Ethos Education

The Highway Rat: Why is it wrong to steal?

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Assembly Objective:

  • Why is it wrong to steal? This assembly considers what the Bible teaches about stealing.

Film:

  • The Highway Rat (20th Century Fox, 2018) certificate U, click here to buy the DVD online.

Bible: 

Supporting Values Education:

  • Rule of Law: thanks to the principle of ‘rule of law’ within the UK, all individuals and institutions are subject to and accountable to law that is fairly applied and enforced. This assembly acknowledges the fact that British law owes much to the country’s Judeo-Christian heritage.

OPENING ACTIVITY

Jobs: (quiz)

Children have to guess what each job title involves using slides 1-11 of The Highway Rat PowerPoint.


FILM CLIP 1

From The Highway Rat (20th Century Fox, 2018) certificate U

  • Start time: 00:01:03 (The title of the film appears.)
  • End time: 00:02:41 (The Highway Rat rides out of view.)
  • Clip length: 1 minute and 38 seconds.

If you cannot play this clip from the DVD, instead say, ‘One morning the Highway Rat discovers that he has run out of food. So, he sets off to steal some from the other animals on the road. Firstly, he steals a carrot from a rabbit and then honey from a beehive. He steals a cake from a duck and smacks her on the bottom with his sword. He then steals lots more food from other animals before riding away to a quiet spot to scoff it all up.’

FILM CLIP 2

From The Highway Rat (20th Century Fox, 2018) certificate U

  • Start time: 00:19:11 (We see the mountain in which the Highway Rat is lost.)
  • End time: 00:22:17 (The Highway Rat emerges out of the cave.)
  • Clip length: 3 minutes and 6 seconds.

If you cannot play this clip from the DVD, instead say, ‘The Highway Rat has become lost in the cave and does not know the way out. A group of bats scare him and he falls into a deep hole with water at the bottom from which he is unable to escape. He sees his own reflection in the water and is scared by it. He then thinks about all the other animals whom he has scared when he has stolen from them. He decides to stop being The Highway Rat and throws his costume and his sword into the water. He rescues a pair of fireflies from being eaten by a lizard. As a way of saying ‘Thank you’, they lead him out of a deep hole and into the open air. The Highway Rat is very happy to have escaped from the cave alive and goes into the nearby town to get a proper job.


TALK

Scripted Talk

Download The Highway Rat PowerPoint for use with this talk.

  • [PowerPoint slide 1]
    • Welcome, everyone. We start our assembly this morning by playing a quick quiz called ‘And What Do You Do?’ In this quiz you have to guess what people do based on their job title. Some of the jobs named in the quiz are not done anymore. And others, though once very popular, are now done by only a small number of people. Are you ready?
  • [PowerPoint slides 2 – 11]
    • And What Do You Do? Quiz.
  • [PowerPoint slide 12]
    • In the past, the roads of Britain were not safe to travel as highwaymen (and highwaywomen) lay in wait to rob other travellers. They would stop coaches and force the passengers to hand over their money and their jewellery. This must have been a very scary and upsetting experience.
  • [PowerPoint slide 13]
    • The author Julia Donaldson, who wrote The Gruffalo books, took a very famous poem about a highwayman and changed it into the story of ‘The Highway Rat’. (Ask if any of the children have read the book?) Her book has now been made into a film. We are now going to watch a short clip from the start of the film to find out what sort of a character is The Highway Rat.
    • Play film clip 1 from The Highway Rat (20th Century Fox, 2018) certificate U
      • Start time: 00:01:03 (The title of the film appears.)
      • End time: 00:02:41 (The Highway Rat rides out of view.)
      • Clip length: 1 minute and 38 seconds.
    • If you cannot play this clip from the DVD, instead say, ‘One morning the Highway Rat discovers that he has run out of food. So, he sets off to steal some from the other animals using the road. Firstly, he steals a carrot from a rabbit and then honey from a beehive. He steals a cake from a duck and smacks her on the bottom with his sword. He then steals lots more food from other animals before riding away to a quiet spot to scoff it all up.
  • [PowerPoint slide 14]
    • (Discuss the character of the Highway Rat with the children. Ask them to consider the feelings of the other animals from whom he has stolen food. Have they ever felt the same way? What happened to them?)
  • [PowerPoint slide 15]
    • The duck, from whom the Highway Rat stole a bun, comes up with a plan to stop him stealing. She tells him that there are loads of cakes and buns in a cave at the top of a mountain. He goes into the cave but quickly gets lost and cannot find his way out. Let’s see what happens next.
    • Play film clip 2 from The Highway Rat (20th Century Fox, 2018) certificate U
      • Start time: 00:19:11 (We see the mountain in which the Highway Rat is lost.)
      • End time: 00:22:17 (The Highway Rat emerges out of the cave.)
      • Clip length: 3 minutes and 6 seconds.
    • If you cannot play this clip from the DVD, instead say, ‘The Highway Rat has become lost in the cave and does not know the way out. A group of bats scare him and he falls into a deep hole with water at the bottom from which he is unable to escape. He sees his own reflection in the water and is scared by it. He then thinks about all the other animals whom he has scared when he has stolen from them. He decides to stop being the Highway Rat and throws his costume and his sword into the water. He rescues a pair of fireflies from being eaten by a lizard. As a way of saying ‘Thank you’, they lead him out of a deep hole and into the open air. The Highway Rat is very happy to have escaped from the cave alive and goes to a nearby town to get a proper job.
    • Discuss with the children the Highway Rat’s experience in the cave. What happened to him? Why did he throw his costume and sword into the water?
  • [PowerPoint slide 16]
    • Here’s a question to think about: why is it wrong to steal? At the start of the film, the Highway Rat didn’t think that what he was doing was wrong. He seemed to really enjoy it. But after his experience in the cave, he gave up being the Highway Rat and got a new job sweeping the floor (and eating the crumbs) in a cake shop. So why did he change his mind about stealing? Why do you think stealing is wrong? (Allow children to discuss this question before introducing a Christian perspective.)
  • [PowerPoint slide 17]
    • Christians believe stealing is wrong because it causes harm to other people. They also believe that stealing is wrong because it is breaking the law of the country. But Christians also believe that stealing is wrong because, in the Bible, God tells people not to do it. He says, ‘You must not steal’ (Exodus 20:15).
  • [PowerPoint slide 18]
    • This rule is one of ten that, in the Bible, are known as The Ten Commandments and are given by God to the people who chose to follow Him. Christians believe that it is very wrong to break these rules. But if that happens, Christians know that if people turn away from the wrong things they do (like the Highway Rat did in the cave), God will forgive them and they can try again to be good.

