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Secondary Schools Assemblies Resource Book

By Helen Hinxman
Suitable for Whole School

To reflect on the value of each individual person.

Preparation and materials
• Some test-tubes or jars which should contain real or pretend chemical powders and liquids.
• A bar of soap, a nail, a cup of sugar, a tin of whitewash, a box of matches, a salt cellar, and some flea powder.
• All of these should be placed on a table at the front and covered up until needed.
• A photo of a private jet (e.g. <>).
• A photo of a semi-detached house (e.g. <>).
• A photo of a family car (e.g.>).
• A photo of a human being (e.g. <>).
• These could all be put on to OHP slides, or a PowerPoint display).
• Some A4 card and marker pens.

1. Ask for four volunteers to come to the front. Give each an A4 card and a marker pen. Say that you are going to show them four items and they should write down on the card how much money they think each one is worth.
2. Show the picture of the private jet. Give the volunteers time to think and write down their guesses about its value, then 109 reveal the true price of around £450,000. Repeat with the house (worth about £250,000), the car (£15,000) and the human body (£2.40). Ask someone to keep score and award a prize to the winner.
3. Ask if anyone was surprised that the human body wasn’t worth more than the other three things. Explain that scientists have spent huge amounts of human and financial resources studying the composition, and calculating the worth, or worthlessness, of the human body. If we total the monetary value of the elements in our bodies and the average person’s skin, we arrive at a sum of £2.40! Point
out that this value is, however, subject to change, due to stock market fluctuations...

Taken from Secondary Schools Assemblies Resources Book edited by Stuart Kerner
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