Ethos Education

Monsters University: No Matter What

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Assembly Objective: 

  • Why should we work hard? Is it enough just to do the minimum we need in order to get by? In this assembly, pupils will think about the value of working hard, even if the task may seem dull or difficult, and will consider the Bible’s teaching about motivation for work.

Film:

  • Monsters University (Disney Pixar, 2013) certificate U. Click here to buy the DVD online.

Bible:

Supporting Values Education:

  • The values of Democracy and Rule of Law are based on a shared community where people contribute to the common good. This assembly helps pupils begin to think about their motivation for working hard. 

OPENING ACTIVITY

Ordinary Olympics (competition)

  • As a group, come up with an alternative competition, where you award people for doing ordinary things to an extraordinary standard. Decide on the categories (e.g. tidying up, waiting patiently, wearing uniform correctly, etc.) and the prizes altogether, and then set up an awards ceremony at the end of the week for the winners (decided by you).

Switch (illustration)

  • Ask for volunteers for a game that you know will be popular, such as a chocolate-eating contest. After the volunteers have participated in the popular game, announce that the game is switching, and make them play an equivalent but unpopular game, such as a sprout-eating contest. Afterwards, ask the children how they felt about the switch. Were they as motivated when they played the second game? Why not?

 FILM CLIP

  • Play the clip from Monsters University (Disney Pixar, 2013) certificate U.
    • First film clip:
      • Start time: 00:20:15 A shot of Monsters University; the teacher commands ‘Ready position’ (start of chapter 9)
      • End time: 00:22:37 ‘One frightening face does not a scarer make, Mr Sullivan,’ the teacher tells Sulley, and Mike gloats
      • Clip length: 2 minutes and 22 seconds
    • If you cannot play the clip, then you can use this description instead:
    • In Mike and Sulley’s first class at Monsters University, their teacher congratulates Sulley in front of the whole class for being ‘a monster who looks like a scarer’. This makes Mike jealous, but it also makes him determined. He spends every waking moment and all of his energy studying fear theory and practising his scary faces. Sulley, on the other hand, only uses books to prop up tables and spends all his time playing or watching games. When it comes to their first test, Mike is ready with a huge range of scare tactics. ‘That is some remarkable improvement, Michael,’ the teacher tells him. But when Sulley makes the same scare pose he made in their first lesson, the teacher is not impressed.
    • Second film clip:
      • Start time: 01:29:03 a close-up shot of a mail bag zooms out to show Mike and Sulley in the mail room (start of chapter 31)
      • End time: 01:30:30 (Mike tells Sulley, ‘You better believe it’ and steps over the line onto the Scare Floor)
      • Clip length: 1 minute and 27 seconds
    • This montage comes at the end of the film, and follows Mike and Sulley rise to the top of Monsters Inc. Along the way, they do every menial job they are given to the best of their ability, and they enjoy every one.

TALK

Scripted Talk

Download the No Matter What Assembly PowerPoint for use with this talk.

  • [PowerPoint slide 1]
    • Welcome everyone! Has anyone seen the film Monsters Inc.? Who can tell me who the main characters are? [Take suggestions – Mike and Sulley.]
  • [PowerPoint slide 2]
    • There’s a short, green one-eyed monster called Mike and a big, furry purple-spotted monster called Sulley. This pair works at Monsters Inc., which is a factory that collects human screams. The workers at Monsters Inc. must be experts at scaring children in order to get the screams that power the monster world. When we meet Mike and Sulley in the movie Monsters Inc., they are famous: Sulley is the Top Scarer and Mike is his Scare Assistant. But how did they get there?
  • [PowerPoint slide 3]
    • Another film has been released, called Monsters University, which tells the story of how Mike and Sulley first met. They went to the same university to learn how to be scarers, but this didn’t make them best friends. Far from it! They were rivals. Let’s find out what made them so different from each other.
    • Play the first film clip:
      • Start time: 00:20:15 A shot of Monsters University; the teacher commands ‘Ready position’ (start of chapter 9)
      • End time: 00:22:37 ‘One frightening face does not a scarer make, Mr Sullivan,’ the teacher tells Sulley, and Mike gloats
      • Clip length: 2 minutes and 22 seconds
    • If you cannot play the clip, then you can use this description instead:
    • In Mike and Sulley’s first class at Monsters University, their teacher congratulates Sulley in front of the whole class for being ‘a monster who looks like a scarer’. This makes Mike jealous, but it also makes him determined. He spends every waking moment and all of his energy studying fear theory and practising his scary faces. Sulley, on the other hand, only uses books to prop up tables and spends all his time playing or watching games. When it comes to their first test, Mike is ready with a huge range of scare tactics. ‘That is some remarkable improvement, Michael,’ the teacher tells him. But when Sulley makes the same scare pose he made in their first lesson, the teacher is not impressed.
  • [PowerPoint slide 4]
    • Sulley comes from a long line of scarers, and – as his teacher said – he looks like a scarer already. But he isn’t prepared to work hard.
    • Mike is small and not at all scary. But he eats, breathes and sleeps scaring until he becomes an expert at it!
  • [PowerPoint slide 5]
    • What is your attitude to work? Do you try your best like Mike, or do you try to get away with as little as possible, like Sulley? Perhaps there are some school subjects you enjoy, so you try hard with those. But when it comes to the subjects you don’t like, you’d rather not bother at all. What about homework or chores – do you try to do your best even then?
    • A man named Paul wrote a letter to help motivate Jesus’ followers to do their best. This letter became part of the Bible. Let’s read a short bit of it.
  • [PowerPoint slide 6]:
    • Read Colossians 3: 23:
    • ‘In all the work you are given, do the best you can. Work as though you are working for the Lord, not any earthly master.’
    • This bit of advice was written not to people in powerful, glamorous or easy jobs, but people with perhaps the hardest job imaginable. Paul was writing to slaves. In Paul’s time, many people were slaves. They were forced to do dull and difficult tasks.
  • [PowerPoint slide 7]
    • Paul encourages these slaves to do their best, no matter what the task. Not in order to please their slave master, but in order to please the God who loved them. In this way, a boring errand could be converted into a race to be the best messenger you can be. For Christians, even the simplest task is an opportunity to do your best for God.
    • The next time you face a task you don’t like, have a go at converting it.
    • Instead of just doing the washing up, try to make those dishes the cleanest they have ever been!
    • Instead of just going to the class you can’t stand, try to be the best student in the classroom!
    • Instead of just getting ready to go to school, try each day to be faster and more helpful than you were yesterday!
  • [PowerPoint slide 8]
    • ‘In all the work you are given, do the best you can,’ Paul said. If slaves could make it their mission to do any job they were given to the very best of their ability, then I think we can manage that mission too!

