Characters: Three Storytellers, Lion, Mouse, Elephants, Giraffes, Snake/s, Owls. You can have as many elephants, giraffes, snakes and owls as you want.
(Stage Directions: all the animals are in a semi-circle on the stage; they are grouped according to their animal type. Storytellers can be placed on the right or the left of the stage.)
Storyteller 1: One hot day a lion was asleep in a cave. (Lion is sleeping in the centre of the stage.)
Storyteller 2: Suddenly a little mouse ran over his paw. (Mouse comes scampering out quickly and touches the Lion’s paw.)
Storyteller 3: The lion woke up with a loud roar. He grabbed the mouse with his paw and said (Lion wakes up and grabs the mouse.)
Lion: I’m going to kill you and eat you up. (Lion roars loudly.)
Mouse: Squeak, Squeak! Please, Mr. Lion, Please don’t eat me. Someday I will help you.
Lion: Ha, Ha, Ha! You, help me! Don’t make me laugh, but I’m not that hungry so I will let you go. (Lion pushes the mouse away.)
Storyteller 1: The lion laughed and laughed and the mouse ran home.
Storyteller 2: A few days later the lion was out in the jungle.
Lion: I think I will scare my friends. I am very scary because I’m King of the Jungle. (He goes to each group of animals and roars at them. All the animals are scared and move away from him.)
Storyteller 3: Suddenly the lion got caught in a trap and said (He is in the centre of stage when he falls to his knees.)
Lion: Oh dear, how will I get out of here? (Lion looks around the stage desperately.)
Storyteller 1: After a while he heard some elephants. (Elephants move from the semi-circle and they circle the lion. They must make sure the audience can see their faces.)
Lion: Elephants, elephants, please help me.
Elephants: Oh No! We will not help you. (Elephants trundle off back to the other animals.)
Storyteller 2: Then a few giraffes passed by. He cried (Giraffes leave the semi-circle and move behind the lion.)
Lion: Giraffes, Giraffes, please help me. (Lion looks up at the giraffes.)
Giraffes: Oh no, we will not help you. (Giraffes go back to their place in the semi-circle.)
Storyteller 3: The lion grew cold and hungry (the lion shivers and rubs his stomach) and began to think he would never get home to his nice, warm cave. Then he heard the hissing of snakes. (Snake(s) moves towards the centre of the stage near the lion.)
Lion: Snakes, snakes, please help me. (The lion looks up at the snakes.)
Snakes: Ssssssssss, oh no we will not help you, sssssssssssssssss. (Snakes go back to the semi-circle.)
Storyteller 1: As night came the lion began to cry.
Lion: Boo hoo, I am stuck in this trap and none of my friends will help me.
Storyteller 2: Then he heard some owls hooting in the trees. (Owls move centre stage, towards the lion.)
Lion: Owls, Owls, please help me. (Lion looks up at the owls.)
Owls: Tu Whit, Tu Whoo, owls, owls, we will not help youuuuuuuuuuu. (Owls go back to the semi-circle.)
Storyteller 3: The lion was very sad. (Lion starts crying.) He didn’t know what to do. Then he heard the squeaking of a mouse.
Mouse: Squeak, squeak! Why are you crying Mr. Lion? (Mouse comes from behind the other animals.)
Lion: I’m stuck in this trap and nobody will help me.
Mouse: I will help you.
Storyteller 1: The mouse began to bite through the rope and at last the lion was free.
Lion: I’m free, I’m free! I never thought you could help me because you are too small.
Storyteller 2: From then on the lion and the mouse were very good friends.
Each child finds a space and sits down. Each child or a group of children are assigned a specific word and a corresponding action. The narrator/teacher reads the story aloud, and when the children hear their word, they must jump up and do their actions. The words are in bold to assist the teacher.
Boast/boastful/boasting: Stand up straight and puff out the chest.
Woods: Children make themselves into trees.
Animals: Each child chooses a different animal found in the woods and moves like that animal.
Hare: Make bunny ears with your hands.
Fast: Children move as fast as they can.
Run: Run on the spot.
fTortoise: Children bend over as if they have something heavy on their back.
Slow: Children move in slow motion around the room.
Narrator: Once upon a time, there was a very boastfulhare that lived in the woods with lots of other animals. He was always boasting about how fast he could run. He boasted, “I’m the fastest animal in the woods. No one can run as fast as me.” The other animals were tired of listening to him. One day the tortoise said to the hare, “Hare you are so boastful. I challenge you to a race.” Hare laughed and said, “Tortoise, you will never beat me. You are too slow and steady.” They decided whoever got to the other side of the woods the fastest was the winner. All the other animals in the woods came to watch the race. The hareran as fast as he could through the woods. After a while, he thought to himself, “I’m so fast that slow tortoise will never beat me. I think I will take a quick nap.” Soon he fell asleep. The tortoise walked slowly through the woods. He passed the sleeping hare. The animals watched the tortoise near the finishing line. The animals cheered loudly. The hare woke up and ran as fast as he could through the woods to the finishing line, but it was too late. The slowtortoise had won the race. All the animals in the woods congratulated the tortoise. The hare had to remind himself that he shouldn’t boast about his fast pace because slow and steady won the race.
