Ethos Education

Ron’s Gone Wrong: What does it mean to be a good friend?

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Assembly Objective:

What does it mean to be a good friend? This assembly explores ‘friendship’ and the Christian idea of putting others first.

Film:

Ron’s Gone Wrong (20th Century Studios, 2021) certificate PG, click here to buy the DVD online.

Bible:

John 15:13 (New Living Translation)

Supporting Values Education:

Mutual Respect and Tolerance: British society aspires to be inclusive of those with different faiths and beliefs.


OPENING ACTIVITY

Best Friends’ Quiz

  • In pairs, children have to answer questions about their best friend.

FILM CLIP 1

  • From Ron’s Gone Wrong (20th Century Studios, 2021) certificate PG.
    • Start time: 00:36:40 (Barney sneaks out of his house.)
    • End time: 00:40:05 (Image of Barney’s pin board.)
    • Clip length: 3 minutes, 25 seconds.

If you cannot play this clip from the DVD, instead say, ‘Barney decides to teach Ron how to be his friend. This proves to be more difficult than he first thought and he has to use a pinboard to help Ron to understand. Barney then teaches Ron the location of his school. He uses felt pens to make Ron look the same as other Bubble Bots but Ron struggles to understand the rules of being Barney’s friend and seems determined not to ‘fit in’. The pair disagree about which is better: rocks or electricity. By the end of Barney’s lessons on friendship, the pin board looks very complicated.  (Show image of Barney’s pin board on slide 14 of the PowerPoint.)

FILM CLIP 2

  • From Ron’s Gone Wrong (20th Century Studios, 2021) certificate PG.
    • Start time: 01:30:12 (Light falls on Barney’s face.)
    • End time: 01:36:35 (Barney, his father and grandmother leave Bubble HQ.)
    • Clip length: 6 minutes, 23 seconds.

If you cannot play this clip from the DVD, instead say, ‘Barney has managed to break into the data storage area of Bubble Headquarters. He searches for Ron’s original code but cannot find it. Exhausted, he falls asleep but is woken up by a light falling onto his face. He traces the source of the light and finds that it is Ron’s original code. He re-installs the code and the friends are very happily reunited. Barney then notices live streams from the B-Bots of his human friends. It seems that their B-Bots are making them very unhappy. One of his friends is being bullied online, another seems obsessed with a game and the other two are desperate for ‘likes’. Barney decides to ‘upgrade’ all the B-Bots in the world to be like Ron. He connects Ron to the Bubble network but quickly realises that upgrading all the other B-Bots will destroy Ron. He is reluctant to do this but Ron insists. Ron’s code is destroyed but Barney’s friends become much happier. Barney is escorted out of Bubble HQ by security staff’.


TALK

Scripted Talk

Download the Ron’s Gone Wrong PowerPoint for use with this talk.

