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Assembly idea about acting without thinking.

Based on Proverbs 13 verse 16

“Wise people think before they act; fools don’t–and even brag about their foolishness.”

(feel free to share and use the MEME – picture is creative commons, and the text is my idea) Best of all, share it together with a link to this post – just hit the social sharing buttons.

I have put loads of ideas into this one…no surprise that I used all of them!  However, you may not have the particular skills or madness that I have (juggling…). So pick and mix…or come up with something similar.

There are two keys to this assembly: pacing, and flipping the idea on its head.

Flipping an idea grabs attention.  They think they know where you are going, and then you say something different.  In this case, you will be making out that speed and fast reactions are very important, but then you will flip it to show that sometimes its a good idea to slow down and take a moment.

As far as pacing is concerned, the beginning part of the assembly is very fast and upbeat.  You’re grabbing a rushing, speaking very quickly.  Then when you come to the main point about slowing down, and even when you tell the story, slow right down.  You’re matching what you are saying to how you are speaking.

You will need

(any of the following depending on where you take it!)

3 balloons (plus one back up)

Juggling balls

A strip of paper – A4 sheet of paper longways, cut off a strip about 2 inches wide.  Mark the paper with a 10 at the bottom, and a 1 at the top.  Divide the rest into 10 sections and mark off the numbers in order going upwards, 10 to 1.  This is your reaction tester.

PRINT OFF REACTION TIME TESTER (PDF)

Large man size handkerchiefs, juggling scarves, or even large tissues.

What you do

Have in a bag at the front all the items.  Choose 6 children plus, if they are up for it, one teacher.  Have them stand in a line.

Explain that you will be testing their reactions (remember say all this really pretty quickly with energy)

Heres how to test the reactions:

You hold the piece of paper at the top (marked #1) on the strip. They put their thumb and forefinger of their favourite hand at the bottom of the paper (marked 10).  Explain that they mustn’t grab the paper, but rather catch it between their thumb and forefinger BEFORE it hits the ground. You won’t give them a warning when you will drop the paper.

Set them up, then when you are ready, without warning release the paper.  Wherever they catch it is their score. You can do this more than once, but once is best if you use all the ideas because of time.

Go down the line and have each person make an attempt, don’t allow laughter at anyone who doesn’t manage to do it.

Give everyone a round of applause and either choose 1 person from the group, or else the person with the highest score, to help you with the rest of the assembly.

Bring out one juggling ball, and throw it to them.  If they catch it get closer and closer.  Fast reactions!

Then have them turn away from you and you hold the ball well above their head, but away from them by about 2 or 3 feet.  Tell them that when they say go, you will release the ball and they must turn around and catch the ball.  If they succeed on the first attempt, then lower the ball.

Finally bring out 3 juggling balls and start juggling.  The kid I did this with shook her head and said, “no way!” – if you can do it, do some tricks and so on.  Drop one ball and offer 2 for your volunteer to have a go at.  And if they fail with that one, then offer 1 ball.  Having done 1, offer two again.

Ask them why they found it so hard…actually its because of speed.  The world is full of doing everything fast, and you need that sometimes.  Fast reactions…like if you are playing football, or tennis.

Now offer the juggling scarves/large handerchiefs/large tissues.  Show how they move much more slowly giving a chance to catch them.  Offer these for a go.  Actually, they may not be able to do 3, but show that you can throw 1 up, and now have time to pass one scarf to the other hand whilst the other scarf is in the air.

Now bring out the balloons.  Blow two up.  Offer them to start juggling with those…actually just keeping two up in the air at the same time hitting them alternately.  This is quite doable.  Now add in the third balloon whilst they are attempting the two.

Actually, whilst it soon gets chaotic, they should be able to hit each balloon, in order, at least a couple of times.

Congratulate the volunteer and let them sit down.

Explain that the reason they could juggle the balloons is because they slowed down!

Sometimes it’s important to slow down, and not have just really fast reaction times over everything.

At this point begin to slow your pacing down. Match your voice to the words as you say…

You could be really having a great game of football at school, or racing with a friend, or something, and you accidentally bump into someone.  And they stop you and you lose.  You get really hot, your heart is pounding, and you start yelling at them (pause)….maybe even do something terrible like hit them!  All because you are hot and bothered and…..

I can juggle, I can even juggle eggs.  But if I drop one then it will smash and break.  If you react to quickly without thinking in a situation, then its like dropping an egg.  You can break something or someone…maybe a friendship…maybe you will get into trouble.  There will be a big consequence.

All because you reacted too quickly

At this point you can simply read the proverb or tell one of the following stories:

Cain and Abel (suitable for juniors)

Peter cutting off the ear of the servant of the high priest.

Peter correcting Jesus (he did that a lot) and Jesus giving him a lecture 😉

 

Emphasise again the importance of stopping, thinking before acting.

Prayer

Along the lines of asking God to help us to slow down, think before we act and say something we would regret, whether to friends, or family.