Physical warm-up: Get each child to find a clear space. They must make sure that they are not touching anyone else. The children crouch down on the floor and make a ball shape with their bodies. The teacher explains that all children are magic rocks and that the teacher is a magic wizard. The teacher waves the magic wand and says: “Magic rocks turn into hares.” All the children turn into hares and move around the room as hares. The teacher then says: “Magic rocks turn into magic rocks.” The children return to their clear spaces and crouch down on the floor again as quickly as possible. The magic wizard can change the magic rocks into the animal they can be found in the jungle.
Variation: The children can take it turns to be the magic wizard.
Role on the wall: Divide the class into groups of four. Give each group either an outline of the hare or the tortoise and ask the children to draw or write inside the image the different characteristics or personality traits of the hare or the tortoise. If they are too young to write, get them to draw inside the image. The teacher may also ask them what their word and write I. For them. Each group talks about their image and the words or drawings that they put inside.
Still Image/Thought Tracking: Ask each child to make a still image of the Hare at the beginning of the race. The teacher taps each child on the shoulder, and they must say how they feel. Then get them to make a still image of the hare at the end of the race. The teacher taps each child on the shoulder, and they must say how they feel. Can they tell the difference?
Slow-motion: Divide the class into pairs, and one of the children is the hare, and the other is the tortoise. They go to starting line, and they are going to move in slow motion to the finishing line but showing what happened between the start of the race and the ending.
Extension: They can go fast forwards or rewind.
Teacher in Role: The teacher takes on the role of the tortoise. She tells the children she feels sorry for the hare because he thought he was the fastest in the forest and now he is upset. Ask the children what they suggest they could do to make him feel better.
Hot seating: One of the children volunteers to be the hare. The hare sits in the hot seat, and the rest of the children asks him questions.
Each child finds a space and sits down. Each child or a group of children are assigned a specific word and a corresponding action. The narrator/teacher reads the story aloud and when the children hear their word they must jump up and do their actions. The words are in bold to assist the teacher/narrator.
Any number: Show that number of fingers.
Little: Crouch down as small as you can.
Pig: Get on all fours and oink once.
Pigs: Get on all fours and oink twice.
Big: Stretch up as high as you can.
Bad: Make an angry face.
Wolf: Make hands into claws and say “aargh.”
Laughing: Laugh loudly.
Smiling: Give a big wide smile.
Trotted: Trot up and down the space.
Straw: Rub your hands together.
Sticks: Clap your hands together.
Bricks: Clap your hands on your thighs.
Puff/puffed: Blow harder.
Blow/blew: Stamp feet on the ground.
Narrator: Once upon a time, there was a mother pig who lived with her three little pigs. One day she said, “Little pigs, I think it is time for you to leave and make your own way in this big world. You each need to build your own house.” The little pigs were very excited about their new, big adventure. Mother pig gave each of her little pigs a hug, but she warned them, “Remember to watch out for the big bad wolf.” The little pigs waved goodbye to their mother, and they trotted into the woods. They were laughing and smiling, and soon they came across a man who was carrying some straw. The first little pig said, “May I have some straw to build my house?” The man said kindly, “Of course, you may.” The man gave the first little pig some straw to build his house. Just before they left, the man warned them, “Watch out for the big bad wolf.” The first little pig built his house of straw.
The two other pigstrotted on down the road. They were laughing and smiling, and soon they came across a man who was carrying some sticks. The secondlittlepig said, “May I have some sticks to build my house?” The man said kindly, “Of course, you may.” The man gave the second little pig some sticks to build his house. Just before they left, the man warned them, “Watch out for the bigbadwolf.” The secondlittlepig built his house of sticks.
The thirdlittlepigtrotted on down the road. He was laughing and smiling, and soon he came across a man who was carrying some bricks. The third little pig said, “May I have some bricks to build my house?” The man said kindly, “Of course, you may.” The man gave the thirdlittlepig some bricks to build his house. Just before they left, the man warned him, “Watch out for the bigbadwolf.”
The third little pig built his house of bricks. The firstlittlepig had just finished building his house of straw when the bigbadwolf appeared. He said, “Littlepig, littlepig, let me come in.”
The firstlittlepig replied, “Not by the hair of my chinny, chin, chin.”
Then the wolf said, Then I’ll huff, and I’ll puff, and I will blow the house down.” So, he huffed, and he puffed, and he blew the house down.
The firstlittlepigtrotted very quickly to his brother’s house made of sticks. The second little pig had just finished building his house of sticks when he heard a knock on the door, and to his surprise, it was his brother. Suddenly, the bigbadwolf appeared.
He said, “Littlepig, littlepig, let me come in.”
The secondlittlepig replied, “Not by hair of my chinny, chin, chin.”
Then the wolf said, “Then I’ll huff, and I’ll puff, and I will blow the house down.” So, he huffed, and he puffed, and he blew the house down.
The two little pigstrotted very quickly to their brother’s house made of bricks.
The thirdlittlepig had just finished building his house of bricks when he heard a knock on the door, and to his surprise, it was his two brothers. Suddenly, the bigbadwolf appeared. He said, “Littlepig, littlepig, let me come in.”
The third little pig replied, “Not by hair of my chinny, chin, chin.”
Then the wolf said, “Then I’ll huff, and I’ll puff, and I will blow the house down.” The wolf huffed, and he puffed. He huffed, and he puffed, but he couldn’t blow the house down. He heard the threelittlepigs inside the house. They were laughing. This made the wolf very angry indeed. He decided he would climb to the top of the roof and come down the chimney.
