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Wise or Foolish - Making Choices

To illustrate how making wise choices can affect our circumstances in life.

by Margaret Liversidge

Suitable for Key Stage 1


To illustrate how making wise choices can affect our circumstances in life.

Preparation and materials

  • Read through and prepare the story below.
  • Introductory music as the children are gathering: 'Accentuate the positive' (available on BBC CD The Singing Detective).


  1. Verbally play a game of opposites with the children, where you give a word and the children should come up with the appropriate opposite, e.g. black/white, day/night, fat/thin, tall/small, high/low, wise/foolish.

  2. Relate to some of the above and explain that opposites can be like the choices we make in life; if we choose to paint a door bright yellow it will look very different from one that is painted dark blue.

  3. Introduce the story of the Wise Man and the Foolish Man as a parable, a story with a special meaning. Encourage the children to repeat after you the underlined words:

    Once there were two men. Each decided to build himself a new house. They both looked around for a place to build.

    The first man was in a hurry; he wanted to have his new house straightaway. So he started to build right where he was standing, on a flat sandy place. In no time at all his new house was finished. He looked out of the door and said, 'That didn't take very long to build, I'm going to be very happy living here.'

    But the second man was troubled. He looked at the rolling clouds in the sky. He knew that the rains were coming soon. He climbed up a steep hill, away from the flat, sandy soil. He decided to build his new house on a high, rocky place.

    His house took a long time to build. Every day he watched the clouds grow darker. Then one day he put away all his tools and went indoors. 'That took a long time to build, I'm going to be very happy living here.'

    The neighbours admired both of the new houses. Then they looked up at the thunder clouds. 'How wise you are,' they said to the second man; then they ran for shelter!

    (This story can be found in Luke 6.47-49.)

  4. Sing Verse 1 of 'The wise man built ...' song. Ask the children what happened to the house the wise man built and why - he chose carefully, he was a man who was wise enough to make good choices.

  5. Sing Verse 2 of the song. Ask what happened to this house and why - he made a bad choice.

Time for reflection

Tell the children again that this Bible story is called a parable because it has a special meaning. Jesus compared himself to a rock. He explained that people who believe and trust in God are making a wise choice, like the wise man in the story.

Spend a few moments encouraging reflection on 'making choices', i.e. in relation to life at school. Remind the children that wise choices usually lead to good/positive outcomes and foolish choices can lead to bad/unhappy outcomes.

Sometimes we don't know what is the wisest thing to do - that's when we need to stop and think, talk to other people and to ask God for help. Just what the foolish builder should have done.

Dear God,
Help us to make wise choices,
when we are working in our classes,
when we are playing with our friends,
when we are living in our homes.



'The wise man built his house upon the rock' (Junior Praise, 252; Kidsource, 336).

Publication date: November 2000   (Vol.2 No.11)    Published by SPCK, London, UK.
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