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Need an assembly talk for KS2-3?

I'm a bit off topic here, but I recently shared an assembly talk I wrote with a nephew of mine who teaches. very little to do with languages, but a lot to do with communication. So here it is. You are welcome to copy or adapt.

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This morning I’d like to let you into a secret. I suppose all of you sitting here today like to have friends and get on well with people.  Maybe some of you think you don’t have enough friends, or maybe some of you worry that people don’t like you enough. Well, here’s a secret which I read about in a book recently. This is the first secret for making friends and getting on with people and it’s simple: smile!

Other people like it when you smile.  If you smile it shows that you are pleased to see them and we’d all like to think people are pleased to see us. When a dog wags its tail and shows you it’s happy it makes you happy and you want to stroke the dog. Dogs are good like that because they are always happy to see their masters and so their masters are happy to see them.  When the dog wags its tail it’s as though it’s smiling at you! I know a few of my students who always smile when they arrive at the classroom and that makes me happy.  You’d be surprised how little some people smile, but also how far a good smile can get you.

So, what is a smile? Why do we smile? A smile is a facial expression formed by flexing the muscles mainly near both ends of the mouth. Try it! The smile can be also around the eyes.  It is a natural reaction to pleasure, happiness or amusement. People of all cultures and ethnic groups smile, but interestingly, animals don’t.  If an animal bares it teeth, it’s probably not smiling and you should keep your distance. With chimpanzees, apparently, what looks like a smile or baring of the teeth is a sign of fear.

Some people smile more than others of course. 

To show this, a team of 28 psychology students spent a month smiling at passers-by in city centres across the UK and measured whether or not they received a smile back in return.
 Bristol came out top in the survey with a ‘smile rating’ of 70 smiles per hour. Glasgow kept up Scotland’s reputation as a friendly country with a score of 68 smiles per hour, the second best in the UK. Coming in at third place with 54 smiles per hour was Exeter.  The Welsh scored well with Cardiff (41) and Wrexham (42) showing an above average  rating while Londoners only had time for 18 smiles per hour.
  • What else do we know about smiling?
  • Well, the smile is the most frequently used facial expression.  It takes as few as five pairs of facial muscles and as many as all 53 to smile
  • Smiling is easier than frowning if you go by the number of muscles used.
  • Smiling releases endorphins – those chemicals which make us feel better . Laughing releases even more.
  • Even ‘faking’ a smile can lead to feeling happier
  • People are born with the ability to smile, we don’t just learn it by seeing others. Even babies who are born blind, smile
  • Babies reserve special smiles for their loved ones
  • Newborn babies prefer smiling faces to non-smiling ones
  • Women smile more than men
  • Human beings can tell the difference between a genuine smile (of joy and happiness) and a  put-on, social smile.  Apparently a genuine smile uses more muscles around the eyes.
  • And finally, a smiling person is judged to be more pleasant, attractive, sincere, sociable, and competent than a non-smiling person
So we’re back to my book and one  secret of how to make friends with people.
So here’s an idea for today – when you meet your teacher at the start of each lesson give them a good smile. Hopefully they will smile back and you will both feel better for it.

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