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Looking after God's World or Name that Job!

To help children understand that we all have a responsibility to look after the world.

by Jeff Graham

Suitable for Whole School (Pri)

Aims

To help children understand that we all have a responsibility to look after the world, and that all jobs and tasks have value in the eyes of God.

Preparation and materials

  • Bible reading: Genesis 2.15.
  • Six small cards, each showing the name of a task the school caretaker does with which the children are familiar. Examples: vacuuming, dusting, picking up litter.
  • Prepare six pupils to do short mimes of the tasks. Show them the cards before the assembly.
  • A sheet of labels, each showing 'I am a caretaker' or 'I am a caretaker of God's created world'.
  • The school caretaker - it would be good if she or he were prepared to answer questions. If not, a flip-chart or OHT.
  • Music: 'What a Wonderful World!' sung by Louis Armstrong.

Assembly

  1. Tell the children that there is a very important task for all of us in this world. Say that in a few minutes you are going to read a few lines about this from the Bible, but first some people are going to mime some activities that take place in school. Ask the children to try and work out what each job is, but keep it to themselves for now.

  2. One by one the six mimes are demonstrated. After all have been done, ask the rest of the children what they considered each task to be. Can they think of one person in the school who does all these tasks? When the word 'caretaker' is offered, affirm this, and if the caretaker is in the hall, ask him or her to come and sit at the front. Tell the children that Mr/Mrs 'X' in the hall (i.e. not the school caretaker) is a caretaker (pause and put a sticker on him or her), then say that Mr/Mrs 'Y' in the hall is also a caretaker (pause and put a sticker on him or her). Then say to a few other named people in the hall, 'Z', you may not know it, but you are a caretaker too, and so are you, 'A' (put stickers on them too).

  3. Go on to say that God wants us all to 'take care' of the world he created, then read or paraphrase, and give context to, the Bible verse: Genesis 2.15 (this version is from the Good News Bible).

    'Then the Lord God placed the man in the Garden of Eden to cultivate it and guard it.'

  4. Ask the school caretaker what she or he considers to be the best bits about the job. What makes him or her happy (e.g. being creative, making the school a brighter place)? What are the worst parts of the job? What makes him or her feel sad (e.g. picking up litter, getting rid of graffiti)? If the caretaker is not available, ask the children to consider these things and record positive and negative items on the flip-chart or OHT.

  5. Then invite responses or make statements about the activities that people do that harm the world, and those that improve or benefit the world. Remind them that God wants us all to 'take care' of the world, and that we can all start with how we look after our school and neighbourhood.

Time for reflection

Play 'What a Wonderful World!' sung by Louis Armstrong and ask the children to close their eyes and imagine the wonderful scenes he describes.

Dear God,
Help us to take care of, and appreciate,
the wonderful world you created for us.

Amen

As the children leave, play the music again and ask them to think about their favourite parts of the school, the locality, the world.

Song/music

'Morning has broken' (Come and Praise, 1)

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