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Forgetful hat

To explore the idea of working together.

by Gordon and Ronni Lamont

Suitable for Whole School (Pri)


To explore the idea of working together.

Preparation and materials

  • You will need a hat - the sillier the better.
  • Something to read in point 3 - it would be a good idea to go through it in advance, marking every fifth word.


  1. Welcome the children as usual and show them your hat. Explain that it's a very strange hat because whenever you put it on, every fifth word that you want to say just won't come out. Say you'll show them what you mean, then put the hat on. Say something like:

    I can speak normally (pause) I get to the (pause) word and then I (pause) to miss a word.

    Remove the hat and talk about what happened. Could the children understand you? What did they think the missing words were?

  2. Say that this hat has given you an idea. You're going to read something, but every fifth word will have to be filled in by someone else. You'll need the children to put their hands up and suggest words. You'll point, and then nod if you accept the word or shake your head if you want another suggestion.

  3. Read something the children are familiar with, such as school rules, a well known story or it could be an assembly song they all know. Pause at every fifth word and take suggestions. Enjoy the funny or inappropriate responses - not forgetting to take your hat off if you want to comment without missing words!

  4. Make the point that although this is a bit of fun, sometimes in life we really don't know what should go 'in the blanks'. That's when we really do need to work together, because often many heads are better than one. Give the example of a new building. One person - the architect - comes up with an original idea, but then many people - other architects, designers, builders, electricians, plumbers, etc. - many people become involved to fill in the blanks to make the whole thing work.

Time for reflection

One person can have a brilliant idea - hooray for one person.

Another person can help them to make it better - hooray for two people.

Someone else can spot the blanks and see what needs to be done - hooray for three people.

Many people make the idea come to life - hooray for many people.

Together we all play our part - hooray for everyone.


'Every word comes alive' (Come and Praise, 72)

Publication date: June 2001   (Vol.3 No.6)    Published by SPCK, London, UK.
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