Ethos Education

Robots: Pressure to Buy

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Assembly Objective:

  • Why do we feel under so much pressure to buy the latest new things? In this assembly, pupils will consider the Bible’s teaching about being secure and content with what we have, instead of worrying about what we don’t have, or what others think about us.

Film:

  • Robots (Twentieth Century Fox, 2005), certificate PG. 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 the impact of the community around us upon our individual values and choices.

OPENING ACTIVITY

Guess the Logo (quiz)

  • In advance of the assembly find a selection of logos online and put them into a PowerPoint presentation. Ask children to name the companies these logos represent.
  • If you Google ‘Logo Quiz Classic’ you will find a selection of games and quizzes using logos that can be played online or on mobile devices.
  • Once the quiz is over talk together about how many of the logos the children recognised. Some of these logos appear again and again on our screens and on billboard adverts. Every time they see an advert or logo on display, it’s because the manufacturer has paid to have it there. Large companies spend huge amounts of money to persuade people that their product is the best, and to persuade them that they need to buy something new.

Make Your Own Advert (discussion/activity)

  • If you have an internet connection, show the children a selection of age appropriate adverts. Discuss with them why adverts make things appealing to potential purchasers. Ask them to think about a time when they were persuaded (or persuaded their parents!) to buy something and then felt disappointed by the reality.
  • In circle time, divide the children into groups of three-four and give them five-ten minutes to create an advert for one of the following:
    • Happiness
    • Recycling
    • Playing outdoors
    • Sharing
    • Donating toys or clothes to other people

FILM CLIP

  • Play the clip from Robots (Twentieth Century Fox, 2005), certificate PG.
    • Start time: 00:31:42 (chapter 13, shot of exterior of Jack Hammer’s Hardware store)
    • End time: 00:33:31 (Diesel says, ‘The force is strong with this one’)
    • Clip length: 1 minute and 49 seconds
  • In Robot City, a worn-out robot called Fender is taken to Jack Hammer’s hardware store by his friends. He needs to buy a new neck joint, but Jack doesn’t have good news for him: nobody makes parts for robots like Fender anymore – he has become officially ‘out moded’. Jack suggests an upgrade that Fender cannot afford and then insists that he must either be upgraded or be dismantled in the chop shop. Jack shows the friends the shiny, new upgrades. Everyone admires the upgrades but Fender says he can’t afford an upgrade. Piper, Fender’s sister, insists, ‘We are not junk, we are not scrap and we will not be treated this way!’ At that moment a robot called Rodney enters the shop. Rodney offers to fix Fender’s neck.

TALK

Download the Pressure to Buy Assembly PowerPoint for use with this talk.

Scripted Talk

  • [PowerPoint slide 1]
    • Who likes getting pocket money? Who enjoys getting presents when it’s their birthday or Christmas? I think we all enjoy having something new. When you are a child you enjoy having new toys and once you get a bit older you enjoy having new clothes, new music, new computers, new cars…the list goes on and on! There is always something new to buy.
    • What does it feel like when you don’t have enough pocket money to buy something? Take suggestions – sad, frustrating, annoying.
  • [PowerPoint slide 2]
    • Having something new isn’t always better, though. Imagine I asked you to swap your favourite teddy bear, or soft toy, for a new version. How many people would choose the new toy?
    • [Show of hands]
  • [PowerPoint slide 3]
    • There are other things that are better when they’re old, too. An antique piece of furniture is more valuable than a brand new one. Old books are more valuable than new editions. And I think that we’d probably agree that old friends are usually better friends than people we’ve only just met. Some things, like bikes, computers and cars are probably better when they are new, but other things, like favourite toys and friendships, are not.
  • [PowerPoint slide 4]
    • Sometimes, when we don’t have the latest version of something, we can feel left out. Has anyone ever felt like that? All your friends seem to have something and you don’t have enough money, or your parents won’t give you the money to buy it. Because we don’t have something that everyone else has, we feel worried. In fact, we feel under pressure.
    • It’s even worse when we feel as though the whole world has the thing that we want. Adverts on TV, bus stops and websites remind us of all the things we’d love to own and we can feel under pressure to buy!
    • We’re going to take a look at a clip from the film, Robots. In this clip, Fender, the red robot, is desperately in need of a new neck joint. Let’s see if he gets one.
    • Watch the clip:
      • Start time: 00:31:42 (chapter 13, shot of exterior of Jack Hammer’s Hardware store)
      • End time: 00:33:31 (Diesel says, ‘The force is strong with this one’)
      • Clip length: 1 minute and 49 seconds
    • In Robot City, a worn-out robot called Fender is taken to Jack Hammer’s hardware store by his friends. He needs to buy a new neck joint, but Jack doesn’t have good news for him: nobody makes parts for robots like Fender anymore – he has become officially ‘out moded’. Jack suggests an upgrade that Fender cannot afford and then insists that he must either be upgraded or be dismantled in the chop shop. Jack shows the friends the shiny, new upgrades. Everyone admires the upgrades but Fender says he can’t afford an upgrade. Piper, Fender’s sister, insists, ‘We are not junk, we are not scrap and we will not be treated this way!’ At that moment a robot called Rodney enters the shop. Rodney offers to fix Fender’s neck.
    • Fender needed one thing to fix his neck, but the shopkeeper tried to sell him a whole new body. The new bodies were shiny and new, and all the robots wanted them, but they couldn’t afford to buy them. They wanted the upgrade, but they didn’t need it, and Rodney was able to fix Fender’s neck for him.
  • [PowerPoint slide 5]
    • Did you notice what Piper said? ‘We are not junk, we are not scrap, and we will not be treated this way!’ The shopkeeper and the company making upgrades wanted to make the robots feel as though they were junk. They hoped that by making the robots feel bad about how they looked, they would sell more upgrades.
    • In our world, adverts for new things can make us feel worthless too. By making us feel as though we are not worth anything unless we have the latest clothes, toys, phones or trainers, the companies who sell these products can make more money. But we know that we are not worthless, and in fact it doesn’t matter how much you own, or how new your things are, you are worth more than any price.
    • The Bible has a lot to say about how we spend our money. Jesus talked about the way people worry about clothes and things. He said:
  • [PowerPoint slide 6]
    • Read Matthew 6:25-26 (CEV):
    • I tell you not to worry about your life. Don’t worry about having something to eat, drink, or wear. Isn’t life more than food or clothing?  Look at the birds in the sky! They don’t plant or harvest. They don’t even store grain in barns. Yet your Father in heaven takes care of them. Aren’t you worth more than birds?
    • Feeling under pressure to buy more can leave people worried and stressed. It’s important to remember that what makes you valuable is not what you own, but the fact that you are unique and just being alive makes you special.
    • God doesn’t care if you have old or new clothes, or what sort of phone you’ve got. He loves you exactly as you are. People who love us like our family and friends value us because of who we are, not what we own.
    • Reflection:
  • [PowerPoint slide 7]
    • I wonder how many ways you can think of to stop worrying about what you have. Perhaps a group of friends can recycle or reuse the things they own by sharing them. Perhaps you can think of ways to turn old objects into new things by being creative with them. Maybe you can choose not to watch adverts when they come on TV. Maybe you can say ‘I’m worth more than birds!’ when you feel under pressure to buy something new.
    • Prayer:
    • Father God, thank you that we are worth more than birds. Thanks that you know all about the pressures we face. Help us to remember that we don’t need to buy stuff to be valuable. Amen.

