When I started Discovery Dome, it was my dream to offer activities and storytelling to the larger community. Having children and managing all of the logistics that went hand in hand with that, made me put that dream on pause, but about once a year, someone reaches out to me to do some sort of storytelling or children’s program.
This year, it was my pleasure to do some creative storytelling for the ICNA Sisters Wing – Calgary branch at their Welcome Ramadan event.
I read one of my favourite Ramadan stories, written by Na’ima B Roberts called Ramadan Moon. The story is a piece of lyrical beauty that is wonderfully complimented by the mixed media illustrations.
I told the Famous Donkey Story through flannel board which I’ve done a few times in the past. This short story is always a hit with children and has a beautiful moral.
The last story I told was something new I created. I learned about the tradition of the mosaharati (drummers who would walk through traditional villages to awaken fasters for their early morning meal) two years ago when I bought this book: The Little Green Drum.
I wanted to have a more interactive element to my storytelling session. Initially, I wanted a gross motor experience but given the number of children (there were roughly 40), I knew that would get tricky. Instead, I added a musical component and invited the children to become a part of the story and help me narrate repetitive parts. I adapted this story to better suit the needs of this audience (many Muslims believe only in the permissibly of percussion drums) so I adapted the story to include only percussion type drums instead of the range of instruments used in the book. I also weaved in my love for natural elements like rocks and twigs to and re-purposing household items.
The story went over really well with the children and adults who were present. Y who was eleven months at the time loved the rhythm as I practiced with him and some of the children who attended the session were repeating the chant I created when they got back home. I can’t wait to do this story again for another group!
It was a pleasure to not only use my creative and story-telling skills at a time when I don’t get to as regularly as I would like, but to also help energize a whole group of children (including my own) about Ramadan.
I look forward to developing more stories to share with my community!