A Range of Emotions
An assembly for Easter
by Alexandra Palmer
Suitable for Whole School (Pri)
To use the story of Peter at Easter to explore our range of emotions.
Preparation and materials
- You will need eight children to act out different emotions in the ‘Assembly’, Step 1. Alternatively, you could act out the emotions yourself.
- Have available the YouTube video ‘Jesus forgives Peter’ and the means to show it during the assembly. It is 5.59 minutes long and is available at: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Ppb9bKX1r7k
- Optional: you may also wish to use the extension activity (A Range of Emotions - Extension Activity) that accompanies this assembly.
- Tell the children that you are going to ask eight of them to act out an emotion and you want the remaining children to guess what emotion it is.
Use the following emotions: excitement, surprise, fear, worry, guilt, anger, sadness and happiness.
- Explain that you are now going to show a video about what happened to Jesus at Easter. It is told from the point of view of Peter, one of Jesus’ disciples, who experienced all of the emotions that have just been demonstrated.
Show the YouTube video ‘Jesus forgives Peter’ (5.59 minutes long).
- Ask the children some questions about the video.
- Question: Peter was a fisherman, not a priest who had studied the Old Testament, so how do you think he felt when Jesus chose him to become one of his disciples?
Answer: Peter would have felt excited and surprised. He would also have felt unworthy, although Jesus could see that Peter was a strong person who would go on to do amazing things.
- Question: How did Peter feel when he saw Jesus’ miracles such as the feeding of the 5,000, calming a storm and walking on water?
Answer: Peter would have felt shocked, amazed and fearful, especially when he tried to join Jesus and walk on water, but started to sink before Jesus saved him.
- Question: During Jesus’ last meal, when Jesus said that it was time to leave the disciples, how did Peter feel?
Answer: Peter didn’t want Jesus to leave them, so he would have felt despair, panic and worry.
- Question: How did Peter feel when Jesus told him that Peter would deny him three times and abandon him to die?
Answer: Peter would have felt determined to prove to Jesus that he would follow him no matter what and that he would never leave him.
- Question: When Jesus was arrested in the Garden of Gethsemane by some guards and Peter cut off one of their ears, how did Peter feel?
Answer: When Jesus was arrested, Peter would have been angry and he would have felt hostile towards another disciple, Judas, who had betrayed Jesus. However, Peter would have been surprised too, because Jesus healed the guard’s ear and went away with them quietly.
- Question: When the cockerel crowed three times and Peter realized that Jesus’ words had come true, how did this make him feel?
Answer: Peter would have felt remorseful, sad and guilty.
- Question: When Jesus died on the cross and was buried in a tomb, how did Peter feel?
Answer: All of Jesus’ followers including Peter would have felt devastated and heartbroken when Jesus died on the cross.
- Question: How did Peter feel three days later when he saw the empty tomb and knew that Jesus was alive?
Answer: Peter would have felt utter joy to know that Jesus was alive and that he would get to see his friend again.
- Question: When Jesus cooked breakfast for the disciples on the beach and asked Peter three times if he loved him, how did this make Peter feel?
Answer: At first, Peter would have been confused as to why Jesus was asking him the same question three times, especially because Jesus already knew the answer. However, when Peter understood that this meant that he was forgiven for the three times that he had denied knowing Jesus, he would have felt pure relief.
- Question: After Jesus ascended to heaven, Peter travelled to different parts of the Roman Empire to teach people about God. He also wrote some of the books that appear in the New Testament. His actions helped to establish Christianity. How do you think this made Peter feel?
Answer: When Jesus asked Peter three times to feed his sheep, he meant that Peter should go and teach people about God. Peter would have felt proud because he had been selected to carry out such an important job. He would also have felt a sense of wonder that Jesus had forgiven him and trusted him, even though he had made many mistakes.
Time for reflection
One of the lessons that we can learn from Peter’s story is that we all have different temperaments and experience a wide range of emotions. These emotions are there to help us express how we feel. Just like Peter, if we make a mistake and react in the wrong way, we can admit our mistake and say sorry.
Christians believe that God loves everyone in this assembly and in the world. Love is an important emotion.
Encourage the children to think about emotions that they have felt today or this week. Encourage them to talk to someone if their emotions seem overwhelming.
Encourage the children to feel and express the emotion of love and show care towards other people.
Thank you for Peter’s story and how he used all of his emotions to show how he felt.
Thank you that we have emotions that enable us to express how we are feeling.
Thank you for the love that you have for us.
Thank you for letting Jesus die on the cross for the things that we do wrong.
Help us to say sorry for our mistakes and forgive those who have hurt or upset us.
‘We have a king who rides a donkey’, available at: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gSbEEwik2hs (2.25 minutes long)
- Give each child a copy of the sheet that accompanies this assembly (A Range of Emotions - Extension Activity). Ask them to draw emojis in each box to indicate how Peter felt during each part of the Easter story.