Co-operation - a whole school assembly outline
Aim: to think about valuing each other’s contribution to teamwork
1 If possible, display some artwork from the children of bodies made up entirely of one part: a huge ear, a massive eye, a hand and so on. They might be an ear, with little ears stuck all over it in the place of feet, hands, nose, eyes and so on.
2 As a drama exercise, a class could prepare a cake machine to show the assembly: each child makes a repeated action and sound as if they’re part of a cake factory machine. They join up together so that the machine is working in harmony. The machine mimes weighing, mixing, baking, packing.
3 Describe the machine, and point out the different jobs that each part has to do, from the big actions to the tiny actions. Stop the machine. Ask which is the most important part of the machine. Ask what might happen if each part tried to do this important job. Give it a try. Look! The machine can’t do its job. You need every part to be different to get the job done. And each part has to work together. So actually, although this part looks the most important, every single part is just as important.
4 There was a group of Christians about two thousand years ago who were a bit like the cake machine. They all thought they were either too important for the church or not important enough for the church. They quarrelled and squabbled and fell out. They weren’t doing what they were supposed to. So Paul wrote them a letter. And this letter is in our Bible today. Here’s part of it:
(As you read it, a group of children could act it out as shown)
Your body is not made up of one part (stand very stiffly) But of lots of different parts.
It takes all sorts of parts to make up a body. (jig around, waving hands, feet, head and so on)
If your foot says, ‘I’m not a hand, so I don’t belong to the body, (look very sad and forlorn) does it stop being part of the body? (shake heads)
Or if your ear says ‘I’m not an eye so I don’t belong to the body.’ (look sad again) Does it stop being part of the body? (shake heads)
If the whole body was an ear, (make body into an ear shape) How would we see anything?
If the whole body was an eye (make body into eye shape) How would we smell anything?
No, it takes all sorts of parts to make up a body. (jiggle again)
So your hand can’t say to your foot, ‘You’re only a foot, we don’t need you!’ (look scornfully at your foot)
And your head can’t say to your hand, ‘You are the weakest link. Good-bye.’ (Wink like Anne Robinson)
God has arranged the parts of the body just as he wants them to be. Why? So that all the parts work together smoothly, each part caring for the others. (stroke arms, hold hands, look concerned)
If one part gets hurt (mime hurting a finger) The whole body knows about it (show in slow motion the way your whole body reacted to the finger)
If one part gets praised (Point admiringly to someone’s hair) The whole body jumps for joy (jump for joy)
Together (hold hands / put arms over shoulders) You are the body of Christ. And each one of you is part of his body.
5 Action Prayer:
- (hold out your hands) Lord, thank you for the people who are like hands, who help us and care for us.
- (Touch your back) Thank you for people who are like our backbone, who help us stay firm and strong.
- (Touch your stomach) Thank you for people who are like our tummies, who are warm and comfortable to be with.
- (Touch your eyes) Thank you for people who are like our eyes, who help us see the world in a different way.
- (Touch your bottom) Thank you for people who are like our bottoms, who we can depend on, and who we rest on! They may not seem important, Lord, but what would we do without them?
- (If your assembly can’t cope with the degree of excitement that a mention of bottoms would bring, you might want to substitute ‘feet’)