A Moon on Water

Activities, Games and Stories For Developing Children's Spiritual Intelligence

By: Trisha Lee , Tim Harding , Steve Bowkett , Roy Leighton


Products specifications
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Size: 297mm x 210mm
Pages : 200
ISBN : 9781845903923
Format: PaperbackAudio CD
Published: February 2011

‘Spiritual intelligence’ is the innate ability that all children have to find greater wonder and purpose in their lives through the lives that they are already leading. Natural curiosity, a sense of playfulness and fun, the urge to question – these are the resources that all children possess and can use to explore more deeply who they are and what their existence can mean to them.

A Moon On Water is intended as a workbook of practical ideas and activities for use in schools that can be applied in a range of contexts across the curriculum; as a basis for philosophical enquiry, for exploring feelings and enhancing emotional resourcefulness, and for adding the dimension of values to the subjects and knowledge that children study. In short the book seeks to show children how to connect – who they are with what they do, and why they are here.

Includes a CD-ROM and Audio CD. See below for a selection of audio samples.

Picture for author Trisha Lee

Trisha Lee

Trisha Lee is the Founder and Artistic Director of MakeBelieve Arts, a theatre and education company offering innovative, high quality programmes to develop the creative, emotional and cognitive potential of children and young people from Foundation, Primary and Secondary schools across the UK.

Trish has directed seven shows with the company and run countless projects in schools. She has worked all over the world and is widely known for her work on Helicopter Stories. She is in demand to speak at conferences and deliver INSETs for teachers.

Based on her work in theatre and education, her ability to link current educational theory with theatre practice and a passionate interest in how children learn, Trish has published several books.

Picture for author Tim Harding

Tim Harding

Tim Harding taught in primary schools for 23 years, 15 of these as a headteacher and is now a freelance educational writer and song-writer.

Picture for author Steve Bowkett

Steve Bowkett

Steve's background is in education. He taught English for 18 years in Leicestershire High Schools, though is now a full-time writer, storyteller, educational consultant and also a qualified hypnotherapist.

He has also published over twenty educational books, principally in the fields of literacy, creativity, thinking skills and emotional resourcefulness. He has also written fantasy and SF for teenagers, adult and teen horror, romance, mainstream fiction for pre-teens, fiction and non-fiction for younger readers and poetry for all ages. 

Currently Steve is writing articles for Teach Primary magazine on topics related to literacy, creativity and life coaching skills for children.

Picture for author Roy Leighton

Roy Leighton

Roy has been working in value-based areas in education, the arts and business environments in the U.K. and internationally for over 25 years. He has written books on creativity, learning, parenting, leadership and confidence. His areas of expertise are many and varied; from providing inspiring and stimulating key-note speeches to whole day conferences and workshops and sustainable programmes that run for weeks and years, and on rare occasions, possibly lifetimes.


  1. this is a test review
  2. I loved this book! These inspiring stories, activities and lesson ideas are a great asset for teachers to have in their toolkits. As soon as I delved into it I found material I would really enjoy using in the classroom. I shall be encouraging students to buy it and use it with all age groups.
  3. Seriously, this book can help you to avoid silly mistakes when conveying the complexities of spiritual life to young people and parents. `Well that`s what we all need don`t we`, I heard a drama teacher tell me a few years back after she expressed her frustration with not having well developed material to assist her learners explore their own spiritual intelligence in a way that would avoid offending parents and anyone else who needed to be respected. `A Moon on Water`, is well worth keeping in one`s professional and personal library as a key resource.

    I always kept that image in my head and now I stood excited, holding this text in my hand. I knew it was an important text, because its intention is to truly open up a person, to allow them to be themselves whilst assisting them to understand the principles of spirit that the secular and spiritual worlds appreciate. A Moon on Water allows practitioners such as that frustrated drama teacher I met a few years back, to develop a personal relationship with their inner nature, in a cool way. With that, I began reading and using the stories activities and games which I could see were all based on everyday life that we can recognise today in 2011, I gathered myself inward, read the book and listened to the 19 titles on the CD.

