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To show that although some things can be spoiled there are others that can never be destroyed.

by Jan Edmunds

Suitable for Whole School (Pri)


To show that although some things can be spoiled there are others that can never be destroyed.

Preparation and materials

  • It would be useful to find a garment or something that has been damaged by moths.

  • You will need five pieces of A4 card, each showing a letter of the word MOTHS.


  1. Ask five children to come out to the front. Give each one a card. Ask the child with the letter M to hold it up, and then the others in turn, gradually building the full word, and saying the line for each letter as it is held up.

    M is for munching day by day.
    On woollen things they eat away.
    Tiny creatures that can’t be seen.
    Holes appearing where they’ve been.
    Spoiling things is what they do.
    MOTHS destroy the things they chew.

    Yes, our letters spell the word moths. Hold up the item you have brought. Tell the children that you were not aware that anything had damaged it until you came to use it. Put your fingers in the holes to show where they are. It was such a disappointment to find that it had been spoiled.

    Optional development: Things can so easily be spoiled or destroyed. Severe weather conditions can do this. Invite the children to suggest some of these: earthquake, hurricane, tsunami, flood, etc.
  2. Our world can be spoiled by contamination, litter and by pollution. People’s hopes and dreams can be spoiled by unkind deeds or actions or a vicious tongue. You might ask for examples from the children.
  3. If our lives are centred round something that can easily be destroyed, when something happens to remove it, we are left with nothing. In the Bible Jesus said to his followers:

    Do not store up riches for yourselves here on earth where moths and rust destroy and robbers break in and steal. Instead store up riches for yourselves in heaven where moths and rust cannot destroy and robbers cannot break in and steal, for your heart will always be where your riches are. (Matthew 6.19–21)

    Jesus meant that the things we do throughout our lives and the way we behave to others is more important than material things we have.
  4. Hold up your item again. Moths have ‘corrupted’ this, which means that they have spoiled and destroyed it.

    In life, as we get older our appearance changes. Some people say that we ‘lose our looks’. Something may be new and shiny to begin with, and over time becomes dull and worn. Things wear out, colours fade, some things decay. Possessions get spoiled.
  5. Fortunately, there are some things that can never be destroyed or spoiled. A happy nature, a friendly spirit, a kind heart. A simple smile can be so welcoming. These are the things that can be constant and are more valuable than worldly possessions. The way we treat other people is very important. Consideration, patience and tolerance for others are treasures that we can all share here on earth.
  6. Look again at the cards and ask the children to repeat each line after you, then ask your helpers to sit down.

Time for reflection


Lord of the loving heart, may mine be loving too.

Lord of the gentle hands, may mine be gentle too.

Lord of the willing feet, may mine be willing too.

So may I grow more like to you in all I say and do.



‘The wise may bring their learning’ (Come and Praise, 64)

Publication date: June 2009   (Vol.11 No.6)    Published by SPCK, London, UK.
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