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Death of a Caterpillar, Birth of a Butterfly

An assembly from the Culham St Gabriel archive

Suitable for Whole School (Sec) - Church Schools


To use caterpillars and butterflies to consider change.

Preparation and materials


  1. Display the images of the caterpillar egg, caterpillar and butterfly as you say the following.

    Although we get used to the awesomeness of nature, it is sometimes good to remind ourselves. After all, it is amazing that a beautiful caterpillar and butterfly can grow from a small white egg.

    At the start of its life, a caterpillar egg looks quite unremarkable, but later, it becomes something beautiful that brings pleasure to those who see it.

  2. When we see a new baby, there are likely to be plenty of ‘oohs’ and ‘aahs’ from people. At that point in the baby’s life, we have no idea what will happen later on.

    There will be many students present who had an ambition when they were younger that they no longer have. Maybe they wanted to become a teacher, but now they have changed their minds!

  3. If available, show the images of people in the school community from when they were younger.

    Can you guess who these people are?

    If you are showing images of famous people instead, discuss how they have changed.

  4. Sometimes, we can feel a bit embarrassed about what we were like in the past. We may no longer like the clothes we wore then or the hairstyle we had.

    Sometimes, we can feel that adults still speak to us as if we were young children. Sometimes, we long to be older or to look different. Sometimes, though, we want to stay in the present and we worry about things changing.

  5. Whatever the case, the most important thing is that we are happy with who we are deep down. If we are happy within ourselves, we will be able to cope, move on, grow and flourish when changes come.

Time for reflection

The following is a quotation from Praying Body and Soul by Anthony de Mello (Columba Press, 1997).

The disciple asked his master for a word of wisdom.
The master answered, ‘Feel as though you are inside your cell, and it alone will teach you wisdom.’
‘But I don’t have a cell. I’m not a monk.’
‘But of course you have a cell: take a good look inside yourself!’

When we are happy inside ourselves, we will be ready to grow and face the changes ahead of us.

Dear Lord,
Sometimes, the world feels like an uncertain place.
Sometimes, things change so quickly that we become afraid or worried.
Please help us to find peace on the inside.
Please help us to become the people we want to be and not to be wrongly influenced by outside forces.

Publication date: April 2018   (Vol.20 No.4)    Published by SPCK, London, UK.
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