Pause for thought in the Classroom - Autumn Leaves
How do we feel about changes this autumn?
by Becky May
Suitable for Whole School (Pri)
To explore how we feel about change.
Preparation and materials
- Have available the song ‘Some things never change’ from the film Frozen 2 and the means to play it during the assembly. It is 3.54 minutes long and is available at: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nVW9QOIeqQg
- You will need some colourful autumn leaves.
Alternatively, have available an image of some trees in autumn and the means to display it during the assembly. Examples are available at: https://tinyurl.com/y32lpg2b
- Welcome the children to the assembly and begin by asking how they are feeling today. Does it feel like a particularly autumnal day today? What makes it feel that way?
- Explain that there have been many changes recently. Invite the children to share some of these changes, both at school and at home. Suggestions may include:
- changing class and class teacher
- the classroom layout
- the way we enter and leave school
- new children in our school, and those who have moved on
- Explain that change is a natural, normal part of life. As we grow up, we change and the things around us change, too. Help the children to view this positively, perhaps sharing some of their own positive experiences of change.
Next, help the children to see that recently, we have all encountered a large amount of change that is quite different from our normal experiences. In many cases, we haven’t been able to prepare for it or cope with it in our usual way. We may feel a little unsettled by this.
- Tell the children that you are going to play them a song from the film Frozen 2, which explores how the characters feel about change.
Play the song ‘Some things never change’ from the film Frozen 2, and perhaps invite the children to sing along!
Time for reflection
Show the children the autumn leaves or the image of some trees in autumn.
There is a quotation that goes like this: ‘Autumn leaves show us that it is beautiful to let things go.’ The trees in autumn are a beautiful display of nature, which is created only when the leaves on the trees die.
There is also a famous prayer that goes like this: ‘God, grant me the serenity to accept the things I cannot change, courage to change the things I can, and wisdom to know the difference.’ You may need to explain some of these terms more clearly, as needed.
At this time, there may be many things that we want to hold onto as they were, and perhaps there are things that we can change for the better. I wonder what would happen if we prayed this prayer for ourselves and tried to be courageous in dealing with the change around us, and accepting of the things that we can do nothing about right now. You may want to display the prayer and encourage the children to say it together.
Grant me the serenity to accept the things I cannot change,
Courage to change the things I can,
And wisdom to know the difference.
‘Change matters’ by Fischy Music, available at: https://www.fischytunes.com/video-repo/change-matters/ (3.27 minutes long)
‘Some things never change’ from the film Frozen 2, available at: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nVW9QOIeqQg (3.54 minutes long)
‘Autumn days’, available at: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=w9mvrkQbzgc (2.13 minutes long)
- You may like to create an autumn artefacts table, displaying items that the children have collected or found, such as conkers and brightly coloured leaves.
- You could use the autumn trees as a stimulus for artwork. Perhaps take the sketchbooks outside for children to sketch the trees that they see. They could paint the appropriate colours with watercolours, or use wax crayons to do some leaf-rubbing.