Ethos Education

Mater and the Ghostlight: Year Round Fools

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Assembly Objective:

  • Is it good or bad to be a fool? Particularly suitable for use on April Fool’s Day, this assembly explores the Bible’s teaching about doing good things that may appear foolish to others.

Film: 

  • Mater and the Ghostlight (found on the Pixar Short Films Collection, Disney Pixar, 2006) 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 is valuable, whatever others think of them. This assembly enables pupils to explore how we can do the right thing even when others think we are foolish.

OPENING ACTIVITY

Joker of the Week (activity)

  • Invite some of the older pupils to come to the front and tell their funniest joke to the rest of the assembly. Depending on your pupils, you may need to vet them in advance, or set some rules (e.g. no rude jokes, no long stories etc.). Vote on the best joke teller and give them a small prize (or a certificate with ‘Joker of the Week’ written on it).

Great Pranks from History (activity)

  • With a bit of research you can find lots of examples of great April Fool’s Day tricks from the past. Tell the children some of these. There are plenty of examples on http://www.theweek.co.uk/57930/april-fools-day-pranks-the-best-ever-hoaxes including Sir Patrick Moore in 1976 announcing on Radio 2 that Pluto and Jupiter would align at 9.47am that morning thus reducing the Earth’s gravity. Moore told listeners that if they jumped in the air at that point they would experience a sense of floating. Some listeners phoned in to say they had floated!

FILM CLIP

  • Play the short film Mater and the Ghostlight (found on the Pixar Short Films Collection, Disney Pixar, 2006) certificate U. Six minutes 51 seconds.
  • If you can’t show the film, read this description instead:
    • Mater (the tow truck from the film Cars), is seen playing tricks on all the other cars in Radiator Springs. One night all the other cars gang up on him by telling him a frightening story about ‘the ghostlight’, a strange, blue light that eats cars, especially those with clanking metal. After everyone goes to bed, Mater sets off down the road, his metal clanking with fear. Two of the other cars sneak up behind him and attach a light to his tow hook. Mater spots the light and drives down the road screaming before discovering the light. Everyone is waiting for him, and they all laugh. The police car tells him that the only thing to be afraid of is his imagination (and the screaming banshee).

TALK

Download the April Fool PowerPoint for use with this assembly.

Scripted Talk

  • [PowerPoint slide 1]
    • I’d like to start our assembly this morning with a very important announcement.
  • [PowerPoint slide 2]
    • The government announced some changes last week that apply to all schools across the United Kingdom. The changes are as follows. All primary schools will start the working day at 6am and will finish at 5pm. There will no longer be holidays at Christmas and Easter. And all pupils under the age of twelve will be required to sit silently during breaks rather than going outside.
    • There is one further important announcement to pass on…
  • [PowerPoint slide 3]
    • April Fool!
    • There is one day in the year when everyone is allowed to play tricks and jokes on each other, and that day is 1st April. Has anyone been caught out yet today? [Take answers]. Traditionally, April Fool’s jokes can only be told before midday or the joke backfires on the person who tells it, so you need to make sure you get your jokes in fast! Nobody knows why we celebrate April Fool’s Day, but it seems like a good excuse to play some jokes on other people. It’s important, though, to be kind when you play tricks, and to make sure the person knows it’s only a joke. That’s why you shout ‘April Fool!’
  • [PowerPoint slide 4]
    • Speaking of which, what did the inflatable teacher at the inflatable school say to the inflatable pupil who brought a pin to class?
  • [PowerPoint slide 5]
    • You’ve let me down. You’ve let the school down. But worst of all, you’ve let yourself down.
    • Now, enough jokes. Let’s watch a short film about someone who is always playing jokes on other people, and is about to get his comeuppance.
    • Watch the clip:
    • Mater and the Ghostlight (found on the Pixar Short Films Collection Disney Pixar, 2006) certificate U. Six minutes 51 seconds.
    • If you can’t show the clip, read this description instead:
      • Mater (the tow truck from the film Cars), is seen playing tricks on all the other cars in Radiator Springs. One night all the other cars gang up on him by telling him a frightening story about ‘the ghostlight’, a strange, blue light that eats cars, especially those with clanking metal. After everyone goes to bed, Mater sets off down the road, his metal clanking with fear. Two of the other cars sneak up behind him and attach a light to his tow hook. Mater spots the light and drives down the road screaming before discovering the light. Everyone is waiting for him, and they all laugh. The police car tells him that the only thing to be afraid of is his imagination (and the screaming banshee).
    • Mater was caught out. The others were fed up with him playing tricks on them so they decided to play a big trick on him by making him believe that there was a ghostlight that would eat him if it caught him. Poor old Mater was terrified of the ghostlight, even though he pretended that he knew all along that it was a joke.
    • I wonder if Mater still played tricks on the others after they caught him out.
    • When people trick us or play a joke on us, we find it funny. Hopefully we don’t feel too cross with them for catching us out. Sometimes when a trick or a joke is played it can make us think about something more carefully. Being foolish and silly can sometimes make us learn something new.
    • In the Bible there is a verse that says something about foolishness. Let’s read it together.
  • [PowerPoint slide 6]
    • Read 1 Corinthians 1:27. ‘But God chose the foolish things of this world to put the wise to shame. He chose the weak things of this world to put the powerful to shame.’
    • What a strange verse. It is saying that God chooses things and people who are a bit silly or foolish in order to make people who think they are wise realise that they aren’t! Weak things, things that don’t seem very important, can make powerful, strong people feel ashamed of being too proud.
    • In the Bible there are lots of stories of people being asked to do foolish things by God. For example, Noah was told to build a huge boat even though he lived in a desert. Daniel was told that God would look after him even though he was thrown into a den of lions. There is even a story about a man called Jeremiah who was told by God to go and bury his dirty pants in the ground! (Jeremiah 13). God chooses people who are a bit foolish to be his friend, and sometimes he asks people to do foolish things for him. Sometimes God asks people to do foolish things so that other people will remember that he is there, and that he is strong.
    • God also chooses people who are weak and need his help. If you have ever felt a bit foolish, or a bit weak, you can remember that God loves people like you and wants you to know that he is on your side!
    • Reflection:
  • [PowerPoint slide 7]
    • Think about something that makes you laugh – a comedian, a TV programme, your dad, a joke. Laughter and jokes are great because they help us to understand what life is all about. They also help us to share happy times with other people.
    • Prayer:
    • Father God, thank you for jokes and silliness. Thank you that you have given us laughter. Help us to use jokes and tricks with kindness. Help us to remember that you use foolish things to teach us about life. In Jesus’ name. Amen.

