Noah and the Flood
Part 2 of the Noah story. To reflect on our experience of rainy weather.
by The Revd Alan M. Barker
Suitable for Key Stage 1
To retell part of the story of Noah and to reflect upon our experience of rainy weather.
Note: Although it can stand alone, this assembly is Part 2 of a three-part series on Noah this month.
Preparation and materials
- You will need to be familiar with the story to be able to tell it with appropriate actions.
- One child could be prepared to play the part of the dove and will need a leafy twig.
- The rhyme could be displayed on an OHP.
- Ask the children to think of a really rainy day. When did it last rain heavily? Reflect upon the effect that rain has on a day at school. Include reference to journeys to and from school being difficult and wet. What special clothes are worn?
Is it harder for the drivers of buses and cars to see where they are going? What do the children like/dislike about wet days? How does rain affect outdoor activities and playtimes? Sometimes we have to patiently wait for the rain to stop before going outside.
- Remind the children of the story of Noah's Ark. Noah was told by God to build a huge boat, or ark, because it was going to rain. Every kind of animal and bird was given a home inside.
Continue the story, inviting the children to join in the actions and the counting. If the children are young, the counting can be adapted into four lots of ten (another ten days!). One child might play the part of the dove, being sent on short flights out of the room.
- Noah's Ark
A retelling of Genesis 7-8 by Alan Barker
It rained and rained. (Imitate rain with fingers.) Noah and the animals watched as the puddles grew deeper and wider. Soon they became streams of running water. (Illustrate with appropriate actions.) It kept on raining. Soon Noah's ark was floating in a vast sea of water. The water was grey. The sky was dark. And inside everyone felt gloomy as well.
Together they counted the days and nights. 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10 days and nights (count off on fingers and hold out hands to feel for rain). It was still raining!
11, 12, 13, 14, 15, 16, 17, 18, 19, 20 days and nights (count off on fingers and hold out hands again). It was still raining!
21, 22, 23, 24, 25, 26, 27, 28, 29, 30 (count off on fingers and feel for rain). Would it ever stop?
31, 32, 33, 34, 35, 36, 37, 38, 39. The animals could still hear the rain beating on the roof of the ark (count off on fingers and drum finger tips).
40. 'It's stopped!' (everyone still).
But it was many more days before a breeze blew and began to dry the water up. And it was many more days still before there was a sudden bump! The ark had hit dry land. Soon the animals would be able to go outside again.
Noah let a dove fly out to see how dry it was. At first the dove came back quickly because there was nowhere to land. A week later the dove brought a fresh twig back in its beak. Noah knew that the water had gone down far enough for the tree tops to grow again. Two weeks later the dove didn't come back. The land was dry again, and the animals got ready to go outside!
- Refer to any recent coverage of flooding in the news. Explain that lots of heavy rain can cause rivers to overflow, covering roads and damaging homes. Then everyone must wait for the rain to stop and for the flooding to go down - just like Noah did.
- If older children are present, refer to global warming and changed weather patterns caused by atmospheric pollution. While heavy rain isn't punishment sent from God, we do know that it can result from destruction of the environment caused by the carelessness of human beings. The story of Noah has a modern parallel.
- Reflect that we can't ever stop it raining. But we have to make sensible plans for when it does rain. For some towns and villages beside rivers this might mean building walls and barriers to keep flood water away from buildings. For the children it might mean wearing 'wet-weather' clothing going to and from school. At school it involves having activities for wet playtimes. For Noah it meant building a boat!
- Explore the meaning of the rhyme:
Whether the weather be fine,
or whether the weather be not,
Whether the weather be cold,
or whether the weather be hot,
We'll weather the weather,
whatever the weather,
Whether we like it or not.
Time for reflection
Read the rhyme again.
Thank you for the rain that makes things grow.
Thank you that there are all types of weather.
Help us to make the most of it - whatever the weather!
Sing about 'Incy Wincy Spider' - who also had to wait for the rain to stop.