    My main feedback:

    - Relevant topics and story matter
    - Multicultural Pedagogy
    - Interesting text for social workers, governors, parents, teachers, carers,
    - Friendly tone of text, resources and CD
    - Parents
    - The writing team

    Very relevant topics and story matter.
    Easy to relate to material. The stories and activities are about easily recognisable issues in life. Like children who love chocolate or have everything materially such as computers, trainers, TV, games and good food, busy parents, or playing with ladybirds . These everyday topics are all linked to fundamental spiritual matters such as unity, love, sharing, forgiveness, play, loneliness parenting, happiness and so on.

    Those interested in pedagogy may notice that, although multicultural in flavour, `A Moon on Water`, would have benefited the reader tremendously from including spiritual knowledge from indigenous African religions. This is a serious consideration.

    These indigenous African religions include the Bantu in Southern Africa and the Yoruba in Western Africa, and so on. Since they use oracular stories to develop spiritual intelligence of the listener, their inclusion in such a notable text was expected. However, any good tutor can utilise this omission by using it as a starting point to open up people to the marvellous African stories about people like how Heru, the son of King Ausar brought peace and harmony to his dead fathers country after his father Ausar had been killed by his jealous uncle Set. So in fact this book is a starting point for some.

    `A Moon on Water`: a launch pad to take on multicultural approaches to spirituality
    In fact this is how the book may best work for this sort of area, since those with that knowledge can take this brilliant resource that these writers have provided one step further. So, working hand in hand with the positive intention of this book, all those interested in advancing spiritual knowledge for those who may find their spiritual intelligence omitted in mainstream teachings can now be nourished further.

    `A Moon on Water` has a breathtaking quality about it. A quality where one reads the stories, listens to the audios, plays with the activities and is thoroughly engaged using all ones learning facilities. Its approach is multi dimensional in teaching style. The content of the stories takes us into the larger dimension of life and the questions that need to be asked which we all need to answer.

    Although not in this particular text, `Moon on water`, open us up to other classic stories seen in indigenous African spiritual teachings such as how Set, who had collaborated with the clever administrator, jackal Sebek (known as Anansi in the Caribbean) formed an army to kill King Ausar. The stories can really invite us to explore questions around how women behave in our communities. For example, in these particular African centred spiritual stories, we can see how it was the Queen Mother, Auset, Ausar`s beloved wife who ran the country based on peaceful principles until her son was old enough to understand his father`s principles of peace and harmony and acceptance. Queen Auset sincerely loved her husband. And she and her people continued to receive blessings from the teaching and maintenance of his principles. These 11 key principles of life such as love, forgiveness, unity, acceptance and harmony with duality, optimisms, wanting the best for others, celebration, physical health and so on, were communicated through stories, songs, games and activities. They kept his country harmonious. Only when Heru, her son, had learnt enough about how they can be applied to life had Auset encouraged him to regain his father`s throne and rule the land. To do so, Heru, took advice from the great oracle, Tehuti, (also known as Thoth in other traditions). The oracle was the inner teacher of harmonious ways of resolving challenges peacefully. So in fact it was Tehuti who would give wisdom in the form of inner tuition, intuition and show it to people through simple stories and songs. I would invite the writers to explore this for further editions of this practical text. Why?

    Social context of 2011
    In the world today, groups are working to ensure that the spiritual legacy of indigenous people is actually in their statute books. There are many areas in the world today where groups are working with governments to ensure that it remains a legal right that people can experience stories, activities and material from their indigenous backgrounds.