The thirdlittlepig heard him on the roof, and he came up with a clever plan. He put a big pot of boiling water on the fire, which was just underneath the chimney. The wolf came tumbling down the chimney and landed into the big pot of boiling water and “SPLASH!” That was the end of the bigbadwolf. The threelittlepigs lived happily ever after.
Warm-up: One child is chosen or volunteers to be Mr. or Ms. Wolf and stands at one side of the clear space. His/her back is to the other children, who are standing at the opposite end of the space. The rest of the children shout out: “What’s the time, Mr. /Ms. Wolf?” The wolf does not turn around. He/she replies in a rough, wolf-like voice: “Four o’clock.” The children walk forward the number of steps the wolf calls out (in this case, four). The children ask again: “What time is it, Mr./Ms. Wolf?” The wolf replies: “Five o’clock.” The children take five steps forward. The children continue to ask the question and to walk the appropriate number of steps forward. Eventually, when the wolf thinks that the children are near enough, he/she will say: “Dinnertime!” Then the wolf turns around and chases the children. They must try to rush back to their starting place. If Mr./Ms. Wolf catches one of them before they reach home, that child is the wolf in the next game.
Choral speaking: Teach the children the following poem. Get them to think of different actions for the straw, sticks, bricks, pigs and wolf. They say the poem in unison.
Straw, Sticks and Bricks
Straw, sticks and bricks.
Straw, sticks and bricks.
The pigs built their houses
Out of straw, sticks and bricks
The wolf came by,
He blew the straw down.
He blew the sticks, but the bricks were strong
The pig lived happy all the days long
In their house of bricks.
Occupational mime: Divide the class into groups of 4: three pigs and one wolf. The pigs move round the room in a “follow the leader” style. The pig at the front of the line is doing the actions. The first pig mimes collecting materials and building a house of straw. Second and third pigs follow, copying the mime. When the house is blown down by the wolf, the first pig moves to the end of the line. Second pig then heads the line and mimes building house of sticks. Finally, third pig takes a turn and mimes building a house of bricks. The wolf moves around the room avoiding pigs as they build until it is time to blow the house down.
Role-play: Encourage different movements such as gathering straw, breaking sticks or lifting heavy bricks. Encourage the wolves to use their body and facial expression to look fierce and threatening. Give everyone in the group the opportunity to take on the role of the wolf. When the children are comfortable with the character movements, get them to use speech. Ask the following questions:
What does the wolf sound like?
What would he say to the little pigs?
What do the pigs sound like?
What would they say to the wolf?
Talking objects: Ask children if they can take on the role of the wolf. They use their breath to blow down the house. Get them to huff and puff and huff and puff and blow the house down. Everyone sits in a circle and the teacher presents the group with objects that can be blown down by the breath, the wind or a hurricane such as a leaf, balloon, paper, tree, car or even a bridge. Every child becomes an object; they enter the circle and give the group some information about who they are. For example: “I’m small, I’m green and live on a tree.” Once the rest of group have guessed correctly, everyone blows the object down.
Conclusion: The teacher discusses with the group reasons why the wolf gets very angry. The teacher asks the children how they can show the wolf how to relax using his breath. The wolf uses his breath to blow things down, but he could use his breath for relaxation exercises.
Tummy breathing: The children find their own space on the floor. They lie down and place their hands or a stuffed toy on their tummy. They inhale on a count of three. They see their hands or stuffed toy rising as their tummy fills with air. They exhale on the count of four and they see their hands or stuffed toys falling. Repeat this process 10 times. When everyone is finished, ask the children the following questions:
How do you feel?
What did you notice about your hands/stuffed toy when you inhaled and exhaled?
How would this exercise help the wolf?
Burst balloon: The children all lie on the floor. The teacher gets them to imagine that their body is a balloon. They are going to close their eyes and inflate the balloon. They fill up their tummies with air. Then when they are full, the teacher counts to three and the children shout bang and they let all the air out of their bodies like a deflated balloon.
This Goldilocks and the Three Bears workshop is from “Drama Workshops for Young Children” by Julie Meighan. This book contains 10 drama workshops for young children. These fun-to-use and easy-to-follow workshops are designed for children between the ages of 3 and 7. The workshops are based on children’s stories. Each story is introduced at the beginning of each workshop through a movement story or a play. The definition and aim of each drama strategy used are outlined in the drama strategy glossary at the beginning of the book. The aims of these drama workshops are to
Promote children’s self-regulation
Develop children’s language and communication skills
Each child finds a space and sits down. Each child or a group of children are assigned a specific word and a corresponding action. The narrator/teacher reads the story aloud, and when the children hear their word, they must jump up and do their actions. The words are in bold to assist the teacher/narrator.
Goldilocks: Skip around the space.
Bear/Bears: Walk slowly and growl.
Bowl/Bowls: Clasp fingers together and stick out arms to make a round shape.
Porridge: Wiggle body up and down.
Chair/s: Squat down and stick out arms.
Bed/s: Lie straight on the floor.
First: Hold up one finger.
Second: Hold up two fingers.
Third: Hold up three fingers.
Narrator: Once upon a time, there was a girl called Goldilocks. One day, she decided to go for a walk in the woods. Soon, she became tired. She saw a little cottage in the woods. She knocked, but there was no answer, so she decided to go inside and rest.
