Ethos Education

The Good Dinosaur: Overcoming Fear

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Assembly Objective:

  • How can we overcome our fears? This assembly explores the biblical story of how the first Christians overcame their fears at Pentecost.

Film:

  • The Good Dinosaur (Pixar, 2015, certificate PG), click here to buy the DVD online.

Bible:

Supporting Values Education:

  • The value of Individual Liberty is based on the notion that we are free and responsible for our own actions – but that means we tend also to fear the consequences of what we have done or what others might do to us. The values of Democracy and Rule of Law recognise that we are part of a society whereby we receive support from others which can help us deal with our fears and make good choices about how we live.

OPENING ACTIVITY

Fit to Burst (demonstration)

  • Wearing safety glasses, blow up a balloon until it gets to the point of bursting. Ask the children whether or not you should continue. Get them to predict how many more breaths it will take before the balloon bursts. Continue to build suspense until the balloon finally pops.
  • PLEASE NOTE:  For groups that include children on the Autistic Spectrum (or who have a great fear of balloons bursting), you might not want to allow the balloon to pop.

FILM CLIP

  • Play the clip from The Good Dinosaur (Pixar, 2015) certificate PG.
    • Start time: 08:39 (As Poppa empties the corn into the silo.)
    • End time: 12:09 (Just before Poppa says, ‘I’ve got an idea’.)
    • Clip length: 3 minutes and 30 seconds
  • If you cannot play the clip, instead say, ‘The Good Dinosaur imagines that the dinosaurs were not wiped out but, instead, evolved to become like humans. Arlo belongs to a family of dinosaurs who are farmers. His job on the farm is to look after the chickens but he is terrified of them. At the end of harvest time, Arlo’s family put all the corn they have grown into a tower and seal it up to stop it from being eaten by other animals. Arlo’s parents ‘make their marks’ on the tower by putting their muddy foot prints on it. This shows that they have made a big contribution on the farm. They encourage Arlo and his brother and sister to do the same. Arlo’s brother is allowed to ‘make his mark’ because he clears a whole field on his own. Arlo’s sister is allowed to ‘make her mark’ because she ploughs the field. But Arlo cannot overcome his fear of the chickens. His parents try to encourage him but his brother teases him and calls him a coward. At the end of the clip, Arlo says, ‘I don’t care about that dumb mark anyway’ and stomps off.

TALK

Scripted Talk

Download The Good Dinosaur Overcoming Fear PowerPoint for use with this talk.

  • [PowerPoint slide 1]
    • Welcome, everyone, to this assembly. Today we are going to be thinking about fears and how to overcome them.
  • [PowerPoint slide 2]
    • [Put on the safety glasses and begin blowing up the balloon. Talk between breaths.] Everyone is afraid of something. Some people are even afraid of balloons. This is called globophobia. They may be afraid of how balloons look and feel or they may be afraid of the noise that balloons make when they burst. BANG!
  • [PowerPoint slide 3]
    • A fear of loud noises is called phonophobia. [By this stage, hopefully, the balloon will be close to bursting.] Who wants me to continue blowing up the balloon? How many more breaths will the balloon hold? Who wants me to stop? Why? Reassure children who exhibit fear. Allow them to cover their ears. Continue to build suspense until the balloon finally pops. [click] BANG!
    • Allow the children time to calm down. Though some of you were scared of the balloon bursting and others were excited, everyone is frightened of something.
    • PLEASE NOTE: For groups that include children on the Autistic Spectrum (or who have a great fear of balloons bursting), you might not want to allow the balloon to pop.
  • [PowerPoint slide 4]
    • Put your hand up if you are frightened of dogs. This is called cynophobia.
  • [PowerPoint slide 5]
    • What about heights? This is called acrophobia.
  • [PowerPoint slide 6]
    • Or snakes? This is called ophidiophobia.
  • [PowerPoint slide 7]
    • Or spiders? This is called arachnophobia.
  • [PowerPoint slide 8]
    • Or the dark? This is called nyctophobia. What other things do you find frightening? [Discuss suggestions.] Fear, though, is not a bad thing as it helps to keep us safe. However, sometimes, our fears can stop us from leading a normal life.
  • [PowerPoint slide 9]
    • In the film The Good Dinosaur, the main character, Arlo, is a very frightened dinosaur. Everything seems to frighten him. At the start of the film, we find out that chickens in particular terrify him.
  • [PowerPoint slide 10]
    • This stops him from ‘making his mark’ and becoming a helpful member of his family.
    • Play the clip from The Good Dinosaur (Pixar, 2015) certificate PG.
      • Start time: 08:39 (As Poppa empties the corn into the silo.)
      • End time: 12:09 (Just before Poppa says, ‘I’ve got an idea’.)
      • Clip length: 3 minutes and 30 seconds
    • If you cannot play the clip, instead say, ‘The Good Dinosaur imagines that the dinosaurs were not wiped out but, instead, evolved to become like humans. Arlo belongs to a family of dinosaurs who are farmers. His job on the farm is to look after the chickens but he is terrified of them. At the end of harvest time, Arlo’s family put all the corn they have grown into a tower and seal it up to stop it from being eaten by other animals. Arlo’s parents ‘make their marks’ on the tower by putting their muddy foot prints on it. This shows that they have made a big contribution on the farm. They encourage Arlo and his brother and sister to do the same. Arlo’s brother is allowed to ‘make his mark’ because he clears a whole field on his own. Arlo’s sister is allowed to ‘make her mark’ because she ploughs the field. But Arlo cannot overcome his fear of the chickens. His parents try to encourage him but his brother teases him and calls him a coward. At the end of the clip, Arlo says, ‘I don’t care about that dumb mark anyway’ and stomps off’.
  • [PowerPoint slide 11]
    • In the course of the film, Arlo manages to overcome his fears with the help of his human friend, Spot…
  • [PowerPoint slide 12]
    • …and some good advice from Butch, an old Tyrannosaurus Rex. He tells Arlo, ‘You can’t get rid of fear but you can get through it’. What helps you get through your fear? [Discuss suggestions.]
  • [PowerPoint slides 13-17]
    • Every year, fifty days after Easter Sunday, Christians celebrate the Church’s birthday. Almost two thousand years ago, the first followers of Jesus met together on this day. They had been through a lot over the previous weeks. They had seen Jesus die on the cross. Then He had come back to life. But, then, He had gone back to Heaven. They must have been feeling very confused and scared. That is probably the reason that they were all together when something amazing happened. They heard and felt a mighty wind and saw what looked like flames drop from the ceiling down upon their heads.  God had sent His spirit to them and, as a result, they all burst out of the house where they had gathered and began telling everyone in the street about Jesus. Thanks to God’s Spirit, their confusion and fear had completely disappeared. This was the start or the birth of the Christian Church, which, at that time, numbered about only one hundred and twenty people. Almost two thousand years later, over two billion Christians around the world will celebrate Pentecost – the Church’s birthday. Like Arlo in the film, The Good Dinosaur, the first Christians managed to overcome their fears and to ‘make their mark’ in the world.
    • Click through the slides to show a re-telling of Acts 2:1-47 suitable for KS1 (this version of the story originally appeared in Cracking RE and is reproduced by kind permission of the Stapleford Centre www.stapleford-centre.org).

