A Harvest Thank You
by Alison Thurlow
Suitable for Key Stage 1
To encourage thinking about where food comes from and thanking God for it.
Preparation and materials
- Have available some images to display during the 'Assembly', Step 2, and the means to do so (optional). See, for example, the illustrations at Grain Chain at: http://tinyurl.com/nblxwmk
- You may also like to have an image to display as you read the verses from Psalm 65 in the 'Assembly', Step 3. See, for example, the photograph of an ear of wheat at: http://tinyurl.com/nmrd5mh
- Have available the song ‘Sunflowers are fun to grow’ by Julia Plaut (on the second CD Mr Cow: The best of Julia Plaut, Kingsway Music, 2008) and the means to play it at the end of the assembly.
- Introduce the assembly by saying that today it has a harvest theme and you’re going to start by asking two questions. Ask the children to turn to the person next to them and talk about these two questions.
- How many things can you think of that grow from seeds?
- What do seeds need to grow?
Listen to some of their answers.
- Thank the children for their good answers and say that you have got two more questions to ask them.
- Who had some bread or toast for breakfast this morning?
- Who has got some sandwiches or a bread roll for their lunch today?
Comment that a lot of us will eat some bread at some time today, but go on to note that we don't often stop to think how this bread got to us. Say that it probably happened something like this.
Display the illustrations from Grain Chain (at: http://tinyurl.com/nblxwmk), if using.
The farmer ploughs the field so it is ready for the seeds to be sown.
The farmer uses a machine to plant the seeds in small holes in the soil.
The seeds grow into plants. They need rain and sunshine to make them grow.
When the plants are big enough, the farmer harvests them.
The wheat that the farmer has picked is taken to a mill and made into flour.
A baker uses the flour to make bread.
Bread is taken to the shops.
Shoppers like us buy the bread and eat it as toast or sandwiches.
- Explain that it is good to think about where our food comes from and be thankful for it. Mention that, in the Bible, there are lots of times when we are reminded that God provides lots of good things for us and we should remember to say 'Thank you' to him for this. In the Book of Psalms in the Old Testament part of the Bible, we can read Psalm 65 (vv. 9-13), reminding us of how God provides for us.
Display the photograph of an ear of wheat (at: http://tinyurl.com/nmrd5mh), if using.
You visit the earth and water it,
you greatly enrich it;
the river of God is full of water;
you provide the people with grain,
for so you have prepared it.
You water its furrows abundantly,
settling its ridges,
softening it with showers,
and blessing its growth.
You crown the year with your bounty;
your wagon tracks overflow with richness.
The pastures of the wilderness overflow,
the hills gird themselves with joy,
the meadows clothe themselves with flocks,
the valleys deck themselves with grain,
they shout and sing together for joy.
Time for reflection
When you are in Reception or Year 1 or 2, you are quite small really - a bit like a seed! You’ve got quite a long journey to go on before you are grown up and, just as lots of people helped the seed to become a loaf of bread, Christians believe God uses lots of different people to help you on your journey until you become an adult. Hands up if you can think of some of the people God uses to help you?
So, I think we’ve got quite a lot of things to say ‘Thank you’ to God for today. We could say a Harvest 'Thank you' to God for helping seeds grow into food that we can enjoy eating and we could say another 'Thank you' for all the people who help us to grow up a little bit more each year.
Thank you that you show your care for the land by sending rain and sun to make the plants grow.
Thank you for all the people, both at home and at school, who help us to grow up.
‘Sunflowers are fun to grow’ by Julia Plaut