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Dawn Is Coming

Learning takes time and effort

by Janice Ross (revised, originally published in 2010)

Suitable for Whole School (Pri)


To use the dawn to illustrate that our learning is gradual.

Preparation and materials


  1. Play the YouTube video, ‘Peer Gynt Suite – Morning by Grieg’ as the children enter.

    Ask the children the following questions.

    - Did the music make you think of anything?
    - How many of you saw the dawn this morning?
    - What is dawn?
    - What time does it happen at this time of year?
    - What might you have seen at dawn?

  2. Composers have tried to capture the beauty of dawn in their music, artists have tried to capture this beauty on canvas and poets have tried to describe the beauty of dawn in words.

    Share Timothy Savages description of dawn in his poem of the same name.

    Early morning,
    still imbibed with a chill of night,
    as bird songs pull
    first strings of light
    upon our sleepy world.
    Mists in lowlands retreat
    to reveal an unwelcome side of shadow.
    A crow pecks the roadside.
    Human grief, 
    ours alone to ponder.
    The sun shines regardless,
    rainbows from black feathers.
    A new story begins to unfold.

  3. What colour do you think this first light would be? Discuss the gradual changing of the sky from grey to streaks of light, then red, then yellow and then the appearance of clouds. Identify that the important word is gradual.

    Show the images of the dawn.

  4. Discuss the meaning of the phrase, ‘It’s beginning to dawn on me.’

    Ask the children the following questions.

    What things at school are easily understood?
    Which things take time to dawn on us?
    What helps this process?

    Point out that learning often takes a lot of practice, perhaps asking for further help and explanation.

  5. Explain that faith is like this. At some point in our life, we begin to have questions. Some of our questions might be about who made the sky, the clouds or even ourselves.

    We might ask some of the following questions.

    Who made the beauty all around me? Where did it all come from?
    How does my body work? I am a complicated mixture of feelings, thoughts and moods. Who is God?
    Where does God live?
    How can I know God?

  6. It is always good to ask questions, even when the answers are difficult. By asking questions, we learn to think things through and come to a decision about our own beliefs.

Time for reflection

Let’s celebrate the many things that have dawned on us throughout this year. For example, in our understanding of maths, in our use of language, in our investigations in science and in our exploration of the places in which we live and the people with whom we share our lives.

Let’s celebrate what we have come to understand of God and of his love for us.

Dear God,
We thank you for all that we have learned so far this year.
Thank you that we have moved on in our journey of learning.
We thank you, too, for our journey in coming to know you.
Please help us to keep asking questions
as we seek to learn and know more about the truth.


‘Morning has broken’ (Come and Praise, 1)

Publication date: August 2017   (Vol.19 No.8)    Published by SPCK, London, UK.
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