Ethos Education

Hugo: A Child Has To Belong Somewhere

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Assembly Objective:

  • What would it be like to feel all alone in the world? This assembly explores the Bible’s teaching about what it means to ‘belong’.

Film:

  • Hugo (Entertainment Film Distributors, 2011) 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 feel that they belong. This assembly helps pupils begin to think about the nature of ‘belonging’.

OPENING ACTIVITY

Lost Property (illustration)

  • In advance of the assembly ask some of the teachers to lend you something distinctive of theirs (e.g. a scarf, a mug, a tie, a poster, a shoe, a fancy pen, a lunch box etc.). Show the items to the assembly and ask them to guess which item belongs to which teacher. The more outrageous the item the better the activity!

Clumps (game)

  • Invite 8¬12 volunteers to come to the front to play a very quick game of Clumps. Play some music and ask the children to walk around as you do so. When the music stops call out a number. The children must form clumps of that number and whoever is not in a clump of the right size is out and must stand to the side. Once there are a few children standing at the side ask how it felt to be the odd one out. Did they feel frustrated? Angry? Sad? Lonely?
  • Make the point that when we don’t belong, we can feel all of those emotions.

FILM CLIP

  • Hugo (Entertainment Film Distributors, 2011) certificate U.
    • Start time: 01:38:11 (chapter 11, shot of Hugo running to the station then watching the old couple introduce their dogs to one another)
    • End time: 01:48:30 (M Méliès, Hugo and Isabelle turn away and walk out of the station)
    • Clip length: 10 minutes 19 seconds
  • If you do not have time to play the full clip, begin at 01:40:49 where the inspector drags Hugo into the police station, or even at 01:45:00 where Hugo is sitting on the edge of the clock face (with the explanation that he has learned that his uncle has died, leaving him alone in the world, and is now trying to escape the clutches of the station master).
  • If you cannot play the clip then read this description instead:
    • Hugo Cabret is an orphan who lives in a Paris train station. He has been given a job by M Méliès, an elderly owner of a toy shop who made films in his youth. Hugo has become friends with his goddaughter. In this clip, Hugo plans to return to the station to fetch the automaton he owns that had belonged to M Méliès. On arriving at the station he overhears that his uncle has been found dead. He is then spotted by the station inspector who arrests him. While the inspector is on the phone to the orphanage, Hugo escapes from the prison and the inspector gives chase. Eventually, the inspector catches Hugo who tells him he doesn’t belong in the orphanage. The inspector asks him where he belongs, saying that a child has to belong somewhere. Hugo tearfully tells him that he doesn’t understand why his father died or why he’s alone, but that working for M Méliès is his only chance. At this point M Méliès arrives and tells the inspector that the child belongs to him. Hugo gives him the automaton that he has fixed and the family leaves the station.

TALK

Download the A Child Has To Belong Assembly PowerPoint for use with this talk.

