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The Parable of the Talents

To think about the talents we have and how we can use them wisely

by Jude Scrutton

Suitable for Whole School (Pri)


To think about the talents we have and how we can use them wisely.

Preparation and materials

  • For 2. below you will need a flip-chart and pens, board or OHP.
  • Rehearse the script.
  • Cast:
    Narrator (big part - can be the leader)
    Mr Jones (a music teacher - few lines and a lot of action)
    Steven, Holly, Denis, Tracey (former music students)
  • There are suggestions for the use of drama in assemblies in our resources section.


  1. If necessary introduce the idea of parables, explaining that they are stories with a meaning. They often use characters that stand for someone or something else. So when the children listen to today's story, they should be asking themselves: what does it mean, and what might it be saying to me?

  2. If appropriate, read the parables of the talents (Matthew 25.14-30) in a child-friendly version. Ask what they think the message was that Jesus was trying to portray. List the children's ideas on the flip-chart or OHP for later reference.

  3. Ask the children if they have a particular talent. Tell them that they should all have their hands up! List the talents that children have and discuss them.

    Explain that we are all special individuals with individual talents, and it is what we do with our talents that is important. Ask the children to watch the play and to think about this message. Afterwards you will ask them about the talents the children in the play had and which child had wasted his or her talent.

  4. Perform the play as follows:

    Narrator: Mr Jones was a music teacher. He loved his job and worked hard to make sure his students played to the best of their ability. He had some very talented students - Steven, Holly, Denis and Tracey - and he had high hopes that they would each do something musical with their lives. He taught them as much as he could, then they left and went on to music school to further their careers.

    Steven, one of the class, was soon playing at the Albert Hall. (Steven starts to play a short violin solo - just a few notes, or he could mime to a tape. Encourage the audience to cheer and clap.)

    Narrator: Mr Jones was very pleased and proud of his former pupil. After the show he was invited backstage to see Steven.

    Steven: Thank you for introducing me to music, and thank you for showing me that I had a talent.

    Narrator: Mr Jones then went to visit Holly, who was also doing very well. She was in a studio recording her new album. (Holly stands and sings a line of a recent pop song - again this could be mimed.)

    Narrator: Holly had been on Top of the Pops and was very successful. After his visit, Mr Jones felt a little deafened but was pleased and proud that Holly was still singing. As he was walking home, he heard a familiar voice, another of his former students. It was Denis, busking. (Denis strums a guitar (or mimes), and sings a well-known song.)

    Denis: Spare us a penny, sir.

    Narrator: Mr Jones knew they couldn't all be successful, but was pleased that Denis was still enjoying music. He reached into his pocket and gave Dennis some change. Further down the street he bumped into Tracey and heard an awful racket coming from a ghetto-blaster.

    Tracey: Sounds great, doesn't it, sir?

    Mr Jones (putting his fingers in his ears): No!

    Narrator: Mr Jones was not a happy man. He asked Tracey why she wasn't playing music any more.

    Tracey: My music sounds awful!

    Narrator: He was not amused, and turned the ghetto-blaster off.

    Mr Jones: You could try to play something yourself, Tracey.

  5. Ask the children what Mr Jones was not happy about. Point out that Tracey still had her talent; she just wasn't using it at that time. If they were Mr Jones, what would they say to Tracey?

    Remind them that we should treat our talents as precious gifts, to be looked after and grown.

Time for reflection

Dear God,
Thank you for the talents you have given us.
Help us all to use our talents to the best of our ability,
and to help others to use and develop their own talents and skills.


'Light up the fire' (Come and Praise, 55)

Publication date: November 2002   (Vol.4 No.11)    Published by SPCK, London, UK.
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