    In the UK , which is going through much social change, young people are receiving guidance from the media about gangs, crime, parenting, sex, drugs, so why not material that is written in a modern relevant way that opens them up to happiness, love, inspiration, and the nature of their own divinity is key here. This book does trigger off the multicultural and diverse reflections of the nature and source of divinity. And as a result will be of interest to social workers, care workers, teachers, parent/school governors, librarians, and others with responsibility to ensure resources reflect the pupil`s background knowledge and experience, situation, and environment, as well as learning goals set by the student and teacher. This book is good because it triggers off peoples inner tuition inner wisdom and truly supports it being vocal and respected.

    Very friendly audio
    `A Moon on Water`, includes 2 free CD`s, containing printable resources, stories and music. I have just listened to the CD and the clearly spoken friendly voices take you on a magical inspiring breathtaking journey in your imagination. Everything you expect from such a resource. The resource could have been even more richly inspiring to the ear, if it one heard much more culturally diverse voices on the audio CD. Nevertheless, the CD is long 19 tracks and in some cases accompanied by relaxing music. Kind or reminds you of faraway places. Each track ranges from a minute to just over ten minutes so you can plan them into your programme for listening and developing into activities.

    Activities, games and stories-use as original or adapt
    Going over the material, I found myself focusing on the practical activities, fun games and easy to reread and understand stories. For me these are the books major strengths, as they are all used to encourage a personal relationship with God, the creator or spirituality. Any religious or secular practitioner can apply and adapt the material to explore themes. I really love the way the books can be used to explore the nature and source of one`s own divinity.

    How would I suggest it to be used? For teachers, or parents who want material, games and stories to flesh out their curriculum. To explore the nature and source of one`s own divinity. So for an example, if you use the Tree of Life to teach children`s spirituality, you would find that there are enough stories, games and activities here to support your teaching plan. If you come from the Hindu, Christian, Islamic, Buddhist frameworks, you also have enough material to develop. As long as ones heart is focused on divinity, then they can quickly use the practical material, as it is, or adapted to reflect ones personal objectives.

    Personally, I can see how the CD is ideal for parent-child bonding. I would really encourage parents, to use the CDs for bedtime reading and exploring with their children because the stories are so short and easy to listen to. It could be used in a reading and bonding time between male and female parent. Yes, it would have been so nice to hear a little more diversity in the voices however we do hear male and female narrators and the stories are short and sweet.

    The Team
    The team of writers includes Steve Bowkett, who is a full-time writer, trainer and creative writing tutor. He has 18 years` experience as an English teacher and has published 40 books. Tim Harding taught in primary schools for 23 years, 15 of these as a head teacher and is now a freelance educational writer and song-writer. Trisha Lee who is Artistic Director and founder of MakeBelieve Arts a theatre and education company with a primary focus on story telling and drama in the classroom. Roy Leighton links the worlds of creativity, commerce and learning. His work ranges from lecturing on complexity, confidence and organisational evolution to running sustainable development programmes for schools and businesses throughout Europe

    In conclusion
    So in summary, it`s clear that `A Moon On Water`, is intended as a workbook of practical ideas and activities for use in schools that can be applied in a range of contexts across the curriculum; as a basis for philosophical enquiry, for exploring feelings and enhancing emotional resourcefulness, for adding the dimension of values to the subjects and knowledge that children study. And that it is.

    And yes, the book seeks to show children how to connect `who they are with what they do, with why they are here`, another way of saying learning about the nature of their divinity and its source. Practitioners using this resource may see how they are also invited to bring in African, Caribbean or other culturally indigenous ways of seeing the world so that stories have even more influence.

    Overall, there is something that this book does really well. It draws out the best of the reader. I have said it before, it has breathtaking inspiring moments. Moments that create comfortable space in the spirit of the recipient so that they can experience the nature of their own spirituality. That to me is the most important aspect of any good resource and he main reason why I can say that I would recommend `A Moon on Water`.
    Highly recommended.
  4. Just when do you find the time to develop Spiritual Intelligence in your classroom? During Circle Time? In assemblies? PSHE lessons? Finding a slot to inspire young minds to think beyond their classroom walls is a tricky ask at the best of times - a restless Class 4T on a Friday afternoon are not always as receptive to `developing a sense of awe and wonder` as we`d like them to be.

