Lessons from Trees
Suitable for Whole School (Pri)
To reflect upon trees as symbols of God’s care for us.
Preparation and materials
- You will need the PowerPoint slides that accompany this assembly (Lessons from Trees) and the means to display them.
- Tell the children that you are going to show them four trees and you want to see whether they can identify them.
Show Slides 1 to 4.
After each slide, ask the children whether they can identify the tree that is shown.
- Slide 1 shows a sycamore tree.
- Slide 2 shows an oak tree.
- Slide 3 shows a fir tree.
- Slide 4 shows a cherry tree.
Point out the different shapes of the trees. Explain that trees not only have different-shaped leaves, but also different-shaped structures and different arrangements of branches.
- Ask the children whether they can think of any benefits that we derive from trees.
Listen to a range of responses.
Suggestions might include food, building materials, paper, oxygen, shade, shelter, prevention of soil erosion, medicines (such as aspirin and cancer drugs), soundproofing, privacy, fertilizer (in the form of leaf mulch), protection from avalanches and landslides, and amusement (conkers). They can also act as look-out posts, escape routes, landmarks and climbing apparatus, and can give us pleasure to look at.
- Explain that, when we consider all the benefits that have been gained from trees, it is hardly surprising that throughout history, many people have worshipped them. In fact, many old churches in the UK were built in the very places where people worshipped trees!
- Christians don’t worship trees. Instead, they worship God who, they believe, created everything - including trees - for the good of people. In fact, the Bible has been referred to as the story of three trees.
- The first tree is the ‘Tree of Knowledge’. The Bible tells us that, at the very beginning of time, Adam and Eve were told by God not to eat the fruit from this tree. When they disobeyed God, this damaged the relationship between God and humans.
- The second tree is the ‘Tree of Salvation’. This is the tree that formed the cross on which Jesus died. Christians believe that Jesus’ death repaired the relationship between God and humans.
- The third tree is the ‘Tree of Life’, which is mentioned right at the end of the Bible. The Tree of Life gives Christians clues about the future.
Time for reflection
In the UK, most fruit trees bear fruit only once a year. At this time of year, many trees are losing their leaves and their fruit. So, it’s a good time to remind ourselves of the importance of trees. Unfortunately, deforestation and developments mean that trees are cut down and not replaced. However, in recent years, people have become more aware of the importance of planting trees.
Encourage the children to research any local projects to plant trees and get involved. Maybe your school could plant some trees in the local area!
We thank you for the gift of trees and all the other good things that you provide for us.
Please help us to do all that we can to preserve the earth.
Please help us to take opportunities to plant trees and help the planet.
Thank you for this beautiful world.