At the table in the kitchen, there were three bowls of porridge. Goldilocks was hungry. She tasted the porridge from the first bowl.
“This porridge is too hot!” she exclaimed.
So, she tasted the porridge from the secondbowl.
“This porridge is too cold,” she said.
So, she tasted the thirdbowl of porridge.
“Ahhh, this porridge is just right,” she said happily, and she ate it all up.
After she’d eaten the three bears’ breakfasts, she decided she was feeling a little tired. So, she walked into the living room, where she saw three chairs. Goldilocks sat in the firstchair to rest her feet.
“This chair is too big!” she exclaimed.
So, she sat in the secondchair.
“This chair is too big, too!” she whined.
So, she tried the third and smallest chair.
“Ahhh, this chair is just right,” she sighed. But just as she settled down into the chair to rest, it broke into pieces!
Goldilocks was very tired by this time, so she went upstairs to the bedroom. She lay down in the firstbed, but it was too hard. Then she lay in the secondbed, but it was too soft. Then she lay down in the thirdbed, and it was just right. Goldilocks fell asleep.
As she was sleeping, the three bears came home.
“Someone’s been eating my porridge,” growled Papa bear.
“Someone’s been eating my porridge,” said Mama bear.
“Someone’s been eating my porridge, and they ate it all up!” cried Baby bear.
“Someone’s been sitting in my chair,” growled Papa bear.
“Someone’s been sitting in my chair,” said Mama bear.
“Someone’s been sitting in my chair, and they’ve broken it all to pieces,” cried Baby bear.
They decided to look around some more, and when they got upstairs to the bedroom, Papa bear growled, “Someone’s been sleeping in my bed,”
“Someone’s been sleeping in my bed, too,” said Mama bear
“Someone’s been sleeping in my bed, and she’s still there!” exclaimed Baby bear.
Just then, Goldilocks woke up and saw the three bears. She screamed, “Help!” And she jumped up and ran out of the room. Goldilocks ran down the stairs, opened the door, and ran away into the woods. And Goldilocks never returned to the home of the three bears.
Introduction: Show the children pictures. Tell them there are 8 different types of bears. There are eight species in the bear family: Asiatic Black Bear, Brown Bear, North American Black Bear, Panda Bear, Polar Bear, Sloth Bear, Spectacled Bear, and the Sun Bear.
Warm-up: The warm-up is a movement activity called “Does a Bear Live in the Woods?”
A clear space is needed. The teacher explains to the class that they must lie down on the ground when they come across a bear in the woods and keep very still. One child volunteers to be the bear. The bear goes to one end of the clear space and turns his/her back on the rest of the class. All the other children try to sneak up behind the bear. When the bear turns around, all the children must lie very still on the ground. If the bear sees you moving, s/he pulls you away to join him/her. Then there are two bears. Eventually, all the children are caught moving and become bears.
Voice production: Tell the children that they are going to explore different voices. We need to change our voices to show different emotions or to become different characters.
Get the group to repeat the following lines together in their normal voices:
Who has been sitting in my chair?
Who has eating my porridge?
Who has been sleeping in my bed?
Now, get the children to say the lines in the following ways:
Role-play: “Now we are going to warm up our bodies. Everyone find a space and walk around the room as yourself. When I say freeze, I will call out different ways of walking….
Grumpy Papa bear
Kind Mama bear
Happy Baby bear
Sculpting: Divide the class into pairs: one person is the sculptor the other is the clay. Get the sculptor to mould the clay into…
How did Goldilocks feel when the bears found her?
How did Baby bear feel when he saw that his porridge had been eaten?
How did Mama bear feel when she saw that someone had been sleeping in her bed?
How did Papa bear feel when he saw Goldilocks sleeping in the bed?
It can be abstract. The teacher/children look at each sculpture and guess how the characters are feeling.
Movement poem: Teach the children the following poem and actions.
When Goldilocks Went to the House of the Bears
When Goldilocks went to the house of the bears (the children walk on the spot), oh, what did her blue eyes see? (The children point to their eyes.)
A bowl that was huge and a bowl that was small and a bowl that was tiny and that was all. (Children make increasingly smaller shapes with their arms to represent each bowl.) And she counted them – one, two, three! (They use one finger to point as if counting each bowl.)
When Goldilocks went to the house of the bears (walk on the spot), oh, what did her blue eyes see? (Point to their eyes.)
A chair that was huge and a chair that was small, and a chair that was tiny and that was all. (Use hands to show the different heights and the size of each chair, getting smaller all the time.) And she counted them – one, two, three! (Use their fingers to point, as if counting each chair.)
When Goldilocks went to the house of the bears (walk on the spot), oh, what did her blue eyes see? (Point to their eyes.)
A bed that was huge and a bed that was small and a bed that was tiny and that was all. (Use their hands to show the increasingly smaller length and size of each bed.) And she counted them – one, two, three! (Use their fingers to point, as if counting each bed.)
When Goldilocks went to the house of the bears (walk on the spot), oh, what did her blue eyes see? (Point to their eyes.)
A bear that was huge and a bear that was small and a bear that was tiny and that was all. (Use hands to show the increasingly smaller height and size of each bear.)
