Activity 2: Story - The Way of the Otter
Activity time: 10 minutes
Materials for Activity
- Story, "The Way of the Otter"
- A large basket
- Objects to place in the basket that are related to the story such as a stuffed or plastic otter, some rocks, juggling balls, images of animals at play
- A chime or rain stick
- Optional: Fidget Basket (Session 1, Leader Resource 1)
- Optional: "The Way of the Otter" coloring sheet (PDF) and crayons
Preparation for Activity
- Place the story-related items and the chime or rain stick in the story basket and place the filled basket in the storytelling area.
- Read the story a few times. Plan how you will use items from the story basket as props.
- Read the story questions and choose ones that will best help these children interpret the story and relate it to their own lives.
- Optional, but highly recommended: Provide a basket of soft, quiet, manipulable items for children who will listen and learn more effectively with something in their hands. Remind children where is the Fidget Basket is before you begin the "centering" part of this activity. See Session 1, Leader Resource 1, Fidget Basket, for a full description of a fidget basket and guidance for using it.
- Optional: Print and copy the coloring sheet for “The Way of the Otter” (PDF). Plan when you will invite children to color.
Description of Activity
Gather the children in a circle in the storytelling area and show them the story basket. Say something like:
This is our story basket. I wonder what is in it today?
Take the story-related items from the basket, one at a time, and pass them around. Objects that are fragile or cannot easily be passed around can be held up for all to see and then placed on the altar/centering table or any table or shelf.
Take the chime or rain stick from the basket and say in these words or your own:
Each time you hear a story during World of Wonder we will use this instrument to get our ears, minds, and bodies ready to listen. Sit comfortably and close your eyes. When I sound the chime (turn the rain stick over), listen as carefully as you can and see how long you can hear it. When you can't hear it anymore, open your eyes and it will be time for the story to start.
Sound the chime or rain stick. When the sound has completely disappeared, read or tell the story, "The Way of the Otter."
When the story is finished, lead a brief discussion using questions such as:
- What did you wonder about the story?
- What did you like most about the story?
- What kind of play in nature have you ever observed?
- Do you think that all animals play? Why or why not?
- Is there a point to animal play in nature?
- Do you know how some animals invite another to play?
- What can we do as Unitarian Universalists to help make sure animals can continue to play in the wild?
Including All Participants
Fidget objects, described in Session 1, Leader Resource 1, can provide a non-disruptive outlet for anyone who needs to move or who benefits from sensory stimulation. Include soft crayons and the coloring sheet for this story as a fidget option.