What is a good life?

In short...

Themes: Aspirations / considering what makes a good life / looking to the future.

Summary: The question 'What is a good life?' is one that has kept philosophers busy since the beginning. This assembly includes a video in which some primary school pupils will try to answer the question...thereby challenging the audience as a whole to consider this important question that says so much about each of us and what we think life should be about.

Resources: the framework to download / print (pdf) and an image of key words to consider.

The video

The video shows a number of young people answering questions around the topic of what it means to live a good life. It begins with a boy asking questions such as 'What do you want out of life? Is it important to make a difference to other people?' He informs us that the questions around living a good life have been asked by lots of people over thousands of years. We then hear from other young people giving their views on the topic.

The video concludes with the original presenter summarising the questions and explaining what a good life means for him.

Duration: 3' 57"

Last words: '...what do you think a good life is?'

Video questions

  • If you spent your life just doing something fun, like watching telly, would that be a good life?
  • If you were always happy would that be a good life?
  • What do you want to be when you grow up?
  • If life was never hard, would that mean it was a good life?
  • If you live a life with little money but you helped other people, would that be a good life?
  • Is it more important to be rich or happy?

Key links

Assembly framework (pdf)
document
Image: key words
image

Suggested framework

1. Entry music
You could begin with a song that addresses the question 'What is a good life?' - such as 'All you need is love' by The Beatles.

2. Introduction
Begin by asking the children what they want to be when they grow up. Take a few answers, which will probably mainly be related to jobs they want to do. Then ask who would like to be rich when they grow up? Then, would you rather be rich, or happy? Explain that we are going to watch a short clip where some children are going to be discussing the question 'What makes a good life?'

3. The video
Play the video. The duration is 3' 57" and the last words are: '...what do you think a good life is?'

4. After the video
Ask the children to spend a few moments thinking of their answer to the boy’s question: 'What do you think a good life is?' Take a few answers from the pupils.

5. Time to talk
If you have time, expand the post-video discussion by asking pupils to respond to some of the other questions posed in the video:

  • If life was never hard, would that mean it was a good life?
  • If you lived a life with little money but you helped people, would that be a good life?
  • Is it more important to be rich or happy? Draw out responses that encourage children to recognise the importance of life having meaning beyond just fame and riches, through relationships with friends and family, and helping others.

6. Opportunity to sing
If your assembly is to include a song now would be a good time to include it. Suggestions from BBC collections below.

7. Opportunity to reflect
Imagine yourself in the future...when you are old...
What would you like to be able to tell people about the life you lived..?
Was it a good life..?
What kind of person do you want to be..? Happy, kind, caring for others, putting other people first..?
How can you make sure that your life is a good life?

8. Opportunity for prayer
Dear God (or your usual address) and:
Thank you for every child and adult here today.
Thank you that we all have a chance to live a good life.
We pray that you will help us to make good choices, so that we can confidently say that we are living a good life.
Amen.

Suggested songs

Song: 'While we live we learn' (All about our school, no 3. Vocal version)

Song: 'Being a friend' (All about our school, no 8. Vocal version)