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TREE HARVEST

Below is a ready-made script for a school harvest festival about trees.

Feel free to adapt it to suit your school and age group.

You can also submit your own scripts via
timeforassembly@btconnect.com


This site was formerly known as
'School Assemblies for Busy Teachers'.





Assembly Title
Tree Harvest

Submitted by
S. Daly

Age Group
7-14

Aim
To appreciate God's gift of trees
To share the harvest

Faith Group
Christian

Resources
A display of harvest foods donated by parents and children to distribute to local people
Prayer responses written on large sheets of paper
A wall display of trees and things made from trees or grown on trees
Brown, orange, yellow and red clothing
Objects mentioned in the Tree Play below

Time of Year
Autumn
Harvest

Other Details
This assembly is long enough to be used as a full Harvest Festival performed before parents.

Script
1. INTRODUCTION

HYMN: 'Autumn Days' by Estelle White (Celebration Hymnal for Everyone number 61).

CHILD 1: Once again, autumn has arrived - and we welcome you to our harvest festival. As usual, we give thanks to God, for the great variety of foods we are able to grow and eat. Just look at the wonderful display of foods you have donated. These will be given to people in our neighbourhood. In this way, we will be including many people in our harvest celebration, not just the people in this room.

CHILD 2: If you look in a dictionary, you will see that the word "harvest" means a result. If you knit, your harvest could be a jumper. If you play football, your harvest could be a goal. If you work on the land, your harvest could be food. This food harvest happens every year, so we sometimes take it for granted. However, it only happens because God sends us the right weather to grow crops.
The harvest is a yearly miracle - and we should not forget that.

CHILD 3: Heavenly Father, sometimes we think that miracles only happen to people in the Bible, but they happen to us too.
The yearly harvest is one of your greatest miracles. Forgive us, for when something happens every year, we sometimes forget to see it as special.

CHILD 4: We thank you, God, for your many special miracles. like grass growing from seed to make our football pitch; like flour coming from wheat to make our sandwiches; like milk coming from cows to make our milkshakes; like oranges growing on trees to make our fruit juice.
The world is full of miracles; we thank you, God. Amen.

CHILD 5: The response is "We thank you, God."
For flour used to make bread, cakes and biscuits ... Response ...
For fruits which are grown in England: apples, pears, plums,
used to make pies and crumbles ... Response ...
For fruits from other countries: lemons, bananas, pineapples,
used to make our yoghurt... Response ...
For vegetables: like potatoes, for chips and crisps ... Response
For cheese for our cheeseburgers ... Response...
For sugar for our sweets ... Response ...
May we be thankful and kind and share these gifts with other people who need them. Amen.

CHILD 6: The world is like one big garden, where all these foods grow.
In the Bible, God said,

GOD: I am a gardener, and I look after my garden, all day and all night.

CHILD 6: God wants us to look after his garden as well. He said,

GOD: If you obey my rules... I will give you all the rain you need, just at the right time to make things grow. Everything will grow beautifully in the soil and the trees will be covered with fruit. You will be able to harvest your food all the year round and eat as much as you want.

CHILD 6: Here, God is promising to give us enough food, if we are good. It is always harvest time somewhere in the world. Hopefully, in England, we will always have a food harvest at this time of year.

HYMN: 'Autumn Is Here' by Margery Brinkman (Festivals by Jean Gilbert p.14)

2. HARVEST OF OUR TREES

CHILD 7: If you look on the wall, you will see there are many pictures to do with trees - and the harvest we get from trees. This is the special theme for our harvest festival, this year.

CHILD 8: Already, we have mentioned some of the foods we can get from trees, such as apples and oranges. You can probably think of many more - like limes, coconuts, cherries and peaches.
But there are many other harvests we can get from trees.

CHILD 9: We are lucky. We live near the countryside. Most of us have been to a wood or a forest. Many of us have had fun climbing trees, or building tree houses, or throwing sticks to make conkers fall. Trees have given us a harvest of fun - but they give us many other things too.

