Light Up November
How do we feel in November?
by Janice Ross
Suitable for Key Stage 3
To consider November as a month of lights and explore how we can bring brightness to others.
Preparation and materials
- You will need the PowerPoint slides that accompany this assembly (Light Up November) and the means to display them.
- Ask the students how they feel about November. You may wish them to discuss this in small groups or with someone close by.
Point out that for some people, November marks the beginning of a long, cold winter. The nights are closing in, the weather is colder and there’s no time after school to do things in daylight. Some people suffer from seasonal affective disorder, or SAD, where the onset of winter can cause a persistent low mood, irritability and other symptoms.
- Show Slides 1 and 2.
Read the poem ‘November’ by Thomas Hood. You may wish to read it through twice.
- Ask the students, ‘How did that poem make you feel?’
Encourage the students to discuss their answer with a partner.
Listen to a range of responses.
- Explain that the poem is about what November used to be like in Victorian London.
It was an age of great invention, when many new industries were starting up and many people moved to cities for work. Coal was used to fuel the industries, and it produced a lot of grime.
In November, many industrial places including London used to experience a lot of smog, a type of intense air pollution that looked like thick, yellow fog. The smog lingered in the atmosphere and tasted like coal. It got into people’s lungs, giving them bad coughs and asthma. Every year, people were advised to stay inside when the smog came down, but many died. So, we can understand why November could be a miserable month for people.
- Ask the students, ‘Is that how we see the month of November? Or are there things that happen in November that brighten up the month?’
Point out that for some people, November is an exciting time of the year, with beautiful colours on the trees, frosty mornings, fireworks, bonfires, Diwali lights, Advent and the expectation of Christmas!
- Encourage the students to look out for people who might feel sad at this time of year.
Point out that we can all help one another by looking for ways to cheer each other up. Even something as simple as smiling at someone or asking them how they are can brighten their day.
Time for reflection
Jesus said that he is the light of the whole world; no one needs to be afraid of the dark when they trust in him. He also said that we are to shine like lights.
Ask the students, ‘What do you think Jesus meant by this?’
Pause to allow time for thought.
Thank you that lights shine in the darkness to brighten it up.
Please help us to bring light and brightness into someone’s life today.
Please help us to realize that our attitude and even our smiles can make a difference to someone’s life.
Please help us to consider the feelings of other people.
‘My lighthouse’ by Rend Collective, available at: https://youtu.be/reAlJKv7ptU (3.53 minutes long)