Harvest (or Roald Dahl Day)
Roald Dahl Day is on 13 September
by Kirstine Davis
Suitable for Whole School (Pri)
To compare Roald Dahl’s BFG with the biblical story of Joseph and to consider the importance of being generous.
Preparation and materials
- You will need the PowerPoint slides that accompany this assembly (Harvest (or Roald Dahl Day)) and the means to display them.
- Have available the YouTube video ‘Any Dream Will Do – Royal Albert Hall’ and the means to show it during the assembly. It is 3.17 minutes long and is available at: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=a2r6tYg1VEY
- Show Slide 1.
Ask the children if they have read the book or seen the film about the BFG.
- Explain that The BFG, which stands for Big Friendly Giant, is a book written by Roald Dahl. It has also recently been made into a film. Tell the children that although giants are not often considered to be friendly in stories, the BFG is very friendly, as a little girl called Sophie finds out
- Explain that the BFG spends his time collecting dreams; he stores the good dreams in his cave and destroys the bad dreams. When children are asleep, he returns the good dreams to them so that they have a good night’s sleep.
- Show Slide 2.
Ask the children if they have heard the story of Joseph and his coat of many colours. The story is found in the Bible and has been made into a famous musical by Andrew Lloyd Webber. The story of Joseph has lots of dreams in it. Unlike the BFG, Joseph was not catching dreams, but had his own amazing dreams. These dreams told him what was going to happen in the future.
Show the YouTube video ‘Any Dream Will Do – Royal Albert Hall’. It is 3.17 minutes long and is available at: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=a2r6tYg1VEY
- Joseph had 11 brothers – can you imagine that? We usually remember him for his coat of many colours. However, Joseph was also a dreamer – and one of his dreams involved his brothers’ 11 bunches of corn bowing down to his bunch, which was standing in the middle. Joseph explained to his brothers that he thought the dream meant that one day, his 11 brothers would bow down to him. As you can imagine, the brothers weren’t very happy about that, so they tried to get rid of Joseph and eventually sold him as a slave.
Joseph must have been very upset. One minute, he was a favourite son and the next minute, no one cared about him at all. Joseph worked hard as a servant and was eventually put in charge of the house in which he served. However, some people didn’t like Joseph and he ended up being thrown in prison. Again, Joseph worked hard in prison. The guards liked him so much that they gave him lots of responsibilities and even let him talk to the other prisoners.
One of these prisoners had worked for the king. A long time after this prisoner was released and working for the king again, the king had a dream. The prisoner told the king that Joseph might be able to help him, so the king brought Joseph out of prison. Joseph explained the meaning of the king’s dream: there would be seven years when lots of food would grow, followed by seven years of famine when there would be no food. The king believed Joseph and put him in charge of collecting and storing food during the years of plenty.
- Point out that Joseph built big sheds and collected lots of food during the seven years of plenty - a bit like the BFG collected dreams. When the famine came and there was no food, Joseph ordered the sheds to be opened. The good food was then handed out, a bit like the BFG giving back only the good dreams.
So, both of these stories talk about collecting things that are plentiful and giving them to people who don’t have as much.
- Ask the children, ‘What do we have a lot of? Do we give things away to help others?’
Examples could include:
- giving away clothes that we have grown out of
- giving away food to a food bank at harvest-time, or when we go shopping
- giving away amazing things like our friendship, time or creativity
Maybe we could draw a picture or make a card to give to an elderly neighbour, or give time to help at home in some way.
- There are many ways in which we can give to others. At harvest, we celebrate all the good things that we have. It is also a good time to think about what we can give back to other people.
(If you are using this assembly for Roald Dahl Day, point out that if Roald Dahl were alive today, he would be 101 years old this year. For more information about the day, see: https://tinyurl.com/ybpgujug.)
Time for reflection
Let’s think about the life of Joseph. Many things went wrong for him, but he continued to trust in God and help other people. He was willing to work out the meaning of dreams and then work hard so that the people had enough food in the years of famine.
Are we willing to work hard to help others?
Let’s think about the BFG. People didn’t always understand him. Some people were put off from being his friend because of what he looked like.
Do we get to know people before we jump to conclusions as to what they are like? Could we give ourselves time to get to know people during this harvest-time?
Let’s think about how we can share with others.
(If appropriate, explain about any collections happening in school to help people in need this harvest-time.)
Please help us to work hard even when times are difficult.
Thank you that we have food to eat and clothes to wear.
Please help us to notice the people who might need a bit of friendship or a smile.
‘Let there be love’ by Nat King Cole or other caring words.