Activity time: 10 minutes
Materials for Activity
- Copy of the story, "Abby's Birthday"
- Leader Resource 1, Illustration - Abby's Birthday Party
- Optional: Fidget basket (see Leader Resource 2, Fidget Objects)
Preparation for Activity
- Prepare to tell or read the story to the group using the illustration of Abby's birthday party (Leader Resource 1).
- Optional: If you have a basket of fidget objects for children who will listen and learn more effectively with something in their hands, make the basket available during this activity. Remind children where it is before you begin the "centering" part of this activity. See Leader Resource 2, Fidget Objects for a full description of fidget baskets and guidance for using them.
Description of Activity
Participants respond to a story that presents many different types of signs and rituals.
Invite participants to listen to a story. Remind the group that one definition of a ritual is an action that is repeated and always done in the same way. Ask participants to raise their hand or otherwise indicate whenever the story talks about someone performing a ritual.
Tell or read the story.
Process the story with these questions:
- What were some rituals in the story?
- Were there any rituals in the story that you have done yourself? [For example, saying "Good morning," singing "Happy Birthday," blowing out candles, giving cards and gifts, lighting a chalice.]
- What do the candles on the birthday cake represent?
- Why did Kamal and Sherry light a chalice when they got home? Was it because it was dark and they needed light, or was there another reason?
Tell the group that some rituals are actions that hold special meanings.
Including All Participants
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 Leader Resource 2.)
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.