Pause for Thought: Seed Time
Spring is on its way!
by Janice Ross
Suitable for Whole School (Pri)
To consider the promise that spring will always come.
Preparation and materials
- Have available the YouTube video ‘Bean time lapse 25 days soil cross-section’ and the means to show it during the assembly. It is 3.09 minutes long (although you can stop it after 2.45 minutes) and is available at: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=35nS6-TbyNs
- You may wish to prearrange for a child to read Genesis 8.22 in the ‘Assembly’, Step 1: ‘As long as the world exists, there will be a time for planting and a time for harvest. There will always be cold and heat, summer and winter, day and night.’
- Explain that today, you are going to start by reflecting on some words from the Bible.
Read, or ask a child to read, the passage from Genesis 8.22: ‘As long as the world exists, there will be a time for planting and a time for harvest. There will always be cold and heat, summer and winter, day and night.’
- Explain to the children that we can prove whether these words are true by completing some statements.
- To date, we have seen it happening for __ years. (Encourage the children to volunteer the number of years they have been alive.)
- To date, our parents have seen it happening for about __ years. (Encourage the children to volunteer the number of years their parents have been alive.)
- To date, our grandparents have seen it happening for about __ years. (Encourage the children to volunteer the number of years their grandparents have been alive.)
- Explain that you, the assembly leader, have seen it happening for . . . ‘Well, I won’t tell you how long, but I’m sure you have an idea!’
- The month of February can be very dark and cold. It is often a month when we get snow. In the darkness of winter, it is sometimes difficult to believe that spring is just round the corner. However, the Bible passage that we just heard assures us that spring will come and there will be evidence of it all around us if we care to look.
- Ask the children, ‘What might be the first signs that spring is round the corner?’
Listen to a range of responses.
- Point out that under the ground, various things are happening as we move towards springtime.
Show the YouTube video ‘Bean time lapse 25 days soil cross-section’.
- Tell the children that the music that we heard while we watched the bean grow was ‘The Blue Danube’ by Johann Strauss.
Ask the children the following questions.
- Did you think that the music added to what was happening in the video?
- How did the video and the music make you feel?
Help the children to recognize feelings such as hopefulness and joy.
- Of course, seeds can take a long time to germinate and grow, whether they are plant or animal. For example, do the children know for how long an elephant is pregnant?
Explain that an elephant has the longest gestation period of any mammal. It lasts about 18 to 22 months, so over a year and a half!
- Explain that seeds can lie dormant in the earth for many years before they germinate. Tell the children about some seeds that were found on excavation sites in Israel.
Several years ago, seeds of some ancient species of date palms were found at archaeological digs in the Judean desert. The seeds turned out to be more than 2,000 years old. They were germinated successfully and Israeli researchers have now sampled the first dates from these palm trees. They have called the palms Methuselah, after the name of the oldest man recorded in the Bible.
Time for reflection
Ask the children to close their eyes and clear their minds. Then, ask them to imagine that it is spring. What can they hear, see and smell?
Listen to a range of responses.
We thank you for your promise that spring will come again.
Thank you that darkness and cold days will pass, and that light will come again.
Thank you for the hope of new life.
- You may like to grow some seeds in the classroom. Kidney beans and cress seeds are quick to germinate. The children could record the seeds’ progress with drawings.
- Ask the children to close their eyes while they listen to ‘Morning Mood’ from the Peer Gynt suite by Grieg. (Do not give the children the title of the music.) Ask them to record what they ‘saw’ either with drawings or words.