I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again – I love stories! I’ve always got at least 2 books sitting on my bedside table, and when I’m working in nursery, story time is among my favourite times of day. It’s a chance to calm down, relax, and lose yourself in another world.
During this afternoon’s RME input, we discussed how various story books could be used to explore children’s moral development. These stories could be religious (such as parables from the Bible, or stories any of the other religious texts), or can be non-religious (such as traditional fairy tales or other children’s books).
In this post, I have chosen a story which I feel could be used with a class to explore moral actions.
The story I have chosen is:
The Smartest Giant In Town (Julia Donaldson). This story would be appropriate for children at the younger stages of Primary school.
In this story, George the Giant is fed up of looking scruffy, and treats himself to some smart new clothes. Feeling pleased, he begins his trip home where he happens upon various characters who are in need of help. George is a kind Giant, and happily helps his friends, in ways that just happen to involve his nice new items of clothing! In the end, he has given up all of his new clothes, and ends up wearing his old scruffy robe again. Then, when George finally arrives home, all of the friends that he helped are there to thank him and give him a present.
What I took from the story:
- George is willing to make sacrifices to do what he thinks is right – even giving up his brand new clothes that gave him so much happiness.
- By helping others, George is able to spread his happiness around, and in the end, discovers an even greater happiness with his friends.
If using this story in the classroom, I would use a ‘reading the text’ approach where we interpret the text and think about the meaning. I would stop at regular intervals to encourage the children to talk about what the characters may be feeling. After reading, I would encourage the children to think about a time when someone was kind to them, or when they were kind to someone else.
The idea of kindness and helping others is one that is also covered in religious texts (such as ‘The Good Samaritan), and it would be interesting to make some comparisons.
I think that a lesson like this could cover the following E’s and O’s:
I am developing an increasing awareness and understanding of my own beliefs and I put them into action in positive ways. RME 1-08a / RME 2-08a / RME 3-08a / RME 4-08a
I can show my understanding of values such as caring, sharing, fairness, equality and love. RME 1-09b