  • [PowerPoint slide 1]
    • Hello and welcome to our assembly. In our assembly today we are going to be talking about belonging.
    • Belonging means being part of or being owned by something or someone. Maybe on your schoolbag or your school uniform there is a label that says: ‘This belongs to ……………….’ followed by your name. We label our belongings so that if they get lost the person who finds them will return them to us.
  • [PowerPoint slide 2]
    • People can belong too. We all belong to this school because we are pupils or teachers here. Some of you may belong to clubs or teams or Brownies or Cubs. When you belong to something you are part of it and you probably feel proud to be on the team or in the club. Sometimes people talk about belonging to a particular town or country.
    • Of course, we also belong in our families. But not everyone in the world has a family to look after them. We’re going to watch a clip from a film about a boy with no family. Hugo Cabret is an orphan. Both his parents have died and Hugo’s uncle has given him a job winding the clocks in the station and lets him live there. Hugo hasn’t seen his uncle in a long time and he has learned to look after himself. He has been given a job by M Méliès and has discovered that he used to be a famous film-maker. However, the station inspector, who hates orphans, is about to find him. Let’s see what happens next.
    • Watch the clip from Hugo (Entertainment Film Distributors, 2011) certificate U:
      • Start time: 01:38:11 (chapter 11, shot of Hugo running to the station then watching the old couple introduce their dogs to one another)
      • End time: 01:48:30 (M Méliès, Hugo and Isabelle turn away and walk out of the station)
      • Clip length: 10 minutes 19 seconds
    • If you do not have time to play the full clip, begin at 01:40:49 where the inspector drags Hugo into the police station, or even at 01:45:00 where Hugo is sitting on the edge of the clock face (with the explanation that he has learned that his uncle has died, leaving him alone in the world, and is now trying to escape the clutches of the station master).
    • If you cannot play the clip then read this description instead:
      • Hugo Cabret is an orphan who lives in a Paris train station. He has been given a job by M Méliès, an elderly owner of a toy shop who made films in his youth. Hugo has become friends with his goddaughter. In this clip, Hugo plans to return to the station to fetch the automaton he owns that had belonged to M Méliès. On arriving at the station he overhears that his uncle has been found dead. He is then spotted by the station inspector who arrests him. While the inspector is on the phone to the orphanage, Hugo escapes from the prison and the inspector gives chase. Eventually, the inspector catches Hugo who tells him he doesn’t belong in the orphanage. The inspector asks him where he belongs, saying that a child has to belong somewhere. Hugo tearfully tells him that he doesn’t understand why his father died or why he’s alone, but that working for M Méliès is his only chance. At this point M Méliès arrives and tells the inspector that the child belongs to him. Hugo gives him the automaton that he has fixed and the family leaves the station.
  • [PowerPoint slide 3]
    • Poor Hugo had a terrible life. His parents had died. He had to look after himself. His uncle had left him alone in the station. And the station inspector was determined to catch him and send him to the orphanage. Hugo didn’t belong to anyone and that made him very sad. When the inspector caught him at the end of the clip he told him that he didn’t understand why bad things had happened to him.
    • Hugo was alone in the world. He didn’t belong to anyone.
  • [PowerPoint slide 4]
    • Did you notice what the station inspector said? He said that a child has to belong somewhere and just at that moment M Méliès arrived and told the inspector that Hugo belonged to him. At last Hugo had a family who would look after him. At last he belonged. Hugo needed a friend to stand up for him and to love him. M Méliès was prepared to do that. Hugo belonged to M Méliès.
  • [PowerPoint slide 5]
    • Sometimes, when we feel lonely or when bad things happen to us we can feel as though we don’t belong. We can feel as though the whole world is against us and no one is on our side.
  • [PowerPoint slide 6]
    • When that happens, it’s important to remember that we have friends. Who has a good friend here? I think most of us have friends we can talk to. We belong to a group of friends who look after us.
  • [PowerPoint slide 7]
    • We don’t just have friends. We have families, teachers and other adults who are there to help us too. It’s important to remember that these people are there to help. We belong to a family and a school.
    • In the Bible there was a group of people called the Israelites who believed in God and worshipped Him. God spoke to a man called Isaiah about how he felt about the people so that Isaiah could remind them that they belonged to God. Here’s what Isaiah wrote down:
    • Read Isaiah 43:1-2:
  • [PowerPoint slide 8]
    • ‘Don’t be afraid, I’ve redeemed you. I’ve called your name. You’re mine. When you’re in over your head, I’ll be there with you. When you’re in rough waters, you will not go down. When you’re between a rock and a hard place, it won’t be a dead end—
  • [PowerPoint slide 9] Isaiah 43:3-4
    • Because I am God, your personal God, The Holy of Israel, your Saviour. I paid a huge price for you: all of Egypt, with rich Cush and Seba thrown in! That’s how much you mean to me! That’s how much I love you! I’d sell off the whole world to get you back, trade the creation just for you.’
    • The Israelites were having a hard time and God wanted to remind them that they belonged to Him. They didn’t have to be afraid or worry because God was on their side. He promised to stand up for them because He loved them.
  • [PowerPoint slide 10]
    • If you are having a hard time and you feel alone, you can remember that you have friends, family and teachers who will stand up for you. You can also remember that the Bible says that God loves everyone. Just like He said He’d stand up for the Israelites because He loved them, He loves you and He will be with you too.

