A Time to Remember
What are our special memories?
by Gordon Lamont and Rebecca Parkinson (adapted)
Suitable for Whole School (Pri)
To consider the importance of our memories, with particular reference to Remembrance Day.
Preparation and materials
- You will need the PowerPoint slide that accompanies this assembly (A Time to Remember) and the means to display it.
- Have available the YouTube video ‘The day I’ll always remember’ and the means to show it during the assembly. It is 1.18 minutes long and is available at: http://tinyurl.com/qbkaq75
- Optional: you may wish to have a Remembrance Day poppy available during the ‘Time for reflection’ part of the assembly.
- Ask the children whether they have any favourite memories.
The memories may be happy, scary, sad or exciting, such as holidays, days out, presents received and people they have met.
Give the children time to discuss these memories in pairs or as a whole group.
- Explain that it is good to remember things that have happened. As we get older, memories become more and more special. If possible, share with the children one or two special memories of your own from when you were a child.
- Tell the children that you are going to show them a picture of 20 items. You want the children to look at the items shown for one minute and try to memorize them. At the end of one minute, you will take down the picture and ask the children to list as many objects as they can.
Show the PowerPoint slide for one minute and then listen to a range of responses.
- Explain that sometimes, we forget something that has happened in the past, but then something jogs our memories and reminds us of it.
Ask the children whether they have ever visited somewhere and brought back a souvenir. Explain that it can be good to have an object that reminds us of a particular place or happy event.
If possible, show the children an object (or play them a piece of music) that holds a happy memory for you. It may be something that somebody gave you, a photograph, a letter or a souvenir.
- Show the YouTube video ‘The day I’ll always remember’ (1.18 minutes long).
Ask the children for their reactions to the video. Ask questions such as, ‘Why did Mr George “cry his heart out” after the attack?’ and ‘Why will he always remember this day?’
Listen to a range of responses.
- Point out that, in his story, Mr George came close to dying, but due to his quick thinking, he covered himself with cabbage leaves and survived.
Mr George’s memorable day was one of great danger, followed by relief at still being alive. Point out that this is one type of memorable day, although hopefully, no one present will experience such a day!
- Remind the children that Mr George and many like him who have been involved in wars have shown great bravery and resourcefulness. Yet despite the difficult things that they have experienced, they can still be positive and cheerful. Some people, however, find it difficult to adjust to everyday life because of their experiences. The days that we remember can affect each of us in different ways.
Time for reflection
Remind the children about any events that might be taking place for Remembrance Day on 11 November.
Optional: show the children a Remembrance Day poppy if available.
Explain the importance of remembering those who have fought and are fighting in wars in different parts of the world.
Encourage the children to think about the part that they play in bringing peace to the places where they are today, such as the classroom, home and playground.
Ask the children to think for a moment about a special memory that they have.
Ask them to think about the people who are involved in that memory and to be thankful for them.
Thank you for people who have given us special memories,
And for places we have been and things that we have seen
That make us happy when we think of them.
Please help us to do things for other people
That make them smile when they remember what we have done.
Please help us to learn lessons from the past.
Please help us all to be people who seek peace.
‘You’ve got a friend in me’ from the film Toy Story, available at: https://youtu.be/0hG-2tQtdlE (2.04 minutes long)
‘Memories’ by Maroon 5, covered by One Voice Children’s Choir, available at: https://youtu.be/XB6yjGVuzVo (3.41 minutes long)