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Noah and the Rainbow

Part 3 of the story of Noah. To appreciate our experience of colour.

by The Revd Alan M. Barker

Suitable for Key Stage 1


To retell part of the story of Noah and to appreciate our experience of colour.

Note: Although it can stand alone, this assembly can be used as the concluding assembly of a three-part series on Noah this month.

Preparation and materials

  • Select a series of seven appropriately coloured objects to place side by side in order to form a 'rainbow'.
  • A bright rainbow picture could be painted as a 'Thinking of you' card for someone who is unwell.


  1. Invite the children to remember an occasion when they have seen a rainbow. Explain that rainbows are seen when the sun shines through rain. They often appear after a storm.

  2. Remind the children of the story of Noah's Ark. Noah was told by God to build a huge boat, or ark. Every kind of animal and bird was given a home in the ark. Then it began to rain for 40 days and nights. Remind the children that at the end of the last instalment of the story it had stopped raining and the land had begun to dry and trees and plants to grow again.

  3. Continue the story:

    Noah's Ark
    A retelling of Genesis 9.1-17 by Alan Barker

    (As each colour is mentioned in the story introduce the similarly coloured item, and invite the children to suggest others that might be included.)

    Noah and his family were tired and sad. The animals and birds were tired and sad too. They had been in the ark for a very long time. When at last the door was opened they slowly made their way outside. The sky was still cloudy and dull. Smelly black mud covered everything in sight. Everyone was unhappy at what they saw.

    But God hadn't forgotten Noah and all the creatures. To make them feel better, he decided to put a rainbow into the cloudy sky. 'I shall make a rainbow,' God said, 'and it will be one of the most beautiful sights in the world.'

    So, first of all, God made a stripe of red. 'In my new world,' he said, 'red will be the colour of bright poppy flowers, ripe apples and robin's chests.' (Display the red object and invite the children to think of red things.)

    Then came orange. God said: 'Orange will be the colour of pumpkins, autumn leaves and ginger cats watching goldfish!' (Invite the children to think of other things that are orange.)
    Yellow was next. God decided that yellow would be the colour of buttercups and the honey made by busy bees. 'And I will hide yellow inside hen's eggs,' he said!

    'Here's a nice colour,' God thought, as he mixed green. 'I shall make lots of things that are green, like cabbages and caterpillars, grass, and grasshoppers too.' (You only have to look around to see that green is one of God's favourite colours.)

    And next to green God put blue and indigo. 'Blue and indigo will be the colour of the sea and the sky,' he decided.

    Finally God added purple. 'Purple,' he said, 'will be a very special colour. I will use it for butterfly flowers and hills covered with heather. It will be the colour of delicious grapes and juicy plums.'

    Red, orange, yellow, green, blue, indigo and purple all shone brightly together in the rainbow. Noah smiled when he saw the colours in the sky, and the animals felt happy too! It was God's promise that the world would soon be new again.

  4. Refer to the objects and point out that they are arranged like a rainbow. Reflect that colours make our world a brighter and happier place. What are the children's favourite colours?

  5. If a card has been made, invite those involved to show it to the assembly. Who will it be sent to? Has anyone ever painted a bright and colourful picture to make somebody feel better? The rainbow helped Noah to know that God cared. Colourful cards and flowers can cheer us up when we don't feel very well or if we feel sad.

Time for reflection

Lord God,
Thank you for all the colours of the rainbow
which brighten up our homes and school.
Thank you for crayons and paints which are fun to use.
Help us to make the world a happier place for everyone,
especially for those who need our friendship and our care.


'Who put the colours in the rainbow?' (Come and Praise, 12)

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