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A Harvest Quiz

Learning about harvest celebrations

by Alexandra Palmer

Suitable for Whole School (Pri)

Aims

To consider the meaning of harvest in different countries around the world.

Preparation and materials

  • You will need the questions and answers in the ‘Assembly’, Step 4. The correct answers are in italics.

Assembly

  1. Ask the children what they understand by the term ‘harvest’.

    Listen to a range of responses.

  2. Explain that traditionally, harvest festivals are a time when people celebrate the crops being gathered in from the fields. In the past, the crops would have been gathered by hand: a very different process from the huge machinery that is used today! Many churches still hold services to thank God for the harvest and for all the good things that he has given them.

  3. Tell the children that you have a quiz about harvest for them and that you are going to ask them all to stand up.

    When you have read out a question, you would like the children to give their answer in a certain way. If they think that the answer is ‘yes’, they should put their hands on their knees. If they think that the answer is ‘no’, they should put their hands on their shoulders.

  4. Q1. Is harvest festival named after the time when the crops have been harvested?
    Yes (hands on knees).
    No (hands on shoulders).

    Q2. Is harvest festival a celebration of the food grown on the land?
    Yes (hands on knees).
    No (hands on shoulders).

    Q3. In the UK, are harvest festivals in churches traditionally timed to coincide with a new moon appearing at the end of September or the start of October?
    Yes (hands on knees).
    No (hands on shoulders). Harvest festivals are traditionally held on the closest Sunday to a full moon appearing at the end of September or the start of October. However, today many churches select a convenient date for the Harvest Festival to be celebrated. and do not consider the moon!

    Q4. Do harvest festivals in churches give Christians a chance to thank God for the food we eat?
    Yes (hands on knees).
    No (hands on shoulders).

    Q5. A long time ago, in the UK, was harvest festival celebrated in August?
    Yes (hands on knees).
    No (hands on shoulders).

    Q6. During the 1800s, did farmers celebrate the end of the harvest by eating a harvest supper of roast chicken?
    Yes (hands on knees).
    No (hands on shoulders). They actually celebrated by eating roast goose.

    Q7. Did the first harvest festival in a church happen in the year 1743?
    Yes (hands on knees).
    No (hands on shoulders). It was in 1843.

    Q8. Did the first harvest festival in a church happen in Cornwall?
    Yes (hands on knees).
    No (hands on shoulders).

    Q9. Hundreds of years ago, when the last farm worker brought in the last sheaf of corn, was that worker called the king of the harvest?
    Yes (hands on knees).
    No (hands on shoulders). The worker was called the lord of the harvest.

    Q10. Are corn dollies traditionally made out of wheat?
    Yes (hands on knees).
    No (hands on shoulders). Traditionally corn dollies are made out of the straw from harvested corn. However, today corn dollies are often made from wheat and other grains.

    Q11. Is the harvest festival celebrated in the Jewish festival of Sukkot?
    Yes (hands on knees).
    No (hands on shoulders).

    Q12. Does Sukkot last two weeks?
    Yes (hands on knees).
    No (hands on shoulders). It lasts for one week.

    Q13. To celebrate the harvest in Mexico, are the trees next to the church decorated?
    Yes (hands on knees).
    No (hands on shoulders).

    Q14. In Alaska, is the harvest celebrated at the end of the cod-fishing season?
    Yes (hands on knees).
    No (hands on shoulders). It is celebrated at the end of the salmon-fishing season.

    Q15. As part of their celebrations, do Alaskans dance and sing songs?
    Yes (hands on knees).
    No (hands on shoulders).

    Q16. In France, do harvest festivals celebrate the vegetable harvest?
    Yes (hands on knees).
    No (hands on shoulders). They celebrate the grape harvest.

    Q17. In Barbados, is the harvest festival called ‘crop over’?
    Yes (hands on knees).
    No (hands on shoulders).

    Q18. Do people in Barbados celebrate the sugar cane harvest?
    Yes (hands on knees).
    No (hands on shoulders).

    Q19. In some parts of Africa, is the harvest festival called the festival of tomatoes?
    Yes (hands on knees).
    No (hands on shoulders). It is called the festival of yams.

    Q20. Is a yam a type of fruit?
    Yes (hands on knees).
    No (hands on shoulders). It is a vegetable.

Time for reflection

Ask the children to think about all the farmers and agricultural workers around the world who work on the land or at sea. Explain that their jobs involve hard work with long hours and that sometimes, their jobs can dangerous.

Remind the children of the importance of being grateful for the food that we have. Explain that there are children in the world today who do not have enough food to eat.

Remind the children of the importance of thinking about and helping people around the world who do not have enough to eat.

Prayer
Dear God,
Thank you for the sunshine and the rain, which help crops to grow in the fields.
Thank you for all the farmers who grow, look after and harvest the food that we eat.
Thank you for all the adults who cook and provide us with food when we are hungry.
We pray for children in the world today who are hungry. Please help us to play our part in making the world a fairer place for all.
Amen.

Song/music

‘All things bright and beautiful’ (Come and Praise, 3)

Publication date: October 2019   (Vol.21 No.10)    Published by SPCK, London, UK.
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