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All the things you know

To help children think about what they know and how they know it.

by Gordon and Ronni Lamont

Suitable for Whole School (Pri)


To help children think about what they know and how they know it.

Preparation and materials

  • No preparation is needed.


  1. Ask the children to think of one thing that they know that no one else in the assembly knows. It could be what you had for tea last night or breakfast this morning, it could be a memory from when you were younger, it could be a secret, or it could even be what you’re thinking right now, as no one else can possibly know that!
  2. Now ask everyone to think of something that they think lots of people around them will know: the day of the week, where you are at the moment, the name of your school, and so on.
  3. Hold a quick quiz with hands up for answers:

    What colour is my top/shirt?
    What is the name of our school?
    Where did Buzz Aldrin and Neil Armstrong go in 1969?

    If anyone answers the moon, say that this is correct, but you were actually thinking of their joint trip to the supermarket to buy snacks!

    Point out that in order to answer a question properly we have to understand what is really being asked, and in order to ask a question properly we have to make ourselves very clear. Ask if anyone can improve your question about Buzz Aldrin and Neil Armstrong, e.g. which heavenly body apart from earth did they visit, or where did they walk that no one had ever walked before?

    What am I thinking at the moment?

    To all answers say no. Point out that there is no way that anyone can know the real answer unless you choose to be honest and tell them – and even then, how can they be sure that they can trust you? So unless we have experienced something ourselves (like what I had for breakfast), there are some answers that we can never be sure about, and for all answers we have to decide whether we can trust the person, or book, or website that is giving that answer.
  4. Suggest that we can have more faith in the answers we get if they come from a trusted source, such as someone who has been right in the past, someone with backing, such as a teacher, or someone with a record of trust, such as the BBC or an educational publisher. Or if more than one source gives the same information.

Time for reflection


Ask the children to think carefully today about questions and answers. Can they ask good, clear questions, and can they think about how they will decide to trust the answers they get?



Thank you for the world of knowledge,

for all the things we know

and all the amazing things still waiting to be discovered.


‘One more step’ (Come and Praise, 47)

Publication date: December 2007   (Vol.9 No.12)    Published by SPCK, London, UK.
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