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Joy

To challenge the children to consider and appreciate joy in the natural world.

by Janice Ross

Suitable for Key Stage 1

Aims

To challenge the children to consider and appreciate joy in the natural world.

Preparation and materials

  • Web images of hares boxing, lambs frisking.
  • Project the letters J O Y or write the letters on a large card (see section 4).
  • Be prepared to draw two eyes underneath, or by, the letters JOY (see section 4).

Assembly

  1. Ask: What is the difference between a rabbit and a hare?

    Have you heard of the saying ‘as mad as a March hare’? (Look at the image of the hares boxing.) This phrase means to behave ‘in an excitable and unpredictable manner’.

    Hares behave very strangely in the month of March. They can be seen boxing each other, jumping vertically for no reason and generally acting quite abnormally. It is thought that this might be because it is the mating season and a couple of male hares might have their eyes on the same girl! So they could be just showing off!
  2. It’s not just hares that can behave like this, though. Have you ever seen a field of lambs playing in the spring sunshine? (Show the image.) How do they behave? Why?

    Have you ever seen cows which have been inside in the byre all winter finally being let out to the fields to pasture? How do they behave? Why?
  3. Not long ago there was an advert on the television of a little girl being given a bicycle as a present. The advert shows her screaming with delight when she receives the gift, screaming with delight as she tries it out, screaming with delight as she cycles along a beach on a sunny day . . . and still screaming with delight as she cycles along a lane through crunchy autumn leaves.

    Have you ever felt like that? Have you ever felt as mad as a March hare, as playful and free as a baby lamb, as excited as the cows getting out into the field after months cooped up inside?
  4. There is a word that sums up all these pictures and experiences: joy.

    The letters J O Y can stand for Just Open Your eyes (draw two eyes beside the letters). I hope that we all have our eyes open in assembly today! I hope no one has dozed off!

    Sometimes we go about as though our eyes were shut. We don’t notice all the lovely things around us which could bring joy.

Time for reflection

Let’s think for a few minutes about our day so far.

Have you seen anything that made you feel happy? Did you notice anything in the garden, on the way to school, in the playground?

Explain that you are going to put a ‘Joy-sharing board’ somewhere in the school.

Ask the children to look out for it and invite them to ‘Just Open Your eyes’ over the next day or two. Then add to the board, by drawing or writing, something they have seen around them which has brought joy.

Prayer
Dear God,
thank you for eyes to see and ears to hear.
Thank you for so many beautiful things around us
which bring us joy and make us ‘as mad as March hares’ with excitement.
Amen.

Song/music

‘Morning has broken’ (Come and Praise, 1)

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