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Pause for Thought: What’s in the Bowl?

A harvest assembly

by Alan M. Barker (revised, originally published in 2014)

Suitable for Whole School (Pri)


To explore the sources of everyday foods and the importance of cereals in our diet.

Preparation and materials

  • You will need the PowerPoint slides that accompany this assembly (Pause for Thought: What's in the Bowl?) and the means to display them.
  • You will also need a bowl, a spoon, some milk and some packets of cereal such as Shredded Wheat, Weetabix, porridge, cornflakes or other wholegrain cereal.
  • Optional: if this is to be a class assembly, you could prepare for it by taking a poll of the children’s favourite breakfast cereals to mention in the ‘Assembly’, Step 8, and gathering images of different healthy serving suggestions.


  1. Welcome everyone and invite the children to recall how their day began. Refer to the importance of eating breakfast to fuel minds and bodies and give us energy. Observe that, for many people, breakfast comes in a packet.

    Pour some cereal into the bowl, add some milk and taste a spoonful.

  2. Show Slide 1.

    Pause and ask, ‘Have you ever thought that breakfast doesn’t simply come from a box?’

    Explain that breakfast cereals are made from cereal crops.

  3. Show Slide 2.

    Tell the children that cereals are grasses that are grown for their grain. Mention how, at first, the plants look very much like grass, but as they grow taller, heads of grain form.

    Show Slide 3.

  4. Show Slides 4 and 5.

    In the UK, in July and August, the wheat ripens and changes colour from green to gold. Eventually, it’s ready for harvesting.

  5. Show Slides 6 and 7.

    Combine harvesters cut the crop and separate the grain from the straw (the stems) and the chaff (the outer parts of the grain).

    Show Slide 8.

    The wheat is carried from the field in trailers to be safely stored and sold.

    Show Slide 9.

    Some is processed to make flour and some is used to manufacture breakfast cereals such as Shredded Wheat.

    Show Slides 10 to 12.

  6. Explain that other brands of cereal may be made from different types of cereal.

    Show Slides 13 and 14.

    Oats are used to make porridge.

    Show Slides 15 and 16.

  7. Show Slide 17.

    Cornflakes are made from corn.

    Show Slide 18.

    After the corn has been harvested, it might be processed to produce cornflakes.

    Show Slides 19 and 20.

    Rice is another cereal that is used to make breakfast products. Ask the children whether they can think of a breakfast cereal that is made from rice.

  8. Optional: introduce the poll of the children’s favourite breakfast cereals or take one briefly at this point. Share ideas for healthy serving suggestions, incorporating different fresh fruits and so on.

  9. Sum up by saying, ‘Breakfast reminds us that cereal crops are vital for a healthy diet. Cereals provide our bodies with lots of energy. Whichever breakfast cereal we enjoy and however it’s served, let’s be thankful for all the people involved in making our breakfast!’

Time for reflection

For Church schools, you could read or sing a selection of verses from Psalm 104, such as the following.

- O Lord my God, how great you are! (Psalm 104.1)
From the sky, you send rain on the hills, and the earth is filled with your blessings. You make grass grow for the cattle and plants for us to use, so that we can grow our crops and produce wine to make us happy, olive oil to make us cheerful and bread to give us strength. (Psalm 104.13-15)
Lord, you have made so many things! How wisely you made them all! The earth is filled with your creatures. (Psalm 104.24)
All of them depend on you to give them food when they need it. You give it to them, and they eat it; you provide food, and they are satisfied. (Psalm 104.27-28)
I will sing to the Lord all my life; as long as I live, I will sing praises to my God. (Psalm 104.33)

Creator God,
Thank you for the different cereals that we enjoy.
Help us to start each new day by being thankful.

Alternatively, the following prayer could be said.

Dear Lord,
Help us to be thankful for the different cereals that we enjoy.
Help us to aim to start each new day by being thankful.


To the tune of ‘Frère Jacques’, available at: (1.15 minutes long)

The first three lines of the first verse can be changed to include other breakfast cereals.

Crunchy cornflakes, crunchy cornflakes,
Shredded Wheat, Shredded Wheat,    
Weetabix and porridge, Weetabix and porridge,
Good to eat, good to eat.

Time for breakfast, time for breakfast,
Cereals, cereals.
Would you like a bowlful? Would you like a bowlful?
Best of meals, best of meals.

Time for harvest, time for harvest,
Fruits and grain, fruits and grain,
Growing in the sunshine, growing in the sunshine,
Wind and rain, wind and rain.

Publication date: October 2021   (Vol.23 No.10)    Published by SPCK, London, UK.
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