The Lion Who Saw Himself in the Water
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By Idries Shah
Illustrated by Ingrid Rodriguez
ISBN: 978-1-883536-12-1 (hardback) $18.00
ISBN: 978-1-942698-17-3 (paperback) $11.90
Hardback: 32 pages
Paperback: 36 pages
A good-natured lion sees his reflection in a pool and gasps at the fierce creature staring back at him and is too frightened to drink. Children will learn through the lion how to deal positively with fears and inhibitions that so often arise from situations they as yet may not understand.
Idries Shah’s collections of Eastern oral and written literature have established the Sufi teaching-story as an educational instrument. The original version of this story was told by the 13th-century Sufi poet Jalaluddin Rumi.
Ingrid Rodriguez has illustrated this tale, bringing the animals to life with warmth and humor. Her illustrations are full of incidental and small details that make her style distinctive.
Selected by the Michigan Department of Education (U.S.) as part of its statewide R.E.A.D.Y. (Read, Educate and Develop Youth) program designed to make sure children have the necessary prereading skills (language, vocabulary, alphabet) by the time they enter school.
“Children enjoy hearing this story many times, amused at what they recognize to be the lion’s lack of objectivity and his unreasonable fear. With each rereading, the lion’s predicament and his reaction to it become more familiar … [which] provides a base on which the child can come to understand egocentricity and irrationality at successive depths later in life.”
—Denise Nessel, Ph.D., Senior Consultant with the National Urban Alliance for Effective Education; Library Media Connection: The Professional Magazine for School Library Media Specialists
“This memorable tale, which is known to almost every Afghan, can teach children and adults valuable lessons about fear that unfold gradually, as one is ready for them. … Rodriguez’s illustrations are expansive, jovial, and colorful.” —Multicultural Perspectives: An Official Journal of the National Association for Multicultural Education
“A delightful tale from an oral tradition many centuries old, illustrated with warmth, humor and the detail that children love. A thirsty lion, afraid of his own reflection in a pool of water, overcomes his fear while his jungle friends look on.” —Great Lakes Booksellers Association
“My child has been struggling with anxious feelings at bedtime. After the school assembly [where the story The Lion Who Saw Himself in the Water had been shared], we practiced a calming breathing technique we’d learnt, and then retold The Lion Who Saw Himself in Water together. I was surprised and relieved when he went to sleep easily for the first time in ages.” —Recounted by a mother in Ipswich, UK, to Ezra Hewing, Head of Education at the mental-health charity Suffolk Mind
“Rodriguez’s illustrations are expansive, jovial, and colorful.” —School Library Journal
Available from Amazon in hardback, paperback and Kindle. Also available from the Apple iBooks Store.
Step-by-step instructions for creating paper bag puppets (PDF): The Lion Who Saw Himself in the Water paper bag puppets
Step-by-step instructions for creating felt characters (PDF): The Lion Who Saw Himself in the Water felt characters
Manuals & Tips
Downloadable manual (PDF): The Lion Who Saw Himself in the Water manual for parents and caregivers
Hoopoe Books Reader’s Theater
- The reader’s theater strategy combines students’ desire to perform with their need for oral reading practice. Reader’s theater offers an entertaining and engaging means of improving fluency through repetition, reading with expression, and enhancing comprehension.
- Reader’s theater is a way to involve students in reading aloud. In reader’s theater, students “perform” by reading the Hoopoe books’ scripts created for this purpose. Students can perform the scripts with or without costumes or props.
- Reader’s theater is a strategy that combines reading (and re-reading) practice and performing. Its goal is to enhance students’ reading skills and confidence by having them practice reading with a purpose. Reader’s theater gives students an authentic reason to read aloud.
- Re-Reading to Develop Fluency:
Reader’s theater motivates reluctant readers and English language learners, and provides fluent readers the opportunity to explore genre and characterization. Hoopoe Books Reader’s Theater scripts can be used as early as first-grade. Re-reading is a key factor in developing fluency, which is necessary for comprehension. Students don’t even realize they are re-reading as they practice the script.
- Re-Reading to Develop Understanding:
The value of reader’s theater is increased when used as a strategy for increasing understanding of what is being read. Students also practice reading with expression when they take on the roles in the script.
- Re-Reading to Develop Voice:
Reader’s theater is a wonderful technique for helping readers learn to read aloud with expression and joy. Performing reader’s theater without props allows the readers to learn that the inflection in their voices needs to provide much of the drama of the story.
- “I love watching my English language learners gain more fluency and confidence as they perform the Hoopoe Books Reader’s Theaters,” says educator and I Have a Dream volunteer, Leanne Lockhart. “They love hamming it up and making costumes and scenery too.”
Some students are hams — they just don’t know it until they get up in front of the group. There is no risk in reader’s theater, because no memorization is required. And, there’s opportunity for practice, so struggling readers are not put on the spot.
- Hand out a photocopied Hoopoe script
- Assign a part to each child
- Have her simply read the script aloud and act it out. That’s all you have to do.
“Magic” occurs when the students get to be on stage — even if that stage is the floor of the classroom or library. Shy children may blossom, and students develop a strong sense of community.
- Start slowly so students feel comfortable in the performance mode. Students do not memorize their parts; they always read from their scripts. Provide lots of opportunities for practice.
- Read the book several times, offering instructional support for new vocabulary, and for understanding the different characters. You can do many other activities with the story to develop understanding before doing the reader’s theater. *A complete set of lesson plans can be found on Hoopoe’s website.
- Students simply stand or sit in a semicircle or on a stage, if one is available.
- Model each character’s part and match roles to readers.
- If you have a larger group than the number of roles, you may have several readers’ theater groups going simultaneously.
- Work with small groups, not with the entire class, if possible.
- You might invite families or caregivers to a presentation, or invite another class to the reader’s theater enactment.
- You might also video the performance or do a radio podcast.
~May Hoopoe Reader’s Theater enliven your classroom and your students’ lives, as well as cement learning that lasts.
Teacher Activity Guide & Teacher Lesson Plans
Hoopoe Teaching-Stories prepare students to master the California Reading Common Core State Standards for Language Arts by helping them build skills in reading comprehension, literary response and analysis, and vocabulary development.
Grades PreK–1 (PDF): Lion Who Saw Himself in the Water GrPreK-1 Activity Guide
Grades K–2 (PDF): Lion Who Saw Himself in the Water GrK-2 lesson plan
Grades 3–5 (PDF): Lion Who Saw Himself in the Water Gr3-5 lesson plan
California Content Standard Alignment:
Grades PreK-1 All 7 PreK-1 Hoopoe titles have been correlated with the The Protocol for Review of Instructional Materials for English Language Learners (PRIME) through the World-Class Instructional Design and Assessment (WIDA) tool (http://prime.wceruw.org/instructionalMaterials/index.aspx). Click here for a copy of the report.
Grades K – 2 All 6 Grades K-2 Hoopoe titles have been correlated with the The Protocol for Review of Instructional Materials for English Language Learners (PRIME) through the World-Class Instructional Design and Assessment (WIDA) tool (http://prime.wceruw.org/instructionalMaterials/index.aspx). Click here for a copy of the report.