Ethos Education

The Lorax: Time to Say Thanks

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Assembly Objective: 

  • Why is it important to give thanks for the past and think about our actions in the future? This assembly explores the Bible’s teaching about having thankful hearts. (Particularly suitable for the American festival of Thanksgiving.)

Film:

  • The Lorax (Universal Pictures, 2012) 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, appreciating the good things that we all enjoy.

OPENING ACTIVITY

Popcorn Thanksgiving (activity)

  • Tell pupils that you’d like them to think of one thing that they would like to say thank you for. You may want to give them some ideas – friends, sunshine, chocolate, football, grandmas, skateboards, the seaside etc. Now invite everyone to close their eyes and imagine that they are pieces of corn in a pot. When you say the words ‘We’re thankful for…’ they can call out the word they are thinking. Not everyone has to speak at the same time, but more than one person can speak at the same time. Give a few minutes so that people have the chance to call out their word (you may need to prime some teachers or older pupils to start things off). The effect is of words ‘popping’ all over the room, like the corn popping in a pot.
  • This activity can also be used as a way of praying. Simply replace the phrase at the beginning with ‘Thank you, God, for…’

Pumpkin Curling (activity)

  • You will need two pumpkins (after Hallowe’en shops often sell them very cheaply) and two brooms (old fashioned sweeping brooms are best). Divide the group into two teams and line them up on one side of the room. Give the first person in the line a broom and a pumpkin and tell them they have to push the pumpkin with the broom to the end of the room and back before handing the broom to the next person in the line. The first group to finish the relay wins.
  • Tell the pupils that in the autumn pumpkins are plentiful and Americans like to make them into pies which they eat at Thanksgiving.

FILM CLIP

  • Play the clip from The Lorax (Universal Pictures, 2012) certificate U.
    • Start time: 0:69:39 ‘See, what did I tell you? Easy, huh?’ chapter 18
    • End time:  0:76:04 The song ends and we see the growing Truffula Tree
    • Clip length: 6 minutes 25 seconds
  • If you cannot play the clip, then read out this description instead:
    • Ted Wiggins has been entrusted with the last remaining seed of a Truffula Tree, but Mr O’Hare, the owner of O’Hare Air is determined to stop Ted, his granny and his friend, Audrey, from planting it in the town square. The crowd seems to be in favour of O’Hare’s argument until Ted jumps in a large digger and breaks a hole in the city wall, exposing the derelict, barren land outside.  O’Hare tries to stir up the crowd against Ted but he tells the gathered crowd that he speaks for the trees and that they need to change their ways or things will only get worse for them. He tells them that they can start by planting a tree. As a last ditch attempt to retain control, O’Hare tells one of his workers that he needs to win the crowd over. The worker unexpectedly backs Ted by singing that they need to ‘let it grow’. As the song proceeds the crowd accuses O’Hare of being a greedy dirtbag and join in singing that ‘It’s just one tiny seed, but it’s all we really need.’

TALK

Download The Lorax Assembly PowerPoint for use with this talk.

