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Happiness Through Contentment

What makes us truly happy?

by Alison Groves

Suitable for Key Stage 3


To consider that true happiness is not gained through material possessions.

Preparation and materials


  1. Show Slides 1-8 one at a time, asking the students what emotion each slide is showing.

    You may wish to ask the students to discuss the slides in pairs and consider when it might be appropriate to use the particular emojis.

  2. Ask the students to think of some alternative emotions. Ask them to draw emojis that represent these emotions for others to guess.

  3. Ask the students to think about emotions. Point out that all of us have emotions and feelings and that how we act affects the emotions and feelings of those around us.

  4. Ask the students to think of things that make them really happy. You may wish them to discuss these in pairs or small groups.

  5. Ask the students to think about people who make them happy. Why do these people have that effect on them? Is it the way they behave? The words they use? How they treat them with respect?

  6. Show Slide 9.

    These pictures are very simple, but they illustrate that we often compare ourselves with others, thinking, ‘Are they richer/better-looking/more intelligent?’ and so on. Social media is great in many ways, but it can leave us feeling vulnerable and miserable when we see the supposedly perfect lives of others.

    Highlight that comparing ourselves to others is likely to make us unhappy. It is far better to be thankful for what we have and who we are.

Time for reflection

Take time to think about the things that we can be grateful for. Encourage the students to focus on being content with what they have and to concentrate on following their own paths in life without comparing themselves to others.

Encourage the students to think about qualities in others that make them feel happy and good about themselves. Encourage them to consider how they can make others feel happy and more confident about themselves.

Christians believe that they have a lot to be thankful to God for. They believe that God made them and that each person is special to him.

What can we be thankful for today?

Thank you, Lord, that true happiness and contentment can be found when we follow your path for our lives.
Please help us not to compare ourselves to other people, but instead to recognize our own special individuality.
Through this, may we always be people who bring joy to others through our attitude to life and our outlook on it.


‘I am amazing’ by Philippa Hanna, available at: (4.21 minutes long)

Publication date: November 2020   (Vol.22 No.11)    Published by SPCK, London, UK.
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