Closure/the bears are coming: The teacher tells the children, “Before we had the internet, cars, computers, trains, planes, washing machines, and hoovers, people had to chop wood. Talk about the type of jobs people did in the olden days.” All the children must find some physical action, based on an old-fashioned job like wood chopping, hunting, or washing clothes, and begin doing this action somewhere in the room. The teacher/volunteer leaves the room momentarily and returns as the bear. Once the bear arrives, the children must freeze where they are, and the bear must try to make the other children laugh. If a child laughs, they become a bear, and the bears work together until they have made everyone laugh. The bears cannot touch the frozen children!
Characters: Three storytellers, fox, crow, mice, dogs, cows, horses. You can have as many mice, dogs, cows and horses as you wish. Storyteller 1: One day a crow was out searching for some food.
(Crow is flying around the stage looking for food.)
Storyteller 2: She came across a nice piece of cheese. (She stops as she spots some cheese and she swoops down to get it.) Storyteller 3: She grabbed the cheese with her beak and said… Crow: What a lovely piece of cheese! I will keep it all for myself and not share it with anyone. Storyteller 1: She flew to the top of the tree. Storyteller 2: After a while some mice came along. They squeaked… Mice: Squeak, squeak, Crow please share your cheese with us. Crow: Oh no, I will not share my cheese with you. Storyteller 3: The mice were sad and hungry so they scampered off looking for food in the woods. Storyteller 1: Then some dogs came along. They barked … Dogs: Woof, woof, Crow please share your cheese with us. Crow: Oh no, I will not share my cheese with you. Storyteller 2: The dogs were sad and hungry so they bounded off looking for food in the woods. Storyteller 3: A few minutes later some cows passed by. They mooed … Cows: Moo, moo, Crow please share your cheese with us. Crow: Oh no, I will not share my cheese with you. Storyteller 1: The cows were sad and hungry so they walked off looking for food in the woods. Storyteller 2: Finally, some horses came along. They neighed … Horses: Neigh, neigh, Crow please share your cheese with us. Crow: Oh no, I will not share my cheese with you. Storyteller 3: The horses were sad and hungry so they galloped off looking for food in the woods. Storyteller 1: Then along came a fox. He said to himself… (Fox faces the audience.) Fox: That cheese looks delicious and it would be perfect for my breakfast. Storyteller 2: Then he had an idea. Fox: Good Morning Crow, you beautiful bird. Crow: I’m not stupid. I know what you want. Fox: All I want is to hear you sing. You must be queen of all the birds and your voice must be beautiful. I would love to hear you, but maybe I’m wrong. (The fox turns to leave.) Storyteller 3: The crow was very flattered. Crow: Wait Fox, come back. I’ll show you how beautifully I can sing. Storyteller 1: She opened her mouth and began to caw. Crow: Caw, Caw, Caw. Storyteller 2: The cheese fell out of her mouth and onto the ground. The fox picked it up quickly. Fox: Thanks very much. (He swallows the cheese and licks his lips.) Crow, I tricked you. Storyteller 3: Off the fox went into the woods looking for another breakfast. Storytellers: The lesson of this story is beware of people who flatter you.
To listen to the audio book of Aesop’s Fables on Stage click on the link below:
Storyteller 1: Once upon a time a long time ago.
Storyteller 2: All the animals in the world decided to have a big party to celebrate the midsummer.
Storyteller 3: It was a midsummer party and all the animals in the world were going.
Storyteller 1: From the tiniest ant to the enormous elephant.
Storyteller 2: The animals arrived Two by two.
(Everyone sings the animals arrived two by two hurrah hurrah.)
Storyteller 3: Eventually, all the animals had arrived.
(Monkey is ticking off the all the names as the animals enter. He has a click board and looks very official. Giraffe is the look out.)
Monkey: Is that everyone?
Giraffe: I think so, I can’t see anyone else coming.
Lion: Well, let’s get this party started. Welcome, everyone to this party to celebrate the
midsummer. I hope everyone will have wonderful time tonight. I want to introduce the band. Back by popular demand all the way from the Jungle. I would like to introduce our band- the animals.
(Everyone cheers, and claps Elephant is playing her trumpet with his trunk, the bear is playing the drums with his feet. Other animal musical instruments.)
Storyteller 1: Everyone danced and chatted and had a merry time.
Kangaroo: Stop the music. I just noticed that the camel isn’t here.
Crocodile: Never mind him, he is so grumpy.
Penguin: He couldn’t be bothered coming.
Giraffe: No wait, I see something coming up in the hill in the distance.
(Monkey climbs up the tree.)
Monkey: It is the camel and he doesn’t look very happy.
(The camel trundles up the hill very slowly)
Penguin: We should be very welcoming to him, when he arrives.
(Camel eventually makes his way up the hill.)
Animals: Hello Camel, welcome to the midsummer’s eve party.
Lion: Come and join us.
Camel: (sighs and wipes his brow.) This better be a good party. I have come an awfully long way.
Frog: It will be wonderful. Let’s play a game of leap frog,
(All the animals jump over one another.)
Pig: That was fun but now let’s play piggy in the middle.
(All the animals throw a ball and the pig tries to catch it.)
Storyteller 2: Everyone had so much fun.
Storyteller 3: Then the dolphins performed a lovely water display.
(Music is playing.)
Monkey: now it my turn to show my contemporary dance.
Storyteller 1: The monkey danced, and all the other animals were impressed.
