Posted in Drama for children, drama for kids, Drama games for 3 year olds, Drama games for 4 year olds, Drama strategies, Drama techniques, Drama workshops for children, Little red hen

The Little Red Hen – A Drama Workshop for Children

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Movement Story
Movement:
Action.

Little Red Hen: Make yourself as small as possible and cluck around like a chicken.

Plant: Mime digging a hole and planting a seed.

Wheat: Make your body into the shape of a wheat plant.

Dogs: Move and bark like a dog.

Ducks: Waddle and quack like a duck.

Geese: Move like a goose and say “gobble, gobble.”

Cats: Move like a cat and meow.

Cut: Use a slashing movement.

Bread and cakes: Mime eating a delicious cake.

Once upon a time, there was a little red hen that lived on a farm. She was always busy! She spent all morning laying eggs for the farmer.

Little Red Hen, please lay an egg for my tea,” said the farmer. After the little red hen had laid her egg, she found a grain of wheat. She wanted to plant it in a field.

“I’ll ask my animal friends to help me. Dogs, Dogs! Will you help me plant the wheat?” she said.

“Oh no, we will not help you. We are too busy burying our bones. Get the ducks to help you,” barked the dogs.

 Ducks, Ducks! Will you help me plant the wheat?” said the little red hen.

“Oh no, we will not help you. We are too busy swimming. Get the geese to help you,” quacked the ducks.

Geese, Geese! Will you help me plant the wheat?” said the little red hen.

“Oh no, we will not help you. We are too busy sunbathing. Get the cats to help you,” gaggled the geese.

Cats, Cats! Will you help me plant the wheat?” said the little red hen.

“Oh no, we will not help you. Plant it yourself,” meowed the cats.

No one would help the little red hen, so she planted it herself. The sun and the rain helped the wheat to grow. Soon, the wheat was tall and yellow and needed to be cut.  “I’ll ask my animal friends to help me. Dogs, Dogs! Will you help me cut the wheat?” said the little red hen.

“Oh no, we will not help you. We are too busy burying our bones. Get the ducks to help you,” barked the dogs.

Ducks, Ducks! Will you help me cut the wheat?” said the little red hen.

“Oh no, we will not help you. We are too busy swimming. Get the geese to help you,” quacked the ducks.

“Geese, Geese! Will you help me cut the wheat?” said the little red hen.

Oh no, we will not help you. We are too busy sunbathing. Get the cats to help you,” gaggled the geese.

Cats, Cats! Will you help me cut the wheat?” said the little red hen.

“Oh no, we will not help you. We are too busy washing our faces. Cut it yourself,” meowed the cats.

So, the little red hen cut the wheat herself, and she took the wheat to the miller. The miller turned the wheat into flour.

Here’s your flour to make bread and cakes,” said the miller.

The little red hen thanked the miller. She made bread and cakes.

“Who will help me eat the bread and cakes?” said the little red hen.

“We will!” shouted all the animals.

“Oh no, I will eat it myself. If you want to eat the food, what will you do next time?” asked the little red hen.

We will share the work,” said all the animals.

Movement/Role-play:  The teacher asks the children to take on the role of animals found on a farm and to make a noise that sounds like their animal. They move around the room as their animal. Eventually everyone sit in a circle and the teacher ask them to make each noise individually and then brings them together to make a farmyard morning chorus.

Teacher in Role: The teacher takes on the role of the little red hen. The  children ask her questions in role about how she was feeling at various parts of the story.

Sample questions:

How would you describe the cat, the goose, and the dog?

What words can you use to describe yourself?

How do you feel doing all of the work by yourself?

How do you feel when all the animals wanted to eat the bread she had made?

Why did you say the other animals could not eat the bread?

How do you think the animals felt when you told them they could not help to eat the bread?

What lesson did the animals learn? Do you think they will be more willing to help out next time? Why or why not?

How would the story be different if all the animals had agreed to help the little red hen with the work?

Hot seating: The children choose to be either the dog or cat or pig. Each child takes it in turns to sit in the hot seat as their characters. The rest of the children ask the character in the hot seat characters. Some examples of questions are

Sample questions:

Why are you so lazy?

Why didn’t you help the Little Red Hen?

Do you think that she is right not helping her?

Do you think the little red hen should share with you?

How did you feel when the Little Red Hen wouldn’t share the bread with you?

Do you think the ending of the story would be different if you had agreed to help the Little Red Hen?

Movement Song: The little red hen song is sung to the tune of this is the way we brush our teeth so early in the morning.

This is the way I plant the seed, plant the seed, plant the seed. This is the way I plant the seed, so early in the morning. (Everyone mimes digging a hole and planting a seed.)

