Activity time: 10 minutes
Materials for Activity
- A copy of the story, "The Lion on the Path"
- A chime, a rain stick, or another calming sound instrument
Preparation for Activity
- Read the story a few times.
- Consider telling the story rather than reading it. Practice telling it aloud.
- Think about how you might use items from the story basket as props. If you have an mbira or other finger piano or other similar instrument but do not feel confident to play a tune on it, practice a simple one, two, three pluck to do before each chorus.
- Arrange the children's seating for this story to give them room to participate by standing, as they are able, to dance.
- Be ready with a story of your own about a time when you took a risk and did something that was scary, because you believed it was the right thing to do. You may wish to share a personal story to help children think of their own examples, during the discussion after the story.
Description of Activity
In this activity you will tell the story, "The Lion on the Path." Suggestions are embedded in the text of story for leading active participation, including some dance. The goal of this activity is to give the children an example of a character (two, actually) who act with courage, moved by compassion, and are rewarded with justice. By having the children participate in the story actively you are engaging them kinesthetically which will help some make a stronger connection to the story and the concepts and feelings it embodies. By using this story you are helping the children to have a vicarious experience of the emotions associated with fear, caring and courage.
Before you begin, look around the room and make eye contact with each person. Read or tell the story.
Ring the chime (or pluck the mbira) to indicate that the story is over.
When you have finished the story, take some time to help the children shape a definition of courage by examining the feelings and actions of the characters in the story. In this discussion, you can also guide them to think of and tell about times when they, themselves, took a risk even though it was scary, because it was the right thing to do.
Begin with questions about the story:
- Who do you think showed courage in this story?
- Why did Nosa risk her life for Tobi?
- Why did Rabbit risk his life?
- Do you think what Nosa did was foolish? (It is important to remind the children that sometimes it is best not to act if it would mean putting ourselves in real danger.)
- What made Nosa courageous?
- Was Rabbit courageous? Why or why not?
- What does it mean to you to be courageous? (Affirm ideas that go toward this definition: Courageous means doing something scary because you know it is the right thing to do, whether out of love, caring or conscience.)
Then switch gears. Ask the children: Have you ever done something that was scary, but you did it anyway because you knew it was the right thing to do? If the children don't respond right away, tell them a personal story about a time when you took a risk because it was the right thing to do. Let the children each share a story if they have one. Make sure that you put a time limit on each child and give each child a chance to speak.
Including All Participants
Participation in this story can be adapted to fit the abilities of any child. For instance, dancing can be done in the chair with simple movements, or gentle swaying from side to side.
If you have children in the group who may find it difficult to sit still while listening to even a participatory story, you may wish to make fidget objects available to them. Fidget objects are fully described in the Leader Resources section; they can provide a non-disruptive outlet for a child who needs to move.