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 Action Poems, Drama, Drama Activities for children, Drama for children, drama for kids, English teaching games, Mime, Mime for all ages, Mime for children, Mime for kids, Movement activities, Movement stories for children

More Fun Movement Games for Children

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Game: Call and Response
Age: 4 years +
Minimum number of participants: 2
Resources: Clear space
Other Benefits: Creativity, focus, listening.
Instructions: Everyone sits in a circle. The teacher starts the activity by making a simple clapping rhythm. The rest of the circle repeats the rhythm. The child who is sitting next to the teacher takes a turn at making a simple clapping rhythm and the rest of the group copies it. When the group has got comfortable with the call and response technique the game can become a little more complicated. Each child must add on to the clapping rhythm that has gone before them. The child who is last in the round must remember everybody else clapping rhythm before they do their own.
Extension: Older children can stand in a circle and use different parts of their bodies to make the rhythms. For example they could use body percussion, stomping or tap dancing.

Game: Action Charades
Age: 4 years+
Minimum number of participants: 4
Resources: Clear space and a list of verbs.
Other Benefits: Critical thinking, creativity.
Instructions: If there is a large number of children divide them into groups of 4 or 5. Give each group a verb such as cleaning, cooking and swimming. One child will mime the verb to their group. The group members have a minute or two to guess the verb. . To reduce noise, have one group participate at a time, while the other group members watch.
Suggestions of Verbs:
Taste
Smell
Dance
Jog
Skate
Scream
Fight
Cry
Read
Write
Cook
Clean
Paint
Joke
Sleep
Sneeze

Game: Balloon Keepy Ups
Age: 4 years +
Minimum number of participants: 2
Resources: Clear space, balloons.
Other Benefits: Coordination, imagination, spatial awareness.
Instructions: Divide the group into smaller groups of six to eight, hand each group a balloon, and ask them to form a circle holding hands. The teacher tells them that, on her/his cue, they are to put the balloon in the air between them and to keep it up using the body part the teacher calls (e.g., knees) without letting go of hands. They are to continue until the teacher calls out a different body part.
Suggestion of different body parts that can be used:
Arms
Legs
Chests
Elbow
Fingers
Knees
Fists
Noses
Heads
Thighs
Shoulders
Face 

For more movement games and activities, click here.

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 Christmas drama games, Christmas plays, Drama, Drama Activities for children, Drama for children, drama for kids, Drama strategies, English as a second language, English teaching games, Fairy Tales, Hans Christian Andersen, Plays, Plays for Children, Role playing stories

Christmas Drama Games for Children

 

christmas tree

 

Christmas Drama Games for Children

Game: What’s the time Santa Claus?
Age: 3 years +
Minimum number of participants: 4
Resources needed: Clear space.
Benefits: This activity is based on a popular traditional children’s game that can also be used very
effectively in a drama session as a warm-up game. This game also helps children with their listening
and co-ordination skills.
Instructions: One child is chosen or volunteers to be Santa Claus 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 Santa Claus?” Santa Claus does not turn around. He/she replies: “four o’clock.” The children walk forward the number of steps that Santa Claus calls out (in this case, four). The children ask again: “What time is it Santa Claus?” Santa Claus 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 Santa Claus thinks that the children are near enough he/she will say: “Christmas time!” Then, Santa Claus turns around and chases the children. They must try to rush back to their starting place. If
Santa Claus catches one of them before they reach home, that child is Santa Claus in the next game.

Christmas Drama Games for Children

Game: Elves and Reindeers
Age: 5 years+
Minimum number of participants: 2
Resources needed: Clear space.
Benefits: The children work as part of a pair but it helps them practise giving clear directions to
their partners.
Instructions: This is a fun game that children enjoy. Divide the group into pairs. Child A is the Elf and child B is the reindeer. The elf must guide the reindeer around the clear space by giving them very specific directions. The elf can say for example: “go ten steps forwards” or “put your hands in the air and turn around five times”. The elf must make sure that their reindeers do not bump into other elves and reindeers in the group. They can switch roles after a few minutes.

Christmas Drama Games for Children

Game: Mrs Claus’s Knickers
Age: 5 years +
Minimum number of participants: 3
Resources needed: Clear space.
Benefits: This helps to improve eye contact and children body language. It also stimulates the
imagination as the children must come up with unique questions.
Instructions: The children sit in a circle. One child sits in the middle of the circle and everyone
in the circle takes it in turns to ask him/her a question, for example: “What did you have for
breakfast?” The child in the middle is only allowed to answer “Mrs Claus’s Knickers’ and they must not laugh or smile. If they laugh or smile they must change places with the child who asked the question.

More Christmas Drama Games for Children.

