Lesson 1 – What is harvest?

Pupils will reflect on the importance of food for survival and the production and availability of food in UK and overseas. They will recognise that people have different attitudes and levels of access to food, depending on where they live.

They will reflect on how belief in God as provider, inspires personal gratitude and can motivate action on behalf of others, in both times of plenty and poverty.

Key Questions

What does harvesting involve?

 How can we define harvest?

 What does harvest mean to someone in the UK or overseas?

Learning Objectives

  • To define the process of harvesting
  • To identify products of harvest needed for human survival
  • To consider the idea of harvesting and products of harvest and that they might  mean different things to people living in different parts of the world


How is the word Harvest used? What does ‘harvesting’ mean to a farmer and to ourselves?

Creating a class definition

Ask children to explain their experiences of harvesting food/ show children pictures of people in the UK and overseas harvesting crops e.g. on farms using farm machinery such as combine, baler, grain drier, or in the wild e.g., fruit-picking – apples, strawberries, blackberries

Encourage pupils to describe what they see happening– creating a word bank: cutting, picking, gathering in, combining, drying, gleaning, processing, packaging, working together

Work in small groups to create a definition for the process of ‘harvesting’ that could apply in the UK and overseas

Consider some products of UK harvest and how they originate:

  • animal products such as eggs, milk, cheese
  • crops providing cereals– process of preparing the ground, sowing seed, gathering in, processing
  • fruit and vegetables
  • Ask pupils to identify who does the work to ensure we have these products, and what their role is in food production– farmers, growers, supermarkets, parents and carers
  • Pupils could plant some wheat grain (or bird seed) in a seed bed and nurture it throughout the unit, harvesting it, once it is ripe to engage with the growing and harvesting process and seasons.

Main activity  

What do human beings need to survive?

  • Show them bowl of fruit and vegetables, packets of cereal, bags of flour, cartons of juice and milk, bottle of water, eggs, bread, pictures of supermarkets
  • Invite pupils to use their knowledge of nutrition and choose three items that a human being needs to survive, and explain why they need them.

Where do people get their food from in the UK and overseas?

Divide pupils into two groups:

  1. group one could make an inquiry about: where food is sourced for a family in their family e.g shop, supermarket, allotment. Invite them to brainshower how many different food products they might use in a day, or a week.
  2. Group two could make a comparison with a community overseas (for example via Diocesan Companion ALMA www.almalink.org

Using ALMA photographs from Mozambique showing people farming, gathering and selling food in markets, or Christian Aid or Oxfam Harvest resources. See photos at the end of the unit or the visual resources section of the website


Why do different religions and different countries celebrate harvest? What might inspire them to celebrate in the UK and overseas?

Discuss with pupils the idea of celebrating harvest in times of plenty and in times when there is less than enough.

In what situations might people have more than they need, or not enough?

How might this affect their attitudes towards Harvest celebration or belief in God as provider?

Learning outcomes

  • I can talk simply about the process  of harvest and use words like ‘sowing’ ‘growing, gathering’ to help me create definition for harvest
  •  I can respond to examples of people harvesting crops in the Uk and overseas and make comparisons for myself.

Resources and Points to note

The unit uses the big idea of ‘gratitude in action’ – sharing first fruits with others as a core concept, inspired by Christian belief in the idea of God as Creator and provider .

Point out that Christians believe Jesus is real (not like the Disney heroes) and that people have been inspired by Him for 2000 years, in their millions to give up good things in their lives, to help others.

A website that provides an introduction to harvest festivals around the world

Diocesan Companion Angola, London, Mozambique Association ALMA

Using ALMA photographs from visual resources section  from Mozambique showing people farming, gathering and selling food in markets, or Christian Aid or Oxfam Harvest resources.

Organisations with Harvest resources: Christian Aid  Oxfam