Posted in Aesop's fabes, co-operation, creative arts, Drama Activities for children, Drama for children, Story sacks, Storytelling, Storytelling in the Early years, Storytelling techniques, Therapeutic Story, Therapeutic writing

Therapeutic Stories/Writing

IMG_0278Basics:
• Everyone has learnt a lesson for a story.
• A story is metaphorical when used to communicate something more than the events itself.
• Symbols are the smallest units of metaphor.
• The story is a metaphor for the ideas it expresses.
• The Importance of fantasy.

The Importance of Fantasy:
Fantasy is the inner world of the child.

Two types of play:
• Imitative – follow the leader, cook like a mother
• Fantasy or symbolic play – a chair becomes a rocket.

How therapeutic stories can help with coping methods

Options about what to do when presented difficult issues
• New possibilities, creative solutions for overcoming problems
• Ways to dealing more effectively with emotional difficulties
• Options for new ways of reacting to situations.

Metaphorical Images:

• Allows the child to stay longer in the situation.
• Provides the means for the child to stay look at his powerful feelings from a distance.

Unknown Thought (Bollas, 1987):

• “ I know this exactly but I have not ever thought it” (Margot Sunderland, 2007)
• When an unknown thought can be named, then it can be thought through and felt through.
• Children need emotional education and therapeutic story help achieve this education.

The Child and the therapeutic story:

• Must be aptly chosen
• Must identify with the main character
• Must suffer the defeats, obstacles and courage of the main character
• Must feel the character’s joys and relief in coming through conflict and crisis to resolution.
• Must be indirect – this where safety lies.

When to tell a Therapeutic Story:
When the child is
– Giving full attention
– Being receptive
– Not distracted
– Before they go to sleep.

Important things to remember:
Story can be
-Fantastical,
-Absurd,
-Do not put irrelevant character or side plots into the story,
-Symbolic and not literal,
-Can be interactive.

Therapeutic Story Making:

• Identify a list of emotional issues that children may experience.

Starting:

• Set a therapeutic objective
• What would you like to change?
• Think of a strategy to achieve this change.

Develop a framework:

• Put the issues into a different metaphorical context ……to which the child can relate.
• Borrow ideas from stories you know.
• Start at the end a work backwards.
• Present the main character as experience the same emotional problem as the child- Metaphorical conflict.
• Show the main character using similar methods to deal with the problem as those used by the child – personify unconscious processes and potential in the form of heroes/helpers and villains or obstructions.

Further Development:

• Show how these methods lead your character problems which lead to failure –metaphorical crisis.
• The story so far should have captured the whole context of how that character came to that moment of crisis in their life.

Resolution:

Move towards the solution – vital part of the journey-someone in the story appears to help the character change direction and to move on to a better coping mechanism which makes them feel a lot better.
• Don’t move too quick – story becomes unbelievable.
• Show the journey from crisis to positive solution – new
sense of identification
• Culminates with a celebration in which the protagonist’s special worth is acknowledged.

Symbols:

A symbol – a word or image which implies one thing but means something else.
• Sunset
• Sunrise
• Locked door
• Tornado/hurricane/storm
• Light
• Witch
• Hole in the heart
• Mirror
• Burned.

Metaphors:

Metaphors – using language to talk about one thing while meaning something else.
• Watching paint dry.
• Not the sharpest knife in the drawer.
• Give me the bottom line.
• Don’t put your eggs in one basket.

The Ugly Duckling (An example of a Therpeutic Story)

• Metaphorical Conflict – Birth of funny looking duckling.

• Unconscious processes and potentials – Mother defends him, cites positive qualities, gets a first look at swans.

• Parallel learning situations – Learning to swim, take care of himself and fly.

• Metaphorical crisis – Attack in the marsh, cold winter in the pond.

• New identification – Beholds beautiful new image in the water.

• Celebration – The old swans are in awe of him.

• In groups think of a fairytale that could be used as a therapeutic story. Put it into the above framework.
The Magic Forest


Once upon a time there was a young child called Matilda. Matilda’s parents were the king and queen of the magic forest. The king, Matilda’s father was very ……………….. and the queen, Matilda’s mother was always ……………….. Matilda was the kind of child who never …………………… but always ………. Sometimes the king, the queen and Matilda would ………………… but they never ……………… All of them would sometimes go …………and Matilda would feel ……….. One day while walking in the magic forest, Matilda lost her way. She tried and tried to see if she could get back home to the castle. Matilda became ……….. After a while a wizard came hobbling along the path and told Matilda ………………… The wizard also gave …………. The first thing that Matilda did was ………. and she ……………

Finally, after wandering around for a long time, Matilda recognised the path back to the castle. She hurried towards it but suddenly she came across a …………… Now she felt ………… As the sun was setting Matilda trudged through the castle gates and into the castle where the king and queen were very, very, very, ………….. Her father the King told Matilda ………… Matilda felt …………. So told the king and queen……………… It had been a very tiring day for Matilda and she fell asleep. The king and queen watched Matilda as she slept and thought ……………
The next morning Matilda woke up and said to her self “………………………………………………………………………”

In groups, full in the blanks. Read your story out to the rest of the class. Devise an improvisation based around your story.

