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Being Jealous

An assembly in the ‘Hello, Scruff!’ series

by Revd Sylvia Burgoyne

Suitable for Reception / Key Stage 1 - Church Schools


To consider how being jealous can be unkind and hurtful.

Preparation and materials

  • You will need a glove puppet or sock puppet of a donkey, called Scruff.

  • As the assembly begins, ensure that you already have Scruff the puppet on your hand.

  • Have available some images or posters showing the need for fresh water in many parts of the world.

  • Refresh your memory of the story of Samuel and David used in two earlier assemblies in the ‘Hello Scruff!’ series, ‘Don’t Judge on Appearance’ and ‘Making Music’, so that you can recall the story for the children in the ‘Assembly’, Step 3.


  1. Scruff waves to the children. Encourage them to say, ‘Hello, Scruff!’

    If this is the first time the children have met Scruff, you will need to use the following introduction.

    Scruff lives on a farm with Lucy Jane, her mum, Mrs B, her dad, Farmer Brown, and her baby brother, Tom. Lucy Jane loves Scruff. She looks after him. She plays with him and she talks to him – when she’s happy and when she’s sad. Scruff is her best friend!

  2. Scruff had often heard Lucy Jane talking about Sophie. Her family were very rich. They lived in a huge house, with a massive garden AND a swimming pool! Whenever their teacher asked the children to share their news, Sophie always seemed to have done lots of exciting things.

    Ask the children, Do any of you have something exciting to tell us?

    Just recently, Sophie had been up to London and had seen the Queen riding in her coach.

    Ask the children the following questions.
    Have any of you ever been to London?
    - What did you see there?
    - Who would like to go to London?

    Sophie had visited all sorts of places. She had been to Disneyland lots of times!

    Ask the children the following questions.
    - Have any of you ever been to Disneyland?
    Would any of you like to go, either for the first time or again?

    ‘We’re all fed up with hearing what Sophie has done!’ Lucy Jane told Scruff in a cross voice, nearly every time she came home from school.

    Scruff was sure that Lucy Jane and her friends had never asked Sophie to join in their games, and Scruff knew that Lucy Jane had never invited Sophie to the farm for a ride on his back.

    Ask the children, Do you think Lucy Jane and her friends were jealous of Sophie, because they wished they could do all the things she had done?’

    Then, all of a sudden, everything changed!

    Lucy Jane came running into the stable after school with some exciting news.

    ‘Miss has been telling us about all the children in the world who never have clean water to drink,’ she told Scruff. ‘They have to walk a long way to collect water from the river. It’s very hard work to carry the water back home because it’s so heavy, and it’s dirty water, so it makes them ill! We felt very sad when Miss told us. She asked us to think about all the times we use water every day! But then Sophie had a great idea. She said she would ask her mum and dad if we could use their swimming pool for a sponsored swim. Isn’t that a good idea, Scruff?’

    ‘Hee-haw, hee-haw!’ Scruff said noisily.

    ‘I hope they say Yes when Sophie asks them!’ Lucy Jane continued. ‘Perhaps we’ll raise enough money to drill a well, so that boys and girls in an African village can turn on a tap to have a drink of clean water.’

    Lucy stroked Scruff’s fur gently.

    ‘And guess what, Scruff,’ Lucy Jane whispered. ‘I’ve invited Sophie to come for tea tomorrow. Will you give her a ride, Scruff?’

    And of course, Scruff nodded and said, ‘Hee haw, hee haw!’ again.

    Take off Scruff.

  3. Let’s listen to a story from the Bible about a boy called David. You may remember that David had been told that one day, he would be the king instead of King Saul.

    Soon, David the shepherd-boy became David the commander-in-chief. He led his men to fight against their enemies, the Philistines, and they won many battles. The people didn’t cheer King Saul any more, but cheered David instead!

    Saul grew very jealous of David. His moods became blacker. One day, when David was playing soothing music on his harp to try to cheer up the king, Saul picked up his spear, and threw it at David. Luckily, he missed!

    David knew that his life was in danger, and he ran away with his men into the hills to hide. But this didn’t stop King Saul from becoming more and more jealous! He searched for David all over the country. One night, King Saul camped close to the cave where David and his men were hiding. While Saul was sleeping, David, and one of his men called Abishai, crept into the camp of King Saul. Abishai wanted to kill King Saul, but David wouldn’t let him.
    Instead, David took Saul’s spear and water jug, and crossed back onto the opposite hill.
    The next morning, David shouted across to the king, holding up the spear and water jug.
    ‘I could have attacked you last night,’ David shouted. ‘I came into your camp while you were asleep! But it would have been wrong to do you any harm!’

    King Saul knew that David was a better man than he was.
    Not long after this event, King Saul died in battle. When David heard about this, he cried, even though King Saul had been jealous of him and had often treated him badly.

Time for reflection

We can all feel jealous sometimes. We may feel as if we don’t have as much as other people. Maybe we wish we looked different or had more money. However, jealousy isn’t a good feeling. It can make us feel sad and also make us miss out on friendships with the people whom we are jealous of! In today’s Scruff story, Sophie wasn’t a bad person. She just happened to be born into a rich family. As Lucy Jane discovered, she wanted to use the things she had to help other people. I wonder if we all want to use our possessions in the same way.

Look at posters or images of children carrying containers of water, or enjoying drinking from a tap. Remind the children that, although some of us would not consider ourselves to be rich, we all have a great deal to be thankful for.

You may wish to use this assembly to introduce a charity collection.

Dear God,
We have so much to say thank you for.
Thank you for clean water to drink, plenty of food to eat and a comfy bed to sleep in.
Please help us to be generous with all that we have and not to want more all the time.
Help us to remember those who have so little, and share what we have with them.


‘Water of life’ (Come and Praise, 2)

Publication date: August 2016   (Vol.18 No.8)    Published by SPCK, London, UK.
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