CRESTVIEW — If second- and fourth-grade Cougars encounter bullying, educators hope they'll remember Aesop's fable "The Sun and the Wind."
Students recently participated in telling the tale as regional actress, drama teacher and Holt resident Darla Briganti brought her kinesthetic learning program to Northwood Arts and Sciences Academy.
Boys portrayed wind, girls were the sun and select students were the people whom the elements tried to divest of their coats.
"We'll blow you away!" second-grader Miles Lerma said.
Despite the wind's best effort to surround Miles, later recast as a villager, and April Painter with foreboding dark clouds — lengths of purple and grey cloth — it was the gentle sunshine that encouraged the students to remove their wraps.
Briganti compared the fable to student bullying, noting it was the sun's gentleness, rather than the wind's bluster, that succeeded.
"Kindness works better than force," she said. "Why do people bully other people? Maybe they can take a lesson from the sun."
Briganti said students can absorb material better by participating in a lesson with movement and physical activity, as opposed to listening to lectures and observing demonstrations.
Kindergartners and first-graders helped tell the story of "The Sculptor Who Couldn't Make Up His Mind," assuming various positions while Briganti, as the sculptor, directed her student lumps of clay.
Storytelling "is not just words," Briganti said. "Dancers use their whole body to tell a story without even saying a word."