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Was Noah Foolish?

An assembly in the Hello, Scruff! series

by the Revd Sylvia Burgoyne

Suitable for Reception / Key Stage 1

Aims

To encourage us to do the right thing even if it seems foolish.

Preparation and materials

  • You will need a glove puppet or sock puppet of a donkey, called Scruff.
  • As the assembly begins, ensure that you already have Scruff the puppet on your hand.
  • If possible, have available a picture of a rainbow and the means to display it. An example is available at: https://tinyurl.com/dxd6pe6

Assembly

  1. Scruff waves to the children. Encourage them to say, ‘Hello, Scruff!’

    If this is the first time the children have met Scruff, you will need to use the following introduction.

    Scruff lives on a farm with Lucy Jane, her mum, Mrs B, her dad, Farmer Brown and her baby brother, Tom. Lucy Jane loves Scruff. She looks after him. She plays with him and she talks to him – when she’s happy and when she’s sad. Scruff is her best friend!

  2. It was a sunny Sunday afternoon, so Lucy Jane asked her mum if she could go for a ride with Scruff along the farm fields as far as the wood.
    ‘That sounds like a lovely idea,’ her mum said. ‘I’m going to be busy helping your dad tidy up the orchard while Tom has his nap.’
    Pulling on her coat, she called back to Lucy Jane as she was going out of the door, ‘You’d better wear your coat too. There are some dark clouds about. We could have an April shower!’
    Off Mum went and Lucy Jane pulled a warm jumper over her head, pushed an apple into her trouser pocket and opened the door. The sun was shining brightly, so Lucy Jane decided not to take her coat.
    ‘Mum’s just being fussy,’ she thought as she headed for the stable.

  3. Pause to ask the children, ‘Do you think you know better than adults sometimes?’

    Listen to a range of responses.

  4. Continue with the story.

    ‘Shall we go for a ride, Scruff?’ Lucy Jane asked, gently stroking his fur.
    Scruff thought that was a great idea. ‘Hee-haw, hee-haw!’ he nodded.
    They had ridden across two fields when suddenly, the sun disappeared behind a big, black cloud. Slowly, raindrops began to fall.
    ‘Oh no!’ cried Lucy Jane. ‘Quickly, Scruff, let’s get into the wood. We can shelter under the trees.’
    They found a big tree and stopped under its branches.
    ‘Mum was right, Scruff. I wish I’d brought my coat to keep me dry. I’m going to look a proper April fool coming home wet through!’
    ‘Hee-haw, hee-haw!’ agreed poor Scruff, who was already dripping wet!
    Lucy Jane munched her apple and gave the core to Scruff. After a while, the sun came out once more.
    ‘Oh look, Scruff, there’s a beautiful rainbow. It’s telling us that the rain has passed. We’re going to be OK, and we might even dry out before we get back to the farm.’
    So, they trotted home in the sunshine, and Mum came out to meet them, holding Lucy Jane’s coat.
    ‘I thought I told you to put this on,’ Mum said crossly. ‘You’d better come in and change quickly out of your wet clothes. Then, you can take Scruff to the stable and give him a good rub-down.’
    ‘That’s a good idea. Sorry, Mum,’ mumbled Lucy Jane.
    ‘Hee-haw, hee-haw!’ agreed Scruff.

    Take off Scruff.

  5. Explain that next, we are going to think about a story in the Bible.

    Ask the children whether they know the story of Noah and the ark. If they do, encourage them to tell you about it.

    Explain that Noah was a good man, who always tried to do the right thing. Everyone around him seemed to be doing bad things and hurting each other. This made God cross, and he felt sad that he had ever made the world. He told Noah that there was going to be a great flood, and that he must build a big, wooden boat.

    Noah set to work. Everyone laughed at him. ‘Why are you building a boat, Noah? It’s a waste of time. It’s always hot and dry here. What a fool you are!’
    Noah ignored them and kept on building. When the ark was finished, he brought two of every kind of living creature inside. Finally, Noah, his wife, his three sons and their wives climbed aboard. They shut the door tight and waited.
    It began to rain and rain and rain, until even the mountains were under water. As the waters rose, the ark floated on top. At times, Noah and his family had a rather bumpy ride, and they must have been pretty scared.

    Noah and his family wondered if the rain was ever going to stop. Eventually, God sent a wind to dry up the earth and, little by little, the flood began to disappear. Noah sent a raven out through an open window, but after flying to and fro, it soon returned because it couldn’t find anywhere to land. Noah waited and, after a little while, he sent out a dove. The dove returned with a sprig of olive in her beak, so Noah knew that the water was sinking fast. When Noah sent the dove out again, it did not come back.

    God told Noah to unload all the creatures and leave the ark behind. It was time to begin a new life. God made Noah a wonderful promise. He placed a rainbow in the sky as a sign that he is a God of love, and that he would never again destroy the world he loved.

  6. Suggest that a rainbow is a great sign to remind us that we are loved.

Time for reflection

Ask the following questions, allowing time for discussion and suggestions.

- Have you ever seen a rainbow?
- What was the weather like when you saw the rainbow?
- How many colours are there in the rainbow?
- Can you name them?
What could we use the rainbow to remind us of?

Prayer
Dear God,
Noah did what was right, even when people laughed at him and thought he was mistaken.
Please help us to do what is right, even if people laugh at us.
Please help us to be brave like Noah.
Amen.

Song/music

‘Who built the ark?’, available at: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=s7o-bassOm8 (4 minutes long)

Publication date: April 2021   (Vol.23 No.4)    Published by SPCK, London, UK.
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