Tag Archives: Attack of the Swordfish

Dioramas of Singapore Tales

As part of our unit study on Singapore tales based on the book Attack of the Swordfish and Other Singapore Tales (text by Charlotte Lim; illustrations by Alicia Tan Yen Ping; published by National Heritage Board), my kids made dioramas of their favorite tales.

Of the 6 tales in the book, my 5-year-old son picked Attack of the Swordfish, a story about how a young boy’s cleverness helped to save his seaside village from attacking swordfish and how this same cleverness led to tragedy.  In his diorama, he depicted the scene where the swordfish came to the coast and attacked the villagers (he loves fight scenes).

My 10-year-old daughter picked Sisters’ Islands, a story about two sisters who, not wanting to be separated when a tribe chief forcibly claims one of them to be his bride, chose to drown together in the sea.  Two small islands formed where the sisters had drowned.  In my daughter’s diorama, she depicted the scene where the tribe chief comes on a boat to the village where the sisters and their uncle lived.

My kids started out by painting the sea, the shore and the mountain backdrop and glueing the cotton clouds on their shoe boxes.

Diorama materials

Then, using cardboard and craft match sticks, they made kampong houses.  Finally, for the last and their favorite part, using clay, pipe cleaners and craft match sticks, they made people, trees, swordfish and a boat.

It was my kids’ first time to make dioramas and we all enjoyed it.  Making dioramas is a fun art project and a good way to reinforce learning about other people’s lives and stories 🙂

Attack of the Swordfish diorama

Sisters' Islands diorama

Attack of the Swordfish, Drum Circle and Other Fun Stuff @ HeritageFest Singapore

The kids and I had a great time at the finale of this year’s Heritage Fest celebrations. We first went to the Singapore Art Museum for the Festival Finale’s Children’s Programs.

Drum Circle by One HeartBeat

From 2-3pm, the kids and I happily joined about 20-30 other kids and adults at the drum circle participation performance conducted by One HeartBeat Percussion Band.  Anyone could grab a seat in the circle, pick an instrument and start playing along to the beat.  My kids each picked a djembe while I was playing a shaker.  Mr Syed Ibrahim made it fun by making us play alternately by “sections,” e.g. kids only, adults only, boys only, girls only, etc.  He even invited some other performers who were part of the Heritage Fest Festival program to join the drum circle.  Some Bhangra performers, stilt walkers and drummers joined in the music.

Attack of the Swordfish by Act3 Theatrics

From 3:30-4pm, we had some good laughs while watching ACT 3 Theatrics‘ performance of the tale of Attack of the Swordfish.  We’ve been reading the story as part of our unit study on Singapore folk tales, and it was so much fun to see it as a funny and colorful stage performance.  The younger members of the audience, my 5-year-old son included, had so much fun interacting with the actors – warning the sleeping soldiers of the coming swordfishes, moving away while the swordfishes weaved in and out of the audience.  The “king” even consulted the audience about what he should do with his people’s swordfish problem and many of the kids eagerly voiced out their suggestions – “Kill the swordfish!” “Stop the fishermen!”  “Use banana leaves!”

Playing games with festival volunteers

After the drama performance and drum circle at the Singapore Art Museum, we walked over to the SMU campus green to see the food and arts and crafts booths.  We were met with some teenage festival volunteers who wanted to play some games with the kids.  They gave us balloons and played hopscotch and pick up sticks with the kids.  My son enjoyed playing games with them so much that he kept asking to go back and play with his new friends 🙂

While my son was in his 3rd round of pick up sticks, the caricature booth by Cartoon.sg caught my daughter’s eye.  She said she wanted her caricature done.  I figured that my son might complain later on if he didn’t have one, so, for $10 per person, they had their caricatures done in black and white.  The kids were having a bit of a hard time just sitting still for about 5-10 minutes while the cartoon artist was doing his job.  In the end, my daughter was happy with her portrait.  My son seemed curious and amused when he first saw his portrait, but soon after forgot about it and just wanted to play more games with the teenage volunteers roaming around the festival. Oh well.

Our caricature & artist from Cartoon.sg

It was soon time to go home.  We spent 4 hours at the Heritage Fest Finale.  There were a lot of things to do, see, hear, eat and enjoy.  Time well spent.  Lots of fun learning.  Looking forward to Heritage Fest Singapore 2011!

playing djembe

Playing djembe too

Bhangra performers

Stilt walkers

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