This is the way I water the wheat. water the wheat, water the wheat. This the way I water the wheat, so early in the morning. (Everyone mimes watering the wheat with a watering can.)

This is the way I cut the wheat. cut the wheat, cut the wheat. This the way I cut the wheat, so early in the morning. (Everyone mimes chopping down the wheat with a knife.)

This is the way I go to the mill, go to the mill, go to the mill. This the way I go to the mill so early in the morning. (Everyone mimes walking to the mill with a bag on their back.)

This is the way I make the dough. make the dough, make the dough. This the way I make the dough, so early in the morning. (Everyone mime kneading the dough.)

This is the way I bake the bread, bake the bread, bake the bread. This the way I bake the bread, so early in the morning. (Everyone mimes putting the bread in the oven.)

This is the way I eat the bread, eat the bread, eat the bread. This the way I eat the bread, so early in the morning. (Everyone mimes eating the bread.)

Sculpts: The teacher places baking tools or pictures of baking tools inside a box such as a rolling pin, measuring cup and spoons, spatula, wooden spoon, cookie cutters, bowl, etc.. Each child comes to the box and take out one item. Let each of the children hold the item. Name the item and discuss what each tool is used for. Place the item in the middle of the circle. Continue until all children had a turn. Then, they use their body to make the shape of the baking tool. At the end everyone could make a group sculpture of what is found in a baking drawer.

Extensions: Choose four to five items. Ask the children to cover their eyes and remove one item. They must guess the missing tool.

Ask children to cover their eyes. Place one item inside the box. Invite one child to feel the item inside the box without looking. What tool is inside the box?

Still Image: Put the children into small groups and ask them to recreate a scene from the story through a still image. Encourage the children to use their imagination and take on the roles of inanimate objects, like the corn and the windmill. The groups show their still image to the other groups. The rest of the children have to guess what is happening in the still images.

Role-Play: Ask the children to try and act out the story using animal masks and encourage them to act like their animal by making the noises associated with it and walking like it.

Perceive and reflect: Everyone sits in a circle and the teacher recalls a story where she remembered a time when someone helped her with something really difficult. She asks the children the share their stories about doing something difficult by themselves.

The teacher then remembers a time when she had to do something difficult all by herself. She invites the children to talk about their stories where they had to something difficult by themselves.

The teacher remembers a time where she helped someone with a really difficult job and it made it heaps easier for them. She invites the children to talk about when their stories where they helped someone do something difficult.

 

 

 

 

For more drama workshops for young children, click on the link below.

Posted in Action Poems, Drama Activities for children, Drama for children, drama for kids, Drama games for 3 year olds, Drama games for 4 year olds, Mime, Movement activities, Movement stories for children

The Magical Music Shop -A Movement Story


The Magical Music Shop -A Movement Story

Resources needed: Clear space, triangle and pictures of different types of instruments (optional).

Introduction: Tell the children they are going to participate in a movement story about a magical music shop. Show them pictures of different type of instruments. Discuss different kind of musical instrument families.

Brass instruments are made of brass or another metal and they make sound when air is blown into them. The instruments in the brass family include trumpet, trombone, tuba, French horn, cornet, and bugle.

Percussion instruments usually make sound when they are hit or shaken. The instruments in the percussion family include drums, cymbals, triangle, tambourine, chimes, bells, and xylophone.

String instruments are made with strings. The strings may be struck, plucked or bowed. The instruments in this family include violin, viola, cello, bass.

Woodwind instruments make sound when air is blown inside or across them and vibrates. Woodwind instruments include flute, clarinet, recorder, bassoon, and oboe.

Ask the children what their favourite instrument is? If they could be an instrument what would it be? Why did they choose it? What sound does their chosen instrument make? If their instrument could move how would it move? What kind of musical family does their chosen instrument belong to? Make sure everyone has a chance to explain their choice. Before the story starts get one of the children to volunteer to be the music shop owner. The teacher is the narrator. The rest of the children are their chosen instruments.