  • [PowerPoint slide 1]
    • Welcome everyone to our assembly this morning. It is based on the film, Ron’s Gone Wrong. The film begins with the launch of the latest must-have electronic gadget – the Bubble Bot.
  • [PowerPoint slide 2]
    • The Bubble Bot, also known as the B-Bot was designed by Marc Wydell, Chief Executive Officer of Bubble, a very successful world-wide tech company. The B-Bot is advertised as ‘your best friend out of the box’. It is quickly able to learn everything about you from what you do on the internet. It also helps you to make friends by connecting you online with other children who share your interests.
  • [PowerPoint slide 3]
    • But before we learn more about B-Bots, I would like to invite two pairs of best friends to join me at the front. Ask each pair to identify themselves as either A. or B. Inform the volunteers that you are going to ask them all six questions. A’s are to answer the questions for themselves, whilst B’s are to answer the questions as their best friend. Without speaking or communicating in any way, they have to write down the answer to each question. When they have answered all six questions (either as themselves or as their best friend), their answers will be compared. The pair with more matched answers will be declared the winners.
  • [PowerPoint slides 4-9]
    • (Play the Best Friends’ Quiz. Congratulate the winning pair on their knowledge of each other.)
  • [PowerPoint slide 10]
    • Now let’s return to thinking about the Bubble Bot. This is an image from the film. It shows the Bubble Bots belonging to a class of children. You will notice that one of the children doesn’t have a Bubble Bot. His name is Barney Pudowski.
  • [PowerPoint slide 11]
    • Barney is the hero of the film. We first meet him on his birthday. He hasn’t invited anyone to his party because his former friends are now all caught up with their B-Bots and he doesn’t have one. He is expecting to get one this birthday but instead his father buys him a set of rock hammers. Even though he really likes rocks, Barney is terribly disappointed. Without Barney knowing, his father and grandmother rush to the Bubble store before closing time and manage to buy him one. They surprise him with it the next morning.
  • [PowerPoint slide 12]
    • Barney’s B-bot is called Ron. However, he isn’t like other B-bots and appears not to have his creator’s ‘algorithm for friendship’.
  • [PowerPoint slide 13]
    • At first, Barney tries to send Ron back to the Bubble shop. But then he decides to try to fix him by teaching him how to be his friend.
    • Play film clip 1 from Ron’s Gone Wrong (20th Century Studios, 2021) certificate PG.
      • Start time: 00:36:40 (Barney sneaks out of his house.)
      • End time: 00:40:05 (Image of Barney’s pin board.)
      • Clip length: 3 minutes, 25 seconds.
    • If you cannot play this clip from the DVD, instead say, ‘Barney decides to teach Ron how to be his friend. This proves to be more difficult than he first thought and he has to use a pin board to help Ron to understand. Barney then teaches Ron the location of his school. He uses felt pens to make Ron look the same as other Bubble Bots but Ron struggles to understand the rules of being Barney’s friend and seems determined not to ‘fit in’. The pair disagree about which is better: rocks or electricity. By the end of Barney’s lessons on friendship, the pin board looks very complicated.  (Show image of Barney’s pin board on slide 14 of the PowerPoint.)
  • [PowerPoint slide 14]
    • Allow children to discuss the clip. If they were Barney, what instructions would they have given Ron on being a friend? Do they agree with Barney that a friend has to like everything about you? What do they most like about their friends?
    • The Bubble company finds out about Ron and wants to capture and reprogramme him. Barney and Ron have a lot of adventures together trying to escape. During this time, Barney realises something important.
  • [PowerPoint slide 15]
    • He realises that friendship is a two-way street. (Ask children to tell you what they understand by this phrase.) Barney realises that, in trying to teach Ron to be his friend, he was only thinking about himself. He wasn’t thinking about Ron. Instead of trying to ‘fix’ Ron, Barney comes to accept and like him just the way he is. For his part, Ron learns new things about Barney that he doesn’t know about himself.
  • [PowerPoint slide 16]
    • Eventually, though, the Bubble company captures Ron and reprogramme him. He is now exactly the same as all the other B-Bots. Barney finds out from Marc Wydell that Ron’s ‘faulty’ code is stored in the data banks of Bubble Headquarters.
  • [PowerPoint slide 17]
    • With Marc’s help, Barney manages to get into the data banks but cannot find Ron’s code anywhere. Exhausted, he falls asleep.
    • Play film clip 2 from Ron’s Gone Wrong (20th Century Studios, 2021) certificate PG.
      • Start time: 01:30:12 (Light falls on Barney’s face.)
      • End time: 01:36:35 (Barney, his father and grandmother leave Bubble HQ.)
      • Clip length: 6 minutes, 23 seconds.
    • If you cannot play this clip from the DVD, instead say, ‘Barney has managed to break into the data storage area of Bubble Headquarters. He searches for Ron’s original code but cannot find it. Exhausted, he falls asleep but is woken up by a light falling onto his face. He traces the source of the light and finds that it is Ron’s original code. He re-installs the code and the friends are very happily reunited. Barney then notices live streams from the B-Bots of his human friends. It seems that their B-Bots are making them very unhappy. One of his friends is being bullied online, another seems obsessed with a game and the other two are desperate for ‘likes’. Barney decides to ‘upgrade’ all the B-Bots in the world to be like Ron. He connects Ron to the Bubble network but quickly realises that upgrading all the other B-Bots will destroy Ron. He is reluctant to do this but Ron insists. Ron’s code is destroyed but Barney’s friends become much happier. Barney is escorted out of Bubble HQ by security staff.
  • [PowerPoint slide 18]
    • Allow children time to reflect upon the clip. Why does Ron allow himself to be destroyed? Why are Barney’s friends so unhappy? What are the children’s experiences of being online? On balance, do they think they would be happier without access to the internet? Does time spent on the internet prevent them from doing other things that they would like to do? What can they do to make the internet a safer place for themselves? What should tech companies do to make the internet a safer place for children?
  • [PowerPoint slide 19]
    • Ron’s actions at the end of the film may remind some people of something Jesus said. (Share Bible verse with the children). Jesus was talking about his own death which would happen a few days later but his words have been applied to many other examples. You may have heard these words read at Remembrance services when we think about soldiers and others who died in war to keep the country safe. Jesus’ saying can also be used when thinking about friendship. You can show love for your friends by ‘laying down’ what you want and putting their needs first. (What do the children make of this idea?)
  • [PowerPoint slide 20]
    • All relationships, including friendships, involve ‘give and take’. So let’s finish by reminding ourselves of what may be the most important line from the film – Friendship is a two-way street. In our friendships, let’s make sure that the street coming from us is as busy as the one coming towards us.

