Our Amazing World
by Helen Redfern
Suitable for Whole School (Pri)
To encourage children to reflect on and marvel at the world around them.
Preparation and materials
The introduction would have more impact with PowerPoint images, slides or pictures of the animals mentioned.
- Begin by telling the children some amazing facts about animals. Did you know:
that a cheetah can run up to 70mph?
that if a sloth dropped down to the ground from its tree, it would be completely helpless as its long claws would prevent it from walking?
that camels have long eyelashes to protect their eyes from blowing sand?
that it is possible for all the female bats in one cave to give birth at the same moment?
that tree frogs have sticky pads on their feet for clinging to vertical surfaces?
- Say that Christians believe that our amazing world and all that is in it was created by an amazing God.
Now ask the children to begin working with people around them. Tell them to:
Think of your favourite animal and tell the person on your right.
Think of your favourite flower and tell the person on your left.
Think of your favourite fruit or vegetable and tell the person in front of you.
Think of your favourite part of creation (e.g. mountain, sea, sky) and tell the person behind you.
- Explain that you wish you could have heard all their different answers. What a lot of different answers there must have been! Christians like to give thanks to God for the variety in nature, for so many different plants, animals and features of the earth and space.
Time for reflection
Imagine a world where many of these animals can no longer be found. Every day, more and more species become endangered through poaching and destruction of habitat – human greed.
Imagine a world where trees, plants and flowers are stripped of life. Every day, more and more vegetation is destroyed through industry and pollution – human greed.
Imagine a world where climates are changing, landscapes are being rewritten. Every day, earthquakes, hurricanes and other natural disasters bring destruction, triggered by global warming and pollution – human greed.
What kind of world are we helping to create?
Dear God, we thank you for zebras and penguins, parrots and chameleons.
Dear God, we're sorry for hunting and hurting, for extinction and neglect.
Dear God, help us to care for the animals around us and to appreciate the wonder of all the beings that you have made.
Dear God, we thank you for monkey puzzle trees and brussels sprouts, roses and strawberries.
Dear God, we're sorry for acid rain, pesticides, the destruction of forests.
Dear God, help us to care for rather than destroy.
Dear God, we thank you for mountains and icebergs, waterfalls and all the amazing variety of nature.
Dear God, we're sorry for poisoned rivers, industrialization of the countryside, changing landscapes.
Dear God, help us to take care of our own environment and to speak out against the destruction of your world.
‘Who put the colours in the rainbow?' ( Come and Praise , 12)