Headings and Bullets

  • [PowerPoint slide 1]
    • Important government announcement:
  • [PowerPoint slide 2]
    • Some changes that apply to all schools across the UK.
    • All primary schools will start the working day at 6am and will finish at 5pm.
    • No holidays at Christmas and Easter.
    • All pupils under the age of twelve will be required to sit silently during breaks rather than going outside.
  • [PowerPoint slide 3]
    • April Fool!
    • One day in the year when everyone is allowed to play tricks and jokes on each other.
    • Has anyone been caught out yet today?
    • Traditionally, April Fool’s jokes can only be told before midday or the joke backfires on the person who tells it.
    • Nobody knows why we celebrate April Fool’s Day, but it seems like a good excuse to play some jokes on other people.
    • Important to be kind when you play tricks, and to make sure the person knows it’s only a joke.
  • [PowerPoint slide 4]
    • Joke:
    • What did the inflatable teacher at the inflatable school say to the inflatable pupil who brought a pin to class?
  • [PowerPoint slide 5]
    • You’ve let me down. You’ve let the school down. But worst of all, you’ve let yourself down.
    • Now, enough jokes. Let’s watch a short film about someone who is always playing jokes on other people, and is about to get his comeuppance.
    • Watch the clip:
    • Mater and the Ghostlight (found on the Pixar Short Films Collection, Disney Pixar, 2006) certificate U. Six minutes 51 seconds.
    • Talk about the clip:
    • Mater was caught out by the others who were fed up with him playing tricks on them.
    • Poor old Mater was terrified of the ghostlight, even though he pretended that he knew all along that it was a joke.
    • I wonder if Mater still played tricks on the others after they caught him out.
    • Being foolish:
    • When people trick us or play a joke on us, we find it funny.
    • Hopefully we don’t feel too cross with them for catching us out.
    • Sometimes when a trick or a joke is played it can make us think about something more carefully.
    • Being foolish and silly can sometimes make us learn something new.
  • [PowerPoint slide 6]
    • Read 1 Corinthians 1:27 and talk about the verse:
    • God chooses things and people who are a bit silly or foolish in order to make people who think they are wise realise that they aren’t!
    • Weak things, things that don’t seem very important, can make powerful, strong people feel ashamed of being too proud.
    • Examples in the Bible:
    • Lots of people being asked to do foolish things by God.
    • Noah was told to build a huge boat even though he lived in a desert.
    • Daniel was told that God would look after him even though he was thrown into a den of lions.
    • There is even a story about a man called Jeremiah who was told by God to go and bury his dirty pants in the ground!
    • God chooses people who are a bit foolish to be his friend, and sometimes he asks people to do foolish things for him.
    • Sometimes God asks people to do foolish things so that other people will remember that he is there, and that he is strong.
    • Do you ever feel foolish?
    • If you have ever felt a bit foolish, or a bit weak, you can remember that God loves people like you and wants you to know that he is on your side!

Photo copyright for April Fool PowerPoint: Photos from istockphoto.com


RESPOND

Reflection

  • Think about something that makes you laugh – a comedian, a TV programme, your dad, a joke. Laughter and jokes are great because they help us to understand what life is all about. They also help us to share happy times with other people.

Prayer

  • Father God, thank you for jokes and silliness. Thank you that you have given us laughter. Help us to use jokes and tricks with kindness. Help us to remember that you use foolish things to teach us about life. In Jesus’ name. Amen.

YOU WILL NEED:

  1. Mater and the Ghostlight (found on the Pixar Short Films Collection, Disney Pixar, 2006) certificate U. Click here to buy the DVD online.
  2. Some stories about previous April Fool’s jokes for Great Pranks from History opening activity.
  3. April Fool PowerPoint.

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