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Who do you trust with the truth?

To explore the ideas of truth and trust

by Guy Donegan-Cross

Suitable for Whole School (Pri)

Aims

To explore the ideas of truth and trust.

Preparation and materials

  • Prepare three teachers to play a game of 'Call my bluff'. Write the words on separate cards to hold up. The cues for participants are given at the end of the assembly.

Assembly

  1. Play the game of 'Call my bluff' with the three teachers. You say the first word, holding up the card, and then each teacher reads out the 'definition' on their sheet. After each round, ask the children to vote on who is telling the truth. (The correct definition is in italics.)

    Platitude
    Someone with a very flat face.
    A plate for astronauts to use in space.
    Something you say to help people, but which doesn't give them real help.

    Gavotte
    An old French dance.
    A girl's name, similar to the boy's name Gavin.
    A kind of sword used by the Romans.

    Palfrey
    A horse.
    A small boat used on the river Pall.
    A hat worn by German men.

    Southpaw
    A bear that lives in the Arctic.
    Someone in Kent with no money.
    A left-handed person.

    Widgeon
    A type of duck.
    A painful growth on your toe.
    A special kind of glass for drinking milk.

  2. Ask why it is important to tell the truth. (People can trust you. Bad things don't happen.) Telling the truth features strongly in all world faiths, e.g. the Ten Commandments from the Jewish tradition, and Jesus' great claim, 'I am the truth'.

  3. Tell the story of Blondini, and perhaps embellish with actions!

    Blondini was a tightrope walker who used to walk over the Niagara Falls. People came from far and wide to see him. He would carry all sorts of things over the water. One day a famous duke and his entourage visited the Niagara Falls. They watched Blondini walk over and clapped. They watched him walk back and shouted for more.

    Then Blondini asked, 'Who believes I could take this wheelbarrow over the waterfall?' 'Of course you can!' said the duke and his friends. Blondini took the wheelbarrow over. Everyone was ecstatic.

    'Do you believe I could carry this sack of potatoes over the waterfall in the wheelbarrow?' 'Yes!!' He duly did. Then he asked, 'Who believes I could carry a human being over the Falls in this barrow?' 'We all do!' they chorused.

    After a pause, Blondini asked, 'Who will get in the wheelbarrow, then?' There was an embarrassed silence - the duke suddenly felt he had better things to do. Then a little old lady came out of the crowd and got into the wheelbarrow. Blondini pushed her over the falls and back again, to the astonishment of the crowd. The lady was Blondini's mother.

  4. Explain that Blondini had told the truth, but his listeners needed to trust him before the great truth could be demonstrated. Trust is a two-way thing. Who do you really trust, and can people trust you?

Time for reflection

Dear God,
Please help us to know who to trust,
and help us to be truthful and trustworthy ourselves.
Amen.

Song/music

'Tis the gift' (Come and Praise, 97)

Cues

Player 1

1. Someone with a very flat face. 2. An old French dance. 3. A horse. 4. A bear that lives in the Arctic. 5. A type of duck.

Player 2

1. A plate for astronauts to use in space. 2. A girl's name, similar to the boy's name Gavin. 3. A small boat used on the river Pall. 4. Someone in Kent with no money. 5. A painful growth on your toe.

Player 3

1. Something you say to help people, but which doesn't give them real help. 2. A kind of sword used by the Romans. 3. A hat worn by German men. 4. A left-handed person. 5. A special kind of glass for drinking milk.

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