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April Showers

April showers bring May flowers

by Rachael Crisp

Suitable for Whole School (Pri)

Aims

To consider how difficult times in our lives can blossom into times of joy.

Preparation and materials

Assembly

  1. Explain to the children that you are going to tell them a story about a little girl who was looking forward to going to a gymnastics class.

  2. Eleanor was peering through the kitchen window, feeling miserable. She had been looking forward to her gymnastics class all day. Her mum had promised that they could set off early and have a picnic in the park on the way. Eleanor loved the new park with its shiny swings and slides. But now it had started to pour with rain and she didn’t feel like getting cold and wet.

    Show the images of birds and flowers in the rain.

    ‘Are you ready, Eleanor?’ Mum shouted, making Eleanor jump.
    ‘No!’ she shouted back grumpily. She really didn’t want to go out any more.
    ‘Eleanor, it’s time to go,’ said Mum, sounding frustrated. ‘Let’s put your wellies on and get going.’
    ‘Do I have to?’ grumbled Eleanor. ‘It’s raining out there. I’d rather stay home and I don’t want to get wet and now we can’t have a picnic and I can’t play in the park! It’s not fair!’
    ‘Come on now,’ said Mum crossly. ‘We’ve got an umbrella you can use and you’ll enjoy gym class once you get there.’
    Eleanor did what her mum asked. She put on her coat and wellies and got the umbrella ready. When she went outside, Eleanor shivered. She felt sad. She had looked forward to something all day and now it felt like everything had gone wrong.
    Mum took hold of her hand and they set off. Somehow it felt better when they were walking. When Mum suggested that they jumped in the puddles, Eleanor forgot to be sad, but instead she laughed and laughed.

    Show the image of a girl walking in the rain.

    Her feet were warm inside her wellies and she felt safe and happy holding her mum’s hand. She got a little wet, but it was much better than she thought it was going to be.
    When Eleanor arrived at the gym class, she had a big smile on her face.
    ‘Well done,’ whispered Mum, smiling, too. ‘Walking through the rain wasn’t so bad, was it?’

  3. Explain that the story is meant to teach us an important lesson. Ask the children if they can guess what the lesson is.

    Listen to a range of responses.

  4. Show the image of the saying, ‘April showers bring May flowers’.

    Point out that there is a famous saying: ‘April showers bring May flowers.’

    Ask the children if they can guess what the saying means.

    Explain that April is often known as a month where there are a lot of rain showers. Acknowledge whether that is true for the previous week in the local area. The month following April is May. May is often sunny and lots of summer flowers begin to appear. The April rain is what brings us the most beautiful flowers. The beauty of the flowers follows the rain, hence the saying, ‘April showers bring May flowers.’

  5. In the Bible, in a book called the Song of Songs, it says, ‘See! The winter is past; the rains are over and gone. Flowers appear on the earth; the season of singing has come, the cooing of doves is heard in our land.’

  6. Explain that sometimes, we go through difficult times in our lives. We may feel sad or lonely, or things may seem to go wrong with our families or friends. These can feel like dark, ‘rainy’, gloomy times. However, in those times, it is important to hold onto people whom we know and trust.

    Eleanor, the girl in our story, didn’t want to go out in the rain. But to get to gym class, which she enjoyed, she had to go through the rain. When we go through hard times, we can know that happiness will come again. In our story, having an umbrella, wearing wellies, wearing a coat and having her mum helped Eleanor through the rain, and she was even happy at some points during the rain. In the same way, we have people and things in our life that can help us through hard times.

  7. Ask the children for examples of people whom they can turn to in difficult times. Answers should include people within school, alongside family and friends. Remind the children that they never need to go through a hard time on their own. It is important to talk about the way they are feeling and to ask for help.

  8. Christians believe that the Bible teaches that God is with us during the April showers as well as when we see the flowers in May. Christians believe that God is close to those who are hurting and that God gives them hope.

Time for reflection

Ask the children, ‘Can you think of a hard time that you’ve been through? Maybe you felt sad or lonely, or something happened that upset you in some way?’

Pause to allow time for thought.

What or who helped you in that time?

Pause to allow time for thought.

Do you know someone who seems sad at the moment? Maybe there is someone you could help through their hard time.

Pause to allow time for thought.

Maybe you are going through a hard time at the moment. Who are you going to ask to help you?

Pause to allow time for thought.

Prayer
Dear God,
Thank you that when we experience hard times, there are people who want to help us.
Thank you that when we experience hard times, you are there with us.
Thank you that we know hard times will end and we will experience joy and peace again.
Please help people who are feeling sad at the moment.
Please help us always to be looking for ways in which we can help.
Thank you.
Amen.

Song/music

‘When I needed a neighbour’ (Come and Praise, 65)

Publication date: April 2018   (Vol.20 No.4)    Published by SPCK, London, UK.
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