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Make poverty history

To raise awareness of the 'Make Pover History' campaign and to suggest ways in which pupils can take action.

by Rachel Bird

Suitable for Whole School (Pri)


To think about the choices we have to make every day and how we make them.

Preparation and materials

  • You will need 6 cups (brightly coloured plastic cups are good)
  • 6 pieces of paper – 3 saying ‘prize’, 3 saying ‘forfeit’
  • 3 prizes (perhaps a small bag of sweets, or preferably raisins or similar if the school has a no sweets policy)
  • Water pistol / bottle filled with water
  • Before the assembly place the cups upside down on a table at the front, with a piece of paper under each one.
  • A towel for the children to dry themselves on.


  1. Ask who finds it difficult to make decisions sometimes? Say that already you had a difficult decision to make this morning – you looked in the cupboard and couldn’t decide whether to have Rice Crispies or Cornflakes, and in the end you had a mix of both! Or use a similar anecdote. Ask the children if they ever do that too?

  2. Explain that you’re looking for 6 volunteers – children who think they’re good at making decisions. Warn that sometimes, though, choices don’t have good consequences (things don’t always work out well)!

    Each volunteer picks a cup. If the paper under their cup says ‘prize’ they are given a small prize. If it says ‘forfeit’ they are squirted with the water pistol or given a forfeit like 10 star jumps to do. Enjoy the game and then ask the volunteers to sit down.

  3. We all make lots of choices every day – some are big choices and lots are small ones. Usually, unlike picking the cup, you have more idea about what your choices are. With the cup you had no clue as to which was where (until the last person) but just like in the game, our choices have consequences. Our choices can have different kinds of outcomes; they can be helpful or not helpful to us and to others.

  4. Ask the children how difficult decisions can be made easier – i.e. with someone to help. Explain that if a difficult decision has to be made, it’s good to talk to people who know you to get their help.

    Christians believe that God knows us and loves us. We can ask God to help us to make choices. And if we’ve made choices in the past that are not for the best, with God we can always start again and make new choices. He never squirts us with a water pistol!

  5. Remember that our choices and how we choose to behave affects other people too, as we are all part of a bigger network of people – friends, school, family, community.

Time for reflection


Look at your hand.
Your hand is a good reminder of the fact that we all have a lot of power and have choices to make.
Your hand can be used for good things, like as a sign of friendship, to shake hands, pat someone on the back or to wave hello.
But it can also be used to hurt people.

We all have a lot of choices to make every day – some small, some bigger.
How will you make your choices today and who will you talk to when you have big decisions to make?



Dear God,
Thank you that you love us and let us make our own choices.
Help us to remember that our choices have consequences.
Please help us when we have difficult choices to make,
decisions that are helpful to us and to others.


‘Shalom’ (Come and Praise, 141)

Publication date: 2005   (Vol.7)    Published by SPCK, London, UK.
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