 


Posted in Drama, Drama Activities for children, Drama for children, drama for kids, Drama strategies, Goldilocks anD the three bears, Hans Christian Andersen, Role playing stories, Story sacks, Storytelling, Storytelling in the Early years, Storytelling techniques, Therapeutic Story

Storytelling in the Early Years

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Benefits of Storytelling in the Early Years:

 Promote a feeling of well-being and relaxation
Increase children’s willingness to communicate thoughts and feelings
Encourage active participation
Increase verbal proficiency
Encourage use of imagination and creativity
Encourage cooperation between students
Enhance listening skills

Identify the children’s interest
• Animals
• Superhero stories
• Stories about thing children like to do – getting dirt, playing with friends, first experiences.
Where do you find good stories?
• Made up stories
• Picture books
• Family stories.

Key elements of a successful story time
• Know and like your story
• Know and like your audience
• Make sure they match each other
• Be flexible.

The secret to making stories exciting and fun
• Vocal production
• Body Language.

Vocal Production
The following three core elements of vocal production need to be understood for anyone wishing to be an effective speaker:
• Volume – to be heard.
• Clarity – to be understood.
• Variety – to add interest.

Volume
This is not a question of treating the voice like the volume control on the TV remote. Some people have naturally soft voices and physically cannot bellow. Additionally, if the voice is raised too much, tonal quality is lost. Instead of raising the voice it should be ‘projected out’. Support the voice with lots of breath – the further you want to project the voice out, the more breath you need.
When talking to a group or meeting, it is important to never aim your talk to the front row or just to the people nearest you, but to consciously project what you have to say to those furthest away. By developing a strong voice, as opposed to a loud voice, you will be seen as someone positive.

Clarity
Some people tend to speak through clenched teeth and with little movement of their lips. It is this inability to open mouths and failure to make speech sounds with precision that is the root cause of inaudibility. The sound is locked into the mouth and not let out. To have good articulation it is important to unclench the jaw, open the mouth and give full benefit to each sound you make, paying particular attention to the ends of words. This will also help your audience as a certain amount of lip-reading will be possible.

Variety
To make speech effective and interesting, certain techniques can be applied. However, it is important not to sound false or as if you are giving a performance. Whilst words convey meaning, how they are said reflects feelings and emotions. Vocal variety can be achieved by variations in:
Pace: This is the speed at which you talk. If speech is too fast then the listeners will not have time to assimilate what is being said. Nevertheless, it is a good idea to vary the pace – quickening up at times and then slowing down – this will help to maintain interest.
Volume: By raising or lowering volume occasionally, you can create emphasis. If you drop your voice to almost a whisper (as long as it is projected) for a sentence or two, it will make your audience suddenly alert, be careful not to overuse this technique.
Pitch – Inflection – Emphasis: When speaking in public, try to convey the information with as much vocal energy and enthusiasm as possible. This does not mean your voice has to swoop and dive all over the place in an uncontrolled manner. Try to make the talk interesting and remember that when you are nervous or even excited, vocal chords tense and shorten causing the voice to get higher. Emphasise certain words and phrases within the talk to convey their importance and help to add variety.
Pause: Pauses are powerful. They can be used for effect to highlight the preceding statement or to gain attention before an important message. Pauses mean silence for a few seconds. Listeners interpret meaning during pauses so have the courage to stay silent for up to five seconds – dramatic pauses like this convey authority and confidence.

BodyLanguage
Remember that you can convey so many feelings, attitudes and actions with your body. Apart from expressing emotion, you can use your body to act out character’s descriptions or episodes within the story.Bring your whole body into the story and you are onto a winning storytelling technique.For example, how would you act out a cowboy galloping along on his horse? This would probably involve your legs, your arms and moving your whole body in imitation of the rider.Bring your pirate to life by closing one eye to illustrate his patched eye, clench your fist and stick out a hooked finger for his ‘hook’ hand, and limp along for his peg leg. How would you act out a Ninja? You might do karate chops and raise your leg into the air as well as jerky head movements.

Ways to practice your storytelling technique
Record on your phone
• A mirror will let you observe your face and body
• Going over it in your head while driving, walking or on a bus. This will bring out the imaginative sparks.
• Relax and taking it too seriously will lead to a lack of enthusiasm and fun.

Participation stories
Children love to move, to see things develop in front of them and they love to talk, laugh and make themselves part of the story.
• Refairns -Breathing – take a deep breath just before you want to join them. “And the the giant said …..”
• Hand gestures
• Conduct the children with a sweeping motion
• Children will begin repeating when repetition become obvious, if you let them know what you want.
Actions
How to make sure the children are focused during story time
Play a game of Magic Glue. Get everybody to stand up. Tell them to pick up their right leg with your hands. Now stick it to the floor with the magic glue. Push it down really hard in to the ground. Ask them “Is it stuck? Everybody stuck? Good, Now your left leg. Can you move your feet off the floor? You can show all sort of movements as you show them your feet is stuck to the floor. Have fun with it. Say things like “let’s run with our feet stuck to the floor, let jump with our feet stuck to floor, let’s skip with our feet stuck to the floor.
Sounds
• Insert sounds for words such as bell – ringing sound, giant – stomping sound.
Individual parts
If you are going to do this choose a very repetitive story such as Goldilocks and the three bears.

