Ethos Education

The Muppets: Man or a Muppet?

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Assembly Objective: 

  • What makes us the people we are? This assembly enables pupils to explore the Bible’s teaching about identity and value.

Film: 

  • The Muppets (Disney, 2012, Certificate U). Click here to buy the DVD online.

Bible: 

Supporting Values Education:

  • The values of Respect and Tolerance derive from an underlying belief that everyone has equal value, even though we may be very different from one another. This assembly enables pupils to understand who we are and to recognise everyone’s value and worth.

OPENING ACTIVITY

Human Guess Who? (game)

  • Please note, this game may not be appropriate if there are students in wheelchairs or who are otherwise unable to remain standing for any length of time. If this may be the case, consider either using one of the other starting activities, or adapting the game so that people raise one hand rather than stand up.
  • Play a human simulation of the board game Guess Who? In the board game, each player has a selection of cartoon faces. One player chooses one of them and the other has to discover which one by asking questions such as ‘is the person male or female?’, ‘Does she have glasses’ and so on. With each question, all the eliminated faces are turned over, leaving a smaller pool of possible correct answers. To play the human version, get a volunteer and ask everybody else in the hall to stand up. You have a choice of letting your volunteer secretly choose somebody in the hall for you to identify, or you can do the choosing and let your volunteer do the guessing. Either way, everybody else in the hall remains standing until a question rules them out of contention. For example, if you ask ‘Is the person wearing glasses?’ and are told ‘yes’, everybody who is not wearing glasses sits down. Eventually, the guesser will arrive at a point where only one person remains.
  • Make the point that it’s hard to know who somebody is until we’ve got all the information. A more important issue of identity is working out who we really are. Explain that in the rest of the assembly you are going to be thinking about that.

Wonderful You (something to think about)

Download the Wonderful You PowerPoint for use with this activity.

  • [PowerPoint slide 1]
    • Ask the students if they have ever stopped to think about how amazing the human body is. Click through the slides and explain just how amazing their bodies are. You could add some quiet instrumental music to talk over if you wanted.
  • [PowerPoint slide 2]
    • Nerve cells can travel as fast as 120 metres per second.
  • [PowerPoint slide 3]
    • The average human scalp has 100,000 hairs (feel free to insert a joke about a balding member of staff here, if you are confident that they won’t mind. Better yet, a joke about yourself if you are a balding member of staff!)
  • [PowerPoint slide 4]
    • 21 days after conception, a human baby pumps his own blood with his own blood type through a separate closed circulatory system.
  • [PowerPoint slide 5]
    • The human eye can distinguish 500 shades of grey.
  • [PowerPoint slide 6]
    • Every person has a unique tongue print.
  • [PowerPoint slide 7]
    • Kissing can reduce tooth decay. The extra saliva helps to keep the mouth clean.
    • Explain that in today’s assembly, you are going to be thinking about who we really are. All of the facts you have mentioned help to remind us just how incredible each one of us really is.

FILM CLIP

  • Show the clip from The Muppets (Disney, 2012, Certificate U):
    • Start time: 1.00.06 (beginning of chapter 12 of the DVD)
    • End time: 1.03.12
    • Clip length: 3 minutes and 6 seconds
  • The clip starts with Gary (Jason Segel) bursting into Mary’s hotel room, saying, ‘Mary, surprise! I figured out why you’re mad at me.’ The clip finishes at the end of the song, before Miss Piggy knocks on Kermit’s door.
  • The clip shows Gary and his muppet brother Walter singing the Oscar-winning song Man or Muppet.

TALK

Download the Identity Muppets PowerPoint with this presentation.