Other Links

Storytelling in Early Years

Storytelling Games

Posted in Circle games, Closure activities, co-operation, creative arts, Drama, Drama Activities for children, Drama for children, drama for kids, English as a second language, English teaching games, Esl, Esl Drama

Teach English through Drama Games

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Drama games are a perfect tool to use in any classroom that encompasses
multiple learning styles, ability levels and age groups in addition, the activities in this book help ESL students to access active language in an effective and imaginative way. The activities in this
book facilitate students’ ability to learn in different ways as visual learners, auditory learners and kinaesthetic learners. 
Here are a few fun, challenging and rewarding drama games.

Game: The Fishing Game
Level: Elementary+
Other benefits: The focus of this game is to practice directions. It will also help students to become familiar with different types of fish.
Minimum number of participants: 4
Resources needed: Clear space.
Instructions: The students sit in a circle. The teacher goes around circle and gives each student a fish name such as a dog fish, sun fish, star fish, and cat fish. Then, the teacher chooses one type of fish and the students that are assigned that fish move around the outside of the circle to instructions like high seas- stretching as high as they can, low seas- crouching as low as they can, choppy seas- jumping or hopping, change direction, and then when the teacher calls ‘shark is coming’ they must run back as quickly as they can to their place in the circle. Repeat until all the fish have got a chance.

Game: World’s Greatest Sandwich
Level: Elementary
Other benefits: This is an excellent concentration and memory game. It will help to extend and explore vocabulary.
Minimum number of participants: 2
Resources needed: Clear space.
Instructions: This is an activity can be used as a getting to know you activity as well as giving the students an opportunity to practice specific vocabulary. The students sit in a circle the first-person starts.
Student A: Hi my name is Adam and the world’s greatest sandwich has eggs in it.
Student B: Hi my name is Betty and the world’s greatest sandwich has eggs and bananas in it.
Student C: Hi my name is Carol and the world’s greatest sandwich has eggs, bananas and pickles in it
Everyone in the circle gets a chance. If they make a mistake or pause too long they are out. The game keeps going until there is only one person left.
Extension: This game could be used to practice other types of vocabulary.
Examples:
• The world greatest zoo has …………. (zoo)
• The world’s greatest rainbow has ………… (colours)
• The world greatest orchestra has ………… (musical instruments)

Game: I Like but I don’t Like
Level: Beginners+
Other benefits: This game helps to promote the students’ creativity. It also focuses on negatives.
Minimum number of participants: 3
Resources needed: Clear space.
Instructions: Go around the circle and each student says what they like and what they don’t like. You can make it more difficult by getting them to say items that start with the first letter of their name.
For example: Hi my name is Julie. I like …. Jellies but I don’t like…. Jam.
After everyone has had a chance to say what their likes and dislikes are the students stand in a circle. A volunteer is chosen and he calls out the name of another student across the circle. As he walks towards them he must call their likes and dislikes. The chosen student chooses someone else and walks towards them calling out their likes and dislikes and so on until everyone has had a chance.

For more Drama Games you can use in the classroom, click on the link here.

Some Improvisation Activities for ESL Students.

Some Improvisation Activities for ESL Students.

Posted in Aesop's fabes, Animal Stories, creative arts, Drama, Drama Activities for children, Drama for children, drama for kids, fables, Fairy Tales, Legends, Panchatantra plays, Plays, Plays for Children, Role playing stories, Storytelling, Storytelling in the Early years

Androcles and the Lion – A five minute playscript for children

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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.
Lion: Roarrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrr!
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.
(Enter Emperor.)
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.

Other links:

Thumbelina – a play script

 

Posted in Action Poems, Circle games, Closure activities, creative arts, Drama, Drama Activities for children, Drama for children, drama for kids, English as a second language, English teaching games, Esl, Esl Drama, Movement activities, Relaxation games

Action Songs and Poetry for preschoolers.

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Dingle Dangle Scarecrow
When all the cows were sleeping and the sun had gone to bed
Up jumped the scarecrow and this is what he said
“I’m a dingle dangle scarecrow with a flippy floppy hat,
I can shake my hands like this and shake my feet like that.
When all the hens were rousting and the moon behind a cloud,
Up jumped the scarecrow and shouted very loud
“I’m a dingle dangle scarecrow with a flippy floppy hat,
I can shake my hands like this and shake my feet like that.

