My bag was ready with my instruments and props ready to perform with the stories 😊
I reached The Green School Bangalore at about 8.35 am in the morning, all excited to take the students there on a joyous journey into the world of stories. I waited at the reception and the Principal Ms. Usha Iyer arrived in about 10 mins.
“So happy to see you here, Meenu”, said Usha Ma’am.
I was all smiles. “My pleasure Ma’am. Thank you so much”, I said.
She then invited me to join the school Assembly. It was so nostalgic, bringing back memories of my school Assembly. It was so kind of Usha Ma’am to introduce me to the whole school,
“Let us welcome Meenu Ma’am, a storyteller who has her own organization called KATHA GALATTA”.
Indeed, a proud moment.
As soon, as the Assembly ended, I waited for few mins as the arrangements were made for my sessions. The first session was for the Kindergarteners. I chose to share an animal folktale from Punjab with them. It was an instant hit. We laughed, made funny faces, sang songs and swayed along with the story.
This was followed by another batch of Kindergarteners and Nursery kids. I understood that there were a few who had just joined the school and were still settling down. So, I decided to start off with a small action song. It worked like magic. A couple of kids who were crying stopped and joined along too. It was so much fun that they wanted to do it one more time too. As we finished with that, I began my story, this time about an elephant. A cute, little story which I knew would be apt for this group. We went on an imaginary elephant ride, prayed for his well-being, danced with him and finally built a house for him too.
After a short break, we resumed with the 3rd session for the day, this time for the 1st graders. This was a fun “Find the Animal” kind-of story. The students were super sharp to identify the animals from the sounds, physical features or actions that came as clues through the story. Finally, they also learnt that caterpillars turn into beautiful and colourful butterflies.
The bell rang and it was time for lunch.
After lunch, we resumed with our 4th session with the 2nd graders. Surprisingly, they were not aware of why they were in my room. Being the first session after lunch, I quickly started with a fun game. And the moment, I told them that I am storyteller and I am going to be telling them a story, they all screamed together
“Yay! Story! Story!”
“Ma’am , are you really going to tell us a story?”
“Are you going to tell us a story now?”
Haha… they could not believe that it was happening for real 😊, until I actually began the story! It was again a folktale, this time from Nagaland that I chose to share with them – one of my personal favourites too! Emotions flowed through the story that connected with the listeners as they responded with,
Aaaahs and oooooooohs
There was a moment during the session when one student who was sitting in the front, wanted to go to the restroom. She got up, walked a few steps but quickly came back to tell her friend to hold the same seat for her and in 2 minutes she was back running to her seat just so that she does not miss out on the action happening 😊
These are the special moments that only a storyteller can get!
Students got so involved that they were even angry with the protagonist’s behaviour and empathized with another character in the story that was bullied. They joined along with me to tell the dialogues like the characters too. Finally, as the story ended, a boy cried out,
“The BBBBBBBBESSSSSSSST Story Ever!!!”
And I knew my day was done 😊
5 mins later, the next batch of 2nd graders walked into the room. It was my last session for the day. As they settled down, I began with a funny song and as expected sounds of giggles filled the room. They found it thrilling to even repeat the song after me. Then we greeted each other in Japanese.
But why Japanese?
Oh yes! It was a Japanese folktale that I was going to share with them. 😊
The students got to know few words in Japanese and Japanese dish too through the story. It was a simple story yet with an important lesson. And the students came up with such beautiful thoughts and ideas during the interactions through the story. Finally, it ended on a high with a Japanese song and dance.
“Ma’am, you are just awesome. Not just the children, I too travelled along with the story.”, said one of the teachers who was listening too.
“Ma’am, your expressions and voice modulations are amazing”, said the co-ordinator.
It was indeed a long day yet a fulfilling one.
Thanks TGSB. Thank you Usha Ma’am.
Looking forward to the future sessions too 😊