Headings and Bullets

  •  [PowerPoint slide 1]
    • Introduction:
    • Welcome.
  • [PowerPoint slide 2]
    • Introduce Mike and Sulley, the main characters of the Monsters Inc. film.
    • But how did Mike and Sulley become famous scarers?
  • [PowerPoint slide 3]
    • Introduce the prequel film: Monsters University.
      • When Mike and Sulley first met, they weren’t friends; they were rivals.
      • Play the first film clip:
  • [PowerPoint slide 4]
    • Sulley and Mike’s approach to work .
      • Sulley has all the makings of a great scarer, but he isn’t prepared to work hard.
      • Mike is small and not at all scary, but he eats, breathes and sleeps scaring.
  • [PowerPoint slide 5]
    • Your attitude to work:
      • What is your attitude to work?
      • Do you try your best like Mike or try to get away with as little as possible, like Sulley?
      • Perhaps you try harder in school subjects you enjoy, but when it comes to the subjects you don’t like or to homework or chores, you’d rather not bother at all.
  • [PowerPoint slide 6-7]
    • Paul’s advice:
      • A man named Paul tried to help motivate Jesus’ followers to do their best, no matter what the task.
      • Read Colossians 3: 23:
      • Paul encouraged slaves to do their best not in order to please their slave master, but in order to please the God who loved them.
      • For Christians, even the simplest task is an opportunity to do your best for God.
  • [PowerPoint slide 8]
    • Making the ordinary extraordinary.
      • The next time you face a task you don’t like, convert it into an opportunity to do your best.
      • Examples:
      • ‘In all the work you are given, do the best you can,’ Paul said. If slaves could make it their mission to do any job they were given to the very best of their ability, then I think we can manage that mission too!

Photo copyright for No Matter What Assembly PowerPoint: Slide 1 Disney/Pixar / Slide 2 Disney/Pixar / Slide 3 Disney/Pixar / Slide 4 Disney/Pixar / Slide 5 and 8 Disney/Pixar / Slide 7  iStockphoto.com


RESPOND

Reflection

  • We all have to do some things that we don’t enjoy doing. Let’s watch a clip from the end of Monsters University. Look out for the sort of jobs that Mike and Sulley end up doing, and look out for their attitude too.
  • Play the second film clip
    • Start time: 01:29:03 a close-up shot of a mail bag zooms out to show Mike and Sulley in the mail room (start of chapter 31)
    • End time: 01:30:30 (Mike tells Sulley, ‘You better believe it’ and steps over the line onto the Scare Floor)
    • Clip length: 1 minute and 27 seconds

Prayer

  • I’m going to pray for us now. If you’d like to show that you agree with what I pray, you can say ‘Amen’ either out loud or in your head. ‘Amen’ means ‘I agree’ or ‘Yes, I want that to happen’.
  • Dear God, thank you that each task you give us is an opportunity to do something well. Encourage us when we’re tempted to not bother trying. Teach us to convert the ordinary into the extraordinary by doing our very best, no matter what the task. Amen.

YOU WILL NEED:

  1. Monsters University (Disney Pixar, 2013) certificate U. Click here to buy the DVD online.
  2. No Matter What Assembly PowerPoint.
  3. Prizes for the Ordinary Olympics opening activity.
  4. Equipment for a popular game and for an (equivalent) unpopular game for the Switch opening activity.

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