Giving of Your Best
To use the story of Cain and Abel to reinforce the idea of doing your best.
by Terry Griffin
Suitable for Key Stage 2
To use the story of Cain and Abel to reinforce the idea of doing your best (Genesis 4.1-14).
Preparation and materials
- You will need some fruit and vegetables (could be plastic), a fluffy toy animal and a table.
- Ask for two volunteers to play the central characters in the story of Cain and Abel. Say that in the Bible story, written thousands of years ago, Adam and Eve, the first ever people, had two sons. The older son was called Cain - introduce 'Cain'. The younger son was called Abel - introduce 'Abel'.
Cain was a gardener. (Give Cain the vegetables and fruit to hold.) He looked after the crops. (Ask Cain to act out working on the fields - sowing and harvesting - still holding onto the fruit and veg!) Abel worked as a farmer. (Give Abel a fluffy toy animal - the sillier the better!)
Abel looked after the animals. (Abel acts feeding and cleaning out animals.)
- It came time for Cain and Abel to offer gifts to God as a thank you for all that God had done for them. Explain that this was part of how people used to worship God in those days.
Cain brought some of the things he had grown in his garden (Cain lays gifts of vegetables on the table). Abel brought some of the flock that he had been tending and looking after (puts the cuddly toy on the table).
God looked at Abel's gift and was pleased, but he looked at Cain's gift and wasn't so pleased.
- Thank the children and let them go back to their seats. Explain that this old story says that Cain didn't offer God the best of his crops. He only gave God the poorest crops, whereas Abel chose the very best of his animals to offer to God.
Point out that today we don't offer animals and crops to God in the same way but when we do things for others we should still try to do and give our very best. Doing less than your best is like giving someone a half-eaten bar of chocolate for a birthday present!
Time for reflection
Who wants the best for everyone,
Help us to give the best gift we can,
To do the best we can for other people and for ourselves.
'The best gift' (Come and Praise, 59)