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Does size matter?

To talk about good things coming in small packages, to show that size can be deceptive.

by Oliver Harrison

Suitable for No Key Stage Specified


To talk about good things coming in small packages, to show that size can be deceptive.

Preparation and materials

  • You will need an LP (12-inch vinyl), a CD, and an MP3 player.


  1. Show the LP. Ask if the students know what it is! Explain and talk about it. Say that it can hold about 40 minutes of music.

    Show the CD. Ask the students what it is, and explain and talk about it. Say that it can hold about 80 minutes of music. Twice as much and yet it’s smaller.

    Show the MP3 player. Ask how many of the students have one in their pocket right now? How much music can yours hold?

    It’s smallest of the three but it can hold the most music. The music running time is the equivalent of a whole school week: you could start it on a Monday morning and play it every day and every night all week until Friday.
  2. Talk about good things coming in small packages, and that size can be deceptive. For example, bank notes are all about the same size …
  3. There’s a story in the Bible (1 Samuel 16.1–13) about how God sees people.

    King Saul wasn’t a very good king in God’s eyes. God decided to send Samuel, the prophet, who spoke for God, to appoint the next king.

    When Samuel arrived at the town of Bethlehem, God told him to go to the home of a man called Jesse. Jesse had many sons, and Samuel asked to see them all. They came in descending age order. The eldest was fully grown, an adult who served in the army. Samuel assumed that God meant that this son must be the new king, but God said no. In Samuel’s heart he felt God saying: ‘People look at the outside, but I look at the heart.’

    So the next young man came in, and the next, and the next. After seven sons had come in, and God had said no to all of them, Samuel asked Jesse if he had any more sons. Jesse admitted that he did: the youngest, David, who was still a boy, was keeping the sheep out on the hills. Samuel looked at David when he arrived, and knew that he was God’s choice for king. God liked the way David thought and acted. God liked his heart. (Although you might like to know that the writer of the story also tells us how good-looking David was – somewhat spoiling the moral of the story!)
  4. The Bible says that God does not judge by appearances but by the heart; not by how big or pretty or handsome or fit or strong someone is on the outside but by what they are like on the inside: are they kind and honest and wise? And are they people, like King David would be, who when they make mistakes are courageous enough to say sorry, and start again?

Time for reflection


Think about the people who you consider to be attractive.

They might be a celebrity,

They might be your friend,

They might be a sports star.

Now think about the people that you like to be with.

People you trust,

People who care for you,

People with good hearts.


People look at the outside, but God looks at the heart.
May my heart be good, and acceptable.


Publication date: September 2008   (Vol.10 No.9)    Published by SPCK, London, UK.
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