Pause for Thought: Spring-Cleaning
Lessons from spring-cleaning
by Rebecca Parkinson (revised, originally published in 2013)
Suitable for Whole School (Pri)
To consider the origins of spring-cleaning and the Bible story of the lost coin.
Preparation and materials
- You will need the PowerPoint slides that accompany this assembly (Spring-Cleaning) and the means to display them.
Note: instead of showing the first four slides, you could have available a variety of cleaning equipment to show the children, such as a cloth, some polish, a broom and so on.
- You will need to read or retell the story found in Luke 15.8–10.
- Show Slides 1–4 or the cleaning equipment that you have gathered.
Ask the children to find the connection. They will probably say that they are all used for cleaning.
- Show Slides 5-7.
Ask the children to identify the season being shown and explain their reasons for choosing that season.
- Ask the children if they have heard of something that connects cleaning and spring. Hopefully, someone will mention spring-cleaning! Ask them to explain what they think it means.
- Explain that spring-cleaning usually means cleaning the house from top to bottom as the season of spring begins. People often feel that the long winter nights have passed and, as the days become longer and brighter, they want to freshen up their houses and give them a good clean.
- Some people suggest that spring-cleaning began because, as the hours of daylight increased, the dust that had settled over the winter was more easily seen, so people saw that they needed to clean every room! In fact, the origins of spring-cleaning go back a long way.
- In biblical times, Jewish people used to cleanse their houses completely before the festival of Passover. In Iran, the first day of spring occurs at New Year and, for hundreds of years, the Iranian people have maintained a tradition of cleaning their homes on the day before New Year. Likewise, in Scotland, it is traditional to clean the house thoroughly on New Year’s Eve (Hogmanay) to prepare for the new year.
- In the Bible, in Luke 15.8–10, there is a story about a woman who cleaned her house from top to bottom. She had ten silver coins, but she was very upset when she found that she had lost one. She cleaned her house thoroughly, using a lamp to search in every corner. Eventually, she found the coin and then had a party with all her friends to celebrate.
- Ask the children what they think this story means.
Explain that, in the story, Jesus suggests that God is like the woman and we are like the coin.
What does this mean to the children?
- Jesus told other stories about things that were lost. The stories show us that, when things go wrong in our lives and we feel ‘lost’, God is always there and will look for us because we are so important to him.
Time for reflection
Ask the children to think about springtime. What are their favourite things about it?
Perhaps it’s the lambs in the fields, or maybe it’s the beautiful flowers . . .
Do they ever feel alone or lost? Reassure the children that everyone feels like this at some point. Ask the children to think about the story of the lost coin – isn’t it good to know that God is always there?
Encourage the children to talk to someone if they ever feel lost or alone. Remind them of the different services available to them in the school.
Thank you for the beauty of the world.
Thank you for the beauty of springtime, when the blossom appears on the trees and the baby animals begin to be born.
Thank you that you care for the world in the same way that you care for us.
Please help us to remember that you are always there.
‘Spring is here’ from Seasonal Songs in Motion by The Learning Station, available at: https://youtu.be/DobrRgD5aOU (3.38 minutes long)
- Maybe the children could use some of the pictures in the PowerPoint slides to make their own spring drawings.
- Why not have a go at making some daffodils? Some instructions are available at:
- ‘Daffodils narcissus paper flower’, available at: https://youtu.be/k8HX-O-vUuU (2.19 minutes long)
- ‘How to make paper daffodils flower’, available at: https://youtu.be/_lBoEfFHjP0 (4.43 minutes long)