Materials: A copy of Aesop’s The Crow and the Pitcher, a large empty glass jar or vase, construction paper cut into circles about 4 inches in diameter, markers.
The Crow and the Pitcher
A Crow, half-dead with thirst, came upon a Pitcher which had once been full of water; but when the Crow put its beak into the mouth of the Pitcher he found that only very little water was left in it, and that he could not reach far enough down to get at it. He tried, and he tried, but at last had to give up in despair. Then a thought came to him, and he took a pebble and dropped it into the Pitcher. Then he took another pebble and dropped it into the Pitcher. Then he took another pebble and dropped that into the Pitcher. Then he took another pebble and dropped that into the Pitcher. Then he took another pebble and dropped that into the Pitcher. Then he took another pebble and dropped that into the Pitcher. At last, at last, he saw the water mount up near him, and after casting in a few more pebbles he was able to quench his thirst and save his life.
Little by little does the trick.
Preparation Instructions: use a cup or something round (about 4″ in diameter) to trace circles on a sheet of construction paper, stack 3-4 sheets underneath your template and cut out the circles. I suggest using different colors of paper for variety. Make sure you have enough “pebbles” so that everyone can take 1-3.
Directive: Read The Crow and the Pitcher and have a brief discussion about the poem. Ask the group to think about what are the little and sometimes annoying things that they have had to do over and over again to help them in their recovery. Then hand out the “pebbles” and markers and ask them to write down 1-3 of these things.
After everyone is finished pass around the glass jar and ask them to first read out loud what they write down and then crumple up the paper and throw it in the jar. By the time you get to the last person the jar should be close to full, illustrating that if we don’t give up we can conquer anything. Another element to this illustration is the power of supporting one another, these pebbles worked collectively to fill the jar.
Things to Consider: What should you do with the jar when your finished? What I did was I kept it on my desk at work and told the clients that if they were ever in need of some encouragement they could come in and take a pebble.
Here is a bonus video…a Sesame Street version of The Crow and the Pitcher