Ethos Education

Kung Fu Panda 3: What does it mean to just be you?

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Assembly Objective:

  • How many times do we hear the phrase ‘just be true to yourself’, or ‘the best thing you can do is just be you’? How do we know what this really means for our every day lives? What does it mean to just be ourselves? This assembly explores the Bible’s teaching on what it might mean (and not mean!) to be ourselves in the context of our local and global community of fellow human beings.

Film:

  • Kung Fu Panda 3 (DreamWorks Animation, 2016, PG). Click here to buy the DVD online.

Bible:

Supporting Values Education:

  • The value of individual liberty teaches us that we each have the right to express ourselves freely, without fear of judgement or persecution. The value of mutual tolerance and respect of those with different faiths and beliefs is based on the idea that each person also has the responsibility to positively contribute to a respectful and tolerant society. This assembly encourages students to reflect on how their responsibilities to others in their community might shape their understanding of their rights as free citizens.

OPENING ACTIVITY

What Makes Me Me? (something to do and something to think about)

Download the What Makes Me Me? PowerPoint for use with this activity.

  • [PowerPoint slide 1]
    • Explain to the students that they will be playing three ‘thought experiment’ games, during which they will have to use their thinking skills and imagination to try and solve three problems. Each time they will be given thirty seconds to think and discuss with their neighbours, then you will ask some of them to share their thoughts.
  • [PowerPoint slide 2]
    • Tell the students to imagine they have woken up one morning in their best friend’s body (you can reference the book Freaky Friday here to help if you like). For the sake of the activity, they can imagine their best friend is on a school trip and therefore isn’t at school. Tell the students that they must work out how they would convince their friends and teachers that it was really them. Suggest that they think about what special abilities, gifts, and personality quirks they have that would help their case.
    • Give the students about thirty seconds to think and discuss with their neighbour what they might do and say. After the time is up, ask one to two students to share their ideas.
    • It might be good during the feedback to probe the students further if they suggest something that isn’t particularly ‘unique’.
  • [PowerPoint slide 3]
    • Explain to the students that even though it is hard to think of the special things we bring to the world, the unique mix of things is what makes us ‘us’.
    • Pose the question: but do these things stay the same?
  • [PowerPoint slide 4]
    • Explain to the students that in the second thought-experiment they must remember what they were like in their first week at this school. Ask them to spend thirty seconds thinking about and discussing with their neighbour how they have changed since that time. What do they think has caused the change?
    • After the time is up, ask one to two students to share their ideas.
  • [PowerPoint slide 5]
    • Explain to the students, that while we have a unique mix of gifts and traits that make us ‘us’ we are always growing and changing, and that this is a part of life. Ask them to think about times when growing and changing was hard, but worked out for the best.
  • [PowerPoint slide 6]
    • Explain to the students that in the third and final thought-experiment they must think about a time when what makes them ‘them’ may have led them to make a bad decision or do something mean or hurtful. What does this tell us about how the idea ‘just be you’ might be good/bad?
    • Ask them to spend thirty seconds discussing these ideas with their neighbour.
    • After the time is up, ask one to two students to share their thoughts on the first question, then the second.

FILM CLIP

  • There are two clips to be played from Kung Fu Panda 3 (DreamWorks Animation, 2016, PG) during the talk.
  • Clip One:
    • Start time: 00:06:25
    • End time: 00:09:50
    • Clip length: 3 minutes and 25 seconds
  • The clip begins with Master Shifu informing the Furious Five that the time has come for Po to take over their training. Po is horrified, and rightly so as the training session goes disastrously. Po later sits under a tree lamenting his failure, when Master Shifu finds him and assures him that while this task is difficult, if we only do what we can do, we will never be more than we are. To discover who he really is, Po must work hard and realise his potential.
  • Clip Two:
    • Start time: 00:58:55
    • End time: 1:00:45
    • Clip length: 1 minute and 50 seconds
  • The clip begins with Tigress and Po arguing about how to defeat the fast-approaching Kung Fu terror, Kai. Po admits he doesn’t know how to defeat him without an army. Through the mist, Po’s father along with an army of village pandas arrive and offer to help the fight. Po is doubtful until he remembers Shifu’s advice from the previous clip: a person’s strength lies in building on and developing the gifts they already have.

TALK

Download the What Does it Mean to Just be Me? PowerPoint for use with this talk.

