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The sparrow

To think about the idea that everyone is special and unique.

by Janice Ross

Suitable for Whole School (Pri)

Aims

To think about the idea that everyone is special and unique.

Preparation and materials

  • You will need a pair of binoculars and a bird book.

Assembly

  1. Start by looking through the binoculars as if bird-watching, with a bird book at hand. Pretend to follow a bird's flight path. Every now and then say, ‘Wow, did you see that?’ Take out the bird book and pretend to search for the bird.
  2. Notice the children and tell them that you are a keen bird-watcher and you have heard that there are some rare birds about. They have been blown off course in a recent storm. Suggest that the children help you. When you spot a bird you will try to describe it to them. If they think they have identified the bird they may put up their hand.

    ‘Here comes one now.’ Pretend to follow its path. ‘Now this one is quite big. It is all white and has big wings. I think it is looking for fish.’ Take the first reasonable answer you hear and thank the children.

    ‘Look, here we go again.' This one is making for the school bird table. It is quite small. I see a bit of blue on it. Oh, it is eating the nuts.’ Again accept an answer from the children.

    Then choose an unusual bird, maybe an osprey, a kingfisher, or a bird from another continent if any class has been studying such a topic. Be very excited about this one. Lots of exclamation! ‘Imagine us seeing an osprey! Do you know how rare that is?’

    At that moment another bird flies quickly past and you immediately stop talking to the children to follow its imaginary flight as before. ‘What is this one? Do you see it go? It's brown and it's small. Oh, quick, it's landed on that gate.’ Keep looking. ‘I think it's a ... Oh, it's a sparrow!’ Put the binoculars down.
  3. Explain to the children that sparrows were once very ordinary in this country, one of the most common birds around, in fact. They are not very colourful. They don't do anything very spectacular. But God speaks about them in the Bible. There is no mention of a seagull in the Bible. There is no mention of a blue tit in the Bible. Nor is an osprey even mentioned. But an ordinary, little sparrow. Yes, in fact it was Jesus who had something to say about sparrows. In Matthew 10.29, Jesus says that his Father knows when a sparrow anywhere falls to the ground. He cares about each common little sparrow. Christians believe that this means that God cares for everyone, not just the ‘special’ or unusual people.

    Point out that recently the number of sparrows in the UK has dropped off so that in some areas they are not very common at all – they’ve become special and unusual!
  4. Ask: how many of us feel very ordinary like the sparrows? Maybe we are very ordinary to look at. Maybe the things we are able to do seem very ordinary. Maybe we don't think we particularly shine at anything. But just like the sparrow, the only bird that Jesus talked about, we are special. Each one of us is unique. Ask if anyone knows what unique means: we are the only one just like us.

Time for reflection

Reflection

There is no one else exactly like you anywhere in the world. You are unique. Say that word to yourself: unique. That’s you and there’s no one else just like you.

 

Prayer

Dear God,
Thank you that I am special to you.
Thank you that you see me, you love me and you want to care for me.
Thank you for ordinary little sparrows,

and for what I can remember whenever I see one in the garden.

Amen.

Song/music

‘God knows me’ (Come and Praise, 15)

Publication date: June 2007   (Vol.9 No.6)    Published by SPCK, London, UK.
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