SOULTales - Character Strengths, Stories & Vocabulary

Thursday, August 4, 2011

At the Festival! Day 1

A festival is a time to celebrate!
And when we have a festival of stories, hosted by Kathalaya (the place where my journey in Storytelling began), it is really an experience I do not want to miss.
In the mundane, humdrum of routine and schedules, chores to be met, a space was created for people like me to rejuvenate and refresh our committment to this art of Storytelling.
A two day event on August 1st and 2nd/ 2011. The first day had Dr.Mirella from Sweden; she is an educator, puppeteer and puppet maker. She uses and teaches children to make puppets with easy materials such as sponge and cloth.Here you can see the pretty little Butterfly Puppet we all got to make with material especially imported from Sweden.  Yet what I loved about the session was her coaching us on how to use the puppets! Simple easy techniques of puppet behaviour behind the screen and in front. Awesome.
It was a glimpse only but it left me thirsting for more!!

The purpose of a puppet is to engage the child and draw out questions and that is really my take away from this session. Though I use puppets, I use them mainly as props for the story. I do have my Buddy (Sukhi) who introduces my tale and the session, but I realise how much more effective I can make Sukhi and  I am all eager to try out this new found insight at the next session in my library (Brainvilla).  

As educators and as resource people who work with children, (or even as parents), we do a lot of Telling, but hardly Listen to the child. We also believe as adults we must have all the answers and being wrong or goofing up (messing up) is just not permissible. It is difficult if you come to think of it to own that wrong and tell kids so, because we see ourselves as role models, I know...

Well then....use Puppets!!

If you can make sense of what I am saying, then through Puppets we can project an other world (a topsy-turvy one maybe) which gets them to question the existing norms; (this was beautifully illustrated by Dr. Mirella, a she introduced her Frog puppet, that did not like to get wet and used a rain coat and umbrella!).
Shyness, fears, and resistances are all what we can address using our Purpose Puppets!!

Puppets are great tools but how you use them is what is important.
Practice and planning goes into making any Puppet a show stealer!

Some more about story telling in my next post....