Scripted Talk

  • [PowerPoint slide 1]
    • The question what does it mean to just be you is one of the biggest questions we can ask about ourselves. As we’ve seen from our three thought experiments, there are many possible answers!
    • Why is it important to know the answer? Some people believe the answer will help us to make decisions. Some believe it would help us to see what about us is valuable and special.
  • [PowerPoint slide 2]
    • In the film Kung Fu Panda 3, Po asks a similar question. He knows now that he is the Dragon Warrior: a hero chosen by prophecy long ago. But what does this really mean?
    • During the third instalment of the Kung Fu Panda saga, Po is asked to do something he has never done before: teach his fellow Kung Fu masters. He believes he is not up to the task.
    • During the clip we’re about to watch, Master Shifu and Po discuss why it is important to try things you do not believe you can do. As you watch, think about why Master Shifu thinks Po needs to try things that are difficult to discover what makes him.
    • Play clip one from Kung Fu Panda 3 (DreamWorks Animation, 2016, PG)
      • Start time: 00:06:25
      • End time: 00:09:50
      • Clip length: 3 minutes and 25 seconds
    • The clip begins with Master Shifu informing the Furious Five that the time has come for Po to take over their training. Po is horrified, and rightly so as the training session goes disastrously. Po later sits under a tree lamenting his failure, when Master Shifu finds him and assures him that while this task is difficult, if we only do what we can do, we will never be more than we are. To discover who he really is, Po must work hard and realise his potential.
  • [PowerPoint slide 3]
    • In this clip, Po learns that to be you doesn’t mean you have to stay the same forever. In fact, he learns that if he wants to find out who he really is, he has to accept that he needs to grow and develop, and the best way of doing this, according to Master Shifu, is to try new things. This means that he will sometimes fail; but Master Shifu assures him: if you only do what you can do, you will never be more than you are.
  • [PowerPoint slide 4]
    • Later on in the film, Po has to fight his most terrifying opponent yet: the legendary warrior, Kai. He is about to give up hope, when he is helped by an unexpected ‘army’. As you watch the clip, think about how Po’s realisation about the Pandas, and how to teach them, helps him answer his questions about what makes him him.
    • Play clip two from Kung Fu Panda 3 (DreamWorks Animation, 2016, PG)
      • Start time: 00:58:55
      • End time: 1:00:45
      • Clip length: 1 minute and 50 seconds
    • The clip begins with Tigress and Po arguing about how to defeat the fast-approaching Kung Fu terror, Kai. Po admits he doesn’t know how to defeat him without an army. Through the mist, Po’s father along with an army of village pandas arrive and offer to help the fight. Po is doubtful until he remembers Shifu’s advice from the previous clip: a person’s strength lies in building on and developing the gifts they already have.
  • [PowerPoint slide 5]
    • In this clip Po seems to realise that people are their best and strongest selves when they bring their own gifts and passions to the table. Po understands that he does not need to help people become like him, but to help them realise where their own gifts lie. The group of Pandas are at their strongest when they bring all their different, unique selves together.
    • The story of Kung Fu Panda 3 helps us realise that perhaps really being you isn’t just about doing whatever you feel like doing (like Po says at the beginning – punching bad guys and high-fiving locals), but it’s about doing your best to help others with your unique gifts and abilities.
  • [PowerPoint slides 6-7]
    • The Apostle Paul, in his letter to a church in Corinth – a very wealthy, well educated and talent-filled city in ancient Greece – says that Christians should be like a ‘body’: they should bring all their different gifts and abilities together, instead of all trying to be the same.
    • For Paul, and many Christians, what makes you you is the unique way you have been made by God, and the unique gifts you have been given. It is by using these gifts and seeing what they are for, even when it is hard, that you can start to see who you really are.
    • Paul says [read the first part of the Bible passage: 1 Corinthians 12:14-21 (New Living Translation)].
    • The verse teaches us that the very fact that we are all different is part of what makes us us. If we were all the same – we could not achieve as much as we can when we celebrate our differences.
  • [PowerPoint slide 8]
    • Paul continues [read second part of the Bible passage: 1 Corinthians 12: 22-24 (New Living Translation)].
    • Here we see that Paul isn’t only talking to the people the society thinks are beautiful, talented and clever, but to everyone: even people who think they are ‘weak’ or ‘useless’. The Bible teaches us that even those of us who feel like we do not have anything special about us really do. Everyone is made with something special to bring, even if it is hard to see.
  • [PowerPoint slide 9]
    • The Bible suggests that to find the answer to the question what does it mean to just be me, instead of just doing whatever we already do and like, we must work out what we can bring to the world – whether that is our classroom, school or local community. How can we use what makes us us for the better?

Headings and Bullets

Download the What Does it Mean to Just be Me? PowerPoint for use with this talk.

  • [PowerPoint slide 1]
    • What does it mean to just be you?
    • Why is it important to know the answer?
  • [PowerPoint slide 2]
    • Po’s big question in Kung Fu Panda 3.
    • What does it mean to be the Dragon Warrior?
    • What does Po have to do in order to find out?
    • Introduce first film clip.
  • [PowerPoint slide 3]
    • Being you means growing and changing.
    • Master Shifu says: if you only do what you can do, you will never be more than you are.
  • [PowerPoint slide 4]
    • Introduce second film clip.
    • Po realises he can only beat his enemy if he helps his friends see what they can really do.
  • [PowerPoint slide 5]
    • We are strongest when we bring our differences together.
    • Po believes you find out who you really are when you use your gifts for good.
  • [PowerPoint slide 6-7]
    • What does it mean to be like a body?
    • Read Bible verse.
    • Using our different gifts together is the best way to see who we really are.
    • The fact that we are all different makes us us. If we were all the same – we could not achieve as much as we can when we celebrate our differences.
  • [PowerPoint slide 8]
    • All parts of the body are valuable.
    • Read Bible verse.
  • [PowerPoint slide 9]
    • What unique thing can we bring to the world?
    • What ought we be doing with the special thing we can bring?

Photo Copyright for What Makes Me Me Powerpoint: Slides 1, 2, 3 and 5 Pixabay.com / Slides 4 and 6 iStockphoto.com

Photo Copyright for What Does it Mean to Just be Me? PowerPoint: Slide 1, 8 and 9 Pixabay.com / Slide 2 IMDB.com / Slide 3 DreamWorks Animation / Slide 4 DreamWorks Animation / Slide 5 DreamWorks Animation / Slide 6 and 7 iStockphoto.com


RESPOND

Prayer

  • Dear God, thank you that you have made me me. Thank you that I have many special gifts and abilities that I can use for good, even if they are hard to see sometimes. Please help me to see what my gifts are, and to not be afraid to try difficult things even if I might fail.

Reflection

  • Next time you have the opportunity to try something difficult, or have another go at something you found difficult before, think about what is stopping you. Remember that learning and growing can be scary but are worth it to help you understand what you are really capable of. Next time you are with your friends, think about the special gifts and abilities you have. How might you bring them to the group? How might you encourage people who are different from you to feel that they have something to bring as well?

YOU WILL NEED:

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