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Change one thing

To reflect on change and why it is sometimes necessary for our well-being. To help the children understand that change is not always easy.

by Janice Ross

Suitable for Key Stage 2


To reflect on change and why it is sometimes necessary for our well-being. To help the children understand that change is not always easy.

Preparation and materials

  • You will need the leaflet/information on the Boots ‘Change one thing’ challenge.
  • Whiteboard or blackboard.


  1. Ask the children how many of them can change a bed? change a plug? change a bicycle tyre? Ask how many of them made new year resolutions? Have they kept them? What were the sorts of things they were trying to change?
  2. Ask if anyone knows how to change a ‘cat’ into a ‘dog’.

    Write the word ‘cat’ on the board. By changing one letter at a time, can the children change the word to read ‘dog’? CAT – COT – DOT – DOG

    You could now try ‘cat’ to ‘hen’. By changing one letter at a time it is possible!
  3. Show them the information from Boots. They may have seen this challenge advertised. People are being asked to sign up to ‘change one thing’ in their lives. Can the children suggest what these areas might be for the adults who are following the campaign? Write four aims on the board:

    Feel healthier
    Stop smoking
    Feel happier
    Look great

    (There is a fifth category suggested by Boots which is ‘lose weight’; however, this may be inappropriate for a children’s context where body image propaganda can have a negative affect. You may feel the same way about ‘look great’ if there isn’t the time to expand into considering the importance of being positive about your appearance and not conforming to stereotypes.)
  4. Say that you want to focus on ‘Feel happier’. Read out either Area D from the leaflet or some of the suggestions below.

    My lack of confidence affects my social life.
    I am so shy that I can’t make friends easily.
    I find it hard to find a balance between my work and my home life so I don’t go out much.
    I find it hard to keep up with schoolwork.
    I worry a lot about what others think of me.
    I worry a lot about what others in my class think of me.
    I’d like to feel more positive about life.
    Sometimes it is hard for me to relax.
    I feel anxious all the time and this gives me headaches and a sore tummy.

    Tell the children that you think there may be a number of children and even adults in the school who feel this way sometimes. Use this as an opportunity to reinforce the school’s anti-bullying and citizenship messages. Ensure that children know who they can talk to if they feel unhappy at school.
  5. Stress the central message, of making one small change, and explain that you have set yourself a goal today, you want to change one thing. Say the following:

    Today I want every child in the school to leave assembly feeling happier. This is how I am going to achieve it. I want you all to think of something sad, to feel grumpy, to frown. Now as I count to ten, I want you to slowly change your frown into a smile. Are you ready? 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10.

    Let me see if it has worked (looking round the room). It looks as though it has but only you can tell. Keep that smile on all the way back to the classroom and your teacher will take a count for me. Then I’ll know if ‘changing one thing’ really works!

Time for reflection


Is there anything I would like to change in my life which would make me happier?

Could I make a start by changing one thing? Who might be able to help me?



Explain that you will leave a pause at the appropriate point for children to put in their own quiet thoughts.

Dear God,

We read in the Bible that you made me and you love me, just as I am. That’s good to know.

Will you help me change … It’s causing me a bit of a problem. Thank you.



‘One more step’ (Come and Praise, 47)

Publication date: April 2007   (Vol.9 No.4)    Published by SPCK, London, UK.
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