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The Story of the Ten Lepers

by The Revd Oliver Harrison

Suitable for Key Stage 1


To remind us of all the good things about saying ‘Thank you’. 

Preparation and materials

  • You will need several white toilet rolls and some sticky tape.
  • Familiarize yourself with the story in Luke 17.11–19 about Jesus and the ten lepers so that you can retell it in the assembly in an age-appropriate way.


1. Start by giving a brief and age-appropriate talk about lepers and leprosy – explaining, for example, how it is a disease that affects the skin, how people with leprosy were called lepers and made to live together out in the middle of nowhere away from everyone else as it is very catching and so on.

2. Tell the story in Luke 17.11–19 about Jesus and the ten lepers – again, in an age-appropriate way.

3. Now ask for ten volunteers and ten helpers.

Ask the helpers to wrap up parts of the volunteers in toilet roll, bandaging them around the head or around a hand or an arm, for example. Guide them so that they don’t get too carried away (they are not to create ten mummies!), but there should be enough bandaging to suggest illness and leprosy. Using a little sticky tape at the start and end of the bandaging process will help keep the ‘bandages’ in place.

When the helpers have finished, thank them, then ask them to sit back down.

4. Now tell the story again and, as you do so, have the ‘leper’ volunteers act out what you are describing is happening to them. 

5. At the end, ask, ‘How many came back to Jesus to say thank you?’

You could do a countdown using your fingers – ‘Ten? Nine? Eight?’ and so on – then say,  ‘One. Only one.’

6. Talk about how it’s good, important, right and nice to say, ‘Thank you!’ – to other people and to God.

Time for reflection

Let’s spend a few moments thinking of all the people you have already said ‘Thank you’ to today.  . . .  Your parents, your teachers, the person who helps you cross the road  . . .  maybe even your sister or your brother!

Now, let’s think about everyone who you didn’t say ‘Thank you’ to  . . .

Perhaps when you get back home, or to your classroom, you might say those thank yous.


‘Thank you, Lord, for this new day’ (Come and Praise, 32)

Publication date: June 2015   (Vol.17 No.6)    Published by SPCK, London, UK.
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