Getting along together
by Rebecca Parkinson (originally published in 2010)
Suitable for Whole School (Pri)
To consider the importance of caring for people.
Preparation and materials
- Have available about 20 pieces of paper (ten A4 sheets, cut lengthways) that show ten pairs of things (these can be opposites). For example:
- You will also need about 20 old Christmas or birthday cards that have been cut in half in different ways for the ‘Assembly’, Step 2.
- Before the children enter the room, spread the pieces of paper with the words written on them on the floor at the front.
Ask for two volunteers, and then divide the rest of the children down the middle to make two teams. Explain that when you say ‘Go!’, you want the volunteers to collect two words that form a pair and check with their team as to whether they agree with them. If they do, they should place them at the side in a pair and then select another pair off the floor. The volunteers should continue to do this until all of the words are in pairs.
Count up how many matching pairs each team has.
- Explain that you now want two different volunteers to play another matching game.
Spread out the mixed-up cards on the floor.
The aim is for the volunteers to pair up as many halves as possible and place them at the side in complete cards.
When all the cards are in pairs, add them up to see which team is the winner.
- Explain to the children that, in the same way that the words on the paper went together, and the two halves of the cards matched, we sometimes meet people whom we immediately feel we ‘match’ with. We find them easy to be around. We can immediately laugh with them, feel comfortable with them, talk to them and find it easy to become their friend.
There are other people who are more difficult to be around. Maybe they are very shy; maybe they are too noisy! Maybe they are sometimes naughty; maybe too good!
- In the Bible, Jesus teaches us how we should treat people who are unpopular or difficult to get along with. Jesus often spent time with people who were disliked or distrusted by those around them. Three examples are:
- Zacchaeus, a tax collector, who stole from people
- Simon, one of Jesus’ disciples, who was a zealot (people described as zealots in biblical times were often involved in violent action against the Roman authorities)
- Matthew, another of Jesus’ disciples, who was a tax collector (tax collectors tended to be very unpopular in biblical times)
- Jesus provides a great example for us to follow. Like him, we should make an effort to get along with people whom we find it more difficult to like. We should remember that everyone is special in some way . . . it just takes a while longer to see the good in some people!
Time for reflection
Is there someone whom you find it difficult to like? Why not make a decision to try to talk to them today and look for something good about them? You may be surprised by how much you like them when you make an effort to be with them.
Thank you that we are all special to you.
Thank you that you made us all different.
Please help us to look for the good in those around us.
Please help us to look beyond our circle of friends
to see those who may be on their own, lonely and needing someone to talk to.
‘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)
- You may wish to try making some friendship bracelets. There is a great tutorial for various designs available at: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=u5knLsLjlaE (4.08 minutes long)