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Sorry Pancakes

Shrove Tuesday (9 February 2016)

by Alan M. Barker

Suitable for Whole School (Pri)


To mark the beginning of Lent by appreciating the importance of saying ‘Sorry’.

Preparation and materials

  • You will need:

    – a frying pan and pancake ingredients – flour, eggs, milk and a little salt
    – five pancake-sized circles of yellow paper, each having one letter of the word ‘sorry’  – clearly marked in the centre, and a marker pen
    – some extra blank yellow paper pancakes may be useful.


  1. Mention that it is or is soon to be Pancake Day, also known as Shrove Tuesday. Briefly describe how pancakes are made by first mixing the ingredients to form a batter. Show the children the flour, eggs, milk and salt as you mention them. Mime the process of pouring the batter into the pan, frying and the excitement of flipping a pancake.

  2. Reflect that pancakes are one of the easiest foods to make, but they bring to mind a word that can be very hard to say.

    Tell the children that you are going to give them some ‘pancake clues’. Challenge them to decipher the word that can be very hard to say from the initial letters of the answers to the clues. As you proceed, invite five children to hold up the pancake circles to help them spell the answer – ‘sorry’.

    – I’m the first letter of something white and sweet that you might sprinkle on your pancake. ‘S’ for sugar.

    – I’m the first letter of a large round fruit, its juice is sometimes poured on to pancakes. My name is also my colour. ‘O’ for orange.

    – I’m the first letter in a word describing the shape of a pancake. Flat and  . . .  ‘R’ for round.

    – I’m the first letter of the way that pancakes are often served. ‘R’ for rolled.

    – I’m the first letter of a word that means ‘really delicious’. ‘Y’ for yummy!

  3. Explain that pancakes are eaten as part of Christian traditions that mark the importance of saying sorry. Pancake Day, or Shrove Tuesday, is one when we prepare for a new start. In the weeks before Easter – known as Lent – Christians express sorrow for selfish and hurtful behaviour.

  4. Invite the children to identify some occasions when it is appropriate to say sorry.  Flip the paper ‘sorry pancakes’ in the frying pan and record the children’s responses on the blank sides. Older children might be asked to reflect on world events that cause sadness and sorrow.  

    Reflect that sorry can be one of the hardest words to say, but, like flipping a pancake, we have to be ready to try! Saying ‘sorry’ (show the letter sides of the ‘sorry pancakes’ again to show the word ‘sorry’) can help us make a new start.

Time for reflection

Review the responses written on the pancakes, which might include arguments, accidents, mistakes, misunderstandings, thoughtless words, hurt, tears.

Forgiving God, 
Help us to say ‘Sorry’.


‘Pancakes’ (Songs for Every Season, Out of the Ark Music, 1997)

Publication date: February 2015   (Vol.17 No.2)    Published by SPCK, London, UK.
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