Suggestion for a primary school assemblyShow the children
a handful of sand, or ask whether they have seen some sand,perhaps on a building
site or perhaps at the seaside.
Sand does not cost very much. Would the
children expect sand to be a main ingredient, or component, of something very
important to us, and something that can be very beautiful?
What do the
children think can be made from sand? (They may suggest 'cement' and that is
But sand is also one of the main things that make glass. Sand
is mixed with other very cheap ingredients, potash and lime, and the mixture is
We use glass every day: we drink from glasses; we have glass
bottles. Our windows are of glass.
This glass is transparent. We can see out
from our windows and the sunlight can come in.
But there are some special
windows where the glass is coloured so that when the sunlight comes in, we see
beautiful, jewel-like colours. We call this stained glass. It is made by adding
something called a metallic oxide to the ingredients. For example, if you add
copper the glass will be a ruch red. If you add cobalt, it will be blue.
Sometimes people have stained glass in their homes, for example there might
be a stained-glass panel on a front door.
But where do we most often see
stained glass? In churches and chapels. Why? Perhaps because people wanted their
places of worship to be especially beautiful as a way of praising God. Perhaps
because stained glass can be used to make pictures in the windows and when we
see the rich colours and the beautiful pictures, we think about their meaning.