Narrator: Once upon a time there was a very special music shop. The music shop was special because all the instruments that lived in the shop were magic. (The children all freeze in the shape of their instrument.) The music shop owner loved his instruments very much. He treated them with tender loving care. (The owner goes around the shop. He polishes and dusts all the instruments.) Every night the owner would close the shop and go upstairs to bed. (The shop owner goes off to bed and lies on the floor and falls asleep. He snores loudly.) What the owner didn’t know was when the clock struck midnight the instruments would come alive. (Narrator tinkles the triangle.) The magic instruments would come down from their shelves and out from the window display. (The instruments start to move slowly out of their positions.) They would all play together. (The instruments start playing their music and moving around interacting with one another.) The instruments were so happy when they were with their friends. They had so much fun and nobody knew about their magic powers. Every morning when the instruments heard the music shop owner’s footsteps (the owner makes loud stomping noises with his feet) they would quickly run back to their places on the shelves or in the window display. (The instruments go back to their original positions and freeze.) Every morning the music shop owner would walk around the shop inspecting his instruments and every morning he would rub his head and say, “That’s funny. I thought I had put the violin on that shelf, or didn’t I leave the drum on the window.” But the music shop owner never suspected a thing and every night when he went to bed and the clock struck midnight the instruments would play to their hearts content. (The instruments come out and play.) Every morning the music shop owner would come and they would quickly move back to their places. (The instruments move quickly back to their positions.) (The narrator can say this section as many times as he wants.)

After a while the music shop owner knew something was not quite right. So one morning he tiptoed into the shop and he found the instruments all playing together. (The owner tiptoes very quietly into the shop.) He heard the most beautiful

Other movement stories:

The hare and the tortoise 

Adventures in Space

Posted in Drama techniques, expressive arts

Improvisation and Social Anxiety


What is improvisation and why is useful for social anxiety?

Improvisation is theatre without a script. Improvisation is a shared creation. Improvisers make it up on the spot. The reason it’s effective for social anxiety is that improvisation builds ideas step by step, using the core principle of “Yes, and” or, as it is sometimes called, “Accept and build”.

Improvisers are encouraged to closely listen and add to what their partner is offering and discover what is really happening in an interaction. This can create complex ideas and scenes simply by the accumulation of a sequence of smaller steps.

Drama Game One:

Beginner improvisation activity: 1, 2, 3 Counting

This is a very popular warm-up and one Augusto Boal mentions in his book ‘Games for Actors and Non-Actors’. The premise is simple yet requires concentration.

  1. Divide the group into pairs and ask the members of each group to name themselves either A or B.
  1. Ask them to count to three as a pair with A saying ‘1’, B saying ‘2’, A saying ‘3’, B saying’1′, A saying ‘2’, B saying ‘3’ etc.
  1. Now ask the As in each group to come up with a sound and movement that will replace ‘1’. The pair will continue counting with each partner substituting the sound and movement for the number ‘1’.
  1. Now ask the Bs in each group to come up with a sound and movement that will replace ‘2’. The pair will continue counting with each partner substituting As sound and movement for the number ‘1’, and Bs sound and movement for the number ‘2’
  1. Now ask A to come up with another sound and movement, this time for the number ‘3’. By now, there should be no numbers heard, only the unique sounds and movements that have been substituted for each number.

This exercise is simple and low-pressure yet begins to awaken the creative muscles by calling on students to create movement and sound on the spot.


Drama Game Two:

Yes, and improvisation activity:

This is a nice little game that trains students to accept offers and add to them. Like in the second example above, B accepts the existence of the elephant, and offers a question as an addition to his acceptance.

Divide the class into two even lines, call one line A, and the other line B. Have the two lines face each other

Begin with the students who are at the top of the lines. Ask the student in the A line to come up with an offer. The student in the B line must accept and add to it. A must then accept B’s addition, and add to it again. e.g.:

A: Would you like to cut my hair for me?

B:Yes!I have a hairdressing set in my room, let’s do it there.

A: Great! I’ll bring a picture of what I want it to look like.

When they’re finished, each student will go to the end of the opposite line (i.e. The student from line A will go to the end of line B, the line B student will go to the end of line A), and the next two students will have their chance to go.

Keep this game going until all students have had a chance to be in both lines.

For some more reading on improvisation and social anxiety check out the articles below:

Psychology Today.

The Guardian

Some other links:

Therapeutic Storytelling 

Anti bullying workshop for children

 

Posted in Drama for children

Chinese New Year Free Play Script for Children. Chinese Zodiac Story.



This Chinese new  year is the year of the rat. Did you ever wonder how each Chinese year was assign an animal. Read the following children’s play and you will find out.

Characters: Three narrators, three Jade Emperors, rat, cat, ox, tiger, rabbit, dragon, horse, snake, goat, rooster, monkey, dog and boar.

(Stage directions: three narrators on the left hand side of the stage. All the other characters walk around the stage showing confusion on their faces.)

Narrator 1: Long time ago in China. There was no such thing as time.

Narrator 2: Because there was no such thing as time, no one knew when to get up, or when to have their dinner or when to go to school or even when to play and have fun.

Narrator 3: Nobody did anything at the same time.

Narrator 1: The Jade Emperors who were the Emperors of Heaven knew this was a problem. (The Jade Emperors are standing on chairs looking down on all the chaos.)

