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Happiness

To think about what makes us happy and to consider happiness and contentment.

by Jan Edmunds

Suitable for Whole School (Pri)

Aims

To think about what makes us happy and to consider happiness and contentment.

Preparation and materials

  • You might want to display the poem on an OHP.
  • Optional: Music for ‘If you’re happy and you know it’.
  • Note: Teachers could use this material as a presentation by individuals or groups of children.

Assembly

  1. Introduce and read and display the poem.

    Happy days are holidays when we go out to play.
    Happy is something that makes us laugh.
    Like playing in water, in pool or in bath.
    Bright sunny days that are full of fun.
    Laughter that passes to everyone.
    Christmas or Diwali and birthdays too
    Are such happy times with fun things to do.
    Happiness is being content as we are
    Not wishing for things we can’t reach from afar.

    Spend a little time discussing and reflecting on the poem.

  2. Invite some of the children to tell you what makes them happy. More often than not their idea of happiness will be materialistic. (If used as a class presentation some children could have been asked to write down and read out their idea of happiness.)

  3. Ask them to listen to this story.

    The Town Mouse and the Country Mouse
    There was once a little mouse who was quite happy living in the country. His friend Town Mouse came to visit him. He told him all about living in the town and how wonderful it was. Town Mouse said that there were good things to eat, that his home was warm and comfortable and that life was much better in the town.

    Little Country Mouse listened wide-eyed to all these claims. He looked round his cold, shabby little home. He sometimes found it hard to get enough food, and life often seemed rather dull and boring. He began to feel restless and discontented, so when Town Mouse invited him to go and stay with him in the town he readily agreed.

    After a very long journey they arrived. Country Mouse could hear loud roars and screeching sounds as great monsters whizzed past, nearly running him over! There seemed to be flashing lights all around him. A very frightened and nervous little mouse entered the hole in the wall where Town Mouse lived.

    He could still hear lots of strange unfamiliar noises outside. Town Mouse assured him that they would soon have a fine feast. He led him through another hole out into a room where there was more food than Country Mouse had seen in his entire life. The little mice tucked in to their find.

    Then, without warning, a big black shape loomed over them. It pounced on little Country Mouse, grasping him firmly in its paws! Thankfully he was able to wriggle from its grasp and escape back into the hole. Town Mouse laughed and told him that he would soon get used to that sort of thing happening.

    Country Mouse was terrified. That night he could not sleep because he could still hear all the frightening noises outside and he felt much too hot and was unable to get far enough away from the big creaking pipes that lined the floor. How he longed to be back in the peace and quiet of the countryside, to be cool, comfortable and safe in his own little home.

    The next day he thanked Town Mouse for inviting him, but said that he wanted to go back home. Town Mouse was very surprised. He could not understand why his friend would want to return to such poverty. But Country Mouse scuttled back home as fast as his legs would carry him.

    How pleased he was to see his home. The sun was shining, the birds were singing. There on the ground were a few crumbs they had dropped. After enjoying and being thankful for his meal he crawled into his little hole. How comfortable it seemed. How safe he felt. This was what made him feel happy. He was now content with what he had.

  4. Allow a little time to discuss the story, emphasizing that very often we do not realize what we have until it is taken away from us.

  5. (Optional) Sing together the song ‘If you’re happy and you know it clap your hands’.

Time for reflection

Reflection:

Think about the story you have just heard.
Would you be a town mouse or a country mouse?
What makes you really happy?

 

Prayer:
Dear God,
Help us to value and appreciate what we have.
Amen.

Song/music

‘Give us hope, Lord, for each day’ (Come and Praise, 87)

Publication date: April 2005   (Vol.7 No.4)    Published by SPCK, London, UK.
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