Feeling Sad Assembly for Primary Schools
This script was largely 'prompted by' Time to Talk Day Thursday February 4th - a joint initiative run by MIND and Rethink - addressing the taboo around mental health - people still tend to feel uncomfortable talking about it.
As this was written for primary schools, the language is of course simple as is the message - emphasizing that sadness is part of life, something we should all talk about and not feel embarrassed about.
I have included a ‘poem’ that I wrote – called ‘It’s OK’. I normally suggest poems I’ve come across in poetry books but I couldn’t find any on ‘sadness’ per se – plenty on reasons for sadness – but none on just sadness itself. This 'poem' is just a collection of thoughts. For a ‘proper’ poem see Only a Passing Cloud by Patience Strong (I've just come across this one)
I have followed this script up with one for secondary schools/adults - Good to Talk - a conversation between two people. (In 2 Speaker Scripts section of website)
Cast of 30 - easily adaptable up or down
Duration - around 5 - 10 minutes
First Sample Text
Music 1 Everybody Hurts - REM
(Children file into assembly, taking seats in order of speaking, along two rows of 15 seats, facing audience)
Narrator: Good morning and welcome to our assembly on Feeling Sad.
Clown: Hey! What’s up, people?
Hey! Time to turn those frowns, upside down!
Narrator: Actually, I’m going to ask you to take your seat again.
(Narrator leads Clown back to seat)
Narrator: Fooling around, making people laugh – there’s a time and place for that. But not now.
(Clown jumps up again)
Clown: But these are children! They need to be laughing and smiling!
(Narrator patiently leads Clown back to seat again)
Narrator: No, they don’t. You see, being happy and jolly is fine. But so too is being sad.
(Clown jumps up)
Clown: But nobody wants to be sad! (Spluttering) That’s …. That’s just wrong!
(Loud sigh from Child 1)
Child 1: Oh do please sit down and perhaps we can explain.
(Clown reluctantly returns to seat)
Child 1: We are all sad from time to time.
Child 2: It’s part of life.
Child 3: It’s part of the human condition.
Child 4: And you know what? It’s actually OK to feel sad.
Child 5: Sometimes, however, we feel we have to hide our emotions.
Child 6: Pretend we’re OK – when we’re not.
Child 7: It’s much better if you’re feeling sad to share it with someone.
Second Sample Text
(Child 15, Molly, walks over to a chair, placed to the side; she sits with her head in her hands)
(Everyone goes quiet)
Clown: Hmm. She doesn’t look very happy.
Child 16: Oh that’s Molly. She’s been like that for a while.
Narrator: Really? Well, why didn’t someone tell me?
Child 17: We’ve all tried being nice to her
Child 18: We’ve asked her what’s wrong
Child 19: But she just tells us to go away.
Child 20: Nobody can say we haven’t tried.
Narrator: So why didn’t you come and tell me?
Child 21: We thought you’d be cross.
Child 22: We thought you’d think we’d been mean to her.
Child 23: We were all worried about getting the blame.
Narrator: So, you thought it was better (pauses) just to leave her?
Child 24: Well, that seems to be what she wants.
Narrator: Hmm! We’ll see about that.
(Narrator walks quietly over to Molly and taps her on her shoulder)
Narrator: Molly? Are you OK?
Molly: (Looking up) Oh, sorry. You startled me. Yes, I’m fine, thank you.
Narrator: Don’t you want to come and join your friends?
Molly: No, thank you. If it’s all right with you, I’d rather be by myself.
Narrator: Oh I understand. But if you change your mind, you know where I am.
(Narrator walks back to a seat at the opposite side, and sits down quietly)
Narrator: (To cast) Now. It’s very important I have no interruptions. Do you understand?
(Whole cast nods)
(Molly slowly raises from her seat, bringing it with her to sit opposite Narrator)
Molly: I just wanted to apologise. I wasn’t meaning to be rude. I know everyone means well. But I just can’t be with people at the moment. I just want to be alone.