Kamishibai for friendship

September 4, 2023 By 0 Comments

The 70 children of the Public Kindergarten Katharis – Dimitris Lippertis in Larnaca together with their teachers and headmistress experimented with activities suggested by the Italian partners when they co-created the pilot My ideal school; the school I would like in order to come up with their own ideal school!

The children initially wanted to actively read some stories, taking inspiration from the Book Club activity of the Italian school. They thus invited the author of the fairy tale “The Best Man” and read it together. The reading was followed by a discussion with the author and an interactive workshop where they experimented with the concept of values, as this was the main theme of the story. Each child, with the help of their teachers, wrote on a balloon the value they considered most important, such as love, friendship, generosity, kindness, honesty, teamwork, intelligence, etc. Then the children put the value- balloons on a large fabric, so that all the values were mixed together, and each child was not able to find his/her own value-balloon but took another one. Based on this workshop, and through discussion, the children discovered that it is not so important to insist only on your own value, but that all values are very important and help us equally to become better people. The most important thing is to respect everyone’s values.

Thereafter, the children experimented with the Kamishibai theatre method. Kamishibai theatre is a traditional form of Japanese storytelling that originated in the early 20th century. The word “Kamishibai” translates to “paper drama,” which aptly describes the essence of this art form. A Kamishibai performer, known as a “Kamishibaiya,” uses a small wooden stage with illustrated panels to narrate a story to an audience, typically young children. Each panel depicts a scene from the story, and as the Kamishibaiya narrates, they remove one panel at a time, revealing the next part of the tale. The visual element of the colourful illustrations, combined with the oral storytelling, creates an engaging and immersive experience for the audience. Kamishibai theatre not only entertains but also preserves the tradition of oral storytelling and offers a unique blend of visual and auditory stimulation.

As a result, the children built a makeshift Kamishibai stage and worked in smaller groups where they collaborated with each other to create a story with their favourite hero. In their own little play, different heroes made an appearance and they narrated to the others the lives and exploits of their heroes and what lessons they learned from them. The short play was presented to the rest of the children and teachers.

In conclusion, through all these activities, the children learned important values that they need to have as resources for navigating their lives, such as teamwork, cooperation, solidarity, and love.