(All the animals cheer and clap when the monkey is finished.)
Pig: That was amazing.
Frog: You are such a good dancer,
Camel: Harrumph! What’s all the clapping and cheering about. Anyone can dance like that.
Kangaroo: That’s not true. The monkey is a very good dancer.
Ant: You are such a grumpy all hump, Camel.
Elephant: You are just jealous Camel, everyone knows camels can’t dance.
Camel: Of course, Camels can dance.
Monkey: Go on then, show us how camels can dance.
(The Camel slowly makes his way to the middle of the circle. All the animals are staring at him and there is a deafening silence.)
Penguin: Band, Music please.
Storyteller 1: The band started to play, and the camel started to dance.
Storyteller 2: It was the most peculiar dance they had ever seen.
(Camel gives a sideways hop and wiggle and then falls over and he bashes into the band and the music stops.)
Squirrel: Watch where you are going.
(The camel does a high kick and hits the kangaroo.)
Kangaroo: Ouch. (Kangaroo starts limping.)
Storyteller 3: The camel swings his tail and the rabbit is knocked to the floor.
Storyteller 1: Then, he nearly trod on the ants.
Ant/s: Oh, my goodness. Somebody stop him before he kills us.
(The camel is so clumsy that all the animals scatter to the far side of the stage.)
Lion: (roars) Stop! Stop Camel.
Camel: But I’m in the middle of my dance. Can’t you see I’m the best dancer here.
Storyteller 1: Then, the unimaginable happened.
Storyteller 2: He stood on the lion’s tail.
(All the animals freeze.)
Camel: Is it just me? But I get the feeling you didn’t like my dance Lion. (Looks around.) why is anyone clapping.
Pig: Your dancing is ……horrible.
Camel:(hangs his head) I must admit that it wasn’t as fun as the monkey’s dance. (Looks at the monkey) You dance very well, Monkey.
Monkey: Thank you. You have special talents too. You can walk for miles without water and you can give everyone rides on your hump.
Kangaroo: Everyone has a talent.
Lion: The world would be a strange place if we all good at the same thing.
Camel: I guess you are right. Well who would like on my hump.
All animals: Me.
Camel: Hop on then.
Storyteller 1: The camel smiled with pride and pleasure.
Storyteller 2: The moral of the story is
Storyteller 3: Everyone is good at something.
Aesop was an ancient Greek storyteller who was is believed to have lived around 500 B.C. He was a Phrygian slave. He was owned by two different masters before gaining his freedom due to his intelligence. He went from place to place telling his fables to the masses however it is also widely believed that he did not write most of them, he just collected them. Aesop’s fables were used to offer advice to their audience. He supposedly met his death by being thrown a cliff at Delphi for being ugly and deformed. Over the centuries Aesop’s fables have been rewritten, illustrated and translated into every language in the world.
A fable is a short story. Fables typically involve animals with human like qualities. Usually in a fable, the time and the place are unspecified. Often fables illustrate how smaller and weaker characters use their intelligence to defeat the bigger and more powerful characters. There is always a hero, a villain, a character with a weakness and most importantly a moral. A moral is a lifelong lesson.
The most common characters found in fables are:
There are always good characters and evil characters.
Examples of good characters:
Cow. Examples of evil characters:
Write your own fable:
Character with a weakness:
The Lion and Mouse
A Lion lay asleep in the forest, his great head resting on his paws. A timid little Mouse came upon him unexpectedly, and in her fright and haste to get away, ran across the Lion’s nose. Roused from his nap, the Lion laid his huge paw angrily on the tiny creature to kill her.
“Spare me!” begged the poor Mouse. “Please let me go and some day I will surely repay you.”
The Lion was much amused to think that a Mouse could ever help him. But he was generous and finally let the Mouse go.
Some days later, while stalking his prey in the forest, the Lion was caught in the toils of a hunter’s net. Unable to free himself, he filled the forest with his angry roaring. The Mouse knew the voice and quickly found the Lion struggling in the net. Running to one of the great ropes that bound him, she gnawed it until it parted, and soon the Lion was free.
“You laughed when I said I would repay you,” said the Mouse. “Now you see that even a Mouse can help a Lion.”
“A kindness is never wasted”
Click here for more children’s plays based on Aesop’s fables.
