Ethos Education

The BFG: What makes friendship so special?

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Assembly Objective:

  • Friendship is a central part of living a life shared with other human beings. In a world where many of our relationships are lived out through our smart-phones, it’s sometimes hard to identify what a real friend is, and what makes that friendship something to be treasured. This assembly explores the Bible’s teaching on what friends are for, and what makes them so special.

Film:

  • The BFG (Amblin Entertainment, PG, 2016). Click here to buy the DVD online.

Bible:

Supporting Values Education:

  • The value of mutual respect and tolerance of those with different faiths and beliefs encourages us to look beyond the differences between us and those we interact with, and find meaningful common ground. This assembly explores the role this common ground plays in teaching us about the value of strong friendships.

OPENING ACTIVITY

What Makes a Good Friend? (something to think about and something to do)

Download the What Makes a Good Friend Assembly PowerPoint for this activity.

  • [PowerPoint slide 1]
    • Show the students the images of famous fictional best friends. Identify the different pairs (top left: SpongeBob SquarePants and Patrick, top right Buzz and Woody, bottom left Sherlock and Watson, bottom right Harry Potter and Ron Weasley). Ask the students to discuss with people around them which they think are the best of friends.
    • Explain to them that they should consider which criteria they are basing their decision upon.
    • Give the students thirty seconds to one minute to discuss then ask one to two students to feed back.
  • [PowerPoint slide 2]
    • Show the students the quote and explain to them that C. S. Lewis was an author and later on in his life a religious writer. In this quote, he argues that a key component of friendship is that it is unnecessary. Explain to them that unnecessary means ‘not needed’ or ‘more than is needed’.
    • Give the students one to two minutes to discuss a) if they agree and b) why C. S. Lewis might write something like that, and then ask one to two students to feed back.
  • [PowerPoint slide 3]
    • Explain that C. S. Lewis also argues that friendship gives value to survival. He believes that friendship actually gives our lives value.
    • Ask the students to spend one to two minutes discussing whether they agree with this and/or what about friendship is valuable. Ask one to two students to feed back.
  • [PowerPoint slide 4]
    • Ask the students to discuss amongst themselves what they think makes a good friend. Give them one to two minutes to discuss, then ask for feedback from a couple of the students.
    • Choose one or two interesting suggestions to reflect on. Explain that we have criteria for what makes a good friend, and this is important because it tells us that friendship is something that we want to be good: we don’t want bad friendships! This is something we will be looking into further today.

 FILM CLIP

  • There is one clip to be played from The BFG (Amblin Entertainment, PG, 2016) during the talk.
    • Start time: 00:57:00
    • End time: 1:00:01
    • Clip Length: three minutes and one second
  • The clip begins with Sophie and the BFG in giant country. She points out the unfairness of the other giants constantly bullying the BFG and offers to help him finally stand up to them. The BFG asks where her blanket is, which she reveals to have dropped in giant country. The BFG realises the danger Sophie is in and takes her back to England, with the intention of leaving her there for her own safety. Sophie is upset and says she isn’t afraid, and wants to help the BFG, rather than hide away, due to how much she cares for him.

TALK

Download the What Makes Friendship So Special? Assembly PowerPoint for use with this talk.

