When engaging in stories you have the opportunity to teach your child in a fun and indirect way how to co-operate with diverse people. One way to bridge the gap between diversity is to be curious about another person’s culture and also to learn parts of their language. This will show the other person that you value them for who they are and not for who you think they should be.
Diversity can be seen everywhere. In nature, there is a diverse collection of plants and animals. In the animal kingdom, we see a lot of symbiotic relationships where different animals work together for the good of one another. South Africa has such an instance. It is believed that a symbiotic relationship exists between the honey badger, a mammal and the honeyguide, a bird. The honeyguide calls to the honey badger and leads him to the beehive and the honey badger raids the beehive and when he is done then the honeyguide will swoop in to eat the larvae and honeycomb.
This relationship was an inspiration for one of the five stories in The Bushveld Trio. The story is called “The case of the missing honey”. In this story, the three main characters - a pangolin, an African Hoopoe and a honey badger - go on a mission to rescue their friend “Loogoo” the honeyguide. They use their various talents to break Loogoo free from his cage. This story can be used to encourage children to think outside of the box and also to acknowledge that through using the strengths of their friends; great things can happen. You could ask your child what are the strengths of their friends? When we learn to co-operate with those around us and focus on people’s strengths rather than their weaknesses, a beautiful thing happens. We succeed and are able to achieve great things.
In the stories of the Bushveld Trio, you will come across a lot of strange looking words. These words come from some of the languages in Africa. The words which you will encounter are “gogo” which means “grandma” in Zulu and “Mwizi Mnyama” which means “poacher” in Swahili.
By incorporating these different words into a mostly English text children are exposed to a different world. You can encourage your child to explore the environment they have been exposed to and question the things they read. This will help them to develop their critical thinking which in turn will improve their understanding of logical connections between ideas. and help children to identify, construct and evaluate arguments. This is also important in co-operating with diverse people as the ability to argue the facts and not the emotions is very important. By developing critical thinking through reading stories children have the ability to hear a story and identify the facts from the fiction. You can encourage them to question the text and do their own research to see if what is stated in the text is fact or fiction. Of course, authors often take liberties when writing a great story.
So, grab a story, build a blanket fort and submerge yourself into the wonderful world of stories.
About the Author:
I am a South African writer who is passionate about the African bush. I love to write about South African wildlife. I enjoy writing stories because I never truly know how each adventure will pan out.
You can find my bedtime stories here: Bushveld Trio's Wild Adventures - Storyworld