CHILD 10: Right now, you are breathing oxygen made by trees. Your hymn sheets are made of paper, which is made from wood pulp. On Bonfire Night or at Christmas, you may burn logs. At Christmas, you may use fir cones and mistletoe as decorations. Some of you put leaf mould on your gardens, to feed the plants. All these useful things come from trees, but we often take this harvest for granted.

CHILD 11: If you look at home or at school, you will very quickly find many things made of wood. You may have used some of these things this week: a pencil, a paintbrush, a glue brush. a guitar, a chair, a tennis racquet, a rounders stick, a hockey stick, a cricket bat, a wooden spoon, a chopping board, a drum, a jigsaw puzzle, a hammer, a ladder, a spade, a crucifix, a door, a fence, wooden toys, ornaments, statues and bowls. You will be able to think of many more.

CHILD 12: The response is "Lord graciously hear us."
We pray for people who cut wood in the forests and work in timber mills. Lord hear us ...
We pray for people who plant new trees for the future.
Lord hear us ...
We pray for builders who use wood in our homes, to make doors, windows and floors.
Lord hear us ...
We pray for carpenters who make furniture for our homes, desks for our schools and seats for our churches.
Lord hear us...
We pray for carvers who make beautiful ornaments and statues.
Lord hear us ...
We pray for people who teach us woodwork.
Lord hear us ...

CHILD 13: Also, many of the plants and animals that we enjoy live on or near trees. Think of an oak tree. Here are the animals which feed on it and live near it: the squirrel, the badger, the hedgehog, the fox, the grass snake, the weasel, the ladybird, the barn owl, the jay, the green woodpecker, the oak weevil and the scalloped oak moth.
As for wild flowers, in a forest you will find: bluebells, white clover, cuckoo pint, dogs mercury, violets, scarlet pimpernel, daisies and many others.
All these things depend on trees to keep them alive.

CHILD 14: Of course, trees are beautiful to look at, as well.
Lord, when we see the tall trees swaying in the wind, and the colourful autumn leaves falling, to make a carpet in the woods; when we sit in the cool shade of the oak tree, or hear the breeze whispering through the fir trees; we want to praise and thank you, for your beautiful world. Amen.

AUTUMN LEAVES DANCE

CHILD 15: Now we have a poem and a dance. The poem begins with brightly coloured autumn leaves falling from the trees. It ends with the leaves turning into brightly coloured flames in a bonfire. The children will be the dancing flames.
(Children dressed in brown, orange, yellow or red mime to the poem.)

How bright they were
When they first came down!
Blazing colours,
But now they're brown.

So we raked them up
In a big, dry pile
That's fun to jump in;

And after a while
They'll all be burning,

And then, oh then,
How bright they'll be
All over again!

CHILD 16: Lord, we thank you for fir trees with long, straight trunks - and oak trees with twisted, spreading branches.
We thank you for fresh green leaves in spring - and fiery coloured leaves in autumn.
We thank you for bitter lemons and sweet apples.
We thank you for trees. Help us to look after them, so our children may also enjoy them.
And once again, thank you for the fun we can have with trees.

SONG: 'Picking Up Conkers' by Geoffrey and Mollie Russell-Smith (Festivals by Jean Gilbert p.11)

3. HARVEST OF TREES IN OTHER COUNTRIES

CHILD 17: So far, we have been thinking about trees in England. We get even more harvests from trees in other countries. You have probably heard of rainforests on the News. People are talking about them because we are in danger of losing them.
The rainforests are found in South and Central America, South-east Asia and central Africa. The weather there is very hot and it rains a lot. There are many plants and animals in the rainforests which we have not even discovered yet. However, people are cutting down the trees, to sell the wood, to build towns, to make farms and to mine precious minerals. You may think these are good harvests, but they are not.

CHILD 18: Almost half the world's rainforests have disappeared - and they cannot be re-grown. 
In Brazil alone, an area of rainforest the size of Belgium disappears every year. 
Every half an hour, a species of animal becomes extinct - and we will never have that animal again. 
The trees also help give the earth its weather, especially its rainfall. When trees are cut down, some places on earth are flooded and other places have droughts. In the rainforest itself, when the trees have been cut down, the land gets washed away by the heavy rain. These are all bad harvests, or bad results, of cutting down trees.

