Pause for Thought: Who Is My Neighbour?
Being kind and treating people well
by Alexandra Palmer
Suitable for Whole School (Pri)
To use the story of the Good Samaritan to consider the importance of caring for our neighbours.
Preparation and materials
- You will need to be familiar with the story of the Good Samaritan.
- Have available the YouTube video ‘The Good Samaritan’ and the means to show it during the assembly. It is 3.08 minutes long and is available at: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=osfQg4yKtq8
- Optional: you may wish to use the worksheet that accompanies this assembly (Who Is My Neighbour? - Extension Activity) as an extension activity.
- Explain that you want the children to guess the word that you are thinking of. Give clues that will give the answer ‘kind’. For example, ‘I like it when people are like this in the classroom,’ and ‘When people behave like this, it makes others feel good,’ and so on.
- After the children have guessed the word, discuss the meaning of being kind.
- Introduce the video about the Good Samaritan that you are going to show the children.
Explain that while Jesus was on earth, he told stories called parables, which can be described as heavenly stories with an earthly meaning. The story of the Good Samaritan is about a man who gets attacked on the road to Jericho. Let’s see how the story unfolds.
- Show the YouTube video ‘The Good Samaritan’.
Encourage the children to discuss the animation by asking the following questions.
- What did the first two people, the priest and the Levite, do when they saw the injured man? (Answer: they crossed to the other side of the road and continued on their journey.)
- The story doesn’t tell us, but why do you think the priest and the Levite walked on by? (Answers may include suggestions such as they were worried about being attacked by the same robbers, they wanted to reach their destination without delay and they just didn’t care about the man.)
- Did the priest and the Levite have the right attitude? (Answer: No!)
- Why do you think Jesus said that the third person to come by and help the man was a Samaritan? (Answer: to make people think about their attitude towards others. He was making it clear that it doesn’t matter who does or doesn’t like you as long as you’re kind.)
- Tell the children about the saying ‘Don’t judge a book by its cover’. Emphasize that it’s what’s on the inside that is important.
- At the end of the video, Jesus asked who was the attacked man’s neighbour. The answer was that it was the person who had showed love and kindness to the attacked man: the Samaritan.
Encourage the children to discuss the question, ‘Who is my neighbour?’
Ask the children, ‘If we are to show kindness to our neighbours, who are they?’
Listen to a range of responses.
Guide the discussion to the following answers.
- Our neighbours at school: children within our class and in other year groups.
- Our neighbours on our road and in the surrounding community.
- Our neighbours in terms of people in the UK.
- Our neighbours in terms of people living in other countries across the world.
- Ask the children, ‘How can we be kind to our neighbours?’
Listen to a range of responses for all four areas.
Suggestions may include the following.
- We can be kind to our neighbours at school by including others in our games, sharing our things and helping others, especially if they have hurt themselves.
- We can be kind to our neighbours on our road by saying hello to them, baking them a cake or making them a card.
- We can be kind to our neighbours in the UK by making connections with a school in a different part of the country and working together on common problems such as reducing our use of plastic.
- We can be kind to our neighbours in other countries by fundraising if they have experienced problems due to natural events such as earthquakes or severe storms. The school could sponsor a child through charities such as Compassion in order to help them to attend school.
Time for reflection
One of Jesus’ commandments was to love your neighbour as yourself. To love yourself means to take care of the things that you need.
Thinking quietly, what sorts of things do you need to make sure that you live a good, healthy life?
Pause to allow time for thought and discussion.
Thinking quietly, who do you think your neighbours are?
Pause to allow time for thought.
Thinking quietly, what are the best ways to be kind and love your neighbour as yourself?
Pause to allow time for thought.
Thank you for Jesus’ story of the Good Samaritan and the lessons that we can learn from it.
Thank you for all the many neighbours we have at school, where we live, within the UK and around the world.
Thank you for all the different ways in which we can help our neighbours.
Please help us to notice when those around us need help.
‘Our God is a great big God’, available at: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=eaXPXWBcE3I (3 minutes long)
- Using the sheet that accompanies this assembly (Who Is My Neighbour - Extension Activity), help the children to consider who their neighbours are and how they can help them. The children can illustrate four ways in which they can help out.