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Time capsule

Explores the idea that many things in life change over time, but love never changes. Can be linked with 1 Corinthians 13.

by Penny Hollander

Suitable for Whole School (Pri)


Explores the idea that many things in life change over time, but love never changes. Can be linked with 1 Corinthians 13.

Preparation and materials

  • You will need a metal tin, and a variety of items that are important to the school, e.g. photos, certificates, books, school logo, items of uniform.
  • Seven heart-shaped pieces of card with the following words on each side (see 4. below)
    Heart 1: front: Patient; back: Wants what belongs to others
    Heart 2: front: Kind; back: Keeps track of wrongs
    Heart 3: front: Truthful; back: Boastful
    Heart 4: front: Trusting; back: Proud
    Heart 5: front: Hopeful; back: Rude
    Heart 6: front: Something that never gives up; back: Selfish
    Heart 7: front: Something that never ends; back: Easily angry
  • Optional: pictures of time capsules.
  • There are lots of websites that have information about time capsules: tells about a school find from Victorian times. gives general useful background information too.


  1. Ask the children what they know about time capsules – e.g. why people make them, the kinds of things that are put in them, where they are put and for how long. Explain that the purpose is so that we in the present time can let people in the future know a little about the way in which we live, so they can compare it with life in their time. In that way we can be part of history – so it involves past, present and future.
  2. Explain that sometimes organizations, including schools, do this too. What would we put in from our school? Show the items you have brought to suggest some ideas. What would we want people to know about our school 100 or 200 years from now?

    When people make time capsules they often bury them in the ground to keep them safe. They need to consider what type of container to use, something that won’t rot or be destroyed, like your metal tin for example.
  3. However, there are some things in life that don’t change, rot away or disappear together. In other words, they are timeless, and don’t need to be buried to save them for the future. In fact, it’s important that they are seen by everybody!

    The Bible tells us that the greatest of these precious timeless things is love. So instead of hiding it away, we are going to display what the Bible tells us love is like.
  4. Ask for some volunteers to come and hold up the heart-shaped cards. These explain the various attributes of love. First ask them to show the ‘love is’ sides and then the ‘love doesn’t’ and ‘love is not’ sides:

    Love is patient, kind, truthful, trusting, hopeful, it is something that never gives up, and something that never ends.

    Love doesn’t want what belongs to others, doesn’t keep track of wrongs, isn’t boastful, proud, rude, selfish, or easily angry.

    Explain that these are words from the early days of Christianity, about 2,000 years ago. You can also read the appropriate parts of 1 Corinthians 13 here.
  5. Ask the children, if we’re not going to hide these things in a time capsule, where are we going to show them in school?

Time for reflection


Consider all the things that are precious to us.

What would we like people of the future to know about us?

Can we think of three or four things we would include?

How can we show today our love and care for others?

How can we show this in the future?



Dear God,

Thank you that in the Bible you show us that love is the greatest gift of all,

in the past, present and future.

Help us to show some of the different parts of love

that we have heard about today.



‘Love will never come to an end’ (Come and Praise, 99)

‘Peace is flowing’ (Come and Praise, 144)

Publication date: October 2006   (Vol.8 No.10)    Published by SPCK, London, UK.
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