Spiritual Side (Russian Doll) Assembly

Posted on March 22, 2016 by Amy Tolmie

Question of the assembly: Do you have a spiritual side?

Age group: Yr 7 - 13

There are two options to start your assembly with.


1. Would you like to see something interesting and educational or dangerous and disgusting?

Ok, as you know, it's possible to see inside a human being using something called an endoscope to see inside the human body.

Youtube clip of an endoscopy - you might choose to use this video from 1:50 - 2:30.

2. Shrek quote: "Ogres are like onions"

Youtube clip of Shrek quote. 

Looking inside the body is one thing, but what about if you could look inside your soul...what would you look like

(There isn't a medical instrument to do that, but I do have something else).

This is called a Matroyska, but we know it as a Russian doll (hold up a Russian doll)

As you probably know, what's different about these dolls, which have been made for the last 115 years, is that inside each doll is... another doll.

This is what most Russian dolls look like, often painted in traditional red colours, but I have my own version here...

This doll got me thinking about what we're like as people. Let me explain. Imagine this is you, not your body, but the real you inside: who you are, what you're like. 

Hold up the russian doll, either a traditionally decorated one, or you can order a blank set to paint or get printed.  For each stage below, reveal the next layer of the doll inside.


This is the you that people see when they meet you, like when you saw me first thing today, you probably thought wow, stylish, cool.

We spend quite a lot of time on this part of us.

How many people here spent more than 15 minutes getting ready this morning?


But underneath that, there's another you. The you that people get to know if they talk to you a bit.

This could be very different. I could meet one of you lads and think that you were tough and cool, but get chatting to you and discover that you did knitting for a hobby.

But even that isn't necessarily the real you.


There's a deeper 'you' that perhaps only those closer to you know, like your friends and family. Perhaps this is where you can be more yourself. You don't mind if people see you before you've done your hair in the morning. You can be relaxed around them. This is where the real you starts to become more obvious


But it's not the whole story. Perhaps there's a 'you' that is only know to one person. Your closest friend or partner. Perhaps there are things you only tell this person that even you're family don't know. This person knows a deeper you.


And beyond that there is almost certainly a part of you that only you know. This is even deeper still. Perhaps there are things you hope nobody else will ever know about you. Things you've thought or done. Perhaps there are parts of you that you just want to keep private to yourself. How big a part of you this is may depend on how much you like sharing with other people about yourself.

Is that all there is to you? Is there anything more?


But that's not all. There's more. There's a side to you that perhaps you don't know about yourself but that other people see in you. 

It's part of you but you don't always see it. Like someone who is very selfish but doesn't even notice it.

I wonder what you don't know about yourself?


You might think that's all there is, that's the deepest part of you. But I wonder if there's one more part of you, a part that is at the very deepest part of you, that's about who you really are, where you come from, why you're here. Lots of people call this part of us our spiritual side. It's not necessarily religious, but it's about what makes us the person we are. For some this is the part that connects to God. It's said that when you pray, you pray from this part of yourself. Perhaps when a piece of music makes us cry, this is happening somewhere at this deepest level.

I wonder how you would define that part of you, or even whether you've ever felt that it exists.

Questions to finish with: 

Do you have a spiritual side?

Why is it important?