Friday, April 19, 2024

Helping Others

by Mark Warner
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Ages: 5-11
A visitor

For an assembly about helping others / cooperation, tell the story about the two greedy brothers who were locked in a room with endless piles of their favourite foods.

The only rule was they had to eat the food with metre long spoons, holding the spoon at the very end. (Demonstrate how impossible this is by taping a spoon onto the end on a metre ruler).

They were so greedy they nearly starved until they figured out they could feed each other with the spoons! (Demonstrate with two children).

Explain that you can solve problems together if you look at things from a different viewpoint and that two heads are better than one!

A visitor has contributed a story which could be used with this idea:

There was once a king who was just and kind and honest. He ruled his land fairly. The kingdom was peaceful, prosperous and happy.

The king had just one problem: his brothers. These two men were cruel, selfish, and mean, but above all, greedy. At royal parties, they would push, poke and barge their way to the front of the queue for the buffet. Then they would gorge themselves, eating and drinking until they could hardly move.

One day, the king decided to do something about these two awful brothers of his. In the middle of the night, the royal guards woke the brothers and marched them downstairs into a small dark room they had never seen before.

Inside the room was a table. On the table was every kind of food you could imagine. There were pies and puddings, cake and crumbles, buns and pieces of bread, roasts and rolls, tarts and trifles, and dish upon dish of tasty things.

Standing next to this table heaving with goodies was the king, looking very stern. The king commanded his brothers that they must eat the food that the royal kitchens had prepared for them, but they must follow two important rules when doing so. The brothers looked at each other, then at the king, then at the food, their mouths watering.

“Rule number one,” the king went on. “You must only eat the food using the spoons I give you. Rule number two. You must only hold the spoon by the very end of its handle. Break either of these rules, and you will be thrown into the dungeon.” The king then walked out of the room, locking the door behind him. The two greedy brothers rushed forward to grab the spoons, pushing each other out of the way.

(At this point, get two children up onto the front to have a go at eating with the big spoons- desert spoons taped onto a metre stick work well. Give the children a couple of broken biscuits, which are easy to eat and can usually be found somewhere in the staff room)

However much they pushed, shoved and criticised each other, the two brothers were unable to eat even one crumb of the delicious food. It was only after three days of trying, when they were weak with hunger and half-mad with frustration, that they came up with the idea of helping each other. Only by cooperating, taking turns and carefully feeding each other, were they able to get any food at all.

The next day, the king opened the doors of the brothers’ room and found two very different men inside. They had learned how to think of others, how not to be selfish and how to work as a team.

I wonder if you can do that today?

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