Headings and Bullets

  • [PowerPoint slide 1]
    • Welcome.
    • Introduction to theme: overcoming fears.
  • [PowerPoint slide 2]
    • Globophobia = fear of balloons.
  • [PowerPoint slide 3]
    • Phonophobia = fear of loud noises.
    • [click] BANG!
  • [PowerPoint slide 4]
    • Cynophobia = fear of dogs.
  • [PowerPoint slide 5]
    • Acrophobia = fear of heights.
  • [PowerPoint slide 6]
    • Ophidiophobia = fear of snakes.
  • [PowerPoint slide 7]
    • Arachnophobia = fear of spiders.
  • [PowerPoint slide 8]
    • Nyctophobia = fear of the dark.
  • [PowerPoint slide 9]
    • The Good Dinosaur.
    • Introduce Arlo.
  • [PowerPoint slide 10]
    • Arlo and his family.
    • Play the clip from The Good Dinosaur (Pixar, 2015) certificate PG.
      • Start time: 08:39 (As Poppa empties the corn into the silo.)
      • End time: 12:09 (Just before Poppa says, ‘I’ve got an idea’.)
      • Clip length: 3 minutes and 30 seconds
  • [PowerPoint slide 11]
    • Spot.
  • [PowerPoint slide 12]
    • Butch.
    • ‘You can’t get rid of fear but you can get through it’.
  • [PowerPoint slides 13-17]
    • Click through the slides to show a re-telling of Acts 2:1-47 suitable for KS1.

Photo Copyright for Overcoming Fear PowerPoint: Slide 1 Disney/Pixar / Slides 2, 5, 6, 7, 8 freeimages.co.uk / Slide 3 Stephen Edmonds / Slide 4 Dr. Manfred Herrmann / Slides 9-12 image.net / Slides 13-17 Sweet Publishing/FreeBibleimages.org


RESPOND

Reflection

  • What is the thing that really frightens you?
  • Is this fear helping to keep you safe or stopping you from leading a normal life?
  • How might you overcome this fear?
  • Who might help you to do this?
  • If you were Arlo, what would you do to ‘make your mark’?
  • What have you done recently that you are very proud of?

Prayer

  • Dear God, we thank You for the feeling of fear. We know that it is one of the ways in which we can keep ourselves safe. But, when our fears stop us from leading a normal life, we ask for Your help in overcoming them. We think about the first followers of Jesus and how You helped them to overcome their fear and confusion. Like them, we know that we can trust in Your help to make our mark in the world. Amen.

YOU WILL NEED:

  1. The Good Dinosaur (Pixar, 2015, certificate PG), click here to buy the DVD online.
  2. An uninflated balloon or balloons.
  3. Safety glasses.
  4. The Good Dinosaur Overcoming Fear PowerPoint.

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