Pause for Thought: The Sun Is Shining!
Bringing warmth and light to other people
by Rebecca Parkinson (revised, originally published in 2011)
Suitable for Whole School (Pri)
To encourage us to think about the Sun’s effect on Earth and see how we too can bring light and warmth to others.
Preparation and materials
- You will need the PowerPoint slides that accompany this assembly (Pause for Thought: The Sun Is Shining) and the means to display them.
Alternatively, you may wish to write the following statements on cards for the children to read out loud. In this case, you will also need an image of the Sun and the means to display it. An example is available at: https://tinyurl.com/a7sktryw
– The Sun is actually a star.
– The Sun is the nearest star to Earth – that’s why it looks so big!
– The Sun is a ball of burning gas.
– It takes about eight minutes for light to travel from the Sun to Earth.
– The Sun is the largest object in our solar system.
– The Sun is so big that Earth could fit inside it more than a million times!
– You should never look directly at the Sun.
– You should wear sunscreen to protect you from the Sun.
– Without the Sun, Earth would have no heat or light, so nothing would be able to live on it.
- Have available the song ‘You are my sunshine’ and the means to play it during the assembly. It is 2.42 minutes long and is available at: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1moWxHdTkT0
- Ask for several volunteers to come to the front to draw the Sun. (Children will probably draw a yellow circle with straight lines going out from it.)
Explain that, although we often draw the Sun in this way, it actually looks very different.
Show Slide 1.
- Ask the children what they know about the Sun.
Listen to a range of responses.
- Show Slides 2-10 and read out the text on each slide in turn. Alternatively, give out the information cards to the volunteers for them to read out loud.
- Slide 2: The Sun is actually a star.
- Slide 3: The Sun is the nearest star to Earth – that’s why it looks so big!
- Slide 4: The Sun is a ball of burning gas.
- Slide 5: It takes about eight minutes for light to travel from the Sun to Earth.
- Slide 6: The Sun is the largest object in our solar system.
- Slide 7: The Sun is so big that Earth could fit inside it more than a million times!
- Slide 8: You should never look directly at the Sun.
- Slide 9: You should wear sunscreen to protect you from the Sun.
- Slide 10: Without the Sun, Earth would have no heat or light, so nothing would be able to live on it.
- Emphasize the last point: if there was no Sun, the plants would not grow . . . so the animals would have nothing to eat . . . so we would have nothing to eat because we eat meat and plants. Emphasize too that all of us need to be kept warm otherwise we wouldn’t be able to stay alive. Without the Sun, Earth would be very cold indeed.
- Play the first part of the song ‘You are my sunshine’.
Alternatively, read the chorus of the song:
You are my sunshine, my only sunshine,
You make me happy when skies are grey.
You’ll never know, dear, how much I love you.
Please don’t take my sunshine away.
- Ask the children to think about why a person could be called someone’s ‘sunshine’.
Next, ask the children if they have ever been outside when the Sun has suddenly appeared from behind a cloud. How did they feel?
Listen to a range of responses.
- Explain that, just like the Sun brings light and warmth to us, we as people can do the same for those around us. By showing people that we care, by treating them with respect, by listening to them and encouraging them, we can make people feel happy.
- Sometimes, people can feel sad, as if a dark cloud is blocking out the sunshine in their lives. By our actions, we can help move that cloud and bring light in the form of happiness to them.
- Remind the children that even a smile can bring sunshine in the form of happiness to someone else!
Time for reflection
Ask the children to think about the people seated around them. How could they make them happy?
Ask the children to think about the people in their families. How could they be like sunshine to them?
Ask the children to think about the people in school. What could they do to bring warmth and light to them today?
Remind the children that sometimes, we all feel sad. Remind them that if they feel that way, there are people around them who are there to listen to them and help in any way they can.
Thank you that we can all make a difference to the people we meet every day.
Thank you that, through our generosity and kindness, we can make a difference to the lives of people who live far away.
Please help us to be people who always think about others and help us to bring light and warmth into people’s lives.
You may wish to play the song ‘You are my sunshine’ again as the children leave.