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To show that opposites can work together.

by Jan Edmunds

Suitable for Whole School (Pri)


To show that opposites can work together.

Preparation and materials

  • Write some appropriate words on one side of some pieces of card (large enough to be seen by your audience) with their opposite meaning on the reverse. For instance, hot/cold, up/down, happy/sad, dirty/clean, old/young, big/small, laugh/cry, good/bad, in/out, etc. (the number is up to you).
  • An OHP would be useful for the poem/prayer.


  1. Good morning, everyone. I wonder if you’d like to help me. (Use one of your cards to demonstrate.) Look at the word written on this card and put up your hand if you can give me the word that is opposite in meaning. (Allow time for the response, then turn the card to show the answer.)
  2. Hold up each of the remaining cards in turn. Give them to the children who answer correctly, and ask them to come and sit on the floor in front of you. Repeat the exercise until all the cards have been used.

    Ask the children holding the cards to stand up and read out their card (the rest of the children could join in), then turn their card over to show the answer. Take the cards from them, thank them and ask them to go back to their place.
  3. There are many opposites in the world. There are people living on the opposite side of the world. When we are having our day they are having their night.

    We don’t all look the same. Some people have fair hair, some have dark. Our eyes are different colours.

    There are many people in the world who have ideas, rules or beliefs that may be different from ours, perhaps even opposite to our own. People quarrel because they have opposite points of view. Throughout history this has led to war.

    There are times when we quarrel with our family or friends because we have opposite feelings and cannot agree about something.
  4. If you think of a piano keyboard, it has black and white keys.

    ‘You can play a kind of tune on the white keys or you can play a kind of tune on the black but in order to get perfect harmony you need to play both the black and the white’ (Dr Aggrey of Africa, referring to apartheid).
  5. (Optional) The story of the Good Samaritan (Luke 10)

    In the land where Jesus lived there were many tribes, some of which did not agree with each other. The Levites were one of the oldest tribes and could be very critical of others. The Samaritans were hated by the Jews – the Jews would not even use the same cups and bowls used by the Samaritans and wanted nothing to do with them. The Priests considered themselves to be very important and above the rest.

    One day a Jewish man was travelling along a lonely road from Jerusalem to Jericho. Thieves attacked him. They stole all his money and belongings. They beat him and left him for dead.

    After a while a Priest came along and when he saw the poor man he crossed over to the other side of the road pretending not to see him.

    Soon a Levite came along; he looked at the man then did exactly the same thing and continued on his way.

    Eventually a Samaritan came along and saw the battered body lying in the road. He took pity on him and immediately went to help him. He bandaged his wounds, lifted him gently on to his donkey and took him to the nearest inn. The next morning when the Samaritan left he gave the innkeeper some money and asked him to take care of the injured man until he was well enough to leave. He promised that he would call again on his way back and pay for any extra expenses necessary for the man’s care.

    Some discussion may be needed here to show that even people who come from opposite backgrounds can be compassionate to one another. Reference could be made to the Christmas ceasefire between the Germans and British during World War I.

Time for reflection


Let us think again about the opposites we have met today:

The opposite of good is bad.

The opposite of happy’s sad.

The opposite of young is old.

The opposite of hot is cold.

The opposite of day is night.

The opposite of peace is to fight.

Some people may be opposites in what they say and do.

They may have an opposite point of view.

If we work with one another we can change the bad to good

And learn to live together in the way we really should.


We pray today for peace and cooperation in our world.

Teach us tolerance of one another.

Teach us to care for those less fortunate.

Help us to make this world a better place.



‘A perfect picture’ (Come and Praise, 83)

Publication date: April 2006   (Vol.8 No.4)    Published by SPCK, London, UK.
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