SOULTales - Character Strengths, Stories & Vocabulary

Thursday, December 4, 2008

Story with Tangrams

So this is my second week with a story,for my weekly assignment at a school. I knew what I wanted to do. Something with Tangrams. The Tangram is a fun/educational idea developed in China. If you have children then you would have definitely come across this. It can keep children occupied for hours. It has 7 pieces having a definite shape. A square, parallelogram, and the rest triangles of different sizes. The whole point is to create figures with these shapes and it can be fascinating. So browsing through the net I found a nice story with Tangrams. Its about a grandfather telling his grand daughter a story with Tangrams, the main characters in this story are fox fairies!
So I made the Tangram pieces with paper, got them photocopied and stuck them onto A4 sheets. Now I wanted to display this. When I tell the story, I want the sheets to be displayed on the table (standing). So I went around looking for an easel or a stand. The stationary shop had what I wanted, but the cost was way beyond my budget for this.
I just let my eyes roam around the shop and voila I hit on what I wanted. A box file. The sheets went neatly into the file, and I could make it stand by bending it backward. So cheap and effective.
Monday morning is chaos but the adrenalin is worth it. Children had some idea about Tangrams, but had never seen it used in a story. They were fascinated. Some children from the 4th std especially were not impressed! Yet I could see that the children were taken in by the idea of using the Tangram for a story.
Now what happens is that the class teacher sits in the class, as the story session is going on , so I have not much difficulty managing the children. But when the class teacher is not there, the children just take me for a ride!
I love to make my sessions interactive, so I keep asking questions in between. In a classroom, I guess the children feel it is their space so the exchange will not subside easily, and I have to really work hard to bring their focus back to the story. Time being limited to 40minutes I have to really manage it well. I have to complete the story, get a feedback from them, and make them record the story in their books, along with an activity that I have planned.So that's a lot of "ands" that have to be fulfilled within a short time.
Regular classroom storytelling is fun, interesting and challenging.