Thought-Provoking Harvest Festival Ideas For Schools
The Harvest Festival is a fantastic time of year. Both children and teachers have an opportunity to show their gratitude towards another great year, and the festival offers up an abundance of opportunity for moral and spiritual teaching. We have gathered our thoughts, bringing you some of the best harvest festival ideas for schools. They will help you to remind children to give thanks for the food they receive, provide a greater awareness of where it comes from and encourage them to reflect on those who are less fortunate.
Harvest Festival Assemblies, Readings and Prayers
Harvest festival-themed assemblies, reading and prayers allow pupils to collectively give thanks to a successful harvest, resulting in some great memories and life lessons. There is a great selection of online resources to choose from, including:
Taking Care of the Poor – This free assembly script focuses the importance of sharing, and discusses why we should help those less fortunate than ourselves. It mentions different ways in which we can donate foods both locally and internationally, and encourages children to reflect on the importance of being a good friend and neighbour. It is suitable for the whole school.
Food glorious food! A Harvest celebration – This evocative service reflects on how there is plenty of food in the world to feed everyone; it’s the way in which it is distributed that’s the problem. It is suitable for primary school children of all ages.
Harvest thanksgiving – Using a children’s Bible, this whole-school primary school assembly encourages children to be grateful for the vast choice of food they have access to, even if they don’t like all of it!
Harvest-Themed Lessons and Resources
Lessons based on the Harvest Festival offer an opportunity to explore it in-depth. Children can actively participate in a range of fun, relatable activities to learn all about the cultural aspects of the celebration, in addition to improving their knowledge on where our food comes from.
Sukkot – Part of a unit of six lessons for harvest festival, this fun 45-minute lesson will give children a better understanding of how harvest festival is celebrated around the world, using the example of the Jewish festival of Sukkot. Suitable for KS1.
Harvest festival and food around the world – This PowerPoint presentation demonstrates how we receive different foods from all over the world, and comes with a cut-out-and-stick activity map plus foods to photocopy. Suitable for KS2; requires registration to the TES website (free).
Harvest festival: the story of bread – Another PowerPoint presentation, this time showing how bread goes from wheat seed to food on the table, and encouraging us to thank God for the food we receive. Suitable for primary school children of all ages; free registration required.
Other Activities for Harvest Festival
Harvest songs for children – Out of the Ark has harvest songbooks for primary school children of all ages, with thought-provoking music and lyrics written by leading children’s songwriters. Each one comes with an audio CD containing backing and vocal tracks plus optional CD ROM with lyrics. Part of a larger collection of seasonal songs.
Harvest festival crafts – Highlights include ‘Make a Scarecrow’ as a whole-class activity, plus harvest baskets, potato print tractors and printed corn on the cob crafts for individuals. You’ll find harvest activities to suit primary school children of all ages.
Donate to your local food bank – Ask each child to bring in a non-perishable food item to donate. Follow the link for a directory of local food banks throughout the UK and contact your nearest one for more information.