Pause for Thought in the Classroom - A Time to Remember
What special memories do we have?
by Gordon Lamont and Rebecca Parkinson (adapted)
Suitable for Whole School (Pri)
To consider the importance of our memories, with particular reference to Remembrance Day.
Preparation and materials
- You will need the PowerPoint slide that accompanies this assembly (A Time to Remember) and the means to display it.
- Have available the YouTube video ‘The day I’ll always remember’ and the means to show it during the assembly. It is 1.17 minutes long and is available at: http://tinyurl.com/qbkaq75
- Ask the children whether they have any favourite memories.
The memories may be happy, scary, sad or exciting, such as holidays, days out, presents received and people they have met.
Give the children time to discuss these memories in pairs or with the whole class.
- Explain that it is good to remember things that have happened. As we get older, memories become more and more special. If possible, share with the children one or two special memories of your own from when you were a child.
- Tell the children that you are going to show them a picture of 20 items. You want the children to look at the items shown for one minute and try to memorize them. At the end of one minute, you will switch off the image and you want the children to list as many of the objects as possible.
Show the PowerPoint slide for one minute and then listen to a range of responses.
- Explain that sometimes, we forget things that have happened in the past, but then something jogs our memories and reminds us of it.
Ask the children whether they have ever visited somewhere and brought back a souvenir. Explain that it can be good to have an object that reminds us of a particular place or happy event.
If possible, show the children an object (or play them a piece of music) that holds a happy memory for you. It may be something that somebody gave you, a photograph, a letter or a souvenir.
- Show the YouTube video ‘The day I’ll always remember’.
Ask the children for their reactions to the video. Ask questions such as, ‘Why did Mr George “cry his heart out” after the attack?’ and ‘Why will he always remember this day?’
Listen to a range of responses.
- Point out that, in his story, Mr George came close to dying, but due to his quick thinking, by covering himself with cabbage leaves, he survived.
Explain that this story is especially meaningful this year because Mr George and people all over the UK and Europe celebrated and remembered VE Day, which took place 75 years ago.
Ask the children whether any of them know what ‘VE’ stands for.
- Explain that Victory in Europe (VE) Day marked the end of the Second World War in Europe. It took place on 8 May 1945, so 2020 marked the seventy-fifth anniversary.
VE Day is another day that many people will never forget because it marked the end of a terrible war in Europe, although the fighting with Japan continued for another three months.
Mr George’s memorable day was one of great danger, followed by relief at still being alive. Point out that this is one type of memorable day, although hopefully no one present will experience such a day!
- Remind the children that Mr George and many like him who have been involved in wars have shown great bravery and resourcefulness. Yet despite the difficult things that they have experienced, they can still be positive and cheerful. Some people, however, find it difficult to adjust to everyday life because of their experiences. The days we remember can affect each of us in different ways.
Time for reflection
Ask the children to think for a moment about a special memory that they have.
Ask them to think about the people involved in that memory and to be thankful for them.
You may wish to use the following prayer.
Thank you for people who have given us special memories,
And for places we have been and things that we have seen
That make us happy when we think of them.
Please help us to do things for other people
That make them smile when they remember what we have done.
‘You’ve got a friend in me’ from the film Toy Story, available at: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CNi02gxTI1M (2.04 minutes long)
‘Memories’ by Maroon 5, covered by One Voice Children’s Choir, available at: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XB6yjGVuzVo (3.41 minutes long)
- Think of a special memory that you have and draw a picture of it.
- Why not test your memory with some fun memory games at: https://parenting.firstcry.com/articles/15-amazing-memory-games-for-kids/ and https://www.learninggamesforkids.com/memory-games.html