The interactive read aloud of Mufaro's Beautiful Daughters takes the "Cinderella type story" count on our amazing journey around the world to three!
It's good to mix something familiar with something new and these Cinderella stories from around the world have allowed The Reading Garden to do just that!
This story is set in Zimbabwe and tells the tale of two sisters who lived in a small village with their father, Mufaro. Manyara was selfish and unkind and Nyasha was loving and kindhearted. The King of a city not too far away sent a message that he was looking for a wife. Mufaro decided that his two daughters would go to the city so the King could choose between them. Of course, Manyara wanted to be chosen, so she left the night before the planned departure so she could ensure the King met her first. On her journey through the forest she met a small boy who asked her for food. She was mean to him telling him that she would soon be queen and had only enough food for herself. She then met an old woman who warned her not to laugh at the trees up ahead, though they would laugh at her. She also told her to say good morning to the old man who would be holding his head in his hand. Manyara did the opposite of all she had been told.
Meanwhile, after discovering that Manyara had left before them, Nyasha , her father and the other villagers left on their journey to the city. Nyasha saw the same little boy and before he could even ask she fed him. She also encountered the old woman, who gave her directions and she offered the old woman a sack of pumpkin seeds. When she finally saw the city she was in awe and became very excited to see the King.
When Nyasha and her father arrived at the King's palace Manyara was hysterical. She told her sister she should not go to see the King as she had been and was greeted by a snake with 5 heads that told her he was not pleased with her and almost ate her. Nyasha still ventured bravely to see the King. When she entered the room she saw Nyoka, a garden snake she had befriended. He told her that he was the King and that he was also the little boy and the old woman. He was pleased with Nyasha and transformed into the King right before her eyes. Of course, Nyasha married the King and Manyara became a servant in the palace.
When I completed the reading one little reader stood up tall and said " Miss it does not pay to be unkind. If you are unkind you should only expect bad things!" "Yes Yes!!" the others shouted in agreement.
Well my work here is done! What a beautiful way to end camp. I used this story to teach the children about adjectives. They willingly did their the exercise and then went off to art.
Our final stop with the older readers takes us to South Africa, the home of many great men including Nelson Mandela and Archbishop Desmond Tutu. The chosen story, Desmond and the Very Mean Word was actually co-authoured by the Archbishop. As we explored South Africa and it's greatness we had to touch on some of its hateful past. We discussed apartheid and how Desmond Tutu and Nelson Mandela fought for its abolition.
Desmond Tutu, in his author's note, likened the system of apartheid to the absurdity of someone saying that all people with small noses were better than all people with big noses. The children were clearly very moved by the video I showed them about these two men as they volunteered to read the author's note themselves.
This story is a story about something both Nelson Mandela and Desmond Tutu live by; forgiveness. The story describes the events that unfolded when Desmond was called a "mean word" ( don't worry parents the word was never mentioned, and these innocent children struggled to imagine what it could be). Desmond goes against Father Trevor's advice to forgive and retaliates by seeking out the boy to call him a mean word as well. Desmond felt awful about retaliating and later tells the boy sorry. The boy is speechless and when he sees Desmond again he offers him chocolate. Desmond rides off on his bike feeling freed by his ability to forgive!
This book is a MUST read. A great book to use to discuss topics such as race relations and bullying when you think your child is ready for such discussions. I don't know why I chose writing a summary as the passport entry for the last day of camp but I have to say that 90% of the children completed the task without complaining! They did however express their desire to do something a little less challenging! LOL! It's the last day of camp so...maybe...but no! This story was too important for the children not to summarize and document the lessons learned.
I'm almost sad that camp has ended. It's so much hard work but at the end I always have a feeling of satisfaction! We WILL BRING THE BOOK BACK!
Here are some pictures taken my Aunty Joanna.
Hop over to Arty Pants Studio to see what the children did in their sessions on this, the last day of Camp Imaginators 2017!