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The Sower

To explore the parable of the sower.

by Gordon and Ronni Lamont

Suitable for Whole School (Pri)


To explore the parable of the sower.

Preparation and materials

  • You will need 10 children to perform the simple mime. You could prepare them in advance or teach them the parts as you do it. The latter would probably make for more fun in the assembly if you feel confident to work this way.
  • You will need a child-friendly version of Matthew 13.3b-9. The GNB version is included below.


  1. Explore the idea of sowing seeds and establish that the children understand the concept. If appropriate, demonstrate a traditional sowing action of spreading seeds by hand from a basket and invite some children to the front to practise.

  2. Introduce a story that Jesus told - the parable of the sower - and invite 10 children to the front to join in the story-telling. Use a child-friendly version of Matthew 13.3b-9. Ask the children to illustrate the various actions as you come to them in the story:

    Sowing - Child 1 performs simple seed sowing mime.

    Birds - 2 and 3 swoop down as birds with giant flaps of their arms and mime gobbling up seed from the ground with much smacking of chops and obvious enjoyment at the free feast.

    Seeds on rocky ground - 4 and 5 act as quick-sprouting plants, then 6 appears as the sun sending out sizzling rays and the plants quickly wilt and wither, laying down as if dead at the end.

    Thorn bushes - 7 and 8 grow as plants but 9 and 10 advance on them with spiky movements as if to choke them. Freeze the action before they get too close!

    Good corn - all become healthy plants, gradually growing stronger as you read. Freeze at the end.

    'Once there was a man who went out to sow corn. As he scattered the seed in the field, some of it fell along the path, and the birds came and ate it up. Some of it fell on rocky ground, where there was little soil. The seeds soon sprouted, because the soil wasn't deep. But when the sun came up, it burnt the young plants; and because the roots had not grown deep enough, the plants soon dried up. Some of the seed fell among thorn bushes, which grew up and choked the plants. But some seeds fell in good soil, and the plants produced corn; some produced a hundred grains, others sixty, and others thirty.' And Jesus concluded, 'Listen, then, if you have ears!'

  3. Thank the performers and ask them to sit down. Ask the children to think about what Jesus meant when he said, 'Listen, then, if you have ears'. Explain that the story is a parable, a simple tale that is meant to give listeners something to think about. Everyone can take their own meaning from it, but Jesus later said that this is a story about how people hear his message. It is about how people can change, to try to live better lives and think about others more than themselves. Ask the children to think about this as you run through the key parts of the story again:

    Some seeds fell on the path and were eaten by birds.
    Some fell on rocky ground and withered under the hot sun.
    Some seeds were choked by thorn bushes.
    Some grew up healthy and strong and produced corn.

Time for reflection

Dear God,
Thank you for stories.
A story can be like a seed,
it can grow in our minds,
helping us to think and feel differently.
Let your good story -
of people living for each other,
sharing with each other,
caring for each other -
let this good story grow and grow in me.


'I planted a seed' (Come and Praise, 134)


Scriptures quoted from the Good News Bible published by The Bible Societies/HarperCollins Publishers Ltd UK © American Bible Society, 1966, 1971, 1976, 1992.

Publication date: July 2001   (Vol.3 No.7)    Published by SPCK, London, UK.
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