We did this assembly on sharing and working together last week in one of our local junior schools:
Preparation and Materials
- Equipment: two spoons, sticky-taped onto long canes; some small sweets such as Smarties, or crisps; two shallow dishes; two bananas; two bags of cookies.
- You will also need a travel bag and a couple of books. Put one book and one of the bags of cookies in the travel bag – along with other items to ‘hide’ the secreted bag of cookies.
- Before the start of the assembly, place three chairs at the front of the assembly space with the travel bag on the middle chair and the other paper bag of five small cookies out of sight behind the travel bag. The three chairs are the airport departure lounge. Put two further chairs to one side of the ‘stage’: these will be the plane.
The Long Spoons
Ask for two volunteers to come out and eat some sweets. Tell them they must use your ‘Special Spoons’. The children try to eat the sweets, but fail as the spoons are too long.
Stop the children after a few attempts and tell them that the theme of the assembly is ‘sharing’. Give them a few clues if necessary, so that they get the idea of feeding each other with the spoons. Stop after a few successful attempts.
Ask the children for any examples of times when they have helped someone to do something, or needed someone to work with them. If appropriate, have some children act out their ideas, or use the ideas above.
Discuss the need for working together to make life better, for offering to help rather than waiting to be asked, for being open to help and ready to receive it.
Have a Banana
Explain that you are very hungry because you missed out on breakfast/break/lunch (whichever is appropriate to the time of day). Say you hope that, while you are talking, no one minds if you have a snack.
Produce a banana from your pocket or bag and say how much you like bananas and how healthy and delicious they are, etc. Begin to peel it.
Part way through peeling it, stop and say that perhaps you are being a little selfish, and maybe someone would like to share your banana with you. Ask for a volunteer who really likes bananas. Choose an older child who is emotionally robust(!) and say you will ‘go halves’ with him or her. Continue to peel the banana, and then give the skin to the child while you begin to eat the fruit, saying: Half for you and half for me.
Look disappointed that the child isn’t eating the banana-peel, and say something like, I thought you liked bananas – what’s the problem? Hopefully the child will say something along the lines that s/he can’t eat the skin, and so hasn’t really had half, etc.
Make the point that sometimes we think we are sharing and being generous, when really we are keeping the best for ourselves and giving away rubbish. Can the children think of any examples, such as sharing sweets but only giving away the ones we don’t like? Christians believe that everything we have really belongs to God, and we need to be responsible with it and not greedy. In the Bible we are called to be generous and ready to share (1 Timothy 6.18).
Finish by apologizing to the volunteer and giving him/her the second banana.
The Cookie Thief
Ask for two volunteers to act out the story that you are going to tell. Tell the volunteers to sit on the two outside chairs. Explain that they are passengers waiting in an airport departure lounge for their flights. They don’t know each other and are waiting for an announcement to board their planes. The man is reading a book (give one to the volunteer).
The lady is getting a bit bored. She decides that she will get her own book out to read (she gets it out of the travel bag). An announcement comes over the speaker system that her flight is delayed. The lady is getting a bit peckish so decides she will have one of her cookies. Without looking up from her book, she reaches down by her bag and takes a cookie (the child reaches into the paper bag behind the travel bag).
To her astonishment, the man also reaches down and helps himself to a cookie and eats it all (child gets a cookie out of the same paper bag). The lady is shocked and thinks what an awful man he must be. She chooses to say nothing but gives him a look of disdain. She has a further cookie and again the man takes one and quickly eats it. (Lots can be made of this – how the lady must be feeling – her shock and surprise. Get the children to imagine how they would feel in her place.)
Then to her disbelief, the man reaches down and takes the last cookie in the bag, looks at her, breaks it in half, offers her half of it and he eats the other half. The lady snatches it off him and with a scowl eats it. Another announcement is made and it is the lady’s flight that is being called. She pushes her book in to her travel bag, puts the bag over her shoulder, grabs the cookie bag, screws it up in anger, throws it in the bin and with an angry look at the man, storms off to the departure gate and her plane (child moves and sits on one of the other two seats: the plane), leaving the man behind to wait for his own flight.
Settling in to her plane seat, the lady prepares for the flight. She reaches into her travel bag to get her book. (Give a gasp of astonishment and shocked disbelief.) To the lady’s horror, she discovers her bag of cookies! (She pulls out of her travel bag an identical paper bag to the one just screwed up and thrown away. Hold this up.)
Depending upon the age of the children, remind them of what has happened and point out that the man had offered the lady half of the last cookie even though they were his cookies.
Time for reflection
What a terrible situation to be in! But reflect upon what the man did. Even though the lady was eating his cookies, he graciously let her have half of his last one.
Would we have done the same?
Just as that lady did, do we think bad thoughts about people when they act strangely? Perhaps we should sometimes turn around how we think and respond with kindness even when we feel we are wronged.
In a moment of silence, ask the children to think especially of someone they might share things with, choose to work with, play with or help in some way today.
Please bless our school,
that by working together and playing together
we may learn to serve you
and to serve one another.