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Spiteful Sidney

To remind the children that we should show consideration for others.

by Jan Edmunds

Suitable for Key Stage 1


To remind the children that we should show consideration for others.

Preparation and materials

  • No preparation is necessary but an OHP would be useful for sharing the poem.


  1. Today we are going to read a poem about a boy named Sidney. I’m sure each one of us has met someone like him. Sadly, Sidney could be very spiteful to other children.

    He seemed to get pleasure from being unkind to them. He didn’t seem able to play without upsetting people. He thought it was funny when he made other children cry and then he couldn’t understand why no one wanted to play with him.
  2. Let’s read the poem together and see what you think.

    Spiteful Sidney
    by Jan Edmunds

    Sidney was a spiteful boy, which made his parents sad.
    He wasn’t nice to others, his attitude was bad.
    He seemed so full of anger if he didn’t get his way
    That any friends he might have had just didn’t want to play.

    One day his Auntie Caroline arrived on the family scene.
    She couldn’t understand the fact that Sidney seemed so mean.
    I can’t think why he acts this way, he’ll have to change, she thought.
    He needs to learn a lesson and behave the way he ought.

    ‘I wonder what he’d do’, she said, ‘if we were spiteful too?
    We’ll show him what it feels like, so this is what we’ll do.
    We’ll do the things that he does. It really won’t appeal.
    We’ll hide his toys, his books, his clothes. I wonder how he’ll feel.
    And if he starts to question why we behave this way
    We’ll let him know that’s what he does to others every day.’

    So that is how they treated him, and Sidney felt real bad.
    He didn’t like their actions, it made him very sad.
    So he found out the hard way in a game of tit-for-tat.
    He actually learned his lesson, we can be sure of that.

    Just think about this poem and make sure you really try
    To do the same to others as you would be done by.
  3. Allow time for discussion. Ask questions such as: What sort of things do you think are spiteful? Why didn’t the children like to play with Sidney? What sort of things did he do to them? What did Auntie Caroline suggest his family did? What made Sidney change his ways?

Time for reflection


‘Being kind to others helps us too’ (Proverbs 11.17).

Let us remember that we should behave to other people in the way that we hope they will behave to us. We should try to control our temper when things go wrong. It isn’t nice to upset others by saying unkind things or by being mean to them.


God be in my head and in my understanding.

God be in my eyes and in my looking.

God be in my mouth and in my speaking.

God be in my heart and in my thinking.

God be at my end and at my departing.


(Sixteenth-century prayer)


‘Heavenly Father, may thy blessing' (Come and Praise, 62)

Publication date: February 2009   (Vol.11 No.2)    Published by SPCK, London, UK.
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