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Living Things

To think about and give thanks for all living things

by Jan Edmunds

Suitable for Key Stage 1


To think about and give thanks for all living things.

Preparation and materials

You will need:

  • A Teddy Bear. The writer used a very large but old bear known as Fred Bear (Thread bear would have been more appropriate!). He was kept in the classroom and had on occasions been a great comfort to many children.

  • A blackboard and chalk or a large piece of paper and felt-tip pen for making a list.

  • An OHP would help with the poem.


  1. Begin by saying: Good morning, everyone. I’d like to introduce you to my friend Fred Bear (show the bear). I’m sure many of you have a Teddy Bear or another cuddly animal; no doubt many of you take one to bed with you. He’s soft and cuddly and makes you feel safe.

  2. Can you tell me how he is different from you? Ask the children to put up their hands giving their reasons. The five senses will quickly emerge and it will soon be established that Teddy is not alive, he cannot breathe, he has no feelings, he cannot speak, he cannot eat or drink, he needs no sleep, etc.

  3. Develop the discussion further by listing the things that we, as living things, need. Let the children make a list with you. (Keep it brief or you will lose their attention if you write more than one word at a time. You could, of course, have the list already written out.) The following items should emerge though not necessarily in this order:

    a) Air to breathe.
    b) Water to drink and to keep us clean.
    c) Food to eat and keep us healthy.
    d) Shelter for comfort and warmth.
    e) Rest and sleep to repair and recharge our bodies.

  4. Many of you will have pets at home. They, like us, need all the things we have written on our list. They depend on us to look after them. (You might like to invite some children to tell you about their pets and how they look after them.)

  5. We’ve thought about the differences between our friend Fred and living things, and although he’s not alive he’ll always be one of our favourite toys. By looking after Teddy and other toys we can practise looking after all living things. Some of you might like to read this poem with me. It’s about a Teddy Bear:

    My Teddy Bear is special, he doesn’t have to sleep
    And ’cos he needs no feeding, he’s very cheap to keep.
    He feels no pain, no heat, no cold,
    and always does just as he’s told.
    He doesn’t even need fresh air to help him to survive.
    He needs no drink of water to help keep him alive.
    My Teddy Bear can’t talk, they say, so I talk to him instead.
    I always feel so safe with him when we’re tucked up in bed.
    I do pretend he’s alive sometimes, although it isn’t so.
    I imagine that he talks back to me, in a voice so very low
    That only I can hear him as he whispers just to me,
    And I’m the one who looks after him and cares, as you can see (cuddle Teddy).

Time for reflection


‘We should help those who need us’ (Galatians 2.10).
Think about this beautiful world in which we live.
How will you show care for living things today – will you help look after animals and plants? Will you be kind to pets at school and at home? Will you help to keep things safe for every living plant and animal by not throwing down litter?


‘We should help those who need us’ (Galatians 2.10).
Dear God,
Teach us to care for all the plants and creatures in our world.
We thank you for our lives.
Thank you for fresh air to breathe, clean water to drink,
food to eat and for the shelter and warmth of our homes.
Be with us all this day and for evermore.



‘From the tiny ant’ (Come and Praise, 79)

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