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My best friend

To explore the giving nature of friendship.

by Guy Donegan-Cross

Suitable for Whole School (Pri)

Aims

To explore the giving nature of friendship.

Preparation and materials

  • OHP, with acetate sheet with a small rectangle drawn in the middle, and pen.
  • Optional: CD of song 'What a friend I've found' by Delirious, with a copy of the lyrics for the OHP.

Assembly

  1. Ask the children: Why do we need friends? What do friends do? What are friends like? Consider all responses and, if possible, elicit some examples of good friends and friendly acts. Write one-word summaries of what makes a good friend on the OHP around the rectangle.

  2. Tell this story about friendship. (You can act this story out as you tell it.) You might have to explain the word 'grain' or replace it with 'wheat' or 'flour'.

    Two friends worked on a farm collecting grain. Each night they would take their sacks of grain and put them in their stores. One friend was single and lived on his own. The other had a large family. One night the friend with the large family thought, 'This is not fair. My friend lives all on his own and does not enjoy the life of a family. I will help him. I will secretly take one bag of grain and put it in his store at night.' So that night he got one bag out of his store and crept over to his friend's house in the dead of night. He placed the bag in his friend's store and tiptoed home.

    The same night the single friend thought to himself, 'This is not fair. Here am I with only one mouth to feed. My friend, on the other hand, has many children. I think I will take one bag of my grain and secretly put it in his store.' So he took one bag from his store, tiptoed over to his friend's house and placed it in his friend's store.

    Every night for weeks the friends would take a bag of grain to each other's stores. But they both became very puzzled, because even though they were giving away their grain the amount they had never seemed to diminish.

    One night they were both out carrying sacks of grain to each other's houses. Suddenly they bumped into each other. They looked at each other, saw the bags of grain on their shoulders and suddenly realized what had been happening. They laughed out loud and gave each other a big hug.

    Point out that this story shows that true friends give to each other, but also receive.

  3. Turn the OHP back on. Ask for suggestions to put in the middle of the rectangle. Can the children suggest some names? (Don't write them in at this stage.) These could be actual people, or generic phrases such as 'best friend', 'my family', perhaps even 'pets', or God or other faith names.

    If no one has suggested 'Jesus', write his name in, and say that many people believe they have a special friend who helps them through life. Point out the qualities you have written around the rectangle and apply them to Jesus.

  4. (Optional) Say that you would like to play them a song which talks about how close this friend is to you. As they listen, the children might want to make it their own prayer. Play 'What a friend I've found' and put the lyrics up on the OHP. Or play the song as the children leave the assembly.

Time for reflection

Dear God,
thank you that you are our friend.
Help us to be friends to each other.
Amen.

Song/music

'Love is something' (Come and Praise Beginning, 16)

Publication date: September 2001   (Vol.3 No.9)    Published by SPCK, London, UK.
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