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Sparklers and Stars

Shining brightly in the world

by Becky May

Suitable for Whole School (Pri)


To use our experiences of fireworks to encourage us to stand out by doing the right thing.

Preparation and materials


  1. Welcome the children and ask whether any of them have ever been to a fireworks display.

    Listen to a range of responses.

  2. Ask the children, ‘Do you have a favourite kind of firework?’

    Encourage the children to share some of their favourite fireworks, talking briefly about those who like the loud bangs and those who do not, the different effects and colours that the children remember and any well-known local fireworks displays.

  3. Show the first three images of fireworks.

    You may want to carry out a vote to see which firework is the childrens favourite.

  4. Point out that although fireworks are wonderful to watch, they can also be very dangerous. Ask the children whether they can remember any useful rules about fireworks.

    Encourage the children to share the rules that they follow, such as never handling fireworks themselves, watching them with a grown-up and so on.

  5. Show the image of a sparkler.

    Ask the children whether they know what the image shows. Have any of them ever held a sparkler? Explain how important it is to be safe when using sparklers. They get very hot and shouldn’t be swung around, pointed at other people or held while running. We need to place sparklers in a bucket of cold water or sand when they have finished burning because they are still hot.

  6. Point out that fireworks and sparklers shine brightly in the night sky. Stars also shine brightly in the night sky. Tell the children that you want to consider the similarities and differences between stars and fireworks.

    Encourage the children to share their ideas. Suggestions may include the fact that both stars and fireworks are bright, stars keep on shining whereas fireworks burn out quickly, fireworks are much closer to earth and so on.

  7. Explain that stars are burning balls of gases that light up the sky. The closest star in the sky is so far away that it takes nearly four and a half years for its light to travel to earth.

    In the night sky, stars look completely dwarfed by our beautiful fireworks, but actually it’s the other way round. Stars are enormous, wonderful works of nature set in the sky to light our world. Our sparklers and fireworks only last a few seconds, but stars in the night sky last for millions of years.

  8. Sometimes, people talk about wanting to be a star. They mean that they want to be famous. Some people want to be famous footballers, some want to star in a movie and some want to be well-known singers. I wonder if any of us have ever thought about being a star.

    Listen to a range of responses.

  9. Some people who dream of being a star end up more like a sparkler; they have a few minutes of fame, but then disappear and we never hear about them again.

  10. The Bible has something to say about us being stars, too.

    Ask someone to read Philippians 2.15: ‘Then you will be the pure and innocent children of God. You live among people who are crooked and evil, but you must not do anything they can say is wrong. Try to shine as lights among the people of this world.’

  11. We often hear or read news stories about ‘bad stuff’ happening: fighting, wars, people breaking rules and committing crimes and so on. All of this stuff is dark, like the night sky. However, when we do the right thing, we stand out, shining like a star in the darkness. It isn’t always easy to be a star. Sometimes, it can feel like nobody notices us because people would rather watch the sparklers shining brightly. When the fireworks are over, though, the stars remain, shining brightly against the dark night sky.

Time for reflection

Ask the children, ‘What things can we do to be stars in the darkness?’

Listen to a range of responses.

We have lots of opportunities to be lights: when we say something kind to someone, when we share what we have, when we include someone in our games and when we pick up the litter that someone else has dropped. Each of us has the chance to be a star in the universe!

Explain that you are going to read a poem called Be the Light by Vijaiya Ramkissoon.

You are a precious gem amongst stones.
You are a star shining most brilliantly
In the darkness of the night.

Pause to allow time for thought.

Be that star and hope that you can serve
As a beacon of hope and light the path
For those around you.

Pause to allow time for thought.

Be a shining example of beauty and divinity
Leading the way and leaving a trail
For others to emulate.

Pause to allow time for thought.

Live so that others may look up to you,
And follow the path of goodness and nobility
Which you thread upon.

Pause to allow time for thought.

When situations seem tough at times
And circumstances are beyond control
Don’t stop shining.

Pause to allow time for thought.

Remember that stars glitter most brightly
And shine with all their exquisiteness
In the darkest of hours.

Pause to allow time for thought.

So be the light, be the brightest star
And continue being who you truly are . . .


Pause to allow time for thought.

Dear God,
Thank you for the lights in the night sky, beautiful stars burning so far away.
Help us to shine our lights, doing what is right even when others around us may be doing wrong. 


Handel’s Music for the Royal Fireworks, available at: (8.29 minutes long)

‘This little light of mine’, available at: (3.30 minutes long)

Publication date: November 2019   (Vol.21 No.11)    Published by SPCK, London, UK.
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