In English, Year 4 have continued reading traditional tales from South America. This week, we have focused on the story of, ‘The Rainbow Snake’. First, we discussed similarities and differences with the previous stories we read. We found that they had several themes in common including central animal characters, a rainforest setting and a wise, helpful character who tries to help others and pass on their wisdom.
The Rainbow Snake story is set in Venezuela and at the beginning, the birds of the country were all grey. This changed one day when they found a brightly coloured snake who they were able to take colours from. This led to lots of fighting from the birds about who would get which colours. The only bird not to join in the squabbling was the wise cormorant, who waited patiently. He was happy to take only a small amount of white that was left over. When the other birds asked him why he had not taken some of the colours for himself, his comment was that, “It is not the colours that make the bird, but his thoughts and actions.” This comment provoked lots of interesting discussion about the message behind the story. When the children considered what this meant, they produced some really interesting ideas:
“It doesn't matter what you look like; it’s who you are and how you act.”
“Your personality matters more than how you look.”
“Be grateful for what you have and it is good to accept yourself as you are.”
“It doesn’t matter about your appearance; it’s the thoughts and actions that make you who you are.”
“How you express yourself is more important than your appearance.”
“Don’t just care about yourself; care about others.”