8.1.11: Storytelling at MPH 1 Utama

We attended a storytelling event at MPH 1 Utama by Usborne. It was held at 2 pm. Surprisingly, not many children attended the event, although a number of children looked from behind the book aisles, but dared not participate. I was pleasantly surprised that my boys wanted to join in the activity. They sat down quietly for the storyteller to start. The storyteller, Ms Soon started with an ice-breaking activity which she got the children to sit in a circle. When she asked them to sit in a circle, they didn't budge from their seats. So in the end she asked them to hold hands to make a circle and then sit down. That did the trick. S taught his younger brother to hold hands with the boy next to him by holding his hand and placing it in the other boy's hand.

She taught them a simple game where one person would put a ball behind another person, and that person has to take the ball and put behind another person, and so on. I don't know if it was played correctly, but the children caught on with the game.

Ice-breaking activity

Then, Ms Soon drew a cat (see picture below). It had no legs. So, S told her, "The cat has no legs. You must draw legs". So, she drew 2 legs at the bottom of the cat. Then S came up to me (I was sitting behind, observing) and asked me "Mummy, a cat has how many legs?" I said, "Four legs". He then went back to her and told her in a self-assured manner, "Cat has 4 legs, not 2 legs". LOL!!! So she drew 2 more legs.  Then, the children were asked to draw something on the whiteboard. S asked for a marker pen and drew a car. 

Drawing a car
After that, the storyteller started to tell the children a story about "The Grasshopper and the Ant". 

The story of the ant and the grasshopper
Before long, E went up to look at the pictures in the book that she was showing.

Then he asked questions after questions about the pictures in the book

And he kept onlookers (parents) entertained he when asked so many questions, that the parents kept laughing and laughing, until he felt embarassed and self-conscious and ran back to me, not wanting to listen to the story anymore. Fortunately, Ms Soon was quite tactful and told him nicely to sit down and then she will tell him the answers. 

This was E's normal character - asking many questions. I'm glad I'm homeschooling him now. If he were in school, he would be considered a disruptive child and a nuisance for asking so many questions. If he were to be put down so many times by people in authority, what would happen to his spirit of enquiry? 

It brings to mind an art therapy workshop I conducted for a Chinese primary school in PJ. I found that the children there were afraid to make mistakes. When I got them to copy something that I had drawn on the blackboard onto paper, many of the students kept erasing and erasing their work in order to get their drawing to perfection. Some dared not draw a box freehand. They used a ruler. Most did not ask questions. They just copied the words I had written on the board, although some did not understand the words. Only then I realised the extent their spirit of enquiry has been dampened. 

The event ended with a "colouring contest" where everyone went home with a small gift. S was very interested when he heard "colouring contest". He gave his best effort there, putting so colourful colours onto the truck that he took quite a long time to complete his work. He has never coloured this meticulously before at home. Finally, I hurried him along and in the end, he finished the picture by colouring the ground blue.  
Colouring activity

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