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To realize the importance of persevering with a worthwhile task.

by Jenny Tuxford

Suitable for Key Stage 2


To realize the importance of persevering with a worthwhile task.

Preparation and materials

  • Read the miracle of the great catch of fishes in Luke 5.1–11.

  • The poem may be split into sections and spoken by individuals or by groups of children. They might like to enact it in costume.


Ask the children to define ‘persevere’. What does it mean to them? Discuss times with the children when they have persevered with a task. How did it make them feel?

The great catch

Jesus stepped on board a boat,
It pushed off from the shore,
He chatted to the people,
As he’d often done before.
And while he told his stories,
He saw two boats nearby,
The fishermen were chatting
As they put their nets to dry.

They’d been out fishing all the night,
But no fish had they caught.
They were feeling worried,
There were no fish, they thought.
So Jesus said to Simon,
‘You haven’t finished yet.
Row the boat out further
And then let down your net.’

‘But Jesus,’ Simon spluttered,
‘There really are no fish,
But I will cast my net out
If that is what you wish.’
Simon threw his net out
In the middle of the lake.
He caught so very many fish
His net began to break.

He called his friends to help him,
They’d been watching from the bank.
And when they hauled their nets in
They very nearly sank!

They were very, very grateful
And began to thank him, then
He said, ‘It’s been a pleasure.
Now come and fish for people.’

They left their boats to follow
And others, when they heard,
Became his twelve disciples
Who helped to spread God’s word.

Examples of when we have persevered

The thing that I found really grim
Is when I tried to learn to swim.
My feet came up, my head went down,
I don’t know how I didn’t drown.
I didn’t crawl so much as sprawl.
And as for the water – I drank it all!
But I tried hard – I did my best
And now, hurrah! – I’ve passed my test!

Learning to ride my bike
We all have things that we dislike,
Mine was learning to ride my bike.
Feet on the pedals – off I go,
Not too fast and not too slow.
Concentrate, try not to fall,
Crash into the garden wall!
My granny says, ‘You’re doing fine!’
Now she’s passed her test and I’ve passed mine!


Ambitions are fine,
It’s good to aim high,
If things are worth having
We all have to try.
So you must keep on going,
Try not to give in
If your goal is the prize
It’s important to win.
It’s too easy to feel
That life is unjust,
If you need reassurance
Ask someone you trust.
Give it your best shot,
And if it fails, then
Pick yourself up
And try it again.
Here’s something I’ve found
And I’m sure you’ll agree,
The harder you practise
The better you’ll be!

Time for reflection


Give the children a moment to think about the times when they’ve had to persevere, and how worthwhile it was in the end.


Dear Father,

Please strengthen my faith in you

And help me to believe in me

And see that if I persevere

The happier I’ll be.



‘Jesus, good above all other’ (Come and Praise, 23)

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