    However, if you can find the opportunities to use them, the questions in `A Moon on Water` are some of the most important you could ever pose as a teacher.

    This book is one of the most thought-provoking classroom resources I`ve ever come across. It`s not a book about religion or matters of the spirit, it`s a resource to enhance classroom discussions and provoke thought about `big matters` because, quite frankly, the big matters matter. I don`t personally endorse all the philosophy found within, but the stories and activities in this book will certainly broaden your pupils` horizons, heighten their sense of wonder and deepen their understanding of this thing we call `life`.
    Just reading `A Moon on Water` left me wanting to get it into the classroom and see what the pupils had to say about the issues within.

    If you, like me, think there`s more to life than targets, objectives and grades you`ll enjoy letting `A Moon on Water` loose on your unsuspecting pupils. It will inspire, challenge and provoke more questions than it asks. Tribes and communities throughout the world have been passing on wisdom to their young for centuries, but it`s something we seem to have neglected. This book replaces something valuable that has been long-lost from `education` as we know it today.
  5. `This is a rare and compelling book, one that consistently demonstrates a profound respect for the intelligence and spiritual lives of children, and those who teach them. Story after story takes us into the larger dimensions of life, and the questions that need to be asked but which can never be answered. I found myself wanting to engage immediately with the children in my life, to share these stories and to explore together where they would lead us. And I know that as teachers guide their students into these wondrous and life-affirming stories, they too will be nourished and awakened.`
  6. A Moon on Water is quite literally a wonderful, practical book. Written to help teachers develop children`s spiritual intelligence, it is full of wonder about our connection to the cosmos. It asks children to consider some Big Questions about the wonder of everyday life and encourages them towards their own enlightenment.

    But spiritual need not mean religious. This message appears in several forms throughout the book, beginning when the authors each outline what spirituality means to them and how it affects their lives. Like their `Looking from Another Angle` exercise, they have each brought their own viewpoint to this fundamental issue and used their particular strengths and experience to help the children see that perspective in order to discover their own. The result is a vista of approaches - from story to sound - that shares the wonder through topics that explore meanings around us, choice and change, talents and gifts, harmony and discord, morals and obligations, and opportunity, amongst many others.

    This is a book of collected wisdom from different times and cultures for modern classrooms. It is bound together with activities to bring alive the stories, proverbs, songs, quotes and ideas in order that children can make sense of themselves and the world in which they live. But it will leave any reader feeling like they have been gently prompted into positively examining their life.
  7. A lovely collection of stories unpicking the processes behind the learning. Explores spirituality from a personal and inner state leaving the student to make up their own minds through challenge and reflection. Illustrations were not too cliched and often helped.
  8. `Spiritual development is, perhaps, one of the most important aspects of a child`s education, and yet in schools it is arguably one of the most poorly understood and applied. A Moon on Water is therefore an extremely welcome, practical, and engaging resource for teachers & parents who appreciate that there`s much more to life than the predominant preoccupations of good grades, pop culture, and pleasing oneself.

    The book draws on wonderfully diverse sources to inspire children to explore `key ideas` through stories and activities which may be adapted to all ages and within many contexts. The four authors make their differing approaches to `spirituality` explicit, thereby encouraging adults to focus on the core spiritual concepts, experiences and issues rather than their cultural packaging. They invite us to wonder, question, experiment and reflect on profound themes (meaning, the self, expression, loss etc.) through story and action, preferring curiosity to rule rather than cold conclusions.

    If you`ve struggled to find a practical and inspiring resource that welcomes all to adventure into the heart of life, you can now relax! A Moon on Water is a book that helps us to access the creative wisdom of the past so that we may explore the present in fresh & meaningful ways; `education` without that is nothing more than schooling.

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