Do Your Ears Hang Low?
Do your ears hang low? Do they wobble to and fro?
Can you tie them in a knot? Can you tie them in a bow?
Can you throw them o’er your shoulder like a continental soldier?
Do your ears hang low?
Do your ears hang high? Do they reach up to the sky?
Do they droop when they are wet? Do they stiffen when they’re dry?
Can you semaphore your neighbour with a minimum of labour?
Do your ears hang high?
Do your ears flip-flop? Can you use them for a mop?
Are they stringy at the bottom? Are they curly at the top?
Can you use them for a swatter? Can you use them for a blotter?
Do your ears flip-flop? Do your ears hang out? Can you waggle them about?
Can you flip them up and down as you fly around the town?
Can you shut them up for sure when you hear an awful bore?
Do your ears hang out?

The Hokey Cokey
You put your right hand in
Your right hand out
In, out, in, out
Shake it all about.
You do the hokey-cokey
And you turn around.
That’s what it’s all about.
Chorus
Whoa, the hokey-cokey
Whoa, the hokey-cokey
Whoa, the hokey-cokey
Knees bent, arms stretched, rah, rah, rah!
(Chorus)
You put your left hand in
Your left hand out
In, out, in, out
Shake it all about.
You do the hokey-cokey
And you turn around.
That’s what it’s all about.
(Chorus)
You put your right foot in
Your right foot out
In, out, in, out
Shake it all about.
You do the hokey-cokey
And you turn around.
That’s what it’s all about.
(Chorus)
You put your left foot in
Your left foot out
In, out, in, out
Shake it all about.
You do the hokey-cokey
And you turn around.
That’s what it’s all about.
(Chorus)
You put your whole self in
Your whole self out
In, out, in, out
Shake it all about.
You do the hokey-cokey
And you turn around.
That’s what it’s all about.

Little Bunny Foo Foo

Hoppin through the forest

Scooping up the field mice
And bopping them on the head.

Down came
The good fairy
And the
Good fairy said:

“Little bunny foo foo
I don’t wanna see you
Scooping up the field mice
And bopping them on the head!”

“I’m gonna give you
Three chances
Then I’ll turn you
Into a goon!”

Little bunny foofoo
Hoppin’ through the forest
Scoopin’ up the field mice and bopping
Em’ on the head

Down came the good fairy
And she said:

” little bunny foofoo I don’t want to see you
Scooping up the field mice and bopping em’ on the head
I’ll give you two more chances then I’ll turn you to a goon”
*the next day

Little bunny foofoo hoppin’ through the forest scooping up the field
and boppin’ em’ on the the head

Then the good fairy came down
And she said

Little bunny foofoo i don’t want to see you scooping up the field
much and bopping them on the head!I’ll give you one more chance
and then I’ll turn you into a goon!
*the next day

Little bunny foofoo hoppin through the forest scooping up the field
mice and bopping them on the head

Then the good fairy came down and she said:

Little bunny foofoo I don’t want to see you scooping up the field
mice and bopping them on the head I gave you 3 chances and I’m
going to turn you into a goon!

POOF!

For more movement games and activities, click here.

 

Posted in Action Poems, Aesop's fabes, creative arts, Drama, Drama Activities for children, Drama for children, Esl, expressive arts, fables, Panchatantra plays, Plays, Plays for Children, the lion and the mouse

Rhyming Tales – The Lion and the Mouse

A king lion and a mouse under the tree

Rhyming Tales
The following poem can be used in a variety of ways: The practionner could read it at story time or the children could act out or mime the different parts for fun or in front of an audience. They could also be recited. Each child could learn four lines each and they could recite it as a choral piece. These stories help children with their vocal expression and give them an understanding of rhythm.

