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Alternate Activity 1: Dramatizing Poetry

Activity time: 20 minutes

Materials for Activity

  • At least two copies of Leader Resource 2, Rumi Poem

Preparation for Activity

  • Two adults are needed to lead this activity; arrange to have two co-leaders present.
  • Decide how you will divide the group into two, smaller groups.
  • Identify an additional, separate meeting space - ideally another room - where one of the groups can work.

Description of Activity

To more deeply experience the poet, Rumi, the children explore and then perform for other children a way to interpret Rumi's words in movement.

Gather the children in a circle. Invite them to listen to a poem by Rumi, a Muslim poet who lived many years ago. Read aloud the poem:

The breeze at dawn has secrets to tell you.

Don't go back to sleep.

You must ask for what you really want.

Don't go back to sleep.

People are going back and forth across the doorsill

where the two worlds touch.

The door is round and open.

Don't go back to sleep.

Point out the reference to "doorsill," which is another word for threshold. Ask the children if they would like to act out the poem.

Divide the group in two and have each group gather with one of the co-leaders, in two different rooms. Each adult should bring a copy of Leader Resource 2, Rumi poem. Have each group work for 10 minutes to decide how they will act out the poem.

Bring the two groups back together. Invite each group to show the other the way they have acted out the poem. You may have one or two first graders who could read the poem aloud while others act it out. Or, have each adult read the poem while his/her group is acting out the words.

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For more information contact religiouseducation@uua.org.

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