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Smile, please!

To demonstrate that a smile is a smile in any language, and to encourage smiling and expressions of pleasure.

by The Revd Catherine Williams

Suitable for Whole School (Pri)

Aims

To demonstrate that a smile is a smile in any language, and to encourage smiling and expressions of pleasure.

Preparation and materials

  • You will need the words for ‘Good morning’ in various languages and the names of the languages used (see below), written on large cards, OHP, or PowerPoint.

Assembly

  1. Talk about the fact that lots of people enjoy travelling abroad, and that many like to learn a few basic words in the language that’s spoken in the countries they visit.

  2. Suggest that ‘Good morning’ is a very useful phrase to learn, because then you can greet people, and they know you’re pleased to see them.

    Say that you have ‘Good morning’ written in some different languages and you want the children to match up the words and the language. Here are some you might use:

    Bonjour – French
    Kali mera – Greek
    Jo san – Cantonese
    Kia Ora – Maori
    Guten Morgen – German
    Shu-probhaat – Bengali
    Boker tov – Hebrew
    Buenos dias – Spanish
    Jambo – Swahili
    Maj po – Klingon (Star Trek)

    You could do this by having ten children hold up the phrases, and ten others the languages, then pair them up. You might like to teach the phrases as you go along.

  3. Move on to say that even when you don’t know the words for ‘Good morning’, there is something you can do with your face that will still show that you are pleased to meet someone. Can anyone suggest what that is? Hopefully, someone will suggest ‘smile’.

  4. Choose several children to come up to the front and smile at everyone in different languages, e.g. a smile in Russian, a smile in Hindi, etc. Make the point that a smile is a smile in any language.

    Jesus told his friends to love their neighbours and do good to the people around them. One small way that we can follow his example is to smile a bit more. It takes fewer muscles to smile than it does to frown, so it should be less tiring to smile than to look serious or unhappy. When we smile at people it makes them feel good about themselves.

  5. Ask everyone to show you their best smiles (including staff!). Choose some really good ones to demonstrate to everyone.

Time for reflection

Reflection:

Play the song ‘When you’re smiling, when you’re smiling, the whole world smiles with you’ or introduce a piece of upbeat/positive music that makes you smile.
Ask the children to think about the music and about how they could use their smile today.

Prayer:
Thank you, God,
that we can show by our smiles
how much we like each other.
Thank you, God, for smiles.
Help us to use them more.
Amen.

Song/music

‘Sing Hosanna’ (Come and Praise, 43). Change the words to: ‘Give me joy in my heart, keep me smiling’.

Publication date: March 2005   (Vol.7 No.3)    Published by SPCK, London, UK.
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