Harvest and the wonder of the world
by Manon Ceridwen James
Suitable for Whole School (Pri)
To explore Harvest thanksgiving in terms of wonder.
Preparation and materials
You will need two packets of cheese and onion crisps. One packet should be the Golden Wonder brand and will therefore be green. The other packet should be another brand of cheese and onion crisps where the packet is blue.
Alternatively, the following images could be used:
- Golden Wonder cheese and onion crisps, available at: https://tinyurl.com/yxrh93ox
- Cheese and onion crisps in a blue packet, available at: https://tinyurl.com/y2kd94t3
- You will also need the poem ‘Leisure’ by William Henry Davies to be read in the ‘Assembly’, Step 7. You may wish to ask a child to read this poem.
Ask the children if they can name any brands of crisps. Examples might be Pringles, Frazzles, Wotsits and so on.
Ask the children to name some flavours of crisps – there are some very strange flavours available! Ask them what their favourite brand of crisps is, what their favourite flavour is and whether there are any flavours they don’t like. You may wish to talk about your own favourites and why you like them.
Ask the children to imagine a new flavour of crisp that they would like to eat.
Listen to a range of responses.
Explain that one brand of crisps is called Golden Wonder. The first Golden Wonder crisp was produced in 1947 and it quickly became a very popular brand.
Ask the children what colour they would expect a packet of cheese and onion crisps to be. You may get a difference of opinion on this although it is likely that the children will say ‘blue’.
Show the two packets of crisps, or the images of the crisp packets.
Point out that Golden Wonder produces cheese and onion crisps in green packets, whereas other crisp manufacturers usually produce them in blue packets.
Ask the children what the word ‘wonder’ means. One definition is ‘a feeling of amazement and admiration, caused by something beautiful, remarkable or unfamiliar’.
Is wonder a word that the children would use? A thing can be a wonder, like the seven wonders of the world. It is the root of the word ‘wonderful’ - something amazing or even miraculous. However ‘to wonder’ is an action, something we can all do. It means to take time to think and to be amazed. It is important for us all to stop sometimes, sit back and think how amazing our world actually is!
Point out that we often do not take the time to be amazed at how lucky we are. Ask the following questions.
- How often do we take the time to think about our friends and family and the love we have from others?
- How often do we take the time to be grateful that we are part of a caring school and community?
- How often do we say thank you for our school grounds and buildings?
At this point, you may wish to share examples related to the specific characteristics of the school and its immediate environment. Every school will have something different to be thankful for. Some may be in beautiful scenic areas, but all will have the loving ethos of the school itself. Being able to wonder is very important.
The poem ‘Leisure’ by William Henry Davies suggests that we should all regularly spend time reflecting and thinking about our world, and the things we are grateful for.
Read the following poem, or ask one of the children to do so if you prefer.
What is this life if, full of care,
We have no time to stand and stare?
No time to stand beneath the boughs,
And stare as long as sheep or cows.
No time to see, when woods we pass,
Where squirrels hide their nuts in grass.
No time to see, in broad daylight,
Streams full of stars, like skies at night.
No time to turn at Beauty’s glance,
And watch her feet, how they can dance.
No time to wait till her mouth can
Enrich that smile her eyes began.
A poor life this if, full of care,
We have no time to stand and stare.
So this assembly is not an advert for crisps! It is a reminder that all of us can have a ‘golden wonder’ moment. A moment when we sit back and think, even for just one minute, about everything that is good in our lives, such as the beauty of the world around us, and the fact that our families, friends and people in our school and our community show us love and care for us.
Harvest thanksgiving is about having the ‘golden wonder’ moments, moments when we can thank God for everything. But it doesn’t have to be a noisy thank you. It can also be a quiet, grateful thank you.
Time for reflection
When did you last stop and think about the things that you are grateful for?
Let’s pause for a moment of silence now, as we think about the things that are ‘wonderful’ in our lives.
Let’s thank God for these things.
Let’s decide to practise having ‘golden wonder’ moments every day!
‘From the tiny ant’ (Come and Praise, 79)