The Lion and the Mouse
There was a lion who lived in a cave.
He was extremely big and terribly brave.
The lion was not frightened of anything
Because he was the fearsome jungle king.
One day he was asleep near his house
When he was woken by a little mouse.
The lion grabbed the mouse with his large paw
He licked his lips and opened his wide jaw.-
The little mouse looked at him with sheer dread –
He didn’t want to be some scrumptious spread. –
“Squeak, squeak, Mr. Lion do not eat me
Some day I will help you so let me be.”
“You help me,” he said “I don’t think so
But I’m not that hungry, so off you go.”
One day while hunting deep in the jungle
The lion tripped over and took a tumble.
Suddenly he was stuck in an evil trap
The other animals began to clap.
He saw some grey elephants and he cried:
“Elephants, please help me I’ve swallowed my pride.”
“Oh Mr. Lion we will not help you
So how does it feel to be in a stew?”
The elephants said with extreme delight
And off they trundled into the dark night.
The lion waited and a few hours passed
Then out of the blue he saw some giraffes
“Giraffes, Giraffes,” he said, “please, please help me.”
The Giraffes looked at him and decided to flee.
He was extremely hungry and very cold
He was terribly tired and feeling less bold.
When all of a sudden down by the lake
He heard the hissing of a slimy snake.
“Snake, please, please help me I’m stuck in a trap,
I feel confused and I’m all in a flap.”
The snake hissed: “Jungle King I must admit,
You really do look like a proper twit.”
Snake laughed and laughed and felt real good
And away he slithered into the deep wood.
The Lion felt a sense of despair’
He was stuck outside in the cold night air.
Then all of a sudden out from his house
Came the patter of the little brown mouse.
“Pardon Lion I’m not one for prying
But please tell me why you are crying?”
The lion told the mouse his whole story
In all its wondrous gruesome glory.
The little mouse began to gnaw and gnaw
The scary lion sat there full of great awe.
At last, the lion roared: “I’m FREE I’m free.”
With that he invited the mouse home for tea.

 

Posted in creative arts, Drama, Drama for children, Esl Drama, Legends, Plays, Plays for Children, Role playing stories, Saint Patrick’s day, St Patrick

St Patrick – A play for children based on an Irish Legend

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Characters: Three narrators, three slave traders, Patrick, Patrick’s mother, Patrick’s father, Rich Merchant, three sheep, God, Ship’s captain, three druids, High King, snakes (as many as you want.)
Narrator 1: Once upon a time in the north of France there lived a young boy called Patrick
Narrator 2: Patrick was young and carefree. He lived in a village with his family and friends.
Narrator 3: One night while the whole village was fast asleep, the village was raided by evil slave traders.
(Patrick and his parents are asleep. Slave traders enter the stage very quietly. They have their swords drawn.)
Slave Trader 1: Take any valuables you can lay your hands on.
Slave Trader 2: The only thing of value in this village is this young boy.
Slave Trader 3: Yes, he is young and hearty, he will make an excellent slave.
Slave Trader 1: Seize him.
Slave Trader 2: And leave the rest, they are of no use.
(Slave Traders 1 and 2 tie up Patrick’s parents.)
Patrick’s Mother: Please don’t take our son. He is our only child.
Slave Trader 3: Silence woman.
Patrick’s Father: Where are you taking him?
Slave Trader 1: We are going to sail to Ireland.
Patrick’s Father: What are you going to do with him Ireland?
Slave Trader 2: We will sell him at the market.
Slave Trader 3: People will pay good money for a strong and fit slave.
Slave Trader 1: And there is nothing you can do about it.
Narrator 1: That very night, the slave traders and the boy set sail for Ireland.
Narrator 2: Patrick was very frightened because he had only ever known a comfortable and safe life with his family in the north of France.
Patrick: I’m so scared I’ve never been anywhere by myself before.
Narrator 3: Eventually, they arrived in Ireland and the slave traders sold him to a rich merchant.
Rich Merchant: He looks very hearty and strong. I will be able to work him hard. How much do you want for this boy?
Slave Traders: Five pieces of silver.
Rich Merchant: 1, 2, 3, 4, 5. Boy, come with me.
Patrick: Where are we going?
Rich Merchant: You are going to work as a shepherd. You must take care of my sheep on the mountain. You can live in this stone hut. Now get to work.
Patrick: I know nothing about sheep.
Rich Merchant: I paid good money for you, so you must keep the flock safe. Make sure none of them run off or get injured.
Narrator 1: Patrick worked very hard on the mountain. Soon he became good friends with the sheep as they were his only company. (Patrick sits on a rock and looks very sad.)
Sheep 1: Baa, baa what’s the matter Patrick?
Sheep 2: You always look sad.
Patrick: I miss my family and friends very much. I want to go home.
Sheep 3: I’ve an idea that could help.
Patrick: What is it? I’ll try anything that will help me return to my family.
Sheep 3: Why don’t you ask God to help you escape and return you safely to your family.
Patrick: That’s an excellent plan. (He kneels.) God, please help me escape so I can return to my family in the north of France. (He waits for a response but there is none.) Nothing, I guess I’m stuck here.
Sheep: Be patience. God works in mysterious ways,
Narrator 2: In the seventh winter, Patrick was fast asleep in his hut one night when God came to him.
God: It’s time to leave the mountain and return to your family, friends and village. There is a ship in Wexford waiting for you.
Patrick: (wakes up) God, that’s a very dangerous plan. If I get caught I’ll surely die.
God: Well, just make sure you don’t get caught.
Sheep 1: You must go.
Sheep 2: God has spoken.
Sheep 3: We will miss you.
Patrick: I’ll miss you too, but I need to return home.
Sheep: Go quickly, bye and safe journey.
(They all hug.)
Patrick: Bye and take care.
Narrator 1: Patrick trekked through the mountains. It began to snow. He was cold and hungry.
(Music maybe played as Patrick mime going through the treacherous terrains.)
Narrator 2: He arrived in Wexford just as a big ship was to set sail.
Ship’s captain: All aboard.
Patrick: Where are you going, Captain?
Ship’s Captain: The north of France. Hop on if you want a ride.
Narrator 3: After many days, Patrick arrived home. (His parents are busying working in the fields. They notice someone walking towards. They look carefully realise it is their long, lost son.)
Patrick’s Mother: You are home. I’m so happy to see you.
Patrick’s Father: I prayed to God every day for seven years for your safe return.
(They all hug each other.)
Patrick: I’ll never leave you again.
Narrator 1: A few years later. Patrick is sleeping.
God: Patrick I need you to return to Ireland and tell the people all about me and Christianity.
Narrator 2: Before he returned to Ireland he became a monk.
Narrator 3: And then a bishop. And in 432 he returned to Ireland to tell the people about God and Christianity. (He puts on a bishop’s hat.)
Narrator 1: Patrick arrived carrying the Christian cross. The pagan druids of Ireland were not impressed.
Druid 1: What do you want with your funny ideas and your big cross.
Patrick: I’ve come to tell you stop worshiping your pagan gods. There is only one god and he is three people. The father, son and holy Ghost.
Druid 2: We should get rid of him.
Druid 1: He doesn’t agree with our pagan rituals.
Druid 2: Three people in one God. That makes no sense.
Druid 3: He is a ridiculous person.
Druid 1: How are you going to explain your God to our people.
(Patrick looks around and picks up a shamrock)
Patrick: I’ll explain it. One shamrock, Three leaves. One God, three people.
Druid 2: We have many gods and they aren’t stuck in one person.
High King: Stop this nonsense at once. Patrick, you are free to believe in whatever God you wish. Travel the land and spread the word. However, I think it will be a hard sell.
Narrator 1: Patrick travelled the country and when he reached Mayo he decided ….
Patrick: I will spend 40 days and 40 nights alone on this mountain, praying to God.
Narrator 2: While he was on the mountain top he realised there were lots of snakes. They started to surround him.
Snakes: Hisssssssssssssssssssssss
Patrick: These snakes are annoying and dangerous.
God: Banish all the serpents to the sea,
Druids and High King: Did you see that?
Patrick: All the snakes are gone.
Druid 1: I’m converted to this one god with three divine people.
Druid 2: Me too.
Druid 3: Me too.
High King: You shouldn’t have judged so quickly.
Narrator 2: Word spread and all of Ireland became Christian.
Patrick: Mission accomplished at last.
Narrator 1: Since that day there has never been a snake seen in Ireland.
Narrator 2: Patrick stayed in Ireland and he dies on the 17th March 461.
Narrator 3: Since then the 17th March has been St Patrick’s day.

