How to Host a Fun and Inspiring Harvest Festival at Your School
Harvest festival is an excellent opportunity to increase awareness and concern about food shortages in the developing world. Raising money to improve other people’s lives also helps children develop vital emotional skills such as empathy and a willingness to share.
Here we share some of our favourite ideas for harvest festival that will inspire your class to help those in need and raise money for a good cause.
1) Put on an Event for Children and Parents
Many schools put on an event in their school or village hall comprising of harvest songs and relevant religious or secular teachings.
You could start off by giving some general information about agriculture before explaining why we should be grateful for what we have. You could then talk about the developing world and the problems people all over the world are facing in terms of food supply and quality.
Harvest songs are a great way to complement these teachings and make them more accessible to children. Out of the Ark has a harvest song to support each aspect of your teachings, from sowing seeds to celebrating what we have.
2) Raise Money for a Good Cause
The possibilities for fundraising extend far beyond requesting donations.
You could ask children and parents to bring in food that they have grown, made or bought, which can then be sold after the main event. You could organise a fancy dress competition on the day, encouraging children to dress up as farmers, with a small entry charge and prizes at the end.
Your school could also get involved in the shoebox scheme, in which children bring in a shoebox containing goods to send to children living in poverty in Eastern Europe.
3) Extend Your Harvest Celebrations to the Classroom
There are many great ideas for harvest festival that can be implemented in the classroom, for example:
- Organise a harvest crafts session, encouraging children to get creative with paper, paints and Playdough.
- Make a batch of vegetable stew, carefully supervising children as they help you with the chopping and stirring.
- Visit a pick-your-own farm to show children how food grows.
- Buy some young pot plants or cress seeds to grow on the window sill so that children can see how they develop over time.
Of course, there are countless other possibilities and you may have a number of your own ideas for harvest festival. Just keep it creative and fun and soon you’ll have a classroom full of budding farmers!
Out of the Ark has a range of harvest song books which are designed to teach children more about the festival in a fun and accessible manner. Each one comes with music scores and audio CDs containing both vocal tracks and professional backing tracks, as well as Words on Screen™ on CD ROM which enables you to project the lyrics onto a screen.
Go to www.outoftheark.co.uk to browse and buy online.