Narrator 2: They decided to do some thing about it.

Jade Emperor 1: What are we going to do?

Jade Emperor 2: Everything is in chaos.

Jade Emperor 3: No one knows when to do things.

Jade Emperor 1: We have to come up with a way of measuring time.

Jade Emperor 2: Easier said then done.

Jade Emperor 3: How will we measure it?

Jade Emperor 1: Well, I have an idea.

Jade Emperor 2 and 3: Oh please, tell us.

Jade Emperor 1: Well, we could have a swimming race and the first twelve animals across the line will have a year named after them.

Jade Emperor 2: That’s a wonderful idea. Let’s call the animals.

Narrator 3: All the animals were summoned and were told about the Jade Emperor’s solutions for creating time. (They mime calling the animals and having a conversation while the narrators are talking.)

Narrator 1: All the animals were excited and lined up.

Narrator 2: Both the cat and the rat knew they weren’t good swimmers so they asked to Ox to help.

Rat: Ox can you help us, because you are so strong?

Cat: And so kind.

Ox: Of course, jump on my back and I’ll help you get across the river.

(They all line up for the race and start swimming: the ox is in front with both the cat and rat on his back. They swim around for a while and just as they approach the end of the race the rat throws the cat off the ox’s back and jumps onto the ox’s back so he is the first to cross the line.)

Rat: I won! I won!

Jade Emperor 1: Well done. The first year in the zodiac will be known as the Year of Rat. (He gets off his chair and shakes the rat’s hand and gives him a medal.)

Ox: You tricked me, rat.

Jade Emperor 2: Never mind, the second year of the zodiac will be called after you. (He gets off his chair and shakes the ox’s hand and gives him a medal.)

Tiger: (struggling to swim against the current.) I am exhausted. I never swan so far before.

Emperor 3: The year of the tiger will be the third sign of the zodiac. (He gets off his chair and shakes the tiger’s hand and gives him a medal.)

Rabbit: (floating on a log) I am sorry to say I can’t swim. I hopped across on some stepping stones and then found a floating log which carried me to the shore.

Emperor 1: Well done, Rabbit. That showed imagination, so I am happy to name the fourth year after you. (He gets off his chair and shakes the rabbit’s hand and gives him a medal. Dragon comes swooping down.)

Emperor 2: Dragon, why are you so late? You should have won as you can fly as well as swim.

Dragon: I was in the lead but then I saw the rabbit on a log and he needed some help so I huffed and puffed so that the log reached the shore.

Emperor 2: Well that was very kind of you and now you are here you will have the fifth year of the zodiac named after you. (He gets off his chair and shakes the dragon’s hand and gives him a medal.)

Horse: Neigh! Neigh! I am going to be the sixth year. (Horse comes galloping in with the snake next to him. Snake sneaks up behind and scares him.)

Snake: Boo! (Horse jumps back.) No, Horse, I am going to be the sixth year of the zodiac.

Horse:  Well, I suppose I’ll have to settle with (for?) seventh place. I don’t mind as seven is a lucky number. (Emperors shake their hands and give them their medals.)

Narrator 1: Not long afterwards a raft arrived carrying the goat, the monkey and the rooster.

Goat: We shared the raft that the rooster found.

Rooster: The monkey and goat helped me push the raft into the water.

Monkey: We worked really well together.

Emperor: I am very pleased you worked as a team. The goat can be the eighth zodiac animal, the monkey the ninth and the rooster the tenth. (He shakes their hands and gives them medals.)

Goat, Rooster Monkey: Hurrah, we can stay together on the calendar. (The dog arrives very slowly.)

Emperor 2: Dog, where have you been? You are the best swimmer out of all the animals.

Dog: The river was so clean I decided to have a bath.

Emperor 3: Well, as you are so late then you will have to settle for eleventh place. We have only one place left. (He gets off his chair and shakes the dog’s hand and gives him a medal. The boar comes along.)

Emperor 1: Where have you been, boar? You nearly missed out on the last place.

Boar: It was such a lovely day I decided to stop and have a rest. I am here now and I am the final zodiac animal.

Emperor 2: Congratulations. (He gets off his chair and shakes the boar’s hand and gives him a medal. Cat struggles out of the water. He is not happy.)

Emperor 3: I am sorry, cat, all the places are gone.

Cat: (starts crying) Boo, hoo. I will never forgive the rat.

Narrator 2: Since then cats have never been friends with rats.

(All the animals line up in order and take a bow. The cat is in the corner sulking.)

