Ethos Education

Despicable Me 2: Help!

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Assembly Objective: 

  • Who can we turn to when we need help? This assembly explores the Bible’s teaching about talking to parents, peers, professionals – and God.

Film: 

  • Despicable Me 2 (Universal, 2013) certificate U. Click here to buy the DVD online.

Bible:

Supporting Values Education:

  • The value of Individual Liberty affirms each person’s right to self-determination, but the values of Democracy, Respect and Tolerance call us to live as part of a community. This assembly encourages pupils to consider how we can help one another for the common good.

OPENING ACTIVITY

Help! (mood-setter)

  • Whilst the pupils and staff enter the room, play Help! by The Beatles. A tribute version is available on mp3.

Help is at hand (role-play)

  • Invite some volunteers to act out a series of scenarios, involving someone in trouble. Whisper each scenario to the actors involved. When the character in trouble shouts ‘Help!’ then tell the actors to freeze, whilst you ask the rest of the group to suggest: a) what is the trouble and b) whose help is needed.
  • Scenario ideas:
    • Homework is too difficult
    • Rucksack gets stolen
    • Being bullied at school
    • Parents keep arguing
    • Feeling sad all the time

Feelings buzz (something to think about)

  • Ask the children to come up with as many different ‘feeling’ words as they can. Ensure the group understands what each word means and whether they like feeling that way or not. If time allows, discuss the feelings the children are happy to experience (e.g. cheerful, calm, loved) and the feelings they don’t like experiencing (e.g. sad, angry, afraid). Follow up the latter examples by asking what they could do to make themselves feel better?
  • You could write these words up as they’re suggested, and task the children with creating a ‘Feeling Dictionary’ in class afterwards, putting the words in alphabetical order and explaining what some of them mean.

FILM CLIP

  • Play the clip from Despicable Me 2 (Universal, 2013) certificate U.
    • Start time: 00:57:33 (a shot of Gru’s house with a miserable Gru sat on the doorstep)
    • End time: 00:59:57 (the minion wearing a ginger wig turns the fire extinguisher on the minion wearing a siren hat)
    • Clip length: 2 minutes and 24 seconds
  • If you cannot play the clip, then you could read the following description instead:
    • Gru is sitting in front of his house in the rain. He is sad. He loves Lucy, but she is leaving to live in Australia. Gru doesn’t know what to do. Suddenly, the front door opens and Gru’s daughter Agnes comes out. She gives him an umbrella and asks him, ‘Is there anything I can do?’ But, Gru can’t think of anything Agnes can do. ‘Is there anything you can do?’ she asks him. Gru decides to call Lucy. He has a practice, but his minion teases him. ‘That’s not helping,’ Gru snaps. Gru is so afraid of calling that he uses a flamethrower to melt the phone. The minions run into his office pretending to be a fire engine. They smash up his desk, drench the whole room and make a lot of noise in the process!

TALK

Download the Despicable Me 2 Help Assembly PowerPoint for use with this talk.

