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Pause for Thought: Life Has Ups and Downs

Friends are so important

by Charmian Roberts (video recording by Vita)

Suitable for Whole School (Pri)


To consider the importance of friendship.

Preparation and materials

  • If possible, before the assembly, think of a holiday that you’ve been on when good and bad things happened that you can share with the children.
  • You will need to have the means available to play the video below. It is 1.25 minutes long.
  • The Big Bible Story Book is available from:


Ask the children to think about a holiday that they’ve been on. Ask them whether they can remember any good and bad things that happened on that holiday.

If possible, share some good and bad things that happened to you on a holiday once. For example, you could say something like, ‘I was supposed to be going to Spain, but I missed my flight. I managed to get there in the end, though, and stayed in a lovely hotel, but later that week, a jellyfish stung me.

Point out that we often prefer to think and talk about good things that happen, but life always contains both good and bad things.

Show the video of the story of Naomi and Ruth.

Time for reflection

Recap the good and bad things that happened to Naomi in the story.

Explain that sometimes, sad things happen in our world and in our lives. At those times, it is really important to see that people care for us.

Remind the children that in the story, Naomi was sad, but Ruth cheered her up by remaining her friend. Ask the children whether they can think of any people who might be sad at the moment. Maybe there are people living nearby who are lonely. Encourage the children to do something to cheer someone else up. This could be by writing a card to someone or making a cheerful picture to go in the window.

Christians believe that God is always with them. In the story of Ruth and Naomi, lots of bad things had happened to Naomi and she could have felt as if God had left her. However, as the story goes on, we discover that there is a happy ending because Ruth sticks by Naomi and is a good friend to her.


‘We’re all in this together’ from the film High School Musical, available at: (4.07 minutes long)

Extension activities

  1. Why not read the story of Ruth and Naomi for yourself? You could read it in the Book of Ruth in the Old Testament part of the Bible, or you may prefer to read a shortened version, which is available at:
  2. If you would prefer to watch the story rather than read it, a video that tells the story of Ruth and Naomi is available at: (9.39 minutes long)
  3. You could try making a chain of people out of paper to show how family and friends can stick together. An example of how to do this is available at: (3.16 minutes long)
Publication date: June 2020   (Vol.22 No.6)    Published by SPCK, London, UK.
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