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Oil: keeping things running smoothly

To show that we can all play a part in helping to keep things running smoothly.

by Jan Edmunds

Suitable for Whole School (Pri)

Aims

To show that we can all play a part in helping to keep things running smoothly.

Preparation and materials

  • An oil can would be a good visual aid.
  • If used as a class presentation you could collect different oils to be held up during discussion (see 2.). The song to the tune of ‘The wheels of the bus’ could be sung by the class and then the audience asked to join in. An OHP would be useful here. Some children could be dressed up as people who help us (see 3.).
  • You might ask the school caretaker to talk about and demonstrate how oil is used around school.

Assembly

  1. Show the oil can if you have one and ask if the children recognize what it is and what it is used for. Tell them that the oil inside is called lubricating oil and it helps to keep things running smoothly. It improves the squeaking wheel, the creaking door or the noisy engine. Give some examples from around school, possibly with the participation of the caretaker.
  2. Explain that in biblical times oil was used for anointing kings. Our Queen, Elizabeth II, was anointed with oil at her coronation (the special service when she became queen). Ask if the children can think of other kinds of oil and their uses; examples might include cooking oil, olive oil, engine oil, bath oil, perfumed oil, caster oil, linseed oil, etc.
  3. Explain that some people are like the lubricating oil in your can; they do things to make life run smoothly. All over the world there are people working hard to keep many kinds of establishments running without problems. They include those who work in industry, transport, hospitals, schools, banks. Some interesting discussion can be developed here and can also be linked to a project on ‘People who help us’.
  4. Tell the children that they can be like the lubricating oil. Explain that they can help to make things run smoothly by having consideration for others, through cooperation, kindness and friendliness. Like the lubricating oil they can improve the world around them by helping other people. Further discussion can be developed here and examples given as to how they might be able to do this. This discussion could be linked in to school certificates, stickers, prizes, etc.
  5. The following could be sung to the tune of ‘The wheels of the bus go round and round’:

    Oil helps the wheels go round and round, round and round, round and round.
    Oil helps the wheels go round and round all day long.

    Oil helps to take the squeaks away, squeaks away, squeaks away.
    Oil helps to take the squeaks away all day long.

    We can be like the smoothing oil, smoothing oil, smoothing oil.
    We can be like the smoothing oil all day long.

    Let’s make the world a better place, better place, better place.
    Let’s make the world a better place all life long.

Time for reflection

Reflection

How will you be like oil today?

How will you help your friends, your class, your school today?

Prayer

Dear God,

Be with us here today in our work and in our play.

Let us think about the ways in which we can be helpful to others.

Help us to be like the oil that keeps things running smoothly.

Help us to spread love and happiness around the world.

Amen.

Song/music

‘Give me oil in my lamp’ (Come and Praise, 43)

Publication date: November 2006   (Vol.8 No.11)    Published by SPCK, London, UK.
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