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The boy and the nettles

To discuss the importance of grasping our chances with both hands and to illustrate that to achieve in life we have to work on our talents with utter determination.

by Jude Scrutton

Suitable for Key Stage 2

Aims

To discuss the importance of grasping our chances with both hands and to illustrate that to achieve in life we have to work on our talents with utter determination.

Preparation and materials

  • YouTube videos of people who are dedicated to improving their talent, e.g. monks reading, David Beckham practising free kicks, a scientist retesting his or her theories etc (check that your school has copyright to use YouTube).

  • A child could read the short story (below).

Assembly

  1. Introduce Aesop and explain to the children who he was.
  2. Ask the children to draw similarities and differences with Jesus (main similarity – both told stories to crowds, which had a moral that was aiming to help people live better lives).
  3. Read the following story:

    The Boy and the Nettles

    A boy was stung by a nettle. He ran home and told his mother, saying, ‘Although it hurts me very much, I only touched it gently.’

    ‘That was just why it stung you,’ said his mother. ‘The next time you touch a nettle, grasp it boldly, and it will be as soft as silk to your hand, and will not in the least hurt you. Whatever you do, do with all your might.’

  4. Allow the children time to discuss what they think Aesop wanted people to learn from this story.
  5. Ask the children how we can relate this to school and what we can achieve.
  6. Discuss famous people and how they used their talents. For example, did Rooney become the player he is today by messing about, hanging about on the streets, smoking and drinking? How do you think Rooney spent his time?
  7. Tell children about how David Beckham grabbed his chances to become the most famous footballer of our time.

  8. Discuss how children get one really good chance at education and getting their qualifications – there are many adults who regret not trying harder at school. Tell them that there is a chance of grabbing the future they want and that they should strive to do well not just in exams but also as well as they possibly can in all their classes.

Time for reflection

Light a candle, and ask children to consider the areas of their lives where they might need to ‘grasp the nettle’.

Prayer
Help us to grab our opportunities with both hands. Help us strive to be the best that we can be and never regret not trying hard enough.
Amen.

Song/music

‘He made me’ (Come and Praise, 18)

Publication date: August 2010   (Vol.12 No.8)    Published by SPCK, London, UK.
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