Pause for Thought: Enjoyable November!
Enjoying the month of November
by Janice Ross
Suitable for Whole School (Sec)
To encourage appreciation of the natural world in November.
Preparation and materials
- Have available the YouTube video ‘Geese with flying sounds’ and the means to show it during the ‘Time for reflection’ part of the assembly. It is 0.25 minutes long and is available at: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=V-YWQCqg7cY
- Optional: you may wish to display some images of autumn in Canada, in which case you will also need the means to do so. Examples are available at: https://tinyurl.com/4xnb9ds, https://tinyurl.com/y5bz78zs and https://tinyurl.com/eynfxues
- Ask the students which month of the year is their favourite and why.
Pause to allow time for discussion in groups.
Ask for a show of hands as you call out each month. Remind the students that they are only allowed to choose one!
You may wish to ask each group to come up with its favourite month by debating and then voting.
- Explain that there could be many reasons why people chose a particular month. For example, that month may include a birthday, going on holiday, Christmas, fine weather, school holidays and so on.
- Ask the students whether any of them have read the book Anne of Green Gables by Lucy Maud Montgomery. It is a story about an orphan girl who goes to live with two elderly people who need help on their farm. The farm, Green Gables, is in a quiet town on Prince Edward Island in Canada.
In the book, Anne says, ‘I’m so glad I live in a world where there are Octobers.’
- From the setting of this story, ask the students whether they can guess why Anne liked Octobers.
Identify that October in Canada is known to be very beautiful. In a land of many trees, autumn - or ‘fall’ as it is known in North America - provides a glorious technicolour landscape of oranges, reds and browns.
Show some images of autumn in Canada.
- Point out that some people can feel a bit down this month as the days get shorter and the nights draw in. However, there are many great things about November.
Ask groups or individual students to suggest why November might be someone’s favourite month.
Listen to a range of responses.
Suggestions may include Bonfire Night, the fact that Christmas is getting nearer, the way the sunlight falls on foliage that turns from green to orange to red, crunching through leaves underfoot, watching squirrels on the hunt for the last nuts before hibernation and darker nights that are good for stargazing and cuddling up with a hot chocolate.
Explain that, in the USA and Canada, many people celebrate Thanksgiving Day in November.
Time for reflection
Point out that, if we look around us, we can find exciting and enjoyable things in most places. Encourage the students to take the time to look around them in the week ahead.
Explain that, as well as looking around, we could enjoy stopping and listening to the sounds of November. These might include the noises of vehicles splashing through puddles, people walking on crunchy leaves and geese or other birds migrating.
Show the YouTube video ‘Geese with flying sounds’.
Point out that, if we don’t take the time to look or listen, we can miss much of the beauty around us at any time of the year.
Thank you that, even in the darker days of our year, there is beauty in nature all around us.
Please help us when we feel sad.
Please help us to take the time to lift our eyes and open our ears.
Please help us to have our eyes open to the needs of others.
Thank you for the beauty of our world.