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Autumn Leaves

An assembly from the Culham St Gabriel archive

Suitable for Whole School (Pri) - Church Schools

Aims

To use autumn leaves to reflect upon the gift of the changing seasons.

Preparation and materials

  • You will need a cardboard box covered in gold or silver foil. The box should contain leaves of various colours.

  • You may wish to display the words of the song ‘Autumn days’ for use as a prayer at the end of the assembly, in which case you will also need the means to do so.

    - The lyrics are available at: https://tinyurl.com/y9krnse6
    - The music (2.13 minutes long) is available at: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=w9mvrkQbzgc

Assembly

  1. Place the cardboard box on the table.

    Explain to the children that you have been given a gift and ask them to consider what the occasion could be. The children may guess that it is a teacher’s birthday, a child’s birthday, a leaving present and so on.

  2. Establish that none of these ideas is correct. Explain that the box contains a special gift that was given to you by a tree!

  3. Invite two or three children to come and look into the box. Ask each child to look inside, but to keep the contents secret. Ask the children to remain at the front. After each one has looked into the box, ask them to put their hands into the box, take something out and hold it up so that everyone can see. Turn to the rest of the children and say, Look! These are the gifts that the tree has given me!

  4. Invite the children at the front to describe the leaves by answering some of the following questions.

    - Are all of the leaves the same?
    - What colours can you see?
    - What patterns can you see?
    - What do the leaves feel like?

  5. Ask the children whether these leaf gifts cost a lot of money. Establish that they are free gifts, available to everyone.

    Discuss whether the cost of a gift makes it more or less special and establish that sometimes, the simplest of gifts can be the most important. (You may wish to use your own example of a gift that you have received that had little monetary value, but meant a great deal to you.)

  6. The leaves are particularly special, and not just because they are beautiful. They also remind us of new life because although trees shed their leaves and appear to die in autumn, they will grow new leaves in springtime.

Time for reflection

Autumn reminds us that there are different seasons in everyone’s life. We all grow and change as we get older. However, each season of our life can be filled with beauty.

Explain that you are going to read some words from a song called ‘Autumn days’. Explain that you want the children to consider the importance of stopping sometimes and reminding ourselves of all the wonder and beauty in the world.

Ask the children to say the words of the response after each line of the song.

Response: No, I mustn’t forget, no, I mustn’t forget to say a great big thank you. I mustn’t forget.

Leader: For autumn days and autumn leaves.

Response: No, I mustn’t forget, no, I mustn’t forget to say a great big thank you. I mustn’t forget.

Leader: For autumn fruits and harvest fields.

Response: No, I mustn’t forget, no, I mustn’t forget to say a great big thank you. I mustn’t forget.

Leader: For refreshing rain and autumn skies.

Response: No, I mustn’t forget, no, I mustn’t forget to say a great big thank you. I mustn’t forget.

Leader: For the changing seasons and natures gifts.

Response: No, I mustn’t forget, no, I mustn’t forget to say a great big thank you. I mustn’t forget.

Leader: For the beauty of the world in which we live.

Response: No, I mustn’t forget, no, I mustn’t forget to say a great big thank you. I mustn’t forget.

Leader: For the food that we enjoy and the clothes that we wear every day.

Response: No, I mustn’t forget, no, I mustn’t forget to say a great big thank you. I mustn’t forget.

Leader: For the weather and the animals and the beautiful plants.

Response: No, I mustn’t forget, no, I mustn’t forget to say a great big thank you. I mustn’t forget.

Song/music

‘Autumn days’ (Come and Praise, 4)

Follow-up ideas

Art and design: Do some leaf stencilling by using chalk to rub round a leaf shape or real leaves, or make a colour chart for autumn paint colours, mixing and naming them.

Design and technology: Use some William Morris designs as the starting point to design wallpaper or fabric based on leaf shapes.

Publication date: September 2020   (Vol.22 No.9)    Published by SPCK, London, UK.
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