A Bowlful of Harvest
A wholesome harvest assembly
by Alan M. Barker
Suitable for Whole School (Pri)
To appreciate the sources of everyday foods and the importance of cereals in our diet.
Preparation and materials
- You will need a bowl and spoon, some milk and boxes of bite-sized Shredded Wheat, Weetabix, porridge, cornflakes or other wholegrain cereal.
- If this is to be a class assembly, you could prepare for it by taking a poll of the children’s favourite cereals to mention in the 'Assembly', Step 6, and gathering images of different healthy serving suggestions.
- You will need some images of growing wheat, oats and corn (maize) and the means to display them during the assembly. Examples can be found at:
- Powerpoint slides are available to accompany this assembly (Cereals (2015)).
- Welcome everyone and invite the children to recall how their day began. Refer to the importance of eating breakfast to ‘fuel’ minds and bodies, to give them energy. Observe that, for many people, breakfast comes in a packet.
- Pour some bite-sized Shredded Wheat or alternative into the bowl. Add some of the milk and taste a spoonful.
Pause and ask, ‘Have you ever thought that breakfast doesn’t simply come from a box?’ Explain that breakfast cereals are made from cereal crops. 'Cereals' are grasses grown for their grain.
- Show the images of growing wheat and other crops, then the other images as you move through the assembly.
Mention how, at first, the plants look very much like grass, but, as they grow taller, heads of grain form. In July and August (in the UK) the wheat ripens and changes colour from green to gold. Eventually it’s ready for harvesting.
- Combine harvesters cut the crop and separate the grain from the 'straw' (the stems) and 'chaff' (outer parts of the grain). The wheat is carried from the field in trailers to be safely stored and sold. It’s then used to manufacture breakfast cereals, such as Shredded Wheat.
- Introduce other brands of cereal and explain how they are made from other grains, each of which has a different appearance. Oats are used to make porridge, corn (or maize) is used to make cornflakes. Rice, yet another cereal, is an ingredient used to make other breakfast products.
- Introduce the poll you took of the children's favourite breakfast cereals or take one briefly at this point. Share ideas for healthy serving suggestions, incorporating different fresh fruits and so on.
- Sum up by saying, ‘So breakfast reminds us that cereal crops are vital for a healthy diet. Cereals provide our bodies with lots of energy. Whatever breakfast cereal we enjoy and however it’s served, let’s be thankful for a bowlful of harvest!
Time for reflection
Especially suitable for Church schools would be to read or sing a selection of verses from Psalm 104 (GNB), such as the following.
O Lord, my God, how great you are! (v. 1)
From the sky you send rain on the hills, and the earth is filled with your blessings. You make grass grow for the cattle and plants for us to use, so that we can grow our crops and produce wine to make us happy, olive oil to make us cheerful, and bread to give us strength. (vv. 13-15)
Lord, you have made so many things! How wisely you made them all! The earth is filled with your creatures. (v. 24)
All of them depend on you to give them food when they need it. You give it to them, and they eat it; you provide food, and they are satisfied. (v. 28)
I will sing to the Lord all my life; as long as I live I will sing praises to my God. (v. 33)
CAlternatively, the following prayer could be said.
Thank you for the different cereals we enjoy.
Help us to start each new day by being thankful.
Alternatively, the following prayer could be said.
Let’s be thankful for the different cereals we enjoy.
Let’s aim to start each new day by being thankful.
The first and third lines of the first verse can be changed to include other breakfast cereals.
Crunchy cornflakes, crunchy cornflakes
Shredded Wheat, Shredded Wheat
Weetabix and porridge
Good to eat.
Time for breakfast, time for breakfast
Would you like a bowlful? Would you like a bowlful?
Best of meals.
Time for harvest, time for harvest
Fruits and grain, fruits and grain
Growing in the sunshine, growing in the sunshine,
Wind and rain, wind and rain.