Scripted Talk

  • [PowerPoint slide 1]
    • Welcome, everybody, to our assembly. Today we’ll be thinking about help. We’ll think about when people need help and how they can get help. That way we’ll be prepared when we – or people we know – are in trouble. We’re going to have a look at the Bible’s suggestions for good places and good people to turn to when we’re in trouble.
    • Who can give me an example of somebody who needs help? [Take a few suggestions – silly and sensible – and in each case point out why the person cannot resolve the situation by themselves. Write up the examples so that you can return to them later.]
    • Now we’re going to watch a clip from Despicable Me 2. Afterwards I’m going to ask you where Gru looked for help, and if he found help there.
    • Play the clip from Despicable Me 2 (Universal, 2013) certificate U.
      • Start time: 00:57:33 (a shot of Gru’s house with a miserable Gru sat on the doorstep)
      • End time: 00:59:57 (the minion wearing a ginger wig turns the fire extinguisher on the minion wearing a siren hat)
      • Clip length: 2 minutes and 24 seconds
    • If you cannot play the clip, then you could read the following description instead:
      • Gru is sitting in front of his house in the rain. He is sad. He loves Lucy, but she is leaving to live in Australia. Gru doesn’t know what to do. Suddenly, the front door opens and Gru’s daughter Agnes comes out. She gives him an umbrella and asks him, ‘Is there anything I can do?’ But, Gru can’t think of anything Agnes can do. ‘Is there anything you can do?’ she asks him. Gru decides to call Lucy. He has a practice, but his minion teases him. ‘That’s not helping,’ Gru snaps. Gru is so afraid of calling that he uses a flamethrower to melt the phone. The minions run into his office pretending to be a fire engine. They smash up his desk, drench the whole room and make a lot of noise in the process!
  • [PowerPoint slide 2]
    • Did Gru need help? [Take suggestions – yes.] Did his flamethrower help? [Take suggestions.] It just melted his phone! It didn’t do anything to change his situation. Were the minions much help? [Take suggestions.] They did manage to put out the fire, but they also ruined his office. And they could have encouraged him when he was about to make the phone call, rather than teasing him. Was Agnes able to help? [Take suggestions.] She brought him an umbrella, but she couldn’t stop Lucy from going to Australia or stop Gru from feeling sad about it. Poor Gru needed help, but he didn’t go to the right places to get it.
  • [PowerPoint slide 3]
    • The Bible is the story of how God helps the world. He wants more than anything to help us because he loves us. The Bible is full of good advice about where we should turn when we’re in trouble. Let’s have a look at four options for finding help.
    • According to the Bible, God created people. He didn’t stop after making the first person, Adam; he made the first woman, Eve, and then he carried on making people, so that we could love each other.
  • [PowerPoint slide 4]
    • Here’s our first verse from the Bible: ‘God gives lonely people a family’ (Psalm 68:6, NIRV).
    • God has given us families to help us. In the Old Testament, we read that parents and relatives are meant to take care of us: ‘Listen to your father’s advice,’ it says. ‘Don’t turn away from your mother’s teaching’ (Proverbs 1:8, NIRV). ‘It is truly wonderful when relatives live together in peace (Psalm 133:1, CEV).
    • When you are in trouble, try talking to your mummy, daddy, or a relative – a family member who you trust. They should know you best and have your best interests at heart. If you feel lonely, spend time with them or ask them for a hug. If you see something on the internet or TV that makes you feel uncomfortable, talk to them about it.
  • [PowerPoint slide 5]
    • God tells us to help each other as well. In the New Testament, Jesus says, ‘love one another’ (John 13:34). There are some things that it might be difficult to talk to our parents about. Perhaps we don’t feel that they understand, or perhaps they are part of the issue. If you’re on your own at playtime, ask a friend to include you in their game. If your parents are arguing a lot, try talking to your friend about it.
    • Of course, not every friend can be trusted to be helpful, so it’s important that we are careful when choosing which friend to speak to. The Bible says, ‘Some friends don’t help, but a true friend is closer than your own family’ (Proverbs 18:24, CEV). It also says, ‘A friend you can’t trust in times of trouble is like having a toothache or a sore foot’ (Proverbs 25:19, CEV). Like the minions in the clip, they do more harm than good!
  • [PowerPoint slide 6]
    • God teaches that people should take special care of children. ‘Children are a blessing and a gift from the Lord,’ according to the Bible (Psalm 127:3, CEV). Jesus set a good example of being kind to children, letting them come to him even when his followers thought he didn’t have time for them. Jesus said, ‘Anyone who welcomes a little child like this in my name welcomes me… See that you don’t look down on one of these little ones’ (Matthew 18:5, 10, NIRV).
    • For a whole range of people, taking care of you is their job and privilege. Can you think of anyone like that here? Teachers are the obvious one! [Adapt the following examples to make them applicable to your school’s pastoral-care system.] If you’re being bullied or if you’re struggling to do your schoolwork, you could speak to your teacher, your Head of Year or another teacher you trust. If you’re worried about a health problem, you could see the school nurse. If you are worried about a personal problem, you could see the school counsellor.
    • There are also special counsellors outside of school. ChildLine is designed especially to help children and young people – it’s not for grownups! You could call a ChildLine counsellor on 0800 1111, or you could email them or have a 1-2-1 chat online at http://www.childline.org.uk. It is free and can be used any time day or night to talk about any problem – no matter how big or small
  • [PowerPoint slide 7)
    • Last but not least, God is ready to help us himself. The Bible says ‘God is our mighty fortress, always ready to help in times of trouble. And so, we won’t be afraid!’ (Psalm 46:1-2, CEV). It says, ‘If you are having trouble, you should pray… The prayer of an innocent person is powerful, and it can help a lot.’ (James 5:13, 16b, CEV). Prayer simply means talk to God.
    • When we are afraid or angry or upset – in fact, however we are feeling – we can go to God. This sometimes seems difficult to do because God doesn’t live in a particular place. We cannot go and find him sitting in a coffee shop, typing in an internet chatroom or even preaching in a church. But that doesn’t mean he isn’t real or that he doesn’t care about you or that you can’t find him. He is everywhere and he can see everything that is happening to you – he even hears what you are thinking. That means that you can talk to him anytime and anywhere – even in your head.
    • We can also hear from God, especially through the Bible. God has given us this book to help us through all of life’s troubles – as well as its joys. I think we’ve learnt a lot just by looking at a few verses from the Bible in this assembly!
  • [PowerPoint slide 8]
    • So, the next time you’re in trouble, remember where you can turn for help: family, friends, professionals and prayer.

