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Remembrance - an assembly suitable for 11 November

by Gordon and Ronni Lamont

Suitable for Whole School (Pri)

Aims

To help the children understand the importance of remembering, and how our memories shape us as individuals.

Preparation and materials

  • Bring from home a variety of things that carry personal memories for you, e.g. photos of your children if you have them, of you as a child, of parents and family.
  • You may have programmes from events, tickets, photos/mementoes of friends, etc.
  • You will also need a poppy.
  • Curriculum links: History - Britain since the 1930s - The Second World War.
  • Note: This assembly originally appeared in November 1999.

Assembly

  1. Introduce the theme of remembering. Ask the children to close their eyes and remember something that happened yesterday. Ask them to open their eyes, and ask a few to share their simple memories.
  2. Do the same exercise but ask them to think right back as far as they can to a memory from when they were much younger.
  3. After hearing the children's early memories, explain that objects can often help us to remember times, places and people and that sometimes we call these objects mementoes.

    Place your mementoes on a table so that the children can see them. Talk them through as you lay them out.

  4. Pick up the mementoes one by one, and tell a brief story about the person that they remind you of - a little tale that the children can relate to, so they can understand why it is important to you.

  5. Ask the children why we take the sort of photos that you have here – so that we can look back and remember, and be thankful for those events and people that have shaped our lives.

  6. Ask them why we have a poppy here today. Explain that a poppy helps us to remember important things that have happened to other people, those who have died in wars.

Time for reflection

Spend a moment in silence, thinking about those who are important to us, and move that silence into remembrance of those who have died in conflict.

We remember people who have helped us in the past, those we knew and those we didn't know.
Today we think especially of people who have died in wars and fighting.
We take a moment to think of some special people.
Soldiers, sailors, pilots, the police, firefighters and ambulance drivers –
and all who still risk their lives for our safety.
Together we say thank you.
(Together) Thank you.

Song/music

If the children have learnt songs from the wartime such as 'We'll Meet Again', use one of these. Or listen to ‘Nimrod’ from Elgar's Enigma Variations during the Time for reflection and/or as children leave.

Publication date: November 2004   (Vol.6 No.11)    Published by SPCK, London, UK.
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