Primary School Assemblies: The Good Samaritan

Themes: Being 'a good neighbour'; the story of The Good Samaritan; Jesus the teacher.

Summary: This assembly explores the question 'Who is my neighbour?' It encourages children to think about the things that they might learn from the story of The Good Samaritan and how our world might be a better place if everyone treated their 'neighbour' well. The story has been given a modern-day setting.

Resources: The framework to download / print (pdf); a slideshow exploring the question 'Who is my neighbour?'

The video

The Bible story of The Good Samaritan is one of Jesus' most important parables. It explores Jesus' answer to the question 'Who is my neighbour?' Jesus tells a story about a Jewish man who is robbed and left for dead, who is finally cared for by a Samaritan - that is, someone expected to be an enemy of Jews.

Our adaptation gives the story a modern-day setting. A man in a hospital bed recounts to a police officer how he was attacked in the street and left semi-conscious on the ground. He describes how he appealed to two sets of passers-by for help, only to be mocked and jeered. Help finally comes when he least expects it.

Duration: 5' 22"

End of speech: '...a real Good Samaritan.'

Video questions

  • Are the pupils familiar with the Bible story of The Good Samaritan? How is this version of the story different from the one in the Bible?
  • At what point did pupils realise they were listening to a new version of the story?
  • What is a parable? (A simple story used to illustrate some kind of lesson)
  • How many people see the injured man in the road? (Three: the two women who jeer at him; the two men who don't want to get involved because 'it's someone else's problem'; finally the 'Good Samaritan')
  • Why is the injured man surprised when the last person helps him? (He has decided - based largely on prejudice - that this figure wearing a hoodie is not going to help)

Key links

Assembly framework (pdf)
document
Slideshow: Who is my neighbour?
image

Suggested framework

1. Entry
You could play the theme song from the TV series Neighbours.

2. Introduction
Display the first image from the slideshow asking the question 'Who is my neighbour?' Ask pupils to suggest some answers. You could do this in conjunction with the remaining images in the slideshow. You could take a vote at this stage to identify who the children regard as 'neighbours'.

3. The video
Play the video. The duration is 5' 22" and the final words are: '...a real Good Samaritan.'

4. After the video - Time to talk
Use the Video questions to lead a discussion about the story of The Good Samaritan.

  • Are the pupils familiar with the Bible story of The Good Samaritan? How is this version of the story different from the one in the Bible?
  • At what point did pupils realise they were listening to a new version of the story?
  • What is a parable? (A simple story used to illustrate a lesson of some kind)
  • How many people see the injured man in the road? (Three: the two women who jeer at him; the two men who don't want to get involved because 'it's someone else's problem'; finally the 'Good Samaritan')
  • Why is the injured man surprised when the last person helps him? (He has decided - based largely on prejudice - that this figure wearing a hoodie is not going to help) Take another vote about 'Who is my neighbour?' and compare the result with the first vote. Ask the children to decide what are the most important messages from the story of The Good Samaritan. Share feedback as time allows.

5. Opportunity to sing
An opportunity to sing your chosen song. Suggestions from BBC collections are below.

6. Opportunity to reflect
We've been thinking today about being a good neighbour and loving others, as Jesus taught in his parables...
We've thought about what the story of
The Good Samaritan might mean...and what we can learn from it...
I wonder how Jesus' stories changed the people who heard them..?
I wonder whether they might change us..?

7. Opportunity for prayer
Dear God,
Thank you for Jesus' stories about how we should treat others and about the love that Jesus had for everyone he met.
We are sorry that our world is not like this all the time.
Please help us to be the best kind of neighbours that we can be - and be loving towards others.
Amen.

Suggested songs

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

'All together as a family' (All about our school, no 15)

The Lord's my shepherd - Come and Praise, no 56