Drama plan based on the story “The day the sea went out and never came back”
by Margot Sunderland.
Placing group in the role of experts:
To place the group in the role of experts welcome the children as happiness experts. Ask them what makes people happy? They can use their own experience. Ask them to mime what makes them happy. The happiness helpers work in the happiness office. If someone is or if they know someone who is sad then they contact the happiness office and the happiness helpers will try to help.
Ask the group to answer the Phones in the happiness office.
“Hello Happiness Office … speaking how many I help you.” Ask the group to move around the room, shaking hands with everyone and each time they repeat the greeting. If they would like to add their own words or have their own greeting they may do so.
Using an email to introduce the problem
The helpers are on the computer when an email arrives from Surfthedog@thebeach.com
Read out the email
Dear Happiness Helpers
I live on the beach and there is a sand dragon just lying on the beach. He doesn’t look well I asked him what is wrong and he said he is very sad because his good friend the sea went out but unfortunately never came back.
Please can you help?
Surf the dog.
Brainstorming/reflecting in role
Ask them if they have any ideas about what to do. Do they need extra detail? How long has the sea gone? Has she done this before? Where does she usually go? What does she look like? How long has the sand dragon been friends with the sea? Perhaps we could make a phone call to Surf the dog and ask him these questions. No answer to the phone call.
Narration/still image/ thought tracking
So we can’t speak to sand dragon but we must try to think how is feeling as the sea has been gone for a long time and there isn’t any sign of it coming back. In pairs discuss how the sand dragon is feeling and then make a still image of how you think he is feeling.
“Please, please come back sea. Don’t leave me. Please don’t leave me. You are my everything.” Use movement with the narration. Return to the still image and then tap them on the shoulder ask them how they are feeling they can response by saying a word or a sentence.
Creating the environment and exploring the world of the drama
Suggest that we should go to the beach and find the sand dragon and ask him what happened to make him so sad. What other questions could we ask? Let them come up with suggestions.
Divide the group into pairs. Use the materials given to make the environment and items on the beach. – the sand, the rock, flowers, water. Each pair walks around the scene and asks how the different items feel about the sea going out and never coming back. Ask how each item might help each other.
Everyone reflects on what has happened. How can we help the Sand Dragon? In pairs, come up with ideas. Decide together if we should talk to Sand Dragon. What should we say? What could we say to help him not be so sad?
Teacher in role/Puppet
TIR – as the sand dragon or puppet answers the group’s questions. He explains that he misses the sea so much and that he is just going to lie on the beach waiting for her to come back. Then devise a gauntlet and everyone must do an action or say something to help the Sand Dragon as he walks down it.
The group thinks of things that could help the sand dragon to remember the sea. One by one they collect them and put them in the treasure chest. When everyone has done that they sit in a circle and pass the treasure chest around and mime taking out their item. They explain carefully what it is and how it will help the sand dragon to remember the sea.
In groups sculpt themselves how the dragon feels after he has accepted that sea isn’t coming back and that he will never forget it and that he has a treasure chest full of memories. Each group looks at the other and discusses what feelings represented.
In groups – write a final letter to the sea. Tie it on to a balloon and let it go.