Scripted Talk

  • [PowerPoint slide 1]
    • Who are you? Who is the real you? Sometimes in life, circumstances force us to take a long, hard look at ourselves and ask ourselves tough questions. Here’s a film clip showing someone who has to do just that.
    • Play the clip from The Muppets (Disney 2012, certificate U).
      • Start time: 1.00.06 (beginning of chapter 12 of the DVD)
      • End time: 1.03.12
      • Clip length: 3 minutes and 6 seconds
    • The clip starts with Gary (Jason Segel) bursting into Mary’s hotel room, saying, ‘Mary, surprise! I figured out why you’re mad at me.’ The clip finishes at the end of the song, before Miss Piggy knocks on Kermit’s door.
  • [PowerPoint slide 2]
    • Gary and Walter couldn’t work out what to do with their lives until they worked out who and what they were – Man or Muppet.
    • I can safely say that no one in this hall is a muppet, at least not literally, but all of us at some point in our lives have to find an answer to the question of who we are. For some of us, that’s a simple, easy question to answer; for others it’s one that may take a little longer to get to the bottom of.
    • So who are we? Well, there are some things that we all have in common [if you used Opening Activity: Wonderful You, refer to it here], as well as some things that uniquely define us as individuals. One thing that we all have in common is that we are an amazing piece of biological engineering. These words are from the Bible:
  • [PowerPoint slide 3]
    • For you created my inmost being; you knit me together in my mother’s womb. I praise you because I am fearfully and wonderfully made; your works are wonderful, I know that full well.
  • [PowerPoint slide 4]
    • My frame was not hidden from you when I was made in the secret place. When I was woven together in the depths of the earth, your eyes saw my unformed body. All the days ordained for me were written in your book before one of them came to be. Psalm 139:13-16, New International Version.
  • [PowerPoint slide 5]
    • There are two things to draw out from this that are important for us as we try to get a handle on who we are: [click] first of all, we are fearfully and wonderfully made. The human body is an incredible piece of biological design. The way that so many different systems – nerves, brain, blood, lungs – combine to make a working, functional and flexible body can be mind-boggling. Our bodies are extraordinary.
    • [click] And even though all of our extraordinary bodies are, more or less, the same as each other, our personalities are extraordinarily varied. Some of us like to be the centre of attention, loud and lively in a crowd; others prefer to hang back quietly, to think before we speak and only sharing our thoughts with a few people we really trust. No two people in this room – or any other room – are quite alike. We’re all different and all of those differences are part of what it means to be fearfully and wonderfully made.
    • [click] And that brings us onto our second point: for all of our differences, God sees each one of us just as we are, and he accepts us just as we are. Our personalities aren’t an accident; they are a huge part of who we are, and who we are is something that God loves and accepts. Some people, particularly in teenage years, struggle to accept themselves. For many of us, knowing and feeling that we are accepted by others can make a huge difference. Well, we are accepted by God, just as we are. He sees all our days and everything that we ever did or are ever going to do, and he accepts us, just as we are. That’s good news.

Headings and Bullets

Download the Identity Muppets PowerPoint for use with this presentation.

  • [PowerPoint slide 1]
    • Who are you?
      • Sometimes circumstances make us ask tough questions.
      • Here’s a film clip of someone who had to do just that.
    • Play the clip from The Muppets:
  • [PowerPoint slide 2]
    • Gary and Walter couldn’t work out what to do until they worked out who and what they were.
      • No one here is a Muppet.
      • All of us have to work out who we are.
      • For some of us this takes longer to do.
    • So who are we?
      • There are some things we all have in common.
      • Refer to Opening Activity Wonderful You if appropriate.
      • We are all amazing pieces of biological engineering.
  • [PowerPoint slide 3]
    • For you created my inmost being; you knit me together in my mother’s womb. I praise you because I am fearfully and wonderfully made; your works are wonderful, I know that full well.
  • [PowerPoint slide 4]
    • My frame was not hidden from you when I was made in the secret place. When I was woven together in the depths of the earth, your eyes saw my unformed body. All the days ordained for me were written in your book before one of them came to be. Psalm 139:13-16, New International Version.
  • [PowerPoint slide 5]
    • Two things to draw out as we get a handle on who we are:
    • First of all: [click] we are fearfully and wonderfully made.
      • Our bodies are an incredible biological design.
      • So many different systems combining to make working, functional and flexible bodies.
      • [click] Though we have similar bodies, we have extraordinarily varied personalities.
      • No two people in this room are quite the same.
    • Secondly:
      • [click] For all our differences, God sees each of us as we are and accepts us.
      • Our personalities aren’t an accident, they are a huge part of who we are.
      • Who we are is something that God loves and accepts.
      • The acceptance of others helps us to accept ourselves.
      • God sees everything we do and accepts us just as we are.
      • That’s good news.

Photo Copyright for Wonderful You PowerPoint: all images from iStockphoto.com

Photo Copyright for Identity Muppets Talk PowerPoint: Slide 1 Walt Disney Studios / Slide 2 Disney Enterprises / Slides 3-5 iStockphoto.com


RESPOND

Prayer

  • Dear God, thank you that we are fearfully and wonderfully made, and that you love and accept us just the way we are. Help each one of us to work out who we really are and to accept ourselves as you do. Amen.

Reflection

  • How comfortable are you with the idea of being you? Do you ever wish you were more like other people? Do you ever wonder just who the real you is? Who, apart from you, do you think has the best sense of who you are?

YOU WILL NEED:

  1. The Muppets (Disney, 2012, Certificate U). Click here to buy the DVD online.
  2. Wonderful You PowerPoint.
  3. Identity Muppets PowerPoint.

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