Goldilocks and the Three Bears – A simple five minute play script for young children
Characters: Three storytellers, Goldilocks, three bears, three bowls, three chairs, three beds. Storyteller 1: Once upon a time, there were three bears who lived in a little house in the woods. Storyteller 2: There was Daddy Bear, there was Mummy Bear and there was Baby Bear. Storyteller 3: One fine day, they decided to go for a walk. Daddy Bear: What a lovely sunny day it is today. Let’s all go to the woods. Baby Bear: I’m hungry. I want to eat my porridge. Mummy Bear: The porridge is still hot; it will be cool enough by the time we come back from our walk. Storyteller 1: So, off they went on their walk. Storyteller 2: Just then, a little girl called Goldilocks was walking in the woods. Storyteller 3: She was picking flowers for her grandma. Storyteller 1: She stopped suddenly and saw a pretty little house. Goldilocks: Oh, what a pretty little house. I am feeling a little tired and hungry. I wonder if whoever lives here will let me rest for a few moments and give me something to eat (She knocks on the door.) There is no answer…. (She opens the door slowly and goes inside.) Goldilocks: Oh look, three bowls of porridge. Bowl 1: Eat me! I have lots of salt on me. (Goldilocks eats some but spits it out.) Goldilocks: Yuck! You are too salty. Bowl 2: I have lots of sugar on me. (Goldilocks eats some but spits it out.) Goldilocks: Yuck! You are too sugary. Bowl 3: Eat me! I’m just right. (Goldilocks eats some and likes it and continues eating it until all the porridge is gone.) Goldilocks: Mmmmmm, that was just right. Oh look, three chairs. I think I’ll sit down for a moment. Chair 1: Sit on me. I’m very hard. (Goldilocks goes to sit down and jumps up straight away.) Goldilocks: This chair is too hard. Chair 2: Sit on me. I’m very soft. (Goldilocks goes to sit down and jumps up straight away.) Goldilocks: This chair is too soft. Chair 3: Sit on me. I’m just right. (Goldilocks goes to sit down and makes herself comfortable.) Goldilocks: This chair is just right. Oh dear, I’ve broken the chair. Storyteller 2: Goldilocks decided to walk upstairs. Storyteller 3: She saw three beds. Bed 1: Lie on me. I’m very hard. (Goldilocks lies down on the bed and suddenly jumps up.) Goldilocks: This bed is too hard. Bed 2: Lie on me. I’m very soft. (Goldilocks lies down on the bed and suddenly jumps up.) Goldilocks: This bed is too soft. Bed 3: Lie on me. I’m just right. (Goldilocks lies down on the bed and stays there.) Goldilocks: This bed is just right. Storyteller 1: Goldilocks fell fast asleep. Storyteller 2: After a while, the three bears came back from their walk. Storyteller 3: They walked in to the house and Daddy Bear said… Daddy Bear: Who has been eating my porridge? Storyteller 1: Mummy Bear said… Mummy Bear: Who has been eating my porridge? Storyteller 2: Baby Bear said… Baby Bear: Who has been eating my porridge? Look, it is all gone! Storyteller 3: They saw the chairs and Daddy Bear said… Daddy Bear: Who has been sitting on my chair? Storyteller 2: Mummy Bear said… Mummy Bear: Who has been sitting on my chair? Storyteller 2: Baby Bear said… Baby Bear: Who has been sitting on my chair? Look, it’s broken! Storyteller 3: They walked upstairs and Daddy Bear said… Daddy Bear: Who has been sleeping in my bed? Storyteller 1: Mummy Bear said… Mummy Bear: Who has been sleeping in my bed? Storyteller 2: Baby Bear said… Baby Bear: Who has been sleeping in my bed? And look, she is still there! Storyteller 3: Goldilocks woke and screamed. Storyteller 1: She jumped out of bed and ran down the stairs and out of the house. Storyteller 2: The three bears never saw her again Storytellers: The end.
For more play scripts based on Fairytales, click here.
Androcles and the Lion – A five minute playscript for children
Characters: Two storytellers, Androcles, Lion, Emperor, three slaves, three roman guards and as many spectators as you wish.
Storyteller 1: A long, long time ago when the Romans ruled the world.
Storyteller 2: There lived a slave called Androcles.
(Androcles walks on the stage and addresses the audience.)
Androcles: Hello everyone, I’m Androcles. I’m a slave. Life is not so good when you are a slave. I work hard and I’m always hungry. (He mimes digging and he wipes his brow.)
(Enter slaves and guards. The slaves mime doing manual jobs while the guards observe.)
Guard 1: Slaves, work harder. Any slacking and you will be fed to the hungry lions in the arena.
Androcles: I can’t take this life anymore.
Slave 1: Androcles, we are slaves.
Slave 2: We must do as the Romans tell us.
Slave 3: You should learn to accept your fate.
Androcles: I don’t want to accept this terrible life. I’m going to escape. I need you to cause a distraction.
Slave 1: I’ll do it. (He collapses in pain and the guards run towards him.)
Guard 2: Stop that noise at once.
Guard 3: What is the matter with you?
Slave 1: I’ve twisted my ankle.
Slave 2: Go now and good luck.
Slave 3: Don’t get caught or else you will be fed to the lions in the arena.
(They hug quickly and Androcles escapes without the guards noticing.)
Storyteller 1: Androcles jumped over the wall.
Storyteller 2: And ran through the forest.
Androcles: I’m exhausted. (He stretches, yawns and looks around.) This looks like a good place to sleep.
Storyteller 1: Androcles was just about to lie down when he heard a loud roar.
Androcles: It’s a lion. Oh dear, he looks very angry.
Lion: I’m not angry. I’ve got this thorn stuck in my paw. I’m in pain. Roarrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrr!
Androcles: I’ll help you.
Storyteller 2: Androcles pulled the thorn out of the Lion’s paw.
Androcles: There you go. I’ll put some leaves on it to keep it dry.
Lion: Thank you so much I was in so much pain. Maybe one day I’ll return your good deed.
Storyteller 1: Years passed but one-day Androcles’ luck ran out. (Androcles is casually walking around the stage.)
Guard 1: Caught you at last.
Guard 2: Your luck has finally run out.
Guard 3: The emperor is very angry with you.
Emperor: Slave, you are going to pay for escaping. Guards, take him to the arena and throw him to the lions. I could do with something to amuse me.
