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Lazy bugs!

To reflect on the consequences of laziness.

by The Revd Alan M. Barker

Suitable for Key Stage 1


To reflect on the consequences of laziness.

Preparation and materials

  • You will need a large sheet of red card cut out into the shape of ladybird. Ink in a black head, but do not add any spots. Instead have a suitable number of black spots ready to stick on.
  • A copy of The Very Lazy Ladybird  by Isobel Finn.


  1. Yawn and confide that you didn’t really want to get out of bed this morning (or if the assembly is in the afternoon, you didn’t really want to start again after lunch). You have, however, made something to introduce the theme of the assembly.

    Display the cut-out ladybird. Ask if everyone can see what it is. Respond to any puzzlement by commenting that you could have put some spots on, but you felt too lazy – it doesn’t matter, does it? Hopefully some children or a (primed) colleague will remonstrate that it does matter.

    Reluctantly attach one single spot on each wing, saying that will do, won’t it? You can’t be bothered to put on any more. Allow the children or your colleague to persuade you that some more spots should be added. Conclude by reflecting that the ladybird does look better now and (becoming your usual dynamic self!), enthuse that it reminds you of a well-known story about laziness.
  2. Tell or read the story of The Very Lazy Ladybird.
  3. Reflect that the lazy ladybird only flew when it had to because the elephant sneezed. Ask the children to think about times when they have needed a lot of encouragement and even pressure to try doing something new. Or to undertake a familiar task (like tidying a bedroom!). Sometimes we don’t feel motivated (keen or enthusiastic). We are comfortable just as we are – some might say lazy!
  4. Invite the children to consider the consequences of laziness. Laziness might result in us missing opportunities (chances to do exciting things), and failing to get the most out of life. It often means accepting second-best. If we always depend upon the efforts of others we may lose confidence in our own abilities. Like the ladybird, there are times when we all need a big push!
  5. Encourage everyone not to be lazy, but to sing the song enthusiastically. Sing to the tune of Frere Jacques – it could be sung as a round.

    Don’t be lazy, don’t be lazy.
    You can fly, you can fly.
    Wouldn’t it be crazy, wouldn’t it be crazy
    Not to try, not to try.

    (Words © Alan M. Barker)

    If older children are present the traditional version of the nursery rhyme could be introduced. More encouragement not to be lazy! The French words are followed by the English translation.

    Frere Jacques, Frere Jacques,
    Dormez-vous? Dormez vous?
    Sonnez les matines, sonnez les matines
    Ding dang dong, ding dang dong.

    Are you sleeping? Are you sleeping?
    Brother John, Brother John?
    Morning bells are ringing, morning bells are ringing.
    Ding dang dong, dong dang dong.
  6. Again if older children are present, one of these Bible verses could be displayed as a summary:

    ‘Work hard and do not be lazy.’ (Romans 12.11)
    ‘Be lazy if you want to; sleep on, but you will go hungry.’ (Proverbs 19.15)

Time for reflection


It’s good to be lazy sometimes.

Just occasionally, once in a while.

But if you’re lazy every day

your life will lose its smile.

You’ll yawn instead.

You’ll snore in bed.

You’ll be such a mug

and you’ll become a lazy bug!



Loving God,

Help us to say ‘Yes’ to new experiences

and ‘No’ to laziness,

today and always.



‘Don’t be lazy’ (see above) to the tune of Frere Jacques.

Publication date: March 2007   (Vol.9 No.3)    Published by SPCK, London, UK.
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