Scripted Talk

  • As the children are entering the room play some songs that mention the words ‘Thank you’ (e.g. Thank You For Being A Friend by Andrew Gold, Thank You For The Music by ABBA etc.)
  • [PowerPoint slide 1]
    • Thank you for coming to assembly today. I wonder if anyone can guess what our assembly is about? I’ve already used two words that might give you a clue. The two words are ‘thank’ and ‘you’, and we probably use them all the time without really thinking about them.
    • We all know it’s polite to say ‘thank you’ when people do something kind for us or we receive a present. In some parts of the world there’s a whole festival for people to say ‘thank you’ and we’re going to think about that festival today. Would anyone like to guess the name of the festival? I’ll give you some clues that might help you work it out.
  • [PowerPoint slide 2]
    • Firstly, it’s a big festival in America. Although other parts of the world celebrate it too, it’s a special holiday for Americans.
  • [PowerPoint slide 3]
    • Secondly, people often eat food like turkey and pumpkin pie during this festival.
  • [PowerPoint slide 4]
    • Thirdly, it happens at the end of November, just before people start preparing for Christmas and there is a special parade in New York to celebrate it. Has anyone guessed yet? The festival is called ‘Thanksgiving’ and traditionally people celebrate it by having a big dinner with their families and taking time to say thank you to God for all the good things he gives to them.
    • We don’t celebrate Thanksgiving much in the UK, but if you have American friends or relatives they will be able to tell you all about the festival of Thanksgiving. The festival happens on the fourth Thursday of November. Children have a day off school and adults have a day off work. There are games of American football on TV. There’s a special parade in New York with floats and balloons. More people travel on Thanksgiving than on any other day of the year. Thanksgiving is a big deal in America.
  • [PowerPoint slide 5]
    • The very first Thanksgiving was celebrated in 1621, ten months after a group of settlers from England arrived in the new country of America. Life was hard for the settlers, and after surviving a long winter and managing to store food for the next year, they decided to have a feast to celebrate and to invite people from the native American Wampanoag tribe to join them. These native people had helped the settlers farm the land. At the feast, they probably ate duck, fish, venison and corn and it lasted for several days!
    • It was important to them to eat together and remember all the good things they had. Thanksgiving today is a day for families to get together and remind one another of the good things they have too. A famous American politician once said that:
  • [PowerPoint slide 6]
    • ‘On Thanksgiving Day we acknowledge our dependence.’ (William Jennings Bryan). He meant that Thanksgiving was the time of year when everyone remembered that the good things they had had been given by God.
    • It can be difficult to remember to say ‘thank you’ sometimes, especially when we’re used to having lots of good things. We’re going to watch a clip from the film The Lorax. Ted Wiggins lives in a world where there are no trees, and he has discovered that many years earlier all the trees were cut down. Now the town where he lives is run by a greedy man called Mr O’Hare who refuses to allow trees to be grown. Mr O’Hare has become very rich by selling air to people. He knows that if trees are allowed to grow, they will create oxygen and people will not have to buy air from him. Let’s find out what happens when Ted tries to plant the seed of a tree in the town square.
    • Watch the clip from The Lorax (Universal Pictures, 2012) certificate U.
      • Start time: 0:69:39 ‘See, what did I tell you? Easy, huh?’ chapter 18
      • End time:  0:76:04 The song ends and we see the growing Truffula Tree
      • Clip length: 6 minutes 25 seconds
    • Ted Wiggins has been entrusted with the last remaining seed of a Truffula Tree, but Mr O’Hare, the owner of O’Hare Air is determined to stop Ted, his granny and his friend, Audrey, from planting it in the town square. The crowd seems to be in favour of O’Hare’s argument until Ted jumps in a large digger and breaks a hole in the city wall, exposing the derelict, barren land outside. O’Hare tries to stir up the crowd against Ted but he tells the gathered crowd that he speaks for the trees and that they need to change their ways or things will only get worse for them. He tells them that they can start by planting a tree. As a last ditch attempt to retain control, O’Hare tells one of his workers that he needs to win the crowd over. The worker unexpectedly backs Ted by singing that they need to ‘let it grow’. As the song proceeds the crowd accuses O’Hare of being a greedy dirtbag and join in singing that ‘It’s just one tiny seed, but it’s all we really need.’
    • People had forgotten that the air they breathed wasn’t owned by Mr O’Hare. He had fooled them into believing that they had to pay for it. When they realised that trees could provide oxygen, the people worked together to let the trees grow. They even said ‘thank you’ to Ted. Their song sounded a bit like a song of thanksgiving, saying thank you to Ted and asking for the trees to be allowed to grow.
    • At Thanksgiving people say thank you to God for the good things he gives, and they get together to remind each other of the good things they enjoy. There are some verses from a psalm in the Bible that are often spoken at Thanksgiving. These words were written long before the settlers came to America in 1621, and they would have been able to read them in their Bibles. The words say:
  • [PowerPoint slide 7]
    • Read Psalm 92:1-2
    • Sing joyful songs to the Lord! Praise the mighty rock where we are safe. Come to worship him with thankful hearts and songs of praise.
    • We probably won’t eat pumpkin pie and we certainly won’t have a holiday on the fourth Thursday of November, but it would be good for us to stop and say thank you to each other and thank you to God for all the good things we enjoy in our lives.