(Guards throw Androcles into the arena.)
Guard 1: Enjoy.
Guard 2: See you later.
Guard 3: Ha, ha I doubt we will ever see him again, alive.
Storyteller 2: Androcles waited in the arena for the trapdoor to open. The crowd cheered loudly.
Androcles: This is the end for me. I’ll just close my eyes. I hope it will be quick.
(The trapdoor open and the lion comes out roaring but then he sees Androcles with his eyes closed.)
Spectators: Kill him, kill him, kill him.
(The lion walks slowly towards Androcles whose eyes are still firmly shut.)
Lion: Open your eyes, Androcles.
Androcles: No, just eat me and get it over with.
Spectators: Kill him, kill him, kill him.
Lion: Androcles, it is I the lion you helped in the forest. I would never eat you.
Storyteller 1: Androcles slowly opens his eyes.
Androcles: Hello, my friend. (They hug.)
(The spectators cheer)
Emperor: Androcles, you have made friends with a fierce creature. Your reward is your freedom.
Androcles: Emperor, thank you. (Androcles bows.)
Storyteller 2: The Lion and Androcles lived to a ripe old age and remained friends.
(They hug and wave at the crowd.)
Androcles and the Lion – A five minute playscript for children
For more plays based on animal stories click here.
About the Panchatantra:
The Panchatantra is one of the world’s oldest books and even today it remains one of the most popular works of literature. It originated in India and was initially written in the Indian languages of Sanskrit and Pali. It is a collection of stories with morals that aim to help people to succeed in life. It is believed to have been written around 300 B.C by Vishnu Sharma. The Panchatantra has been translated into fifty languages and there are over two hundred different versions available.
Background to the Panchatantra:
The legend behind the Panchatantra is there once lived a king who had three sons. The sons were not very bright. The king was worried that they might not rule his kingdom justly and fairly when he died. The king asked a Brahmin called Vishnu Sharma to help his sons become more knowledgeable. Sharma decided to pass on his wisdom by the use of stories. In these stories, all animals take on human qualities. Pancha means “five” and tantra means “ways” or “principles.”
The five books or principles are:
Book 1: The separation of friends. (The Bull and the Lion.)
Book 2: The gaining of friends. (The Four Friends and the Hunter)
Book 3: Conflict and solutions. (The Owl and Crow)
Book 4: Loss of gains. (The Monkey and the Crocodile.)
Book 5: Ill-considered actions. (The Sage and the Mouse.)
Write Your Own Panchatantra Tale
To help you write your own tale, the following is a list of the most common characters found in the Panchatantra:
Mouse The Four Friends and the Hunter
Characters: Three storytellers, mouse, crow, deer, turtle, two hunters.
Storyteller 1: Long, long, ago there lived three friends in the jungle.
Storyteller 2: There was a deer, a crow, and a mouse.
(Deer, crow and mouse are all jumping and playing with each other.)
Storyteller 2: They always played together and looked out for one another. One day, a turtle came along.
(Turtle plods slowly towards the three friends.
Turtle: Hello, everyone. May I play with you and be your friend?
Deer: Of course.
Crow: You are most welcome.
Mouse: Come and play with us now.
Storyteller 1: Then, suddenly, the mouse stopped and sniffed and he said…
Mouse: I smell some hunters.
Deer: What will we do?
Crow: Quick, let’s get out of here.
(Enter two hunters looking for prey.)
Storyteller 2: The deer darted through the jungle.
Storyteller 3: The crow flew high up into the sky.
Storyteller 2: And the mouse scarpered into a hole, but the turtle moved very slowly indeed.
Hunter 1: Oh no! We just missed that juicy deer.
Hunter 2: Never mind (points to turtle); we can catch that turtle and we will have delicious turtle stew for dinner.
(The hunters capture the turtle. They put a net over him and start to pull.)
Storyteller 3: The turtle’s three friends were very worried.
Mouse: They have caught the turtle!
Crow: How will we save him?
Deer: Listen, I have an idea. (They huddle up together and whisper to each other.)
Storyteller 1: The crow flew up into the sky and spotted the two hunters carrying the turtle near the river.
Crow: (shouts down and points) There they are.
Storyteller 2: The deer darted through the jungle and when she came to the path, she lay down as if she were dead.
Hunter 1: Do you see what I see?
Hunter 2: Yes, it is a dead deer.
Hunter: We really will eat like kings tonight.
Hunter 2: And we can sell its beautiful skin to the highest bidder.
Storyteller 3: In their excitement, they put down the turtle.
Storyteller 1: This was exactly what the deer had planned.
(Mouse sneaks out very quietly and starts to gnaw at the rope)
Turtle: I’m free! Thank you mouse. You are a true friend.
Mouse: Come with me.
(Turtle moves slowly and then disappears into the river and the mouse runs into the jungle.)
Storyteller 1: Just as the hunters were going to lean down and take the deer, she got up and darted off into the jungle.
Hunter 1: She wasn’t dead at all.
Hunter 2: Never mind, we still have the turtle.
Storyteller 2: They turned around and saw that the trap was empty and the turtle was gone.
Hunter 1: The trap is empty.
Hunter 2: (sighs) Looks like we will go hungry again tonight.
Storytellers: The moral of this story is this: A friend in need is a friend indeed.
If you would like to read more plays based on the Panchatantra then go to