Headings and Bullets

  • [PowerPoint slide 1]
    • Belonging:
      • Being part of or being owned by something or someone.
      • Schoolbag or school uniforms often have a label that says: ‘This belongs to ……………….
  • [PowerPoint slide 2]
    • People can belong:
      • School.
      • Clubs, teams, Brownies or Cubs.
      • You feel proud to be on the team or in the club.
      • Sometimes people talk about belonging to a particular town or country.
    • Introduce the clip:
      • We also belong in our families.
      • But not everyone in the world has a family to look after them.
      • Hugo Cabret is an orphan.
      • His uncle has given him a job winding the clocks in the station and lets him live there.
      • Hugo has learned to look after himself.
      • The station inspector, who hates orphans, is about to find him.
    • Watch the clip from Hugo (Entertainment Film Distributors, 2011) certificate U.
      • Start time: 01:38:11 (chapter 11, shot of Hugo running to the station then watching the old couple introduce their dogs to one another)
      • End time: 01:48:30 (M Méliès, Hugo and Isabelle turn away and walk out of the station)
      • Clip length: 10 minutes 19 seconds
  • [PowerPoint slide 3]
    • Talk about the clip:
      • Hugo didn’t belong to anyone and that made him very sad.
      • He didn’t understand why bad things had happened to him.
      • Hugo was alone in the world.
  • [PowerPoint slide 4]
    • What The Inspector said:
      • He said that a child has to belong somewhere.
      • M Méliès decided that Hugo belonged to him.
      • Hugo needed a friend to stand up for him and to love him.
      • M Méliès was prepared to do that.
  • [PowerPoint slide 5]
    • When we feel we don’t belong.
      • Sometimes it can feel as though the whole world is against us.
      • No one is on our side.
  • [PowerPoint slide 6]
    • We have friends.
      • Most of us have friends we can talk to.
      • We belong to a group of friends who look after us.
  • [PowerPoint slide 7]
    • We have families and teachers.
      • It’s important to remember that these people are there to help.
      • We belong to a family and a school.
    • Introduce the Bible passage:
      • The Israelites who believed in God and worshipped Him.
      • God spoke to a man called Isaiah.
      • God reminded Isaiah that the people belonged to God.
      • Isaiah 43:1-2:
  • [PowerPoint slide 8]
    • ‘Don’t be afraid, I’ve redeemed you. I’ve called your name. You’re mine. When you’re in over your head, I’ll be there with you. When you’re in rough waters, you will not go down. When you’re between a rock and a hard place, it won’t be a dead end—
  • [PowerPoint slide 9] Isaiah 43:3-4
    • Because I am God, your personal God, The Holy of Israel, your Saviour. I paid a huge price for you: all of Egypt, with rich Cush and Seba thrown in! That’s how much you mean to me! That’s how much I love you! I’d sell off the whole world to get you back, trade the creation just for you.’
    • The people belonged to God:
      • They didn’t have to be afraid or worry because God was on their side.
      • He promised to stand up for them because He loved them.
  • [PowerPoint slide 10]
    • When you feel alone:
      • Remember that you have friends, family and teachers who will stand up for you.
      • Remember that the Bible says that God loves everyone.
      • He loves you and He will be with you too.

Photo copyright for A Child Has To Belong Assembly PowerPoint: Slide 1 Mondo / Slide 2 Paramount / Slide 3 Jaap Buitendijk GK Films / Slide 4 Jaap Buitendijk GK Films / Slide 5 Jaap Buitendijk GK Films / Slide 6 GK Films / Slides 7 and 10 iStockphoto.com


RESPOND

Reflection

  • All across the world there are boys and girls like Hugo who have no family and who feel very alone. Some of them have lost their families in wars or through illness. Some of them are not able to go to school because they have to work. Some of them feel alone because they are looking after their younger brothers and sisters. Let’s close our eyes for a moment and remember people like Hugo who don’t belong to anyone.

Prayer

  • Father God, thank you that we belong to this school and our families. We pray today for boys and girls in this country and abroad who don’t belong to anyone. Thank you that you love everyone in the world and you stick up for them. Amen.

YOU WILL NEED

  1. Hugo (Entertainment Film Distributors, 2011) certificate U. Click here to buy the DVD online.
  2. A Child Has To Belong Assembly PowerPoint.
  3. Music for Clumps opening activity.

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