For more Irish Legends on Stage, click here.

 

Other Playscripts:

Chinese New Year Play

The Monkey and the Crocodile 

Posted in creative arts, Drama Activities for children, Drama for children, drama for kids, Esl Drama, fables, Panchatantra plays, Plays, Plays for Children

The Monkey and the Crocodile – A playscript for children

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Characters: 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.

For more plays based on animal stories click  here.

Posted in Aesop's fabes, creative arts, Drama, Drama Activities for children, Drama for children, drama for kids, Esl, Esl Drama, fables, Fairy Tales, Panchatantra plays, Plays, Plays for Children, Role playing stories, Storytelling, Storytelling in the Early years, Storytelling techniques, The ant and the grasshoppers, The Hare and the Tortoise, the lion and the mouse

The Ants and the Grasshoppers – A 5 minute play script for children.

Ant and Grasshopper, illustration

Characters: Three storytellers, three ants, grasshopper, owls, squirrels and bears.  

(Stage Directions: the owls, squirrels and bears are in a large semicircle stage right; storytellers are stage left and the ants are in the centre of the stage.)

Storyteller 1: One hot summer’s day …

Storyteller 2: … there were some ants working hard.

Storyteller 3: They were collecting food for the winter. (All the ants are miming digging, pulling and pushing.)

Ant 1: I am so hot.

Ant 2: Me too!

Ant 3: This is very hard work.

Storyteller 1: They saw a grasshopper listening to some music on his iPod. (Grasshopper passes by, singing and dancing; the ants stop work and look at him.)

