Ethos Education

Diary of a Wimpy Kid 2: Rodrick Rules: Pressure to Watch

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Assembly Objective: 

  • How do we decide what we watch on TV, in films and online? This assembly explores the pressures we face as we make such choices, and considers the Bible’s teaching about the impact of what we watch with our eyes upon the attitudes of our hearts.

Film: 

  • Diary of a Wimpy Kid 2: Rodrick Rules (Twentieth Century Fox, 2011) 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 decisions that we make about what we watch affect the way in which we relate to others in our community.

OPENING ACTIVITY

Screen Test (quiz)

  • Tell the assembly that you want to test their watching and listening skills. Show them a short clip from an age-appropriate film then ask them a number of questions about what they have watched (e.g. any writing or numbers that appeared – registration plates, door numbers etc.; the number of people or objects in a particular scene; what the characters were wearing or holding).
  • Ask the children to keep a note of their answers in their heads then play back the clip again, and ask them to total their scores.
  • Make the point that we often watch TV or film without thinking very much about what we see, but more information seeps into our brains that we think.

What Film Am I? (drama)

  • Invite a couple of volunteers to come to the front and mime the names (or plots) of well-known films or stories. Divide the room into two teams and ask the volunteers to mime to their team.
  • Possible titles:
    • Cars
    • Up
    • Diary of a Wimpy Kid
    • Despicable Me
    • The Twits
    • George’s Marvellous Medicine
    • Charlie and the Chocolate Factory
    • Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire etc.

FILM CLIP

  • Play the clip from Diary of a Wimpy Kid 2: Rodrick Rules (Twentieth Century Fox, 2011) certificate U
    • Start time: 44:44 (chapter 12 , ‘I think I may have brought too much stuff’)
    • End time: 47:56 (Manny emerges from the covers waving a bar of chocolate)
    • Clip length: 3 minutes 12 seconds
  • If you can’t show the clip, read this description instead.
    • Greg Heffley and his friend, Rowley, are having a sleepover at Greg’s house. Greg’s mum comes into the room and gives the boys some videos and healthy snacks that Rowley’s mum has sent with him. Once she leaves the room Greg suggests watching ‘The Foot’, a horror movie. The two boys then sit on the bed watching the scary film and eating chocolate, looking increasingly frightened. Eventually Rowley asks Greg to turn it off and the two boys go to sleep. Downstairs Greg’s parents are watching a film. Suddenly they hear the boys screaming in terror. They run upstairs and discover Greg’s brother, Manny, in the bed looking for chocolate.

TALK

Download the Pressure to Watch Assembly PowerPoint to use with this talk.