For more children’s play click here.
Check out there following free children’s plays

Thumbelina

The Monkey and the Crocodile

The Buddha and the Beggar man

 

Posted in Action Poems, Circle games, co-operation, Coordination games, Drama, Drama Activities for children, Drama for children, drama for kids, Drama games for 3 year olds, Drama games for 4 year olds, Movement activities, Movement stories for children

Movement Activities for Children that focus on Coordination (Drama Games)

Group Of Children With Teacher Enjoying Drama Class Together
From more movement activities, games and stories, click on the image above.

The following movement activities promote the following types of coordination skills:

Gross motor coordination: This type of coordination is the movement of arms, legs and body that allows children to walk, run, jump, throw kick and twist.

Fine motor coordination: This type of coordination allows children toperform tasks that require precision. Activities that require children to manipulate small objects will improve their fine motor skills.

Hand-eye coordination: This type of coordination allows children to guide their hand to complete the task.

Movement Activities:

Movement activity: Doors and Windows

Age: 5 years

Minimum number of participants:10

Resources needed: Clear space.

Other benefits: Spatial awareness, group work.

Instructions: The children form a circle while standing and holding their hands. The group spreads out enough so that everyone’s arms arestraight in the circle. This should form large spaces between the circle members. These large spaces represent the windows and doors. Then one child is chosen to be the runner. The runner starts running,and weaving in and out between the windows and doors. The children inthe circle randomly drop their arms down trying to touch or trap the runner who is weaving his/her way in and out of the windows and door.Once the runner is caught or touched by the arms of someone in the. circle, they are out. The runner chooses another child in the group to take his/her place and they become the next child to weave in and out of the windows and doors.

Movement activity: Centipede

Age: 5 years +

Minimum number of participants:

Resources  needed: Clear space.

Other benefits: Teamwork, trust.

Instructions: Divide the group into groups of 5 or 6. The children ineach group sit on the floor and hold the ankles of the child behind them. They call out left, right and the group has to try to move while everyone is holding the ankles of the child in front of them. If there is more than one group they can have a centipede race.

 Movement activity: Object Relay

Age: 5 years +

Minimum number of participants: 4

Resources needed: Clear space, a ball and a variety of objects (optional).

Other benefits: Imagination, teamwork, focus.

Instructions: Children stand in a line. If there are lots of childrenin the class you make more than one line. Each line has a ball. The ball must be passed down the line. The teacher calls out the instruction of how the ball should be passed down the line. Once the ball gets to the end of the line it has to be passed back. Suggested instructions:

  • Pass the ball overhead.
  • Pass the ball between your legs.
  • Pass the ball without using your hands.
  • Pass the ball by just using your chest.
  • Pass the ball by just using your head.

If a team drops the ball then they have to go back to the beginning.

Extension: You could have a box of different objects that they must pass down the line. Each line should have the same objects. The line that gets all the objects down safely is the winner.

Movement activity: Bean Bag Balance

Age: 4 years +

Minimum number of participants: 2

Resources needed: Clear space, bean bags for each member of the class Other benefits: Focus, imagination, problem solving.

Instructions: The teacher gets the children put a bean bag on their heads and they walk slowly around the room. Once they feel comfortable the children can walk faster and faster. They can see if they can run with the bean bag on their head. Once they have mastered balancing the beanbags on their head then they can see if they can balance the bean bag on other parts of their body. Suggested Body Parts:

  • Knees
  • Foot
  • Hands
  • Thighs
  • Shoulder
  • Face
  • Wrist
  • Toes

Again, they start off slowly and then they get faster and faster. The child that can balance on the most body parts and move the fastest is the winner.

 

Movement activity: Pick Up the Bean Bag

Age: 3 years +

Minimum number of participants: 2

Resources needed: Clear space and a variety of bean bags, a basket orbox for each child.

Other benefits: Warm up, teamwork.

Instructions: The teacher gets a variety of bean bags and spreads them across the space. The children have 10 seconds to see how many beanbags they can collect. The group could divide into sub-groups of three or four and have a race to see who can pick up the most beanbags in the time allotted.  

Movement activity: Roll the Dice

Age: 3 years+

Minimum number of participants: 2

Resources needed: Clear space, a dice for each member of the group.

Other benefits: Creativity, memory, focus.

Instructions: Everyone rolls their dice together. Each number corresponds to action such as: 1 Wiggle your body for 10 seconds. 2 Spin around 5 times. 3 Stand on your right leg for 15 seconds. 4 Hop 10 times. 5 Make a large circle with your arms 10 times. 6 Close your eyes and take 5 deep breaths. Once the children have become used to the actions, get them to come up with their own actions for each number.  


Movement activity: The Troll’s Bridge

Age: 4 years +

Minimum number of participants: 3

Resources needed: Masking tape, objects to carry.

