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In "Love Will Guide Us," a Tapestry of Faith program
Gather the children in a circle in the storytelling area and show them the story basket. Say something like, "Let's see what's in our story basket this week."
Tell the group the items in the story basket will be placed on this table after the children have passed them around the circle. Take the story-related items from the basket, one at a time, and pass them around. Objects that are fragile, or which should not be passed around for any reason, can be held up for all to see and then placed directly on the table.
If you did not teach "Follow the Drinking Gourd" to the children but wish to incorporate the song's chorus into the story, teach the chorus to the children at this time.
Now remove the sound instrument from the story basket. Tell the children that every time you tell a story in Love Will Guide Us, you will first use the instrument to help them get their ears, their minds, and their bodies ready to listen. Invite them to sit comfortably and close their eyes (if they are comfortable doing so). You may tell them that closing their eyes can help them focus just on listening. In a calm voice, say, in your own words:
As you breathe in, feel your body opening up with air. As you breathe out, feel yourself relaxing.
Repeat this once or twice and then say:
When I turn the rain stick over, listen as carefully as you can. See how long you can hear its sound. When you can no longer hear it, open your eyes and you will know it is time for the story to begin.
Sound the instrument. When the sound has gone, invite the children to sing the chorus of "Follow the Drinking Gourd" with you, as guided in the story. Tell the story, engaging the children to sing the chorus where indicated.
Sound the instrument to indicate the story is over. Guide a brief discussion, using these questions:
Affirm about how brave it was for the slaves and non-slaves who helped with the Underground Railroad. It was very dangerous to be part of the Underground Railroad. People did it because they felt strongly it is wrong to enslave people.
You may wish to make fidget objects available to children who find it difficult to sit still while listening to a story or can focus better with sensory stimulation. Remind children where the fidget basket is before you begin the "centering" part of this activity. (For a full description and guidance, see Session 1, Leader Resource 4.)
Consider using rug squares in the storytelling area. Place them in a semi-circle with the rule "one person per square." This can be very helpful for controlling active bodies.
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Last updated on Thursday, October 27, 2011.
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