Storyteller 2: He was dancing …

Storyteller 3: … and laughing and enjoying the lovely weather.

Grasshopper: Ants, you are so silly. You need to enjoy the sunshine.

(Ants start working again.)

Ant 1: We are working hard.

Ant 2: We want to have food for the winter. (Grasshopper keeps dancing.)

Storyteller 1: The grasshopper continued enjoying himself. (The Ants keep working and move stage right.)

Storyteller 2: Winter started to come and the weather got colder and colder.

Storyteller 3: The snow began to fall.

Storyteller 1: The grasshopper was cold and hungry. (Grasshopper rubs his stomach and shivers. He looks at the owls that start to fly around the stage.)

Grasshopper: I am cold and hungry; perhaps my friends the owls will feed me. Owls! Owls! Will you please feed me?

Owls: (Owls fly around the grasshopper and stop centre stage. They stand around the grasshopper.) Twit Tuhooo! Oh no, we will not feed you. (They fly back to their place in the semicircle.)

Grasshopper: Oh dear! I know, I will ask my friends the bears to feed me. (Grasshopper walks towards the bears.) Bears! Bears! Please feed me. (Bears are asleep so he wakes them up and they walk to the centre stage.)

Bears: (The bears are very angry that they have been woken up.) Growl! Growl! Oh no, we will not feed you. (The bears go back to their place in the semicircle.)

Storyteller 1: Then the grasshopper saw some squirrels. (The squirrels mime eating nuts stage right.)

Grasshopper: Squirrels! Squirrels! Please feed me! (They squirrels walk towards him.)

Squirrels: Oh no, we will not feed you. (They hop back to stage right.)

Storyteller 2: The grasshopper was very cold and hungry. He didn’t know what to do. (Grasshopper is shivering and rubbing his stomach.)

Storyteller 3: Then he thought of the ants. (The ants move to the centre of the stage.)

Grasshopper: Ants! Ants! Please feed me. (The ants go into a huddle away from the grasshopper.)

Storyteller 1: The ants thought about it and decided to give him some food. (All the ants face the grasshopper.)

Ant 1: You must promise that next year you will work hard in the summer. (Grasshopper gets down on his hands and knees.)

Grasshopper: Oh thank you Ants, I promise.

Storyteller 1: That summer the grasshopper kept his promise and worked hard to collect food for the next winter. (Grasshopper mimes pushing, pulling, carrying and digging with all the ants.)

Storyteller 2: The lesson of the story is: fail to prepare …

Storyteller 3: …prepare to fail.

Click here for more children’s plays based on Aesop’s fables.

Posted in creative arts, Drama, Drama Activities for children, Drama for children, drama for kids, Esl, Esl Drama, fables, Fairy Tales, Hans Christian Andersen, Plays, Plays for Children, Storytelling in the Early years, The Magic Porridge Pot

The Magic Porridge Pot – 10 Minute Play for Children

image

The Magic Porridge Pot

Characters: Two storytellers, Daisy, Maisy, Mother, four villagers, old woman and the porridge pot.
Storyteller 1: Once upon a time, there was a little girl called Daisy who lived with her mother in a very small house.
Storyteller 2: They were very poor and they didn’t have much to eat. One day, they were really, really, really hungry.
Mother: I am very hungry. (She rubs her tummy.)
Daisy: I know, I will go into the forest and collect some mushrooms.
(She walks into the forest by herself and starts collecting mushrooms. Suddenly, an old woman creeps up behind her.)
Old Woman: What are you doing, little girl?
Daisy: My mother and I are very hungry. I am looking for some mushrooms for us to eat for our tea.
Old Woman: (She hands the little girl a porridge pot.) Here, take this.
Porridge Pot: Oh, dear, what is to become of me? (Starts crying.)
Old Woman: I am travelling far away and I can’t take this porridge pot with me. (Woman walks off.)
Daisy: (Looks at the crying porridge pot and shakes her head.) What am I suppose to do with you?
Porridge Pot: Well, if you are hungry just say, ‘Boil, pot, boil, pot.’
(Porridge comes out and spreads all over. This can be mimed.)
Daisy: How wonderful, but how do I stop the porridge flowing?
Porridge Pot: Just say, ‘Stop, pot! Stop, pot!’
Daisy: Stop, pot! Stop, pot! (Daisy brings the pot home and shows her mother and they both eat until they are full.)
Mother: This is wonderful. We should make some for the neighbours.
Daisy: Oh no, we should keep this as our own secret.
Storyteller 1: One day, the little girl went out playing with her friend Maisy.
Maisy: Let’s go into the forest and play hide-and-seek. (Maisy and Daisy skip off stage.)
Storyteller 2: Her mother was feeling hungry and she got the porridge pot to boil.
Mother: Boil, pot! Boil, pot! (Mother eats her porridge but she wants it to stop.)
Mother: I am full now so halt, pot! Halt, pot!
Storyteller 1: The porridge pot kept boiling.
Storyteller 2: There was porridge all over the place. (Mother jumps up on a chair.)
Mother: Don’t, pot! Don’t, pot!
Storyteller 1: The porridge spread everywhere.
Mother: Please, pot! Please, pot!
Villager 1: What is going on here?
Villager 2: The streets are paved with porridge.
Villager 3: Come, everyone, let’s fill ourselves up with porridge.
Villager 4: This is delicious. Yummy! (The villagers start swimming through the porridge.)
Villager 1: There is a porridge flood!
Villager 2: Help us!
Villager 3: We are drowning!
Villager 4: In porridge!
Mother: Oh dear, no, pot! No, pot! (Daisy returns with Maisy. She looks confused and shocked.)
Daisy: (Shouts) Stop, pot! Stop, pot!
(Porridge pot stops boiling porridge.)