Scripted Talk

  • [PowerPoint slide 1]
    • Welcome to today’s assembly. We’re going to begin by thinking about what we watch and listen to. How many people enjoy watching or listening to stories? Let’s find out some of our favourite stories.
    • Take suggestions from the children, repeating and categorising them as you do so (e.g. love stories, school stories, fairytales, adventure stories, ghost stories etc.)
  • [PowerPoint slide 2]
    • We’ve discovered that we like all sorts of stories in our school. If you had lived 100 years ago, how do you think you would have heard stories? Take suggestions – reading books, listening to stories being told by others, theatre.
  • [PowerPoint slide 3]
    • How do we hear most of our stories today? Take suggestions – the same answers plus films and TV.
    • In the past, people heard stories by reading them or being told them by other people. That meant they had to use something to help them picture what was happening. What did they have to use? Their imaginations! When you hear or read a story your mind creates pictures to help you remember the story. But when we see stories being acted out or in films, someone else has decided what the characters should look and sound like. The stories we watch on TV and in films are spectacular, and sometimes they seem even more real than the stories we picture in our imaginations.
  • [PowerPoint slide 4]
    • The problem with this is that the stories we watch can sometimes be frightening or nasty, and we are left with pictures in our head that we can’t get rid of.
    • Let’s take a look at a film to see this happening to someone else. Greg and Rowley are great friends, but they often get into trouble, usually because Greg persuades Rowley to do something naughty. In this clip, Rowley is coming to Greg’s house for a sleepover.
    • Play the clip from Diary of a Wimpy Kid 2: Rodrick Rules (Twentieth Century Fox, 2011) certificate U
      • Start time: 44:44 (chapter 12 , ‘I think I may have brought too much stuff’)
      • End time: 47:56 (Manny emerges from the covers waving a bar of chocolate)
      • Clip length: 3 minutes 12 seconds
    • If you can’t show the clip, read this description instead.
      • Greg Heffley and his friend, Rowley, are having a sleepover at Greg’s house. Greg’s mum comes into the room and gives the boys some videos and healthy snacks that Rowley’s mum has sent with him. Once she leaves the room Greg suggests watching ‘The Foot’, a horror movie. The two boys then sit on the bed watching the scary film and eating chocolate, looking increasingly frightened. Eventually Rowley asks Greg to turn it off and the two boys go to sleep. Downstairs Greg’s parents are watching a film. Suddenly they hear the boys screaming in terror. They run upstairs and discover Greg’s brother, Manny, in the bed looking for chocolate.
    • Why do you think the boys were so scared when Manny sneaked into the room to look for chocolate? Manny wasn’t frightening, and there was no reason to think anyone else was in the house apart from the family. The boys had made themselves nervous by watching the scary film. It seems very silly to be scared by a stupid film about a foot, but by watching it earlier in the evening, and letting the idea of the foot into their imaginations, they began to believe that it really was coming to attack them.
    • The boys knew that they were not allowed to watch a scary film, but they went ahead and did it anyway. Perhaps if they were alone they wouldn’t have chosen to watch it, but neither of them wanted to look scared in front of the other.
  • [PowerPoint slide 5]
    • I wonder if any of you have ever watched something that you knew was bad for you? Perhaps you’ve been at a sleepover or with friends, and someone has suggested watching a DVD that you know you’re not allowed to watch. Perhaps you’ve been watching clips on YouTube or online, and you’ve started watching something that has made you frightened or upset. The trouble with films, TV programmes and YouTube clips is that once you’ve seen them it is very hard for your brain to forget them. And we can feel sad, ashamed or frightened by what we’ve watched.
    • The Bible doesn’t say anything about nasty videos, because they weren’t invented when it was written, but Jesus said something about eyes. Let’s read it together.
  • [PowerPoint slide 6]
    • Read Matthew 6:22-23.
    • Your eyes are like a window for your body. When they are good, you have all the light you need. But when your eyes are bad, everything is dark. If the light inside you is dark, you surely are in the dark.
  • [PowerPoint slide 7]
    • That’s quite a strange thing to say, isn’t it? Your eyes are like windows into your body. Through your eyes, you look at the view outside and it affects how you think and how you feel. So, whatever you let yourself look at will make you feel or think a certain way. That’s how adverts work. If you look at lots of pictures of chocolate bars you will begin to think that you feel hungry and you definitely need a bar of chocolate! In the same way, if you look at frightening films about feet, you will begin to believe that the feet are coming to get you.
    • If the light inside you is dark, you surely are in the dark, said Jesus. When we feel afraid or ashamed we can feel as though we’re living in the dark, and that’s not a good place to be.
  • [PowerPoint slide 8]
    • So, I wonder what we can learn about what we choose to watch from Greg, Rowley and Jesus? The first thing to remember is that our parents and other adults put rules in place to protect us. Greg and Rowley’s parents didn’t want them to have less fun, they knew that watching a scary film would harm them. When we’re not allowed to watch certain programmes or films, it’s for a good reason – to stop us being frightened.
    • The second thing to remember is that what we watch makes us think and feel a certain way, so we all have a responsibility to look out for each other. If you’re having a sleepover, or a friend has come to your house and they don’t want to watch something, you should respect their choice and not make fun of them. And you must never feel embarrassed to say that you don’t want to watch something.
    • And the third thing is to remember that even if you watched some films or programmes that you wish you hadn’t, you can pray and ask God to help your mind and imagination forget what you have seen. God doesn’t want our bodies to be full of darkness, he wants us to be full of light.
    • Films, TV programmes and video clips are amazing, and we have lots of great stories to hear, but we must learn how to be wise about what we let in the windows of our bodies.

