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To encourage an awareness of beauty in the world

by Jan Edmunds

Suitable for Whole School (Pri)


To encourage an awareness of beauty in the world.

Preparation and materials

  • This assembly could be linked to a project or display about colour and the children encouraged to show some of their work. Alternatively, collect some colourful pictures of plants and animals and some black and white photographs. Try to find a picture of a rainbow, or get the children to paint one beforehand. If sunny, a prism could be useful.
  • You could read 'What is Pink?' by Christina Rossetti, and display it on an OHP.
  • A CD or tape of 'What a wonderful world' sung by Louis Armstrong could be used as the children enter.
  • Note: This assembly celebrates colour, so you will need to be sensitive to any children who are colour blind.


  1. Begin by asking the children to think about what the world would be like without any colour. There are so many wonderful colours in the world of nature. Show and talk about the pictures you have collected. If it is a sunny day you could make use of the prism to reflect colours onto the walls.

  2. Show the picture of the rainbow. Talk about the seven colours and teach the children an easy way to remember them: red, orange, yellow, green, blue, indigo and violet. Richard - Of - York - Gave - Battle - In - Vain. Or: Reece - Only - Yells - Give - Back - Ian's - Violin. Say these out loud. You could also challenge the children to make up their own way of remembering the colours - something to do after the assembly.

  3. Read the poem 'What is Pink?'

    What is Pink?
    By Christina Rossetti

    What is pink? a rose is pink
    By the fountain's brink.
    What is red? a poppy's red
    In its barley bed.
    What is blue? the sky is blue
    Where the clouds float thro'.
    What is white? a swan is white
    Sailing in the light.
    What is yellow? pears are yellow,
    Rich and ripe and mellow.
    What is green? the grass is green,
    With small flowers between.
    What is violet? clouds are violet
    In the summer twilight.
    What is orange? why, an orange,
    Just an orange!

  4. Ask the children to think of a colour and, just as the poet has done, think of something that colour conveys to them. If time allows this can be developed into a guessing game: 'I am thinking of something round and grey. We see it in the sky at night. What is it?' Invite the children to think of their own ideas. Remind them that the clues for this game are all found in the colours and they must not name the object. Let the game continue for a short while.

  5. Suggest that when we draw a picture we often begin with a pencil or pen outline. It is not until we add the colour that the picture really comes to life and becomes more attractive. Remind them that sixty years ago we had no colour television, and photographs and films were all in black and white. Before that we were unable to see exactly what people looked like unless there were paintings of them. Show some old black and white photographs if you have some. Bring to their attention that the photos don't show us the colour of people's hair or clothes.

  6. Consider how lucky we are that we can see such beauty in the colours of the seasons. Discuss the colours of spring, summer, autumn and winter.

  7. Other ideas for discussion could be developed: our favourite colours; colours associated with people's work (uniforms); colour used to show warnings, in nature and in our society; colour used in advertising to catch our attention; colour in our classrooms, in our homes and gardens. Some schools will no doubt use colour coding for their reading books. Colour is used in sport for team strips; in racing, jockey silks mean that horse and rider can easily be recognized in the field. One school can be identified from another by the colour of its school uniform. Take away the colour and our world would be a very dull place.

Time for reflection

Dear God,
Let us be thankful for the beauty of the world around us,
for the colourful plants, birds and animals,
for the wonderful textures and patterns in nature
and for the pleasure we get from them every day.


Think of the beauty of the world around us;
of the colourful plants, birds and animals.
Think of the wonderful textures and patterns in nature
and for the pleasure we get from them every day.


'Who put the colours in the rainbow?' (Come and Praise, 12)
'Think of a world without any flowers' (Come and Praise, 17)

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