Other benefits: Energy, focus.

Instructions: Make a bridge with the masking tape. Tell the children that they are crossing a very narrow bridge and there is a troll thatlives underneath it. The children are crossing the bridge going to visit their friend. They are carrying a variety of objects with them.The children are told the troll won’t bother them if they stay on the narrow bridge and don’t drop anything. If they fall off the bridge or drop anything then the troll chases them. The troll can be the teacher or another child. If you want to make it more difficult tell them. to carry the objects over the bridge on their head.  

Movement activity: Cooperative Chase

Age: 3 years +

Minimum number of participants: 6

Resources needed: Clear space.

Other benefits: Warm-up, teamwork.

Instructions: One child volunteers to be “It.” If he catches another child in the group then they join together and connect. The connected pair need to work together to catch a third child who in turn would connect to them. They do it until everyone is connected. If the group catches someone and the connection is broken, then that child is free to go.  

From more movement activities, games and stories, click here.

For free movement activities click on the following: 

 

The hare and the tortoise movement story. 

Goldilocks and the three bears movement story

More movement activities for children. 

 

 

Posted in Books for children, Drama for children, fables, Fairy Tales

My top ten favourite children’s books

My Top Ten Favourite Children’s Books
  1. The Giving Tree by Shel Silverstein
  2. Where the Wild Things are by Maurice Sendak
  3. The Owl Babies by Martin Waddell
  4. The Paperbag Princess by Robert Munsch
  5. The Gruffalo by Julia Donaldson
  6. Giraffes Can’t Dance by Giles Andreas
  7. The Very Hungry Caterpillar by Eric Carle
  8. Green Eggs and Ham by Dr. Seuss
  9. Good Night Moon by Margaret Wise Brown
  10. Don’t let the Pigeon drIve the Bus by Mo Williams
Posted in Drama, Drama Activities for children, Drama for children, drama for kids, Fairy Tales, Plays for Children, Plays that teach emotions, Role playing stories

Thumbelina -A play based on Hans Christian Andersen’s fairytale

image_0b9d7d66-6e2b-41db-92eb-43c7f908fbe0
Thumbelina

Characters: Three storytellers, Woman, Old Witch, Old Mother Toad, Thumbelina, Toad, Fish 1, Fish 2, Butterfly, Black Beetle, Beetle 1, Beetle 2, Mouse, Mole, Swallow, Tiny Man.

Storyteller 1: Once upon a time, there lived a woman. (Woman is sitting on a chair in the centre of the stage, looking very sad.)

Storyteller 2: The woman was very sad because all she wished for was to have a child of her very own that she could love.

Woman: Oh, how I long for a child to hold in my arms.

Storyteller 3: An old witch was passing by and she heard the woman’s wish. (Old witch hobbles on to the stage and she stops when she hears the woman talking.)

Old Witch: Here, take this barley corn. If you plant it carefully in the ground, your wishes will come true. (Old Witch gives the woman the barley corn but the woman looks very confused.)

Storyteller 1: The woman was confused but she took the barley corn and planted it carefully in the ground.

Storyteller 2: One day…

Woman:  What a beautiful red and yellow flower. (She kisses it.)

Storyteller 3: Pop! The flower opened and out jumped a tiny girl.

Woman: Oh my goodness, what a beautiful girl you are, but you are so tiny. You are no bigger than my thumb. I shall call you Thumbelina.

Storyteller 1: The woman and Thumbelina lived happily together.

Storyteller 2: Thumbelina slept in a bed made of a walnut shell and she floated up and down the river in her nice, comfortable shell.

(An old toad comes hopping on to the stage.)

Old Mother Toad: (Looks at Thumbelina.) What’s this? It is a tiny girl. She will make a perfect wife for my son. I will just take this walnut shell and no one will miss her. (She pushes the walnut shell down the river.)

Storyteller 3: Old Mother Toad swims down the river with Thumbelina fast asleep in her walnut shell.

Storyteller 1: When Old Mother Toad got to the swamp, she tied the shell to a waterlily stem.

Old Mother Toad: Toad, Toad, come here look what I found. (Toad comes running on stage. He looks at the sleeping Thumbelina and smiles.)

Toad: She is perfect. (He rubs his hands together and smiles with glee.)

Storyteller 2: The next day, Thumbelina woke up.

Thumbelina: What’s going on? Where am I? This is not my home. (Looks at the toad.) Who are you?

Old Mother Toad: I’m old Mother Toad and this is my son, Toad.

Toad: My mother thought you would make the perfect wife for me. (The two toads hop off stage.)