CHILD 19: However we can still have good harvests from the rainforests, without cutting down the trees. Many of our foods began in the rainforests, like: Brazil nuts, tea, coffee, bananas, oranges, lemons, peanuts, pineapples, rice and maize. Other harvests are: rubber, medicines used to fight cancer and heart disease, quinine used to control malaria, and resins used in making paint, oil, wax, soap and plastic. We can continue to have all those harvests, if we look after the rainforests. That means not cutting down so many trees and planting new ones. They have begun to do that in Africa. They are learning that trees give us more than wood.

TREE PLAY

(For this play you can have one to three trees. Form trees by asking two people to stand one behind the other with their arms in the air - as if they are branches. They move appropriately during the sketch.)

NARRATOR: Trees can be very ordinary looking, sometimes they can be beautiful...
(Trees preen themselves.)
sometimes old and gnarled...
(Trees twist themselves up.)
Generally we take them for granted until we...
(One person walks past the tree and a branch leaps out and hits them in the eye.)
get hit in the eye by a branch or...
(Trees drop leaves on the floor and someone comes past sweeping them up, grumbling.)
we have to spend all weekend sweeping up their leaves.
It is easy to miss what talented beings trees are.
(Trees admire themselves in a mirror and whisper as they do so.)
In Ethiopia, people are encouraging the planting of trees. They are showing that trees are a source of fuel...
(One person gives each tree a symbol of fuel, for example a bag of charcoal, matches etc.)
are a source of building material...
(Each tree is given a piece of timber.)
keep the water table steady...
(Each tree is handed a bucket.)
are the lungs of the earth...
(Each tree is handed a balloon which they try to blow up.)
provide shade...
(Each tree is handed an open umbrella.)
fertilise the land so plants underneath grow well...
(A plant is put at the base of each tree.)
feed the wild animals...
(A label is hung on each tree 'Wayside Cafe - all animals served.)
So, Ethiopians are getting the message, and we hope you are too, that...

...trees are good for you - touch wood. (Touch the trees.)

CHILD 20: Hopefully, more and more people will get this message. Then, what this farmer in the Philippines said will not come true:

FARMER: Whenever I go out into the rainforest, I hear God's voice in the singing of the birds, the wind rustling through the trees and the sound of the mountain streams. If there is no end to logging, there will come a time when there will no longer be birds, trees and streams in our village. When that day comes, I will no longer hear God's voice.

4. CONCLUSION

CHILD 21: God made the trees. He likes them and wants us to look after them. He made a great variety of trees. One is the mustard tree. In the Bible, Jesus says,

JESUS: The mustard seed is the smallest seed in the world, but when you plant it in the ground, it grows and becomes such a big tree that the birds can come and build their nests in the shade of its branches. God works like that.

CHILD 21: Jesus is saying that from small beginnings can come big results. We would say "From tiny acorns grow mighty oaks."

CHILD 22: In a psalm in the Bible, a good man is compared to a strong tree. "Down by the river is a good place for trees. If the water flows near them, they never grow dry. Their leaves are not withered. They stay green and alive. And each year their branches are covered with fruit.
The man that is good is like a tree by the river. God will look after him. God will protect him. Like a tree by the river, he will grow strong!"

CHILD 23: Just a tiny seed and it grows into a big tree. Jesus, you started out with just a few friends, and now you have people who love you and follow you, all around the world. The tree of your friends is still growing, and we are part of it today. We thank you, Jesus. Amen.

CHILD 24: Jesus said that a tiny seed can grow into a big tree. A tiny bit of love can make lots of people happy. Take our love, in these harvest gifts, and make it grow, Lord Jesus, to make others happy. Amen.

HYMN: 'The Tree of Life' by Monica White (Here I Am R.E. scheme)




S. Daly 2000


Last updated 16-7-12.


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