Storyteller 1: The villagers had porridge for the rest of the winter.
Storyteller 2: They weren’t hungry. (Everybody is eating porridge and the porridge pot looks happy.)
Storyteller 1: In the spring, the old woman came back from her travels.
Storyteller 2: She asked for her pot back.
Old Woman: Thanks for taking care of my magic porridge pot.
Daisy: I didn’t take care of it. It took care of us.

If you want to read more Fairy Tales on Stage please click below.

Posted in creative arts, Drama Activities for children, Drama for children, drama for kids, Drama strategies, Elements of Drama, English as a second language, English teaching games, Esl, Esl Drama, expressive arts, Mime, Mime for all ages, Mime for children, Mime for kids, Movement activities, Movement stories for children, Role playing stories, Still image, Storytelling, Storytelling in the Early years, Storytelling techniques

Mime Workshop and Mime Activities for all ages

Mime theme image 2

Main objective of workshop: Mime encourages confidence and awareness of self and of others. It encourages physical control, simplicity of thought and movement and more importantly it stimulates the imagination.

Sub aims:

  • To introduce relaxation exercises and understand their role in a drama class.
  • To promote group work and co-operation.

Relaxation exercises

Be a star: Lie sown on your back and spread your arms, palms up to the side and open your legs. Stretch the limbs all together. Feel you are making a four pointed star. Suddenly the star collapses. Feel the tension disappear.

Be Hercules: In the same position, imagine that the body is being pushed down by a heavy weight so that all parts of the body are being pressed into the ground suddenly the weight is removed. Feel yourself float on the ground.

Shake off the ants:  In the same position, imagine you are tied to the ground but you can wiggle. A colony of ants finds and begins to crawl over you. Commence to wiggle the body until the last ant leaves you. Then collapse.

Be a rubber puppet: Imagine you are made of rubber and there are strings attached to your shoulders which someone can pull from above. You are being pulled up and you find your limbs fly out in all directions. Even the feet can be pulled off the ground at times, finally the strings are cut and the body relaxes.

Mime Activities:

What’s in the Box: All the students sit in a large circle. The teacher asks them to imagine there is a magic box in the centre of the circle. The teacher can ask what size is it? What colour is it? Ask can everyone see it. This is a fun mime game. Everyone sits in a circle. Ask the children if they can see the box in the centre of the circle. Ask them what colour it is? What shape it is? Tell them it can be a different shape and colour, depending on where you are sitting in the circle. This is because it is a magic box.  The teacher goes into the centre of the circle first and mimes opening the box and taking out an object. She then mimes holding the object and the class must guess what it is. When the children guess correctly the teacher mimes putting it back in the box and closing it. The child who guessed correctly takes a turn at taking an object out of the box.

Pass the object: This is a follow on from the Magic Box game. The teacher mimes taking an object out of the box, for example a mouse, a rotten egg, a cream cake, chewing gum, lipstick or a puppy, and the children guess what it is. When they have guessed she passes the object around the circle. The children should react as if they were holding the actual object in their hands. Eventually the last child in the circle gets rid of the object and the teacher goes to the box and takes out a new.

Locomotion: Get the students consider the ways that people walk. The teacher gets the children to walk around the room. Then call out different ways of walking

Walk like  a …..

•           Toddler

•           child in high heels

•           child wearing heavy wellington boots

•           child splashing in a puddles

•           child stuck in mud

•           child walking on stony beach

•           child walking on hot sand

•           someone walking on fire

•           someone walking wearily

•           an old frail person.

