The journey began in January…. The desire that we teachers had was to introduce a story that would explore feelings… as connect with feelings is the first step of awareness towards oneself as well others.
“Gatila” by Nisa and Anjora Noronha seemed a good choice as the book is very well illustrated with bright and attractive colours and evokes creativity. The story revolves around a black cow who does not think she is pretty and is unhappy. She tries to paint herself in different colours same as other animals around her and in the process discovers that one should be happy as they are. In the story the cow engages with various animals, which keeps the children interested. The repetition of the idea makes the point well with the children. The cow using the paints to paint herself adds the funny element to the story, which leaves the children amused.
As per our expectation the story was very well received by the children as we saw a lot of interest in them to read the story on a daily basis. The idea was to naturally ingrain the story in their thought processes and explore the possibility of it becoming a free form play where the children could perform from their understanding with minimal adult intervention. To our surprise this actually became possible. Though initially the practice began with a structure provided by the teachers there was a lot of free form expression in dialogue delivery of the children based on their own understanding of the story. Interestingly the dialogues kept changing till the final performance, providing tremendous satisfaction to the teachers as varying children's expression worked wonders while keeping the meaning/context intact.
Watching the children as young as 3 to 6 years perform the act in the comfort of their skin with happiness exuding in brilliance of their smiles was a pure delight.
Our children affirmed in their small gestures that: "Conviction in the beliefs can be achieved only by freedom of execution of thoughts".