by Simeon Whiting
Suitable for Key Stage 3
To reflect on irresponsible risks and positive ones (SEAL theme: Risk).
Preparation and materials
- Note that three alternative ways of starting this assembly are given, but you could instead use each of them on successive days to expand it into three days’ material.
- Also note that, as this assembly involves eating sweets and eggs, check if any of the students have allergies to any of the ingredients.
- For the first game, you will need a bag of Revels sweets. If you choose the activity instead, you will need four eggs, the first hard-boiled, the second soft-boiled, the third raw, the fourth with the egg yolk and white blown out of it via a small hole made at the top to blow into and another at the bottom for the contents to come out of (do this over a bowl). Make sure you know which egg is which and have a box to keep them in during the assembly. You will also need a bowl, a chair and a towel, plus some sweets as a thank you. If you choose the final game, have enough individually wrapped sweets for each student to have one.
- For the first game in the ‘Assembly’, Step 1, you will need two volunteers. For the activity in the ‘Assembly’, Step 3, you will need one volunteer. Organize them prior to the assembly so that they know what to do.
- Have available the song ‘Dare you to move’ by Switchfoot and the means to play it at the end of the assembly or sing the hymn given under ‘Song’.
- Play the following game.
– Ask for your two volunteers to come up to the front.
– Announce that they are going to play a game of ‘Revels Roulette’. As everyone knows, Revels are delicious, except for the dreaded coffee ones, which are revolting.
– The object of this game is to avoid the dreaded coffee Revels.
– The players take it in turns to take a sweet from the bag and eat it. They may not look into the bag or exchange a sweet for another once they’ve taken it.
– If a player eats anything other than a coffee sweet, play continues. The first player to eat a coffee Revel loses the game. An element of honesty is required for this, but it doesn’t matter that much if someone chooses to cheat.
- That was just a silly game, but it’s amazing how many people live their lives like that. They do things that they know could be nasty experiences, but they go ahead and take those risks anyway. Perhaps it’s wise to think through what the consequences might be before we take a risk.
- Instead of the above game, you could undertake the following activity.
– Note that this is a bit messier than ‘Revels Roulette’.
– Ask for your volunteer to come up and sit on the chair, which should be placed centrally at the front.
– Show the volunteer the four prepared eggs in the box. Explain that one is raw, one is hard-boiled, one soft-boiled and one blown (empty).
– At the end of this activity, the volunteer will have to choose an egg to break on his or her head.
– Narrow this down by choosing the soft-boiled egg and breaking it into the bowl.
– Now invite the volunteer to choose from the three remaining eggs. Ask him or her to take an egg out of the box and hold it up.
– Take one of the two remaining eggs out of the box. If the hard-boiled egg is still available, choose this one. Otherwise, choose the blown egg. Break this egg into the bowl.
– Explain that the volunteer now has a 50:50 chance of ending up in a real mess. Ask whether he or she still wants to go ahead and break the egg on his or her head.
– If you know the volunteer has the blown or hard-boiled egg, let him or her go ahead. Otherwise, take the raw egg from the volunteer and break it into the bowl.
– Thank the volunteer, give him or her the sweets and let him or her go and sit down.
– If there is any egg on the volunteer, give him or her the towel to clean up with.
- It’s amazing how many people live their lives like that. They do things that they know could leave them in a real mess, but they go ahead and take those risks anyway. Perhaps it’s wise to think through what the consequences might be before we take a risk.
- Instead of the above game or activity, you could play the following game.
– Give each of the students a wrapped sweet as they enter the assembly room or place one on each seat.
– Ask everyone to take their sweet and play Rock, Paper, Scissors with their neighbour. The winner takes the loser’s sweet and finds another opponent. The loser sits down.
– Continue in the same way, with every winning player taking any sweets his or her opponent has. So, if a player has collected eight sweets, he gives them all to his opponent if he loses.
– Carry on until there are only a few players left. Either let them retake their seats and keep their winnings or invite them to the stage and have them play until there is one final winner.
– Make sure everyone is back in their seats and settled before continuing with the assembly.
- Some risks are just irresponsible, but others offer real rewards if we’re brave enough to take them. In the game, the chances of you winning something weren’t very good, but you had to take the risk of playing the game if you wanted to win! Even if you didn’t win, you didn’t lose much by trying. Taking a risk can be a wise decision.
- Christians believe that Jesus challenges his followers to live a risky life. This doesn’t mean taking irresponsible risks, but it can mean doing things that look a bit strange. Jesus urges us to take care of people, even when they don’t like us. He tells us to not worry about money and possessions but trust God to give us what we need. In fact, he challenges us to give our time, money and energy to help other people instead of making ourselves comfortable. Definitely risky, but he promises rewards if we choose to live that way.
Time for reflection
So are there any risks you’re taking at the moment that perhaps aren’t good for you? Equally, are there any rewards you’re missing out on because you’re afraid to take a risk to get them? Have a listen to this poem called ‘Risks’ by Janet Rand and think about those questions.
To laugh is to risk appearing the fool,
To weep is to risk being called sentimental.
To reach out to another is to risk involvement.
To expose feelings is to risk showing your true self.
To place your ideas and dreams before the crowd is to risk being called naive.
To love is to risk not being loved in return,
To live is to risk dying,
To hope is to risk despair,
To try is to risk failure
But risks must be taken, because the greatest risk in life is to risk nothing.
The person who risks nothing, does nothing, is nothing and becomes nothing.
He may avoid suffering and sorrow, but he simply cannot learn, feel, change, grow or love.
Chained by his certitude, he is a slave; he has forfeited his freedom.
Only the person who risks is truly free.
‘I walk by faith’
‘Dare you to move’ by Switchfoot