Chain Mime: Divide the class into 2 or 3 groups. Have at least 6 in each group. Number the students from one to six. Get each member of the group to leave the room except for number one. The other groups stay in the room. You then give number one an action to mime. You then call number 2 into the room and number one mimes to number 2. They do not talk. Number 2 can not say anything and she has to do mime exactly what she saw to number 3, then number 3 comes into the room and watches number 2 very carefully. Number 3 does the mime for number four and so on. When number 6 comes into the room she has to guess what the original mime was. This is like broken telephone but it is done through mime. Here are some suggestions for mimes:

•           Riding a horse

•           Skiing

•           Washing dishes

•           Eating hot food

•           Counting money

•           Telling someone you love them

•           Eating spaghetti

•           Singing

•           Playing tug of war

•           Washing your dog

•           Ballet dancing

•           Moon walk

•           Playing basketball

•           Singing opera

•           Walking in the desert

•           Playing tennis

•           Making pancakes

•           Opening a present that you do not like

The other groups watch how the mime changes with each person. This is a fun game and helps with observation skills.

Basic Situation: Divide the class into small groups and they must use body language and facial expression to 5 ways of showing that their are

•           Cold

•           Hot

•           Surprised,

•           Frightened

Meetings

The class gets into pairs. Each pair stands back to back. When the teacher calls out go they must turn around and pass their partner if

•           They were strangers

•           They were a casual acquaintance

•           Meeting some one they haven’t seen for 10 years

•           Meeting someone that owes them money.

Group Mime: Divide the class into groups and give each group one of the following outlines for a group mime. Allow the class 10 to15 minutes to prepare

The Concert   

  • Audience arrive for outdoor concert
  • Band enters with different instruments
  • Audience is very enthusiastic, claps, jumps up and down and waves hands in the air.
  • One person faints
  • Security arrives and removes him and her
  • No one takes any notice
  • Band plays on
  • Girl gets up on the stage and tries to touch members of the group
  • Security removes them
  • It starts to rain and after awhile everyone goes away disappointed

Hijack

  • Passengers board the plane
  • Welcomed by the air hostess
  • The plane takes off
  • One hijacker takes over the plane and an other one holds up the passengers
  • One passenger faints
  • This distracts the hijacker for a second
  • Pilot overcomes him
  • Airhostess holds him and the handcuff are put on him
  • Pilot overcomes the second hijacker and handcuffs him to hijacker 1
  • All the passengers have a strong drink and cheer the pilot as he brings the plane to land.

The Bank Robbery

  • Cashiers arrive bored and yawning they open up their desks and talk to each other
  • People come in and walk up to the cashiers and put in and withdraw money
  • Suddenly two robbers come in wearing masks
  • They make everyone lie on the floor and they hold up the bank clerks and make them hand over the money
  • Little old lady trips up robber and he falls and spills the money
  • Security guard then holds up robbers and takes off their masks.

Other ideas/themes for group mimes: Camping, The Circus, Christmas morning, The big mistake.

Starting  to use mime in a Drama session;

Start beginner groups on occupational mimes and later move to emotional mimes. Mime starts within and is then portrayed by the body. Never forget that through mime is that art of movement it is also the art of stillness.

Occupational Mimes: lift a bucket, box, brush. Place the same objects on a shelf or table, place them, carefully on top of each other. Use scissors, shears, pickaxes, fishing rod. Use activities such as sewing buttons, cooking, putting on clothes, painting, cleaning windows.

Character Mimes: Portray different types of character, the young girl, the old woman, the rich lady, beggar, clown. Watch people around you.

Emotional Mimes: These are the hardest to portray. Feel, understand, convey happiness at receiving a gift. Sadness at hearing bad news, shock, horror, love etc..,

More mime games

What’s the Chair?

Place a chair in the centre of the circle and particiapnts take turns to mime what they imagine it to be:, for example:  a post box, a kitchen sink, a dog, a naughty schoolboy, a new car.

The person who guesses correctly takes their place in the middle.

Take over

•           in a circle, walking on the spot

•           leader makes a gesture, in time, that the everyone else imitates

•           continue for 8 beats or so, then shout the name of a particiapnt and they must change or add to the action

•           this can continue until the group have warmed up

What’s my job?

All sit in a circle.  Give everyone an occupation (e.g. policeman, astronaut, postman, teacher).  Use each occupation twice, and make sure the occupations are kept secret.

Students use the space to mime their own occupation.  Their task is to spot the person with the same occupation as them.  When they have done this they should approach their partner, and without speaking, check that they are both miming the same job.

They should sit down in their pair when they think they have found them.

The game continues until everybody is sitting down.  The teacher should check they are all correct at the end of the game!

Other links:

Movement Story – The Magical Music Shop