Taking off from our discussion at the South End Park centre, where the children drew and talked about what they liked as a part of an exercise about what they would like to hear stories about, we started off the session at the Alipore Nabadisha centre by talking about what the children don’t like.
After writing down a few such examples, I asked the children who superheroes were. Krissh said one. Another mentioned Superman. These are make believe people who have tremendous powers, which they use to help people in need and in some cases, save the world. I then asked them to imagine themselves as superheroes . . . how would they get rid of all the things that they don’t like?
One of the boys said he would be Spiderman-trap all the garbage in a spiders web and throw it far away. Another said he use a magic broom to sweep all the dirt away. One of the girls said she would use mantras to remove everything she doesn’t like-‘abracabra’!
After this activity, based entirely on thinking creatively, we moved onto storytelling. Shikha told the children two stories—The Lion and the Mouse and a story about a peacock—who vain as he can be, asks God for a better singing voice. The children enjoyed themselves thoroughly- enacting the characters and making sounds. At every stage, Shikha asked the children questions- What do you think happened next? Why do you think this happened? This not only kept the children engaged, but also encouraged them to think critically. Each story had a strong value that the children were able to infer on their own.
The session ended on a fun note, with what clearly is something the children love to do- dancing!
– Paroma Sengupta
Read the report of the session at the South End park centre here.