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To show that simple objects such as nails have an important part to play in our lives. To introduce the Easter story in a different way.

by Jan Edmunds

Suitable for Key Stage 2


To show that simple objects such as nails have an important part to play in our lives. To introduce the Easter story in a different way.

Preparation and materials

  • This assembly can be used in several ways. If presented by the teacher, an OHP would be useful for reading the poem. Alternatively the lines can be split up and written on cards for individuals or groups to rehearse and read out.
  • Find a piece of wood large enough to be seen by everyone in the room and an assortment of nails.


  1. Hold up the piece of wood. Ask the children to name some things that are made from wood. Allow a short time for their answers before posing the question: How can we join pieces of wood together? Accept all answers, such as screws and glue, but focus on nails. Hold up your collection of nails. You might like to spend a short time discussing how each nail might be used and examples of wooden objects made using nails and tacks.

  2. Ask if they know what a person who makes things out of wood is called. Remind them that when Jesus was growing up he would have helped his father Joseph, who was a carpenter, to make things out of wood. In those days he would have made ploughs, and yokes for the animals, as well as boxes, shelves, doors and furniture. Jesus would have known how useful nails could be.

  3. Ask the children to listen to this poem, which tells us just what nails can do.


    There are nails that are big and nails that are small,
    nails in the windows, the doors and the wall.
    Nails in the floorboards, in tables and chairs,
    nails in the carpet, the roof and the stairs.
    Nails working silently, nails all around,
    they’re hardly seen and they make no sound.
    How sad that it was nails that gave Jesus such pain,
    when their true worth in life is most certainly plain.
    At Easter we think of Jesus crucified
    with nails through his feet and his hands as he died.
    He suffered and hung from a cross made of wood,
    on a hill far away, with two others it stood.
    Nails working hard to hold things in place,
    being used everywhere by the whole human race.
    Though God is not seen, we believe he is there,
    like the nails holding firm, we depend on his care.

  4. Some discussion could follow to help the children understand the poem and if time allows it’s an opportunity to talk about the Easter story. Reference to the crucifixion can be found in Matthew 27; Mark 15; Luke 23; John 19. Many children’s Bibles have excellent and simplified versions.

Time for reflection

The story of Jesus nailed to the cross is indeed a very sad one but let us remember that from this sadness came joy. On the third day he rose from the dead, showing us that there is always hope in the world God has made.

Dear God,
Let us remember that like the nails, big or small,
we all have an important part to play in life.
Easter is not just a time for chocolate eggs and food to eat
but also a time to remember that Jesus died on the cross.
Then he rose again, turning sadness to joy.


‘Now the green blade riseth’ (Come and Praise, 129)

Publication date: March 2005   (Vol.7 No.3)    Published by SPCK, London, UK.
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