Thumbelina: But I don’t want to marry a toad and live in a swamp. (Thumbelina tries to free her walnut shell from the waterlily stem but she can’t. She starts to cry.)

(Two fish swim by and they stop when they hear the sobbing.)

Fish 1: What’s the matter?

Thumbelina: Old Mother Toad kidnapped me from my home. She wants me to marry her son.

Fish: We will help you. (They start to bite through the rope.)

Fish 2: At last we have done it. Now you are free.

Thumbelina: Oh, thank you, Fish.

Fish: Good luck, Thumbelina. (They wave goodbye as Thumbelina floats down the river in her walnut shell.)

Thumbelina: Bye, bye. I’m so happy to escape those horrid toads.

(A butterfly lands on the shell.)

Butterfly: Hello, what’s your name? What are you doing?

Thumbelina: I’m Thumbelina. An old toad stole me from my home. She wanted me to marry her son, but two nice fish helped me escape. I just want to go home.

Butterfly:  Hold on tight to me and I’ll pull your walnut shell so you can get home faster.

(Enters a big black beetle on to the stage.)

Black Beetle: Look at that butterfly with that beautiful girl. I must take her and show her to the other beetles.

Storyteller 3: The big black beetle swooped down and scooped Thumbelina up and flew off with her.

Butterfly: Hey, come back! You can’t just take her.

Black Beetle: Ha, ha. I just did. See you later, butterfly.

Black Beetle: Look what I found. A beautiful tiny girl.

Beetle 1: She is not beautiful.

Beetle 2: She doesn’t have any feelers.

Beetle 1: And she has only two legs.

Beetle 2: I have never seen anything so ugly in my life. Get rid of her at once.

(Beetle flies off with Thumbelina and then he sees a daisy. He put her down gently on the daisy.)

Black Beetle: I will leave you here, Thumbelina, on this daisy.

Thumbelina: I just want to go home, but I’m stuck here.

Storyteller 1: Soon summer passed and winter came. It began to get colder and colder.

Thumbelina: (Shivering.) I won’t survive the winter if I don’t find a warmer place to stay.

Storyteller 2: She climbs down from the daisy and enters a field, and there she meets a mouse.

Mouse: You look cold and hungry. Come warm yourself by my fire and you can eat my food. You can live with me until winter is over.

Thumbelina: Thank you, mouse. I will cook and clean for you.

Storyteller 3: Thumbelina lived with the mouse for a few weeks. She cooked and cleaned for him. One day, mouse came home. He was very excited.

Mouse: I just got a text from my friend mole. He heard I had the most beautiful girl staying with me. He wants to meet you. Let’s go and visit him.

Storyteller 1: They trundled through the field and they came to a tunnel.

Thumbelina: I don’t want to go down this tunnel.

Mole: It is the only way we can reach Mole’s house.

Storyteller 2: Finally, Thumbelina agreed to go through the tunnel. They were halfway there when they saw a dead swallow.

Thumbelina: We must help him.

Mouse: He is dead.

Thumbelina: Let me put a blanket over him.

Mouse: That is a waste of a good blanket.

(Thumbelina puts the blanket over the swallow and they continue the journey.

Suddenly, Thumbelina hears something and turns around quickly.)

Thumbelina: What’s that?

Mouse: I don’t hear anything. We have to continue our journey it is getting late. Mole is waiting for us.

Thumbelina: It is a soft thump. Listen. It’s the swallow’s heart. He isn’t dead. Mouse, get him some water.

Swallow: Thank you.

Thumbelina: Swallow, I will look after you. Come and stay with us at Mole’s house.

They go off to Mole’s house.

Mole: What’s all this?

Thumbelina: It’s a swallow. We must care for him or he will die.

Mole: Oh very well, come in.

Storyteller 3: At the end of winter, Mole announced.

Mole: Great news, Thumbelina. I’ve decided to marry you.

Mouse: Congratulations, Thumbelina. You are so lucky; Mole is very rich.

Mole: Mouse will return to field and you will stay here with me underground.

Thumbelina: I don’t want to stay underground forever. I want to be outside in the warmth and the sunshine. (She starts to cry.)

Swallow: I’ve an idea. I’m strong enough to leave. Jump on my back and we can fly away.

Storyteller 1: Thumbelina jumped on the swallow’s back and away they flew.

Thumbelina:  Bye, Mouse. Thanks for everything.

Mouse: Bye, bye.

Mole: How ungrateful?

Swallow: Do you see those beautiful flowers below.

(Thumbelina nods her head.)

Swallow: Choose one of those flowers and I will put you down there.

Thumbelina: That one, there. (She points to one.)

Storyteller 3: The swallow put her down gently and there sitting in the flower, was a tiny man with a golden crown.