Headings and bullets

  • [PowerPoint slide 1]
    • Welcome.
    • And What Do You Do? Quiz.
  • [PowerPoint slide 2]
    • A Costermonger is…
    • A person who works in a coffee shop.
    • A person who sells fruit and vegetables on the street.
    • A person who looks after cats.
  • [PowerPoint slide 3]
    • A Costermonger is…
    • A person who sells fruit and vegetables on the street.
  • [PowerPoint slide 4]
    • A Knocker-Upper is…
    • A person who makes furniture.
    • A boxer.
    • A person who wakes people up for work by knocking on their bedroom windows.
  • [PowerPoint slide 5]
    • A Knocker-Upper is…
    • A person who wakes people up for work by knocking on their bedroom windows.
  • [PowerPoint slide 6]
    • A Cooper is…
    • A person who looks after pigeons.
    • A person who makes wooden barrels.
    • A person who makes cakes.
  • [PowerPoint slide 7]
    • A Cooper is…
    • A person who makes wooden barrels.
  • [PowerPoint slide 8]
    • A Farrier is…
    • A person who looks after ferrets.
    • A person who looks after horses’ hooves.
    • A person who makes bread.
  • [PowerPoint slide 9]
    • A Farrier is…
    • A person who looks after horses’ hooves.
  • [PowerPoint slide 10]
    • A Highwayman is…
    • A person who repairs roads.
    • A person who collects charges for using roads.
    • A person who steals from other people using the roads.
  • [PowerPoint slide 11]
    • A Highwayman is…
    • A person who steals from other people using the roads.
  • [PowerPoint slide 12]
    • Highwaymen.
  • [PowerPoint slide 13]
    • The Highway Rat.
    • Play film clip 1.
  • [PowerPoint slide 14]
    • What type of character is the Highway Rat?
  • [PowerPoint slide 15]
    • The white duck tricks the Highway Rat.
    • Play film clip 2.
  • [PowerPoint slide 16]
    • Why is it wrong to steal?
  • [PowerPoint slide 17]
    • You must not steal (Exodus 20:15).
  • [PowerPoint slide 18]
    • The Ten Commandments.

Photo copyright for The Highway Rat PowerPoint: Slide 1 Pixabay.com / Slide 2 coffee Pixabay.com, fruit and vegetables (also slide 3) Pixabay.com, cat Pixabay.com / Slide 4 furniture Pixabay.com, boxer Pixabay.com, window (also slide 5) Freeimages.comSlide 6 pigeons Freeimages.com, barrels  (also slide 7) Pixabay.com, baking Pixabay.com / Slide 8 ferret Pixabay.com, hoof (also slide 9) Pixabay.com, bread Pixabay.com / Slide 10 road repair Pixabay.com, money Freeimages.com, highwayman (also slide 11 and 12) Freeimages.com / Slide 13 BBC / Slide 14 BBC / Slide 15 BBC / Slide 16 bag Pixabay.com, burglar iStockphoto.com / Slide 17 and 18 Pixabay.com / Slide 18 girl iStockphoto.com


RESPOND

Reflection

  • How did the other animals feel when the Highway Rat stole from them? Have you ever felt this way?
  • Did you feel sorry for the Highway Rat when he was lost in the cave? Why/why not?
  • Why do you think the Highway Rat decided not to steal anymore?
  • Do you think that the Highway Rat became a good shop assistant?
  • Do you think the Highway Rat should have been punished for stealing food from the other animals?
  • What rules do you have in your class?
  • Why is it important to have rules?
  • What do you think God’s other nine rules might be?

Prayer

  • Dear God, we thank you for rules that stop people from hurting each other and that help to keep us safe. Please help us to stick to the rules at school and at home. Help us to think about other people’s feelings. When we do wrong, help us to feel sorry and to try to do better next time, knowing that we are forgiven by you. Amen.

YOU WILL NEED:

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