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Anyone for ice cream?

To reflect on our differences and to learn to appreciate variety in our school community.

by Janice Ross

Suitable for Whole School (Pri)


To reflect on our differences and to learn to appreciate variety in our school community.

Preparation and materials

  • You will need 5 drawings of ice creams: large cone shapes, with different-coloured tissue paper circles on the top to represent ice cream flavours – cream, green, pink, dark brown, and one with 'nutty bits'.
  • A whiteboard and pen or a blackboard and chalk.


  1. Tell the children that they are going to play a game, like those they play in Circle Time. Ask for volunteers to complete this sentence:

    If I was an animal I would like to be … because …
    You could have one or two members of staff primed to participate in an amusing way, e.g. ‘If I was an animal I’d like to be an elephant because with my big long ears I could hear even the tiniest whisper from my class.’
  2. Explain that you haven't brought any animals today but you have brought something rather yummy. Display the vanilla-flavoured cone and pretend to lick and enjoy it. Ask for a show of hands who likes ice cream.

    Bring out the other flavours one by one and ask the children to suggest the names of the flavours.
  3. Play another game, similar to 1. above. Introduce it with the sentence:

    If I was an ice cream I would like to be a peppermint one because …
    As before, ask for volunteers to complete the sentence. Suggestions include:

    Peppermint (because I’m green – I love animals and plants and look after the environment).
    Strawberry (because I’m sweet and I love the summer).
    Chocolate (because I’m everyone’s favourite).
    Nuts (because I am)…
  4. Ask the children if they could suggest how to find out the favourite flavours in their class. And in the school? In what ways could they record and display their findings?

    Optional: Each class could collect and display their findings in a different way, from a simple pictograph to a bar graph to a percentage. This would make a good wall display on ‘Handling Information’.
  5. Explain that we are going to do some recording of information in assembly today. This is so that the Reception class can show how clever they have become after just one year at school. Have five Reception children line up with an ice cream cone each.

    Ask another child how they could record what they see. (If this is too difficult, do the first recording yourself, e.g. V, P, S, Ch, N (Vanilla, Peppermint, Strawberry, Chocolate, Nut).

    Ask another child to make a different recording. Hopefully they will reorder the line of children before writing the letters in a different order.

    Can another child reorder them alphabetically?
  6. Explain to the children that we are a bit like ice creams. No, not dribbly, and hopefully not cold-hearted, but we are all different flavours.

    Some of us are tangy, like peppermint. We have loads of energy and are always bright and alert.

    Some of us are like the dark chocolate, smooth and cool. Year 6/Primary 7 like to think that they are this flavour!

    Some of us are nutty – well, enough said!

    Some of us are very sweet, like strawberry. We come in to school every morning with a summer smile on our faces.

    And some of us are like the vanilla, plain and ordinary, or so we may think. I'll let you in to a secret. Vanilla is my favourite. When I am eating vanilla ice cream it never tastes ordinary to me.
  7.   Explain that in a school there are all kinds of people, all mixed up together. That is what makes a school such a wonderful place. Tell the children that that is one of the reasons you will look forward to returning after the summer holidays.

    Remember that when next you have an ice cream!

Time for reflection


It takes all kinds to make a world.
Reflect on the different children in your class – different faces, different talents, different likes and dislikes.
What kind of ice cream are you?



Dear God,
Thank you that you love variety.
Thank you that you made animals to be different, trees to be different, seasons to be different …
and even different flavours for ice cream.
Help me to be glad to be just who I am.



‘God who made the earth’ (Come and Praise, 10)

Publication date: July 2007   (Vol.9 No.7)    Published by SPCK, London, UK.
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