Scripted Talk

  • [PowerPoint slide 1]
    • Who are my best friends? What is true friendship? Do I have any fake friends? What would I do without my friends? These are all things that we wonder from time to time.
    • It’s easy to do! Our friends are the people we confide in, spend our time, share our ideas with, our feelings, and sometimes our secrets. It’s normal to feel unsure about who are our real friends, and who aren’t.
  • [PowerPoint slide 2]
    • In a world driven by social media it’s sometimes even hard to figure out who our real friends are! Our smartphones tell us that certain people are our closest friends on Snapchat; Twitter and Instagram tell us how many followers we have. Imagine if our friendships were only on social media – how would that make us feel? It’s worth asking what it is about the best friendships that makes them feel really real.
  • [PowerPoint slide 3]
    • In the BFG, a very unlikely friendship develops – a little orphaned girl named Sophie, who happened to look out of the window at just the wrong moment, and a big friendly giant: the aptly named BFG.
    • While not really knowing anything about one another at the start, the two develop a caring friendship that helps them work as a team to conquer almost impossible difficulties. Sophie is fiercely protective of her giant, who is bullied by other much crueller, and much larger giants. The BFG cares deeply for the safety and happiness of Sophie, to the point where he is willing to sacrifice their friendship in an attempt to save her from danger.
  • [PowerPoint slide 4]
    • In the clip we’re about to see shows us how the friendship between Sophie and the BFG is about protection and care: they wouldn’t consider each other friends unless they were willing to do those things for one another.
    • Think about what it is that makes this a particularly special friendship? What traits is each friend showing, and what do they value as friends?
    • Play the clip from The BFG (Amblin Entertainment, PG, 2016)
      • Start time: 00:57:00
      • End time: 1:00:01
      • Clip Length: three minutes and one second
    • The clip begins with Sophie and the BFG in giant country. She points out the unfairness of the other giants constantly bullying the BFG and offers to help him finally stand up to them. The BFG asks where her blanket is, which she reveals to have dropped in giant country. The BFG realises the danger Sophie is in and takes her back to England, with the intention of leaving her there for her own safety. Sophie is upset and says she isn’t afraid, and wants to help the BFG, rather than hide away, due to how much she cares for him.
  • [PowerPoint slide 5]
    • In this clip we see that while the BFG is pained to let Sophie go, because he knows what might happen to her, Sophie is determined to overlook her fear and stick with him, partly to be with him, but also to help him solve the problems he needs to.
    • Even though there are so many things to be worried about – their friendship means that they will help each other, care for each other and put each other first – not always an easy thing to do!
    • Their friendship is also about honesty. Sophie and the BFG are honest with each other about how they feel. But what makes these parts of a friendship special?
  • [PowerPoint slide 6]
    • In Ecclesiastes, a book from the Bible full of wise sayings, the writer talks about why friendship – or companionship, is such a special and important part of life [read first part of the Bible passage: Ecclesiastes 4:9-10 (New Living Translation)].
    • This verse teaches us that not only can friendship help us in times of need, but that is what it is designed for! Friendship is supposed to be special, because it is supposed to stop us falling alone – it helps us to succeed at the things we care about.
  • [PowerPoint slide 7]
    • The Bible suggests that ultimately our friendships aren’t about our own individual needs, but they are about a teamwork of people helping each other: that friendship is special because it is the place where we don’t feel alone. And we don’t feel alone because part of our lives are always dedicated to caring for and helping those we care about.
    • The Bible also teaches, that friendship is something everybody needs, so it is not only important for us to care about the friends we already have, but think about those people who maybe don’t have friends. Just like Sophie and the BFG, how can we use our friendships to make a positive difference in the world?

Headings and Bullets

Download the What Makes Friendship So Special? Assembly PowerPoint for use with this talk.

  • [PowerPoint slide 1]
    • Who are my best friends?
    • What is true friendship?
    • Do I have any fake friends?
  • [PowerPoint slide 2]
    • Who are our real friends?
    • Imagine if our only friends were social media friends.
  • [PowerPoint slide 3]
    • In The BFG, an unlikely friendship develops.
    • They are determined to work as a team to help each other.
  • [PowerPoint slide 4]
    • Introduce clip.
    • What makes this a particularly special friendship?
  • [PowerPoint slide 5]
    • What is it that makes Sophie’s and the BFG’s friendship so special?
    • Their friendship is about honesty and self-sacrifice.
  • [PowerPoint slide 6]
    • Introduce Bible verse.
    • In Ecclesiastes, the writer talks about the value of companionship.
    • Friendship is supposed to be special. It helps us to succeed at the things we care about.
  • [PowerPoint slide 7]
    • Friendship is special because it is the place where we don’t feel alone.
    • How can we use our friendships to make a positive difference in the world?

Photo Copyright for What Makes a Good Friend Assembly Powerpoint: Slide 1 SpongeBob SquarePants and Patrick Viacom International Inc, Toy Story Walt Disney Studios, Harry Potter Warner Bros Ent Harry Potter Publishing Rights J. K. R, Sherlock, Colin Hutton, Hartwood Films / Slide 2 Wikimedia / Slide 3 Pixabay.comSlide 4 Pixabay.com

Photo Copyright for What Makes Friendship so Special Assembly PowerPoint: Slide 1 Pixabay.com / Slide 2 Smart phone Pixabay.com, Snapchat Pixabay.com, Twitter Pixabay.com, Instagram Public domain / Slide 3 Walt Disney and Walt Disney / Slide 4 Walt Disney / Slide 5 Walt Disney / Slide 6 and 7 iStockphoto.com


RESPOND

Prayer

  • Dear God, thank you for the gift of friendship. Thank you that you have created so many different kinds of people who all have the potential to help each other out, and enjoy friendship with each other. Please help me to not only care for my friends, but also that together we use our friendships to make a positive difference to those around us.

Reflection

  • Next time you are with your friends, have a think about why you are grateful that you have them. What makes them great people to be around? Maybe your friends are with you right now. Think about what makes your friendship special. How can you be a better friend to those you care about? How can you and your friends make your friendship something that brings a positive difference to the world? Think about people who perhaps have very few friends, is there anything you can do to help that person experience true friendship?

YOU WILL NEED:

  1. A copy of The BFG (Amblin Entertainment, PG, 2016). Click here to buy the DVD online.
  2. What Makes a Good Friend? Assembly PowerPoint.
  3. What Makes Friendship So Special? Assembly PowerPoint.

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