You never know when you are a part of someone’s storyAfter reading the story note the last page of Tendo running and turn back to the first page of Tendo running – notice how he is running past all the characters of the book.  Tendo does not know that they are going to play a part in him getting his wish at the end of the day.  And the other characters did not know about being a part of Tendo’s wish- they were just being kind for kindness sake.

 Wishes/prayers and being faithful in the small things:  When Tendo made his wish in the morning he did not make a deal with God, he just made his wish and then continued being kind.  We do not know how many times Tendo has been making this wish and waiting for his shoes.  Sometimes it takes a long time to have an answer to a wish/prayer.  We do not know all of the other things that need to happen for us to get our answer.

 It can be turned into a drama – see this link for a drama presented at Heritage International School.

See below for ideas how to present it as a drama.

 Mapping skills:  use this link for a black and white image of the map of Tendo’s Village and this link for questions of what to find.  Hint: on the map the story starts in the top left corner- use this link for the answers.

Read the story once then pass out the maps and questions then go through the story again- showing illustrations- students must be observant.  They can color it once done.

 Community unit:  use this link to get the last page, all the characters faces.  See if the kids can name all of the characters and the jobs they did.  What other jobs do you find in a small town or village?

 Welfare of children unit:  The first page shows all the jobs a child in the village in Uganda must do before school.  Compare this to children in an urban setting, or an international setting.  Children in the rural areas usually bring firewood twice a week to school.  The school cooks then typically prepare porriage for a mid morning break, and then posho and beans for lunch. (porriage and posho are both made of maize flour)

Tendo’s Wish

Tendo’s Wish: A ‘pay it forward’ kindness story

Tendo’s Wish is a circle story, meaning that it comes full circle. A ‘Pay It Forward’ book is a book about kindness.  In this book, each character does something small for the next one, they did something small out of what they could give.  The last one, the shoe cobbler, is the Mzee of “I know an old Mzee who swallowed a fly” and notice he is swatting flies.  The Mzee was helped by the nurse.  He was also missing his now grown son and so does not need the shoes he just repaired, so he gives them to Tendo.  But Mzee does not know about all the other characters in the village and their kindness.  Each character only knows about the one before them and the one after them.  Ask the question:

Who did Tendo think was kind in this book?  (All of the characters but he only knew about Mzee)

Tendo’s Wish village Map activity

Tendo's Wish Village Map: Follow the Kindness Journey!

By: Cathy Kreutter

Put your name on the map.

1. Find Tendo's home on the map. Draw a simple stick figure of Tendo.

( All figures sgould be stick figures)

2. Find the short-cut to school and locate Jajja's house. Draw Jajja.

3. Draw an arrow to the direction of the town to show the road Jajja walked.

4. Locate the Knife Sharpener draw him.

5. Locate the Farmer and draw her.

6. Locate the Farmer and draw him.

7. Locate the Tailor and draw her..

8. Locate the Boda bicycle and draw him.

9. Locate where the Nurse got off the boda and draw her and color the hospital sign.

10. Locate the Show Carpenter table. Draw the Carpenter.

11. Color the roof of Tecndo's school.

12. Put a big star where Tendo's Wish was fulfilled.

13. Draw an arrow showing the direction Tendo ran to reach his home.

14. Do you see how the story makes a circle? Show your partner the circle.

15. Enjoy coloring the rest of the map!

Tendo Map questions

9 Characters: 4 female, 5 male- in order of appearance

Narrator, Tendo-M, Jajja-F, Sharpener-M, Farmer-F, Carpenter-M, Tailor-F, Boda-M, Nurse-F, Mzee-M


Each character can dress the part-(basket, saw, panga, bananas etc)  Tendo needs bits of firewood and the Mzee needs a small box or burlap bag with black shoes hidden inside to give to Tendo.


All characters in a line in the above order- except Tendo- he is in front and to the side of the line with the Narrator.

Narrator begins to read and Tendo acts out actions and runs in front of the characters in line and waves to people then runs behind them and around to Jajja who is at the start of the line, giving her some firewood.

Tendo and Jajja interact and Tendo runs off stage (runs around to exit the other side, but remains hidden so audience forgets about Tendo)

Jajja then walks in place and turns to the Sharpener. The Sharpener turns to Jajja and they interact.

Jajja then takes a step back, the sharpener walks in place and then turns to the Farmer.

Farmer turns to Sharpener for their interaction, then sharpener steps back, farmer faces front, walks in place and turns to the Carpenter, AND SO ON…….TAILOR, BODA, NURSE…

Nurse bandages up the Mzee’s thumb then steps back. The Mzee starts to pack up his things for the day and on cue Tendo comes and starts to walk towards Mzee who notices him and considers him, then calls him over and gives him his shoes.

Tendo jumps up and down and runs in front and to the other side by the Jajja- then the whole line steps forward together and says “A kindness that is given, (hands up to heart), is eventually returned (hands down as if to give love).

Character interactions

At first a character is distressed then transitions (walking in place) then turns to the other side and is happy to help the next distressed character.


For “How can I pay you?” Spread hands wide in front questioning style.

For “Don’t worry glad I could help.” A hand palm up waving off the person in a kind way


At the end all the characters stay on stage while we talk about the story.  Main points:

Who was kind?  Was the kindness out of manipulation or from the heart?   Were they kind to make a deal with God?

This is a story about kindness, community and being a part of each others story.

Tendo’s Wish short skit

Tendo’s Wish short skit by Cathy Kreutter

Over view:

The skit is acted out by 9 characters as the narrator reads the story.

The characters only need to learn one line spoken at the end.

 The characters start in a horizontal straight line (in order of appearance in the story) facing the audience and as each interaction happens the students clearly see how the kindness moves down the line.  When the character is done with their interaction they take a step back and then at the very end all the characters step forward and say the moral of the story.

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