Tiny Man: Hello? Fancy meeting you here.

Thumbelina: I’m Thumbelina. Who are you?

Tiny Man: Every flower has a sprite living in them. I’m the King of all flower sprites.

You are so beautiful. Will you marry me?

Thumbelina: Oh yes.

Tiny man: Here take these wings. Now you can fly from flower to flower and visit the other flower sprites.

Storytellers: They lived happily ever after.

For more plays based on Hans Christian Andersen’s stories, click here.

 

For free Hans Christian Andersen plays, click below.

The Money Pig

The Nutcracker

Posted in Drama for children

The Monkey and the Crocodile – A simple play for children based on an old Indian Story

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Char2acters: Three storytellers, the crocodile, the crocodile’s wife and the monkey.

Storyteller 1: Once upon a time there lived a crocodile that lived in the river Ganges in India.
(Crocodile enters stage swimming slowly.)
Storyteller 2: On both sides of the Ganges there were large music fruit trees.
Storyteller 3: A monkey lived in one of the trees. He ate fruit all day.
(Monkey mimes eating fruit.)
Monkey: These fruits are so delicious and juicy I’m so lucky to live in a fruit tree.
(Crocodile sits under the tree for shade.)
Crocodile: It is very hot I think I will sit under this tree and sleep in the shade. (Looks up.) The fruits on tree look so delicious. I wish I could climb the tree and pick some.
Monkey: (climbs down from the tree) Since you are resting under my tree, you are my guest. Please come and taste some of my delicious fruits.
Storyteller 1: The monkey plucked the juiciest fruit off the tree and gave it to the crocodile.
Crocodile: Oh thank you Monkey you are so kind.
Monkey: You are welcome. Come again, any time.
Storyteller 2: Soon, the crocodile came every day. They would eat the fruit and talk to one another for hours.
(Crocodile and the monkey mime having a conversation and eating lots of fruits.)
Storyteller 3: One day as the crocodile was leaving to swim home. The monkey gave him some fruit.
Monkey: Crocodile give these fruits to your wife. I plucked them especially for her.
Storyteller 1: The crocodile swam home and gave the fruit to his wife, She was very happy.
(Crocodile swims home and gives his wife the fruit.)
Crocodile’s wife: These fruits are delicious. I have never tasted such sweet fruit in all my life. Where did you get them from?
Crocodile: I got them from my friend the monkey. He lives in the fruit tree so he knows which ones are the sweetest.
Crocodile’s wife: Does the monkey eat fruit every day?
Crocodile: Yes, only the sweetest and juiciest ones. Why do you ask?
Crocodile’s wife: Because that means his heart must be so sweet. If I eat his heart I would remain young and beautiful forever. You must steal the monkey’s heart and give it to me.
Crocodile: But he is my good friend. He is my only friend. It would be unfair for me to steal his heart.
Crocodile’s wife: (gets angry) If you loved me you would do it.
Crocodile: Do not get anger my dear, I will do as you wish.
Storyteller 2: The next day the crocodile swam to the riverbank and reached the tree where the monkey lived.
Monkey: Crocodile, you are late today. I thought you weren’t coming.
Crocodile: My wife has made a meal for you. She has invited you to tea because she wants to thank you for giving her your beautiful sweet fruit.
Monkey: That’s very kind of her but I’m a land animal, I can’t swim.
Crocodile: We live on a sand bank just jump on my back and I’ll take you there.
Storyteller 3: The monkey hopped on the crocodile’s back and away they went.
Monkey: Slow down, Croc. You are going too fast.
Crocodile: I’m sorry Monkey but I have to go fast because my wife wants to eat your heart for her tea.
Monkey: Oh Croc, you should have told me this before we left. I always keep my heart in the hollow of the tree for safe keeping.
Crocodile: I’ll take you back to the tree and you can collect your heart.
Monkey: That would be great.
Storyteller 1: Crocodile turns and swims back to the tree where the monkey lives upon reaching the bank the monkey jumps off the crocodiles back and clambers up the tree. After a while the crocodile says…..
Crocodile: Monkey, you must have found your heart by now. My wife will get angry if we don’t arrive soon.
Monkey: You are so foolish crocodile. Don’t you know your heart is within yourself? It was a trick to save my life. Now leave my tree and never come back again.
Storyteller 2: The crocodile left empty handed.
(Crocodile’s wife looks very angry.)
Storytellers: The moral of the story is at times presence of mind pays well.

Click here for more children’s plays based on Panchatantra stories.

The Lion and the Clever Rabbit – A Simple Play for Children.

Drama Lesson based on “The Lion and The Clever Rabbit”