Pause for thought in the Classroom: Changes Matter
Changes affect our lives
by Manon Ceridwen James (revised, originally published in 2012)
Suitable for Whole School (Pri)
To consider how changes and new experiences affect us.
Preparation and materials
- You will need three pairs of old and new objects that you own:
– one pair should show that the new version is clearly an improvement on the old
- one pair should show that the old version and the new one are about the same
- one pair should show that the new version hasn’t improved on the old one
It doesn’t matter what objects you use: they could be clothes, books, phones, ornaments or pictures. They just have to be things that you own and can speak personally about.
- For Church schools, as appropriate, print out the following verse and have it available to read out during the assembly: ‘Jesus is the same yesterday and today and forever.’ (Hebrews 13.8)
- Talk to the children about the new school year and the changes that have occurred in school since last year.
Discuss how the children feel about the changes - do they seem exciting, scary, fun, unwanted . . .?
- Tell the children that you have brought with you some things to show them.
Show the pair of items that demonstrate that the new version is clearly an improvement on the old. For example, you may wish to show an old mobile phone and your current one.
Discuss with the children how sometimes, the new thing is so much better than the old. For example, your new phone can do so much more than the old phone and it looks far nicer!
- Show the pair of items where the old and new versions are similar and both desirable. For example, you may wish to show an old pair of trousers and a new pair, both of which you like and wear.
Explain how you can like something that’s old and still want to use it. Whatever you have brought, you may want to discuss further with the children which one they like best. For example, you could say something like, ‘I like the new trousers because they are more colourful.’
- Show the final pair of items where the old version is your favourite. For example, you may wish to show two recipe books: one brand-new and the other well-thumbed and a bit battered.
Explore with the children how you have tried the new version, but you still keep going back to the old one because it’s your favourite.
- Discuss how sometimes, a new thing isn’t as good as an old one. New experiences and changes can be like that: fun and exciting or scary and nerve-wracking or maybe all of those feelings together. We can feel sad when something changes, even when it’s something good.
- Discuss how change is a normal part of life and makes us feel different things. Sometimes, a change is all good or all bad, but normally, it is a mixture of these feelings. For something good to happen, sometimes, we have to leave something behind. For example, it’s great growing up and going into a new class or making new friends. However, that doesn’t mean that we don’t miss our old friends or our old teacher and we don’t feel a little bit sad or a mixture of happy and sad about it.
Time for reflection
The coronavirus pandemic has caused many things to change. This might have made us sad because we missed our friends and families, and we missed school and going out. However, maybe now we can think of some good things that came out of being in lockdown.
Discuss some ideas with the children.
Optional: Christians believe that - no matter what else changes - God will never change. A verse in the Bible says, ‘Jesus is the same yesterday and today and forever.’ (Hebrews 13.8)
We thank you for the happy changes.
Help us when we feel sad or mixed-up about something new.
Help us to talk about the way that we feel.
Thank you that you never change.
‘He’s got the whole world in his hands’, available at: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kDBJNQiugnM (1.55 minutes long)