Headings and Bullets

  • [PowerPoint slide 1]
    • Thinking about what we watch and listen to.
      • What are your favourite stories?
      • Take suggestions from the children, repeating and categorising them as you do so (e.g. love stories, school stories, fairytales, adventure stories, ghost stories etc.)
  • [PowerPoint slide 2]
    • How did people hear stories in the past?
      • Take suggestions – reading books, listening to stories being told by others, theatre.
  • [PowerPoint slide 3]
    • How do we hear most of our stories today?
      • Take suggestions – the same answers plus films and TV.
      • Using your imagination.
      • People heard stories by reading them or being told them by other people.
      • They had to use their imaginations to help them picture what was happening.
      • Imagination is when your mind creates pictures to help you remember the story
      • In films and videos someone else has decided what the characters should look and sound like.
      • Sometimes they seem even more real than the stories we picture in our imaginations.
  • [PowerPoint slide 4]
    • Frightening Stories.
      • We are left with pictures in our head that we can’t get rid of.
    • Introduce film clip.
      • Greg and Rowley are great friends, but they often get into trouble, usually because Greg persuades Rowley to do something naughty.
      • Rowley is coming to Greg’s house for a sleepover. Watch the clip.
        • Start time: 44:44 (chapter 12 , ‘I think I may have brought too much stuff’)
        • End time: 47:56 (Manny emerges from the covers waving a bar of chocolate)
        • Clip length: 3 minutes 12 seconds
    • Talk about the clip.
      • Why were the boys were so scared?
      • The boys had made themselves nervous by watching the scary film.
      • It seems very silly to be scared by a stupid film about a foot.
      • By letting the idea of the foot into their imaginations, they began to believe that it really was coming to attack them.
      • The boys knew that they were not allowed to watch a scary film, but they went ahead and did it anyway.
      • They didn’t want to look scared in front of one another.
    • Have you ever watched something you shouldn’t have?
  • [PowerPoint slide 5]
    • At a sleepover or with friends, or watching online.
    • The trouble with films, TV programmes and YouTube clips is that once you’ve seen them it is very hard for your brain to forget them.
    • We can feel sad, ashamed or frightened by what we’ve watched.
    • Introduce the Bible story.
      • The Bible doesn’t say anything about nasty videos, because they weren’t invented when it was written, but Jesus said something about eyes.
    • Read Matthew 6:22-23:
  • [PowerPoint slide 6]
    • Talk about the Bible story.
  • [PowerPoint slide 7]
    • Quite a strange thing to say.
    • Through your eyes, you look at the view outside and it affects how you think and how you feel.
    • Whatever you let yourself look at will make you feel or think a certain way.
    • Adverts – if you look at lots of pictures of chocolate bars you will begin to think that you feel hungry and you definitely need a bar of chocolate!
    • If you look at frightening films about feet, you will begin to believe that the feet are coming to get you
    • When we feel afraid or ashamed we can feel as though we’re living in the dark, and that’s not a good place to be.
    • What should we do?
  • [PowerPoint slide 8]
    • Firstly remember is that our parents and other adults put rules in place to protect us.
    • When we’re not allowed to watch certain programme.s or films, it’s for a good reason – to stop us being frightened.
    • Secondly remember that what we watch makes us think and feel a certain way, so we all have a responsibility to look out for each other – don’t make others feel bad, never feel embarrassed to say you don’t want to watch.
    • Thirdly remember that even if you watched some films or programmes that you wish you hadn’t, you can pray and ask God to help your mind and imagination forget what you have seen.
    • Learn to be wise.
      • God doesn’t want our bodies to be full of darkness, he wants us to be full of light.
      • Films, TV programmes and video clips are amazing, and we have lots of great stories to hear, but we must learn how to be wise about what we let in the windows of our bodies.

Photo copyright for Pressure to Watch Assembly PowerPoint: Slide 1, 2, 3, 5 andiStockphoto.com / Slide 4 Diyah Pera and Twentieth Century Fox Film Corporation.


RESPOND

Reflection

  • [PowerPoint slide 9]
    • Display the words from the Bible verse shown on the slide and ask the children to read them slowly to themselves and remember that no pictures or films they have seen can harm them in real life.

Prayer

  • Father God, thanks for all the amazing ways we hear stories. Thanks for video clips, DVDs and TV clips. Please help us to be wise about what we allow our eyes to watch. Please help us to forget anything bad that we’ve seen in the past. In Jesus’ name. Amen

YOU WILL NEED:

  1. Diary of a Wimpy Kid 2: Rodrick Rules (Twentieth Century Fox, 2011) certificate U. Click here to buy the DVD online.
  2. Pressure to Watch Assembly PowerPoint.
  3. A short clip and the means to play it plus some observational questions for Screen Test opening activity.

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