Headings and Bullets

  • Introduction
  • [PowerPoint slide 1]
    • Thank you for coming.
    • Can you guess what this assembly is about?
    • We all know it’s polite to say ‘thank you’.
    • In some parts of the world there’s a whole festival for people to say ‘thank you’.
    • Guess the name of the festival.
  • [PowerPoint slide 2]
    • A big festival in America – a special holiday for Americans.
  • [PowerPoint slide 3]
    • People often eat food like turkey and pumpkin pie during this festival.
  • [PowerPoint slide 4]
    • It happens at the end of November, just before people start preparing for Christmas and there is a special parade in New York to celebrate it.
    • Thanksgiving.
    • The festival is called ‘Thanksgiving’
    • People celebrate by having a big dinner with their families and taking time to say thank you to God for all the good things he gives to them.
    • Thanksgiving facts:
    • The festival happens on the fourth Thursday of November.
    • Children have a day off school and adults have a day off work.
    • There are games of American football on TV.
    • There’s a special parade in New York with floats and balloons.
    • More people travel on Thanksgiving than on any other day of the year.
    • Thanksgiving is a big deal in America.
    • The first Thanksgiving.
  • [PowerPoint slide 5]
    • Celebrated in 1621, ten months after a group of settlers from England arrived in the new country of America.
    • Life was hard for the settlers, and after surviving a long winter and managing to store food for the next year, they decided to have a feast to celebrate and to invite people from the native American Wampanoag tribe to join them.
    • These native people had helped the settlers farm the land.
    • At the feast, they probably ate duck, fish, venison and corn and it lasted for several days!
    • Thanksgiving is important.
    • It was important to them to eat together and to say thank you to each other and to God.
    • Thanksgiving today is a day for families to get together and remind one another of the good things they have.
    • A famous American politician once said that:
  • [PowerPoint slide 6]
    • ‘On Thanksgiving Day we acknowledge our dependence.’ (William Jennings Bryan)
    • He meant that Thanksgiving was the time of year when everyone remembered that the good things they had were given to them by God.
    • Introduce the clip
    • It can be difficult to remember to say ‘thank you’ sometimes.
    • Ted Wiggins lives in a world where there are no trees, and he has discovered that many years earlier all the trees were cut down.
    • Now the town where he lives is run by a greedy man called Mr O’Hare who refuses to allow trees to be grown.
    • Mr O’Hare knows that if trees are allowed to grow, they will create oxygen and people will not have to buy air from him.
    • Watch the clip from The Lorax (Universal Pictures, 2012) certificate U.
      • Start time: 0:69:39 ‘See, what did I tell you? Easy, huh?’ chapter 18
      • End time:  0:76:04 The song ends and we see the growing Truffula Tree
      • Clip length: 6 minutes 25 seconds
    • Discuss the clip:
    • People had forgotten that the air they breathed wasn’t owned by Mr O’Hare.
    • He had fooled them into believing that they had to pay for it.
    • The people worked together to let the trees grow.
    • They even said ‘thank you’ to Ted.
    • Their song sounded a bit like a song of thanksgiving.
    • Introduce the Bible verse:
    • A psalm in the Bible that is often spoken at Thanksgiving.
    • Words were written long before the settlers came to America in 1621.
    • They would have been able to read them in their Bibles.
  • [PowerPoint slide 7]
    • Read Psalm 92:1-2:
    • Conclusion:
    • Good for us to stop and say thank you to each other.
    • And thank you to God for all the good things we enjoy in our lives.

Photo Copyright for Lorax Assembly PowerPoint: Slide 1 Universal Pictures / Slide 2 Public domain / Slide 3 Public domain / Slide 4 S Pakhrin / Slide 5 iStockphoto.com / Slide 6 Public domain / Slide 7 iStockphoto.com


RESPOND

Reflection

  • Invite everyone to shake hands with the people on either side of them and say ‘Happy Thanksgiving! Have a thankful heart today!’

Prayer

  • I’m going to say a prayer now. If you agree with what I say, and you’d like to make my prayer your prayer as well, then say ‘Amen’ at the end. ‘Amen’ means ‘I agree’.
  • Lord God, thank you for all the good things you have given us. Thank you for each other, for the food we eat and for our friends and families. Amen.

Respond Later


YOU WILL NEED:

  1. The Lorax (Universal Pictures, 2012) certificate U. Click here to buy the DVD online.
  2. The Lorax Assembly PowerPoint.
  3. Two brooms and two pumpkins for Pumpkin Curling Opening Activity.
  4. Songs that mention the words ‘Thank you’ (e.g. Thank You For Being A Friend by Andrew Gold, Thank You For The Music by ABBA etc.)

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