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The price of fame

To think about fame and celebrity and consider what real fame is.

by Ronni Lamont

Suitable for Whole School (Pri)


To think about fame and celebrity and consider what real fame is.

Preparation and materials

  • You will need (not essential but they can help to add a guessing game element): a picture of William Shakespeare; a copy of the headline ‘Man on the moon’ from 1969 and a picture of a moonwalker; a copy of the Bible.
  • You may also like to have pictures of this week’s famous footballers, popstars, celebrities.


  1. Begin by asking the children who their favourite footballer is, and a bit of detail about them – who they play for, nationality, etc. You may do this with pictures if you have them – ‘Who’s this?’ (as long as you know!!).

    Then show them the picture of the moonwalker and ask them who was the first person to walk on the moon. Show them the headline, and ask what they know about Neil Armstrong. (They’ll know very little, as he’s a very private man.)

    Show them the picture of William Shakespeare – who is this, what did he do, why do we know his name, etc. (A Key Stage 1 child at the writer’s school recognized him and knew that he wrote Hamlet, and another asked if he’d also written ballets – which, of course, he sort of did.)

    Then reflect that we know very little indeed about Shakespeare, but 400 years later we still celebrate him, and people go to see his plays and read his poems. Do they know the names of any footballers from 50 years ago? (they may know the 1966 World Cup players).
  2. Then show them the Gospel of Mark in the Bible. Explain that a Gospel is the story of Jesus, and that Mark’s was the first one to be written. Luke and Matthew both used it when they later wrote their stories of Jesus. So Mark is responsible for telling the world about Jesus.

    But we know very little about Mark himself. He’s mentioned once or twice in passing. There’s a strange comment about a young man in the Garden of Gethsemane (just before Jesus was killed) in Mark’s Gospel – was that Mark?

    But if he hadn’t lived, Christianity may not have survived in the way that it has. Someone we know nothing about changed the world, as did William Shakespeare, as did Neil Armstrong…and all the people who worked to get him to the moon and back.
  3. So here’s a question for you: would you prefer to be famous, and rich, for a few years, or to change the world, permanently, for the better, even if no one knew who you were?

Time for reflection


Think about all the people who care for you, who are not famous, but who are vital for you, like your family and friends.

Think about the people who work to make the world a better place even though few people know about them.

Think about how you could change the bit of the world that you live in, today, even if nobody notices that it was you.


Dear God,

Thank you for all the people who, although never well known,

work to make the world a better place.



‘He’s got the whole world’ (Come and Praise, 19)

Publication date: June 2006   (Vol.8 No.6)    Published by SPCK, London, UK.
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