I have a self imposed rule of only reading aloud books or orally narrating stories that I connect with.
Yet every once in a while, I come across a book or story hat hasn’t particularly excited me, but I’ve chosen to take it to the children for various different reasons.
RAVI’S ROAR was one of them.
I am a huge fan of Tom Percival’s previous books in this series…Perfectly Norman and in particular Ruby’s Worry. They explain emotions very simply and in quite a profound manner. Very easy for young children to understand.
Ravi is a happy little boy who enjoys playing with his siblings and dog Biscuits. Most of the time, being the smallest in the family was just great but sometimes, just sometimes, it all gets a bit too much for Ravi and he feels sooo angry that his inner tiger is just rearing to spring out from within. Its fun being a tiger. Everyone is scared of him and gives him whatever he growls about. But as great as it all seems with getting his own way, Ravi realises that tigers can also be incredibly lonely and sad.
There illustrations are stunning with the coloured illustrations moving to monochrome and orange to highlight Ravi’s tiger phase.
I loved the build up in this story, but felt that the resolution was lacking.
The best way to arrive at a resolution was to take this book to my students. I read and discussed it at length with 2 groups…my Dragons and Unicorns.
The children identified with the feelings of anger and shared freely and openly. They talked about what made them ‘really, really’ angry.
My older students who were 7-8 year olds, were able to identify a few emotions that lie beneath the anger, often the cause of it. Jealousy, disappointment, sadness, worry and embarrassment. I was surprised when our conversation made them arrive at this.
They then openly shared what made them cool down and how they could help one another navigate their anger. It was absolute the sweetest discussion yet it was one of the deepest discussions that I’ve ever had, post-reading to this age group.
I was warmed by the fact that the children opened up so thoughtfully…candidly sharing their feelings and thoughts.
As they filled up ideas in an activity sheet, many came up with some of their own, things we hadn’t discussed as a group.
This reassures me that they are thinking critically, and not just repeating or copying from the board.
Read aloud raise thinkers!!
Read aloud and impart SEL skills.
SEL Competencies: Self Awareness and Self Management
SEL Skills: Identifying Emotions and Managing Emotions