How do we solve our problems?
by Alexandra Palmer
Suitable for Whole School (Pri)
To use the book We’re Going on a Bear Hunt and the Bible story of David and Goliath to explore how to deal with life’s problems.
Preparation and materials
- Have available the book We’re Going on a Bear Hunt by Michael Rosen and Helen Oxenbury. Alternatively, have available the YouTube video ‘Michael Rosen performs We’re Going on a Bear Hunt’ and the means to show it during the assembly. It is 5.02 minutes long and is available at: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0gyI6ykDwds
- You will also need to be familiar with the Bible story of David and Goliath. (A summary of the story is provided in the ‘Assembly’, Step 4.)
- Ask the children to put up their hands if they can remember the story We’re Going on a Bear Hunt.
Read the story to the children or play the YouTube video ‘Michael Rosen performs We’re Going on a Bear Hunt’.
Encourage the children to join in with the dialogue and actions.
- Ask the children what they like about the story. Possible answers could include the actions, the repetition, the sound of the words (onomatopoeia) or simply that it’s fun.
- The story of We’re Going on a Bear Hunt teaches us many things, like how it feels to get outside, enjoy the great outdoors and have adventures with our families and friends. But the most important thing we learn is how to deal with problems when they happen.
In the story, whenever the group come across a problem that stops them from trying to find the bear, they say, ‘We can’t go over it. We can’t go under it. Oh, no! We’ve got to go through it!’
By saying this, they aren’t avoiding the problem; instead, they are sorting it out by dealing with it and pressing on.
- In the Bible, there is a story called David and Goliath that deals with a problem.
Ask the children what they know about David and Goliath and the problem that the people in the story were facing.
The answer is that the Israelites were fighting their enemies, who were called the Philistines. The problem was Goliath, who was one of the Philistines. Goliath was a giant and the Israelites were too scared to fight him. One of the Israelites, David, was a shepherd boy who was asked by his dad to deliver some food to his brothers, who were part of the Israelite army. While David was with his brothers, he saw Goliath and discovered that nobody was prepared to fight him. David volunteered to fight Goliath because he was used to fighting off lions with his slingshot while looking after his father’s sheep.
King Saul, the leader of the Israelite army, heard what David intended to do, and offered him his armour. David tried it on, but it was too big and the sword was too heavy for him to use. So, David decided to wear his normal clothes and use his slingshot for a weapon. As David walked out to meet Goliath, he picked up five stones to use in his slingshot. When Goliath saw David, he laughed, but David used his slingshot and a stone to knock Goliath down and win the battle.
- The story of David and Goliath is a good model for how we can sort out problems in our own lives. When David saw Goliath, he could have thought, ‘Uh-oh, he’s too big!’ and then run away from him. Running away and avoiding a problem is not the right thing to do, even though it may seem like the best or easiest thing to do at the time.
- In the story, David trusts God and sees that Goliath is big, but God is even bigger! Maybe David thought:
Can’t go over him. Can’t go under him.
Goliath’s not thin. Goliath’s not slim.
Oh, yes, I’ll use my sling and one stone.
God’s on my side, so I’m not alone!
- The Israelites were avoiding the problem of Goliath because they were scared and didn’t want to deal with him. They were running away from the problem, whereas David decided to solve it. Even though it can be scary dealing with problems, it is always the right thing to do.
Time for reflection
While we are at school, we are going to encounter many problems, such as falling out with friends, sorting out whose game to play at break-time, getting our homework completed, losing our jumper or learning tricky spellings for a spelling test. Let’s not run away from these problems. Remember, ‘We can’t go over it. We can’t go under it. Oh, no! We’ve got to go through it!’ Let’s always talk to our friends, family or teachers because they will help us with problems.
Let’s also remember to be ourselves when sorting out problems, rather than pretending to be somebody we’re not. In the story of David and Goliath, King Saul wanted David to wear his armour, but David knew that he wouldn’t be able to wear it and fight Goliath because it was too heavy. So, when problems do happen, it’s important that we sort them out in the way that suits us best.
Point out that even today in school, children might be facing a problem. Remind them that it is always best to share a problem. Encourage them to talk to a teacher if there is something they need help with.
Thank you for authors who write amazing books.
We pray that when any of us have problems, we will seek help.
Thank you that we have friends, family and teachers who are always there when we need help.
The YouTube video ‘Our God is a great big God’. It is 3 minutes long and is available at: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=eaXPXWBcE3I