Headings and Bullets

  • [PowerPoint slide 1]
    • Welcome.
  • [PowerPoint slide 2]
    • The Bubble Bot.
  • [PowerPoint slide 3]
    • Best Friends’ Quiz.
  • [PowerPoint slide 4]
    • Question 1.
  • [PowerPoint slide 5]
    • Question 2.
  • [PowerPoint slide 6]
    • Question 3.
  • [PowerPoint slide 7]
    • Question 4.
  • [PowerPoint slide 8]
    • Question 5.
  • [PowerPoint slide 9]
    • Question 6.
  • [PowerPoint slide 10]
    • The Bubble Bot.
  • [PowerPoint slide 11]
    • Barney.
  • [PowerPoint slide 12]
    • Ron.
  • [PowerPoint slide 13]
    • Barney teaches Ron how to be his friend.
  • [PowerPoint slide 14]
    • Barney’s pin board.
  • [PowerPoint slide 15]
    • Friendship is a two-way street.
  • [PowerPoint slide 16]
    • Ron is re-programmed.
  • [PowerPoint slide 17]
    • Barney searches for Ron.
  • [PowerPoint slide 18]
    • Ron sacrifices himself.
  • [PowerPoint slide 19]
    • John 15:13.
  • [PowerPoint slide 20]
    • Friendship is a two-way street.

Photo Copyright for Ron’s Gone Wrong PowerPoint: Slide 1 Twentieth Century Studios and Locksmith Animation / Slide 2 and Slide 10 Twentieth Century Studios and Locksmith Animation / Slide 3 boy and girl Pixabay.com two girls Pixabay.com / Slide 4 Pixabay.com / Slide 5 Pixabay.com / Slide 6 Pixabay.com / Slide 7 Pixabay.com / Slide 8 Pixabay.com / Slide 9 Pixabay.com / Slide 11 Twentieth Century Studios and Locksmith Animation / Slide 12 Twentieth Century Studios and Locksmith Animation / Slide 13 Twentieth Century Studios and Locksmith Animation / Slide 14 Twentieth Century Studios and Locksmith Animation / Slide 15 Twentieth Century Studios and Locksmith Animation / Slide 16 Twentieth Century Studios and Locksmith Animation / Slide 17 Twentieth Century Studios and Locksmith Animation / Slide 18 Twentieth Century Studios and Locksmith Animation / Slide 19 Pixabay.com / Slide 20 Disney / Twentieth Century Studios


RESPOND

Reflection

  • Barney is the only pupil in his school not to own a B-Bot. He feels that he doesn’t fit in. When have you ever felt that you didn’t fit in? How did you manage to overcome these feelings?
  • Barney’s father says that he hasn’t bought Barney a B-Bot because he doesn’t want him to become addicted to it. Do you think you spend too much time after school online or looking at a screen? Does the time you spend online prevent you from doing other things? How might you reduce your screen time?
  • Over the course of the film, Barney learns that ‘friendship is a two-way street’. What do you understand by this phrase? Compare how Barney felt towards Ron when he first met him to how he felt about him at the end of the film. Have you ever changed your mind like this about another person? What happened to cause this change?

Prayer

  • Dear God, we thank you for all the technology around us that can make our lives better. Help us to use it wisely so that it doesn’t make us unhappy or dissatisfied. We thank you also for our friends. Help us to remember that friendship is a two-way street. May we be willing sometimes to lay down what we want for the sake of our friends’ needs and wishes.
  • Amen.

YOU WILL NEED:

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