Activity time: 20 minutes
Materials for Activity
- A copy of the story,"The Wounded Seal"
Preparation for Activity
- Move the chairs into a half circle with one chair set apart as if on a stage.
- Review the story. Try to imagine how you would feel, if you were the fisherman. What would it feel like to be in his body? What would his voice sound like? Do you imagine him to be kind, gruff, shy, and witty? How might he be different after everything that occurs in the story?
Description of Activity
The chair set apart is the "hot seat." The person in the hot seat will pretend to be one of the characters in the story. The rest of us can ask the person in the hot seat questions. The person in the hot seat answers as 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 Seal Hunter. 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.
If the children are having difficulty generating questions, model asking questions such as:
- Are you ever going to hunt seals again? (Seal Hunter)
- Why did you used to hunt seals? (Seal Hunter)
- What are you going to do now, to earn money, instead of hunting seals?
- Why did you bring the Seal Hunter to see the wounded seal? Why weren't you afraid he might hurt the seals more? (Companion)
- Were you scared or mad when you saw the Seal Hunter who hurt you was coming back? (Wounded Seal)