Headings and Bullets

  • Introduction [PowerPoint slide 1]
    • Welcome.
    • Introduce the topic of help.
    • Who can give me an example of somebody who needs help?
    • Introduce the film clip:
  • Play the clip from Despicable Me 2 (Universal, 2013) certificate U.
    • Start time: 00:57:33 (a shot of Gru’s house with a miserable Gru sat on the doorstep)
    • End time: 00:59:57 (the minion wearing a ginger wig turns the fire extinguisher on the minion wearing a siren hat)
    • Clip length: 2 minutes and 24 seconds
  • Help Gru [PowerPoint slide 2]
    • Did Gru need help?
    • Did his flamethrower help?
    • Were the minions much help?
    • Was Agnes able to help?
    • Gru needed help, but he didn’t go to the right places to get it.
  • What the Bible says about help [PowerPoint slide 3]
    • The Bible is the story of how God helps the world.
    • It is full of good advice about where we should turn when we’re in trouble.
  • 1. Family [PowerPoint slide 4]
    • God has given us families to help us (Psalm 68:6).
    • In the Old Testament, we read that parents and relatives are meant to take care of us (Proverbs 1:8, Psalm 133:1).
    • When you are in trouble, try talking to your mummy, daddy, or a relative whom you trust.
  • 2. Friends [PowerPoint slide 5]
    • God tells us to help each other as well (John 13:34).
    • There are some things that it might be difficult to talk to our parents about.
    • If you’re on your own at playtime or your parents are arguing a lot, try talking to a friend about it.
    • But, it’s important that we are careful when choosing which friend to speak to (Proverbs 18:24, 25:19).
  • 3. Professionals [PowerPoint slide 6]
    • God teaches that people should take special care of children (Psalm 127:3).
    • Jesus set a good example of being kind to children (Matthew 18:5, 10).
    • For a whole range of people, taking care of you is their job and privilege.
    • [Adapt the following examples to make them applicable to your school’s pastoral-care system.] If you’re being bullied or struggling with your schoolwork, you could speak to a teacher you trust; if you’re worried about your health, you could see the school nurse; if you are worried about a personal problem, you could see the school counsellor.
    • There are also special counsellors outside of school: ChildLine.
  • 4. Prayer [PowerPoint slide 7)
    • God is ready to help us himself (Psalm 46:1-2, James 5:13, 16b).
    • Prayer simply means talk to God.
    • When we are afraid or angry or upset, we can go to God.
    • He is everywhere and he can see everything that is happening to you, which means that you can talk to him anytime and anywhere.
    • We can also hear from God, especially through the Bible.
  • Summary [PowerPoint slide 8]
    • So, the next time you’re in trouble, remember where you can turn for help: family, friends, professionals and prayer.

RESPOND

Reflection

  • Close your eyes, so you can concentrate on your own situation. Is there anything you are concerned about? Are you in trouble? If you need help, think for a moment about where you are going to go to get help. Could you talk to someone in your family, to a friend, to a teacher or a counsellor? I’m going to talk to God in a moment, so – if you want to – you ask him for help here and now…

Prayer

  • Dear God, thank you for giving us so many ways to get help when we’re in trouble. Thank you for loving us. Thank you that you know what is happening in our lives. Please help us now. Amen.

YOU WILL NEED: 

  1. Despicable Me 2 (Universal, 2013) certificate U. Click here to buy the DVD online.
  2. Despicable Me 2 Help Assembly PowerPoint.
  3. A copy of Help! (by The Beatles) for Create the Atmosphere. A tribute version is available on mp3.
  4. Board and marker for the main talk and Feelings Buzz Opening Activity.

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