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Pause for Thought: A Door of Opportunity

Make the most of every opportunity!

by Rebecca Parkinson (revised, originally published in 2012)

Suitable for Whole School (Pri)


To consider the importance of taking opportunities when they arise.

Preparation and materials


  1. Explain to the children that in a moment, you are going to show them some pictures. All of the pictures show the same type of thing. Before you show the pictures, you want the children to guess what type of thing the pictures are going to show.

    Give clues to indicate that the pictures are all of different doors. For example:

    – I can see three (change as appropriate) of these from where I am standing
    – the things I am thinking of are usually made from wood
    [teacher’s name] is sitting near one

  2. Explain to the children that the doors that they are going to see are rather mysterious.

    Show Slides 1 to 5 in turn.

    When you show each door, ask the children to describe what they might find behind it. Explain that there are no correct answers; you simply want them to be as imaginative as possible.

    Listen to a range of responses for each door.

  3. Explain that most of the doors that we pass through are familiar to us. We know what to expect when we go through our classroom door, our front door or our bedroom door.

    However, there is another type of door that we will all experience throughout our lives: a door of opportunity.

  4. Ask the children whether they know what a door of opportunity might be.

    Explain that we all get opportunities to try new things.

    – Perhaps we are starting a new school year and have the opportunity to get to know a new teacher.
    – Perhaps we have the chance to try a new sport, skill or activity.
    – Perhaps we have the opportunity to meet new people and make new friends.

  5. Explain that each new opportunity is like a door. We can choose to keep the door shut and not walk forward through it; we can choose not to take the opportunity given to us.

    Alternatively, we can say yes to the opportunity. Saying yes is like opening a door and passing through to experience whatever the new opportunity has to offer.

    Sometimes, what we find on the other side may be difficult and we may decide that we don’t like it. However, at least we have had a new experience to take with us into the rest of our lives.

  6. Point out that this coming year will be full of new opportunities. Encourage the children to take the opportunities that come their way and try lots of new things.

Time for reflection

Ask the children, ‘Can you remember a time when you did something new?’

It may have been their first day at school, their first swimming lesson or the first time they tried to ride a bike without stabilizers.

Ask the children, ‘How did you feel?’

They probably felt a bit worried. Trying new things takes courage; we have to be brave enough to step forward and have a go even though we aren’t certain what will happen.

Encourage the children to decide to try one thing this week that they have never done before. (You could encourage the children to come to tell you if they manage it!)

Dear God,
Thank you for all the opportunities that we have in this world.
Please help us always to have the courage to try new things
And to take the opportunities that come our way.


‘A whole new world’ from the film Aladdin, available at: (3.09 minutes long)

Publication date: August 2021   (Vol.23 No.8)    Published by SPCK, London, UK.
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