Alternate Activity 4: Story Hot Seat
Activity time: 20 minutes
Materials for Activity
- A copy of the story, "Mulla Nasruddin Feeds His Coat"
Preparation for Activity
- Move the chairs into a half circle with one chair set apart as if on a stage.
- Try to imagine what the voice of Mullah Nasruddin or the host would be like, and how they would move.
Description of Activity
In this activity the children will have a chance to step into the shoes of the characters after the story has happened. Settle children in the chairs you have placed in a semi-circle. Tell them:
The chair set apart is the "hot seat." The person in the hot seat will pretend to be one of the characters from the story. The rest of us can ask the person in the hot seat questions. The person in the hot seat answers as the character.
Be the first one in the hot seat. Tell the children that you are going to leave the room and come back as one of the characters. Leave, come back, and introduce yourself. You may say:
Hello, children. I am the Mullah Nasruddin. Do you have any questions for me?
Tell the children they may raise their hands and ask the character questions about the story. Answer a question or two, then ask if someone else would like to take a turn in the hot seat. Let this child leave the room and come back as the same or a new character. After a short while, suggest that another child take the hot seat. If the children are all eager to be in the hot seat, then limit one or two questions per turn in the hot seat.
As needed, guide the activity by sharing with the group these rules:
- There is no right or wrong answer. The point is to try to imagine what the characters might say.
- The person in the hot seat must take questions from all of the children, not just close peers.
- They must stick to the story. If they get silly or inappropriate they will have to give up the hot seat.
- Encourage the children to listen to the questions that have already been asked so that they might ask different questions.
The goal of this activity is to help the children develop a deeper understanding of the story, to explore the feelings and the perspectives of the characters in more depth, and to have a personal experience of empathy.
In the story ,"Mullah Nasruddin Feeds His Coat, " characters to role play include Nasruddin, the wealthy host, and the other guests. If the children have difficulty coming up with questions, model asking questions with these:
- Why didn't you welcome Nasruddin when he was wearing his ragged clothes? (wealthy host or guest)
- Why did you behave differently to Nasruddin when he was in rags than when he was in fancy clothes? (wealthy host or guest)
- What did you think when Nasruddin began to feed his coat? (wealthy host or guest)
- How did you feel when Nasruddin explained why he was feeding his coat? (wealthy host or guest)
- Will you do things differently another time? (wealthy host or guest)
- How did you feel when you weren't welcome? (Nasruddin)
- How did you feel when everyone was friendly to you once you changed your clothes? (Nasruddin)
- Why did you feed your coat? (Nasruddin)
- Do you think they'll treat you differently next time? (Nasruddin)
- Why didn't you wear fancy clothes to the feast in the first place? (Nasruddin)