Uses the game Simon Says
by Trevor and Juliet Donnelly (revised, originally published in 2006)
Suitable for Whole School (Pri)
To consider that everyone has imperfections.
Preparation and materials
- You will need to know how to play the game Simon Says.
- Explain that you want to begin the assembly with a game.
Ask the children if they know how to play Simon Says.
Explain the rules: if you say ‘Simon says’, the children should do what you tell them, but if you don’t say ‘Simon says’, they must ignore whatever you tell them to do.
- Have a few practice runs, and then play the game. Examples include standing up, sitting down, running on the spot, stretching up high and curling into a ball.
It is a good idea to allow the excitement to reach a peak, with lots of active jumping instructions, and then make the last five or six instructions gradually less active (fold your arms, touch your nose, put your hands together, blink, close your eyes and open your eyes) to help the children calm down to listen.
- Ask the children, ‘Who thought that the game was fun?’
Then ask, ‘Why was it fun?’
Listen to a range of responses.
Suggest that the game was fun because it wasn’t as easy as the children had thought, and it made them listen and think.
Ask whether the game would have been as much fun if everyone had got it right every time. What would it have been like if everyone had followed every instruction perfectly?
Suggest that if everyone was perfect at Simon Says, there wouldn’t really be a game. Instead, it would just be a lot of people doing exactly the same thing at the same time!
- Explain that it is our imperfections that make life fun and interesting. Life would not be as interesting if everyone was the same and if everybody was perfect.
- None of us are perfect, so we can always improve, learn and get better. Even if we find it difficult, learning and improving helps us to grow. Explain that if we really want to become good at Simon Says, we can practise, and the same is true of schoolwork, sport, art or anything else in life.
- Point out that sometimes, we get things wrong in a game or in life: we do things that we shouldn’t or we are selfish. However, we can practise at being better people, just as we can practise a game. Sometimes, we may need the help of a teacher, parent, carer or friend. When things go wrong, we shouldn’t be too hard on ourselves. We can always try to do better next time.
Time for reflection
Ask the children to close their eyes and think about the things that they would like to be better at: schoolwork, sport, being a good friend . . . whatever they like.
Ask the children how they think that they could improve in these things.
Encourage the children to take steps today to get better at whatever they would most like to improve in.
Please forgive us when we get things wrong.
Please help us to learn from our mistakes.
Please help us to become better, kinder, more loving people.