc. From this kind of book we can discover what life was like at the time the diaries were written. Further discussion could result from this, including about fiction that uses the diary format.
- Point out that we have recorded on film events from as far back as the nineteenth century and now we have vastly improved technology to record the happenings of today - videos, CDs, DVDs, etc. People in the future will be able to look back in time and have a very clear picture of our life today.
- Suggest that it is all too easy to let time slip by. When we are young, time seems to go very slowly. It seems an eternity from one Christmas to another. But as we get older time seems to pass more quickly. We all look forward to those special days, such as birthdays or holidays, and we always remember the happy or the sad moments. But time can easily be wasted and we could end up regretting that we did not use it more wisely. Perhaps we could have given more time to someone or something and now it is too late.
- So remember, don't waste time. It is precious. Think about how you will use your time today, because once it's gone, it's gone! If you organize your time well, perhaps you will 'find the time' to do something special, something you really enjoy.
Time for reflection
One moment in time can see a life begin.
One moment in time can change a life.
One moment in time sees a life end.
One moment can be in the future.
One moment can be in the present
And having passed becomes history.
So much can happen in one moment of time.
We give thanks for all the time we have on this earth.
Let us use it wisely.
Teach us to make more time to help others.
Help us to appreciate that time is very precious
and to make the most of every minute we have left.
'Time is a thing' (Come and Praise, 104)
Publication date: May 2004 (Vol.6 No.5) Published by SPCK, London, UK.