Lessons from Loom Bands, Part 3
We are stronger when we work together
by Janice Ross
Suitable for Whole School (Pri)
To consider the story of Nehemiah and the building of the walls of Jerusalem.
Preparation and materials
- You will need a couple of loom bands and some examples of colourful loom band designs, such as inverted fishtail, which involves weaving many bands together.
- Familiarize yourself with the Bible story in Nehemiah, chapters 1–8.
- If you used the previous two ‘Lessons from loom bands’ assemblies, you could start by reviewing the following themes the children thought about in relation to loom bands, but this is optional:
– God’s vast love for us is never-ending
– our love can grow to be more like his
– we were made to be creative.
- Stretch a loom band until it breaks. Note that a loom band can only be stretched so far before it breaks and it can be quite painful when this happens!
- In the Bible, there is a story about a man called Nehemiah
Nehemiah and the walls of Jerusalem
Nehemiah had a very important job in Persia (now called Iraq), working for the king, but his heart was elsewhere – in his homeland, in Jerusalem, which is in Israel. He loved his homeland and missed it very much. Some 100 years before Nehemiah was born, some of his people had returned from exile in Persia to their homeland there and had rebuilt the temple.
One day, Nehemiah heard that the walls of Jerusalem had not been rebuilt after the many years of armies invading and breaking them down, so most of the people were still living outside the walls rather than inside the holy city. Nehemiah’s people had lost their identity as God’s people.
When Nehemiah heard all this, he wept. What could he do? He was only one man and not a builder at that.
Then, in the presence of the King of Persia, he noticed that Nehemiah was sad and he was not normally, so he asked him what was wrong. Nehemiah explained and the king asked him what he wanted to do. Nehemiah was brave and asked to be sent to rebuild Jerusalem and the king gave his blessing for Nehemiah to go and rebuild the walls of his beloved city. So he set off on the long journey home.
Once there, Nehemiah toured the city walls by night. He found rubble and stones and burned gates. He thought that his heart would break.
Demonstrate by stretching another loom band.
‘Let’s rebuild, the city walls,’ he said to the people. ‘I can’t do it by myself. It will take us all working together, but I am sure that together we can do it!’
That is exactly what happened. Different families took charge of different sections of the walls. The family of Hassenaah worked next to men from other families and towns. All along the walls, families took up their spades and shovels and got to work. It was a huge task. There were so many repairs that Nehemiah could never have done it all on his own.
They had enemies, too, who wanted things to stay as they were. These enemies plotted and schemed and mocked the work, trying every day to discourage the people. Indeed, rebuilding the walls of Jerusalem became such a dangerous task that the builders took it in turns to work and then guard, but they did complete the work and what a day that was.
In working together, they had all grown together as a people. They had once again found their identity as the people of God. What celebrations they then had! Their joy was very great.
- Loom bands can also remind us of this growing together.
Show the examples of loom band designs.
Identify that the finished articles are made up of lots of different bands and colours. Because the bands are woven together, they make the product so much stronger than a single loom band can ever be.
Carefully stretch the examples of loom band designs.
Identify that it would be very much more difficult to break these than it was to break the single loom ban. We, too, like the loom bands, are stronger when we join together.
Time for reflection
Think of some school tasks and explore how it is advantageous to work together with others.
With whom do you like to work in a group?
Thank you for the story of Nehemiah and his friends.
Thank you for our friends and classmates.
Thank you for all that we achieve together and help us to be willing to support one another today.
‘Give me oil in my lamp, keep me burning’ (Come and Praise, 43)