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Summer Days

Memories of summer

by Janice Ross

Suitable for Whole School (Pri)

Aims

To reflect upon the joy of summer days and to encourage thankfulness for them.

Preparation and materials

Assembly

  1. Ask the children what springs to mind when they think about the summer holidays.

    Listen to a range of responses.

  2. Explain that you are going to show some images that tie in with a poem about experiences that can be enjoyed in summer.

    Explain that you will read out the first four lines of each verse of the poem and then ask a question, so you want the children to listen carefully.

    Show the image of a sunny day.

    Read the first verse of the poem.

    Have you ever in the summer           
    Gone outside, enjoyed the weather,
    Fluffy clouds way, way up high
    And sunshine bright across the sky?

    Ask the children for suggestions to finish off the verse, starting with, ‘Have you ever . . .?’

    Listen to a range of responses before reading the whole verse.

    Have you ever in the summer           
    Gone outside, enjoyed the weather,
    Fluffy clouds way, way up high
    And sunshine bright across the sky?
    Have you ever in the summer
    Said, ‘Thank you, God, for this lovely weather.’

  3. Show the image of a butterfly.

    Read the second verse of the poem. 

    Have you ever in the summer           
    Watched a butterfly on a flower,
    Flitting here and landing there,
    A fairy dancer in the air?

    Ask the children for suggestions to finish off the verse, starting with, ‘Have you ever . . .?

    Listen to a range of responses before reading the whole verse.

    Have you ever in the summer           
    Watched a butterfly on a flower,
    Flitting here and landing there,
    A fairy dancer in the air?
    Have you ever in the summer
    Said, ‘Thank you, God, for this lovely treasure.’

  4. Show the image of a beach scene.

    Read the third verse of the poem.

    Have you ever in the summer           
    Played on a beach with friends together,
    Bouncing balls and flying kites,
    A picnic outside, such delight?

    Ask the children for suggestions to finish off the verse, starting with, ‘Have you ever . . .?

    Listen to a range of responses before reading the whole verse.

    Have you ever in the summer           
    Played on a beach with friends together,
    Bouncing balls and flying kites,
    A picnic outside, such delight?
    Have you ever in the summer
    Said, ‘Thank you, God, for days of leisure.’

  5. Show the image of children on bikes.

    Read the fourth verse of the poem.

    Have you ever in the summer           
    Got on your bike and cycled forever,
    Wind in your hair, as free as the air,
    Up hills, down dales with never a care?

    Ask the children for suggestions to finish off the verse, starting with, ‘Have you ever . . .?

    Listen to a range of responses before reading the whole verse.

    Have you ever in the summer           
    Got on your bike and cycled forever,
    Wind in your hair, as free as the air,
    Up hills, down dales with never a care?
    Have you ever in the summer
    Said, ‘Thank you, God, for days of pleasure.’

  6. Show the image of an untidy room.

    Read the last verse of the poem.

    Have you ever in the summer
    Thought about your house and whether,
    From housework and shopping and all that it takes
    To care for a family, someone might like a break?

    Ask the children for suggestions to finish off the verse, starting with, ‘Have you ever . . .?

    Listen to a range of responses before reading the whole verse.

    Have you ever in the summer
    Thought about your house and whether,
    From housework and shopping and all that it takes
    To care for a family, someone might like a break?
    Have you ever in the summer
    Said, ‘Thank you, God, for all who care for me.

Time for reflection

Ask the children what was different about the last verse of the poem.

Ask the following questions, giving the children time to reflect quietly upon their answers.

- Have you ever thought about the people who care for you, make your food and help you in all kinds of ways?
- Do you think that they might sometimes need a break?

Pause to allow time for thought.

- Are there things that you could do during this holiday that would help those who care for you?

Pause to allow time for thought.

- Could you accept the challenge to do something helpful for someone in your house every day this holiday?

Pause to allow time for thought.

Prayer
Dear God,
We thank you for summer.
We thank you for days of sunshine when we can play outside.
Thank you for all the fun and freedom of the summer holidays.
Please help us to remember that those who care for us also need a break.
Please help us to look for ways to be helpful so that they can have a break, too.
Amen.

Publication date: August 2019   (Vol.21 No.8)    Published by SPCK, London, UK.
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