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Listening

To celebrate and reflect on the joy of listening to the sounds around us.

by Gill Hartley

Suitable for Key Stage 1

Aims

To celebrate and reflect on the joy of listening to the sounds around us.

Preparation and materials

  • A children's version of the Bible (optional).
  • Note: You will need to use the following suggestions with sensitivity if there are children with hearing impairments present.

Assembly

  1. Ask the children to be very still and quiet; ask them to listen. What sounds can they hear? After a short time, ask them to open their eyes and invite volunteers to tell you what they heard.

  2. Ask the children to suggest any 'noise' words, such as bang, whisper, sizzle, roar, rustle, shout, sing, etc. Enjoy each word as it is suggested, with everyone joining in if appropriate.

  3. What are their favourite sounds? (You may have to give an example of your 'favourite' sound to start them off.) As they tell you, you may like to make a note of some of the favourite sounds to use in a prayer later.

    Ask if they have ever heard their mum/dad/carer/teacher say to them, 'You never listen to a word I say!'

  4. Ask the question: Why is it important to listen? Possible answers should include:

    To learn (e.g. at school)
    For safety reasons (e.g. the Green Cross Code - listening for traffic as well as looking right and left)
    To enjoy music

    Can the children suggest other reasons as well?

  5. Do any of the children like listening to stories? Explain that Jesus told a lot of stories to teach people about God. When he said about his stories, 'If you have ears, then listen!' he meant that if you really listen you can get a lot more out of the story.

 

Optional extension

If you wish to extend the assembly you may like to tell the story of Samuel hearing God calling him, as told in a children's version of the Bible (1 Samuel 3.1-10).

Time for reflection

Ask the children to be still and quiet again. This time they are going to use the silence to think. They are going to listen to their own thoughts. Ask them to think about all the wonderful noises in the world, the noises that they enjoy.

As you bring the time of reflection to an end tell the children that people who believe in God use a time of quiet thinking to talk to God and to listen to what God might be saying to them.

Finish with a 'thank you' prayer, possibly using some of the children's suggestions from earlier in the assembly. Begin with the phrase 'For the sound of…' and add a few of the children's suggestions, and end with 'Thank you, God. Amen.'

If there are lots of suggestions, you could say the prayer in several verses, each beginning with the phrase 'For the sound of…' and ending with 'Thank you, God' as a response for the children to join in with. End the final verse with 'Amen' so that the children know that the prayer has finished.

Song/music

'I listen' (Come and Praise, 60)

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