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Inside every tiny caterpillar

To reflect upon the importance of perseverance in attaining personal goals (SEAL theme 4: Going for goals).

by The Revd Alan M. Barker

Suitable for Key Stage 1

Aims

To reflect upon the importance of perseverance in attaining personal goals (SEAL theme 4: Going for goals).

Preparation and materials

  • Rehearse six readers for the dramatic presentation.
  • Instead of the choral reading, a more ambitious presentation of the story might be prepared. For example, a ‘caterpillar’ can be presented with a number of cabbages while changing through a series of ever larger sweatshirts. A cocoon could be fashioned with draped sheeting behind which the caterpillar hides and from which a suitably costumed butterfly emerges.

Assembly

  1. Invite some members of the school community to share their different goals. Affirm how these ambitions might be achieved.

    Reflect that everybody has hopes and dreams but that these can only be made real through hard work and perseverance.
  2. To illustrate this theme, introduce the fun presentation, ‘Inside every tiny caterpillar’. Invite the school community to respond ‘Ugh!’ to the word ‘cabbage’.

    Inside every tiny caterpillar
    ©The Revd Alan M. Barker

    Reader 1  Inside every tiny caterpillar

    Reader 2  a beautiful butterfly is waiting to be free.

    Reader 1  But, first,

    Reader 2  the caterpillar must spend hours

    Reader 3  and hours

    All Readers  EATING CABBAGE!

    Audience  Ugh!!

    Reader 1  Until it is so full . . . the tiny caterpillar thinks its skin will burst.

    Reader 2  And that’s what happens!

    Reader 1  Slowly, it crawls out of its small skin . . . wearing a bigger one.

    Reader 2  Inside, there is a beautiful butterfly waiting to be free.

    Reader 1  But, until then,

    Reader 2  the caterpillar must spend hours

    Reader 3  and hours

    Reader 4  and hours

    All Readers  MUNCHING YET MORE CABBAGE!

    Audience  Ugh!!

    Reader 1  Until it gets so full . . . it is sure its skin will burst.

    Reader 2  And that’s what happens – again! Slowly, the caterpillar crawls out of its old skin . . . wearing a new one.

    Reader 1  Inside, a beautiful butterfly is waiting to be free.

    Reader 2  But, before then . . . the caterpillar must spend hours

    Reader 3  and hours

    Reader 4  and hours

    Reader 5  and hours

    All Readers  CHEWING LOADS MORE CABBAGE!

    Audience  Ugh!!

    Reader 1  Until it feels so full . . . the caterpillar knows its skin will burst.

    Reader 2  Inside, a beautiful butterfly is waiting to be free.

    Reader 1  Yet again, the caterpillar . . . crawls out of its  tight skin wearing a looser one

    Reader 2  to spend hours

    Reader 3  and hours

    Reader 4  and hours

    Reader 5  and hours

    Reader 6  and hours

    All Readers  EATING NOTHING BUT CABBAGE!

    Audience  Ugh!!

    Reader 1  Until the caterpillar is so full of cabbage

    Reader 2  IT WISHES IT COULD DIE!

    Reader 1  So it stops eating and hides in a cocoon.

    Reader 2  It cannot move.

    Reader 4  It cannot eat.

    Reader 5  It cannot drink.

    Reader 6  It cannot see.

    Reader 2  Where is the beautiful butterfly?

    Reader 1  At long last, an ugly insect crawls from the cocoon.

    All Readers  Ugh!

    Reader 2  Where is the beautiful butterfly?

    Reader 1  The ugly insect slowly climbs a stalk

    Reader 3  hangs upside down

    Reader 4  and waits again

    Reader 5  until its crumpled wings unfold

    All Readers  Wow!

    Reader 2  And, soon, above the garden

    Reader 1  a beautiful butterfly

    Reader 2  dances  in the air

    Reader 3  for hours

    Reader 4  and hours

    Reader 5  and hours

    Reader 6  and hours

    All Readers  and hours!
  3. Invite everyone to discuss the significance of the story. Recognize that:

    –  everyone has different gifts and amazing potential

    –  it can take a long time to reach your goals

    –  sometimes we must persevere with tasks we may not like

    –  cabbage is actually good for us!!
  4. Finally, reflect that it’s thrilling to think that if something as wonderful as a butterfly can grow from a tiny caterpillar, then what must be the potential of each and every member of the school.

Time for reflection

There is a saying: Do not ask for an easy life, pray to be a strong person.

Think of a challenge that today will bring

and resolve to approach it with determination.

Think of your future dreams
and pray that you may be a strong person.

Song/music

‘Give it all you’ve got’ (Songs for Every Assembly, Out of the Ark Music)
‘Father, hear the prayer we offer’ (Come and Praise, 48)

Publication date: March 2012   (Vol.14 No.3)    Published by SPCK, London, UK.
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