Remembering to be thankful
by Manon Parry (revised, originally published in 2014)
Suitable for Whole School (Pri)
To consider how feeling thankful can help us to face difficulties with a positive attitude.
Preparation and materials
- You will need the PowerPoint slides that accompany this assembly (Thankful) and the means to display them.
- Ask the children, ‘How are you feeling today?’
Point out that each of us would probably answer that question differently on different days. We can have sad, happy or ordinary days, depending on what’s going on.
For example, we feel happy when something good happens to us, like when we make a new friend, or when it’s the day of the school trip or when we are invited to a party.
- Ask the children about their own happy days. Encourage them to remember special birthdays or special events in the family, such as a wedding or their football team winning a tough match. How do they feel when they wake up on Christmas morning, or on the day of their birthday? What does a happy day feel like?
- Explain that most days are pretty ordinary, and nothing exciting or sad happens.
Show Slide 1.
Ask the children if they like carrots. Ask them if they would pay £50 for this carrot. Clearly, carrots are not worth that much money even if we do enjoy eating them! Carrots are a very ordinary food.
- Show Slide 2.
Discuss how some days can unfortunately be sad days, when something bad happens to us or to someone we love.
- Explain that even though we might be having an ordinary day or a sad day, there are things that we can do to make ourselves feel better. For example, we can stop and think about things for which we are thankful. If we can do this and remind ourselves about good things in our lives, it can sometimes stop us from feeling so bad.
- Point out that sometimes, life feels like a struggle. Bad things happen to us, and we need to talk to someone about it. This can often make us feel better, even if the problem doesn’t go away. In situations like this, we might feel that someone else is sharing our burden, making us feel thankful.
Time for reflection
Ask the children to think about things that they are thankful for.
Ask for some volunteers to come forward to share what they are thankful for, and then say a prayer, thanking God for what they have just said.
Ask the volunteers to sit down. Ask the children to think quietly about all the good things in their lives.
Encourage the children to find someone to talk to if they are feeling sad or worried today.
Remind the children of the importance of watching out to see if other people need any help.
We thank you for all that’s good in our lives.
We thank you especially for what we remember quietly in our hearts now . . . (silence)
Help us always to be thankful, whether we are happy or sad.
Help us to know that you are with us during ordinary days, good days and bad days.
‘Dollop’ by Doug Horley, available at: https://youtu.be/k1fKFAk8zfI (2.59 minutes long)
‘You’re welcome’ from the film Moana, available at: https://youtu.be/79DijItQXMM (2.48 minutes long)