Headings and Bullets

  • [PowerPoint slide 1]
    • Always something new to buy:
      • We all enjoy having something new
      • New toys
      • New clothes
      • New music
      • New computers
      • New cars…the list goes on and on!
    • How does it feel when you can’t afford something new
      • Take suggestions – sad, frustrating, annoying.
  • [PowerPoint slide 2]
    • New isn’t always better.
      • Imagine swapping your favourite teddy bear, or soft toy, for a new version.
      • How many people would choose the new toy?
  • [PowerPoint slide 3]
    • Lots of old things are better:
      • Antique furniture
      • Old books
      • Old friends are usually better friends than people we’ve only just met
      • Some things, like bikes, computers and cars are probably better when they are new, but other things, like favourite toys and friendships, are not
  • [PowerPoint slide 4]
    • Feeling left out:
      • All your friends seem to have something and you don’t have enough money, or your parents won’t give you the money to buy it.
      • We feel worried and under pressure.
      • Adverts on TV, bus stops and websites remind us of all the things we’d love to own and we can feel under pressure to buy!
    • Watch the clip:
      • Start time: 00:31:42 (chapter 13, shot of exterior of Jack Hammer’s Hardware store)
      • End time: 00:33:31 (Diesel says, ‘The force is strong with this one’)
      • Clip length: 1 minute and 49 seconds
    • Talk about the clip:
      • Fender needed one thing to fix his neck, but the shopkeeper tried to sell him a whole new body.
      • All the robots wanted the upgrade, but they couldn’t afford to buy them.
      • They didn’t need it, and Rodney was able to fix Fender’s neck for him.
  • [PowerPoint slide 5]
    • Feeling worthless.
      • ‘We are not junk, we are not scrap, and we will not be treated this way!’ (Piper)
      • The shopkeeper and the company making upgrades wanted to make the robots feel as though they were junk.
      • They hoped that by making the robots feel bad about how they looked, they would sell more upgrades.
      • In our world, adverts for new things can make us feel worthless.
      • By making us feel as though we are not worth anything unless we have the latest clothes, toys, phones or trainers, the companies who sell these products can make more money.
      • But we know that we are not worthless.
      • It doesn’t matter how much you own, or how new your things are, you are worth more than any price.
  • [PowerPoint slide 6]
    • Read Matthew 6:25-26
      • Remember you are valuable.
      • Feeling under pressure to buy more can leave people worried and stressed.
      • God doesn’t care if you have old or new clothes, or what sort of phone you’ve got.
      • He loves you exactly as you are.
      • People who love us like our family and friends value us because of who we are, not what we own.

Photo copyright for Pressure to Buy Powerpoint Slides 1-2 iStockphoto.com / Slide 3 Liam Quin / Slide 4 Twentieth Century Fox / Slide 5 Twentieth Century Fox / Slide 7 Twentieth Century Fox 


RESPOND

Reflection

  • [PowerPoint slide 7]
    • I wonder how many ways you can think of to stop worrying about what you have. Perhaps a group of friends can recycle or reuse the things they own by sharing them. Perhaps you can think of ways to turn old objects into new things by being creative with them. Maybe you can choose not to watch adverts when they come on TV. Maybe you can say ‘I’m worth more than birds!’ when you feel under pressure to buy something new.

Prayer

  • Father God, thank you that we are worth more than birds. Thanks that you know all about the pressures we face. Help us to remember that we don’t need to buy stuff to be valuable. Amen

YOU WILL NEED:

  1. Robots (Twentieth Century Fox, 2005), certificate PG. Click here to buy the DVD online.
  2. A selection of logos for Guess the Logo opening activity.
  3. An internet connection or downloaded age-appropriate adverts for Make Your Own Advert opening activity.
  4. Pressure to Buy Assembly PowerPoint.

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