Game: Pop-up Story Book
Age: 3 years+
Minimum number of participants: 2
Resources needed: Clear space, a story book.
Other Benefits: This is an excellent listening game that can be played with any number of children. It helps them to engage in the storytelling process.
Instructions: The teacher chooses a story to read that the children are familiar with. Each child is given a word. For example if the teacher was reading ‘Goldilocks and the Three Bears’, child A is given the word Goldilocks, child B, baby, child C, porridge, child D, bed and so on. When each child has been given a word the game can begin. All the children lie on the floor. When the child hears his/her word s/he must jump up. If they miss their turn they are out and can’t pop-up anymore.

Movement Story

The-Hare-And-The-Tortoise-001

Read the following movement story to the children. When they hear any of words underlined they must do the corresponding action. The teacher should go through each action at the beginning.
Boast/boastful/boasting – stand up straight and puff out chest
Woods – children make themselves into trees.
Animals – each child choose a different animal found in the woods and move like that animal.
Hare – make bunny ears with your hands.
Fast – children move as fast as they can
Run/ran – run on the spot
Tortoise – children bend over as if they have something heavy on their back.
Slow/slowly – children move in slow motion around the room.
Once upon a time there was a very boastful hare who lived in a 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 hareHare, you are so boastful. I challenge you to 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 hare ran 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 slow tortoise had won the race. All the animals in the wood 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.

More Movement Stories and Activities can be found in Movememt Start. Click below.

Other Storytelling Techniques

IMG_0284Story Stones

This is an excellent storytelling technique. Collect stones and put little pictures on them. Each child chooses a stone and the group can make a collective story.

The pictures on the stones influence the direction of the story. Once the children get use to idea of telling stories, you can get them to share their own stories. The story stones can be used to explore tell individual stories.

 

Story Path

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This story telling technique is known as a story path. It is fun and inexpensive. The children take it in turns to travel along a path which is a long sheet of paper with a hand drawn path and various images in order to tell a story. The story can be focused or they can make up the story as they go, The children can help create the path. The teacher can discuss the important elements of the story and deciding on appropriate images or cues can be a group decision.

Storytelling Jar

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To keep storytelling fun and exciting you can use a storytelling Jar. Fill the jar with coloured notes and on each not put a word or a picture. Everyone selects a note and the story can be decisive from the note. This can be a collective story or children can individually tell a story.

Story Cubes

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Just like the story stones and storytelling prompts jar, the DIY stone cubes can be used to provide some inspiration on how to start your story. Follow the instructions over at the “grey luster girl” website to create your own story cubes. Once done, you can toss the cubes around and see what object they land on. Whatever you land on, that’s the object you can include in your storytelling! You can also use multiple story cubes to structure your story. For example your story cubes can be used decide on the hero in your story, the setting, the villain and any other extra props to include.
http://greylustergirl.com/diy-story-cubes-travel-game/
You can also buy story cubes at https://www.storycubes.com

Story Sacks

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What is a Story Sack?
A story sack is a teaching and learning resource. Typically it is a large cloth bag containing a favourite children’s books along with supporting materials to help make sharing the book more engaging and interesting.

Why make a Story Sack?
Story sacks are fun way for educators and children to share stories together, They were developed by Neil Griffiths as a popular, no threatening way to encourage educators and parents to start to share stories with children in a way that is positive, expressive, interactive and fun.

Who uses Story Sacks?
Originally, it was mainly schools and preschools that used story sacks however they are increasingly used by other groups such as childminders, libraries health visitors, speech therapists, play specialists, social workers, children’s hospitals, family centres and adult learned.

How do you make a Story Sack?
Start with a cloth bag or you can use a pillow case, a basket or a box, you just need something to contain your resources, Then you need to choose your story. You need to fill the sack with items. Here are some if things that are often included:
• Soft toys/ puppets of the main characters
• Costumes/props/scenery/photos to support the story
• An audio recording/video of the story
• A language based game
• A non related non fiction book
• Craft and activity ideas
Things to remember when choosing Story Sack items
Read and re-read your story. Ask yourself what are the main themes, who are the main characters, settings, colours, numbers, letters, sounds, communication/ listening skills. Can you incorporate first experience, new vocabulary and other topic based activities? What other activities can you link to the book that you have chosen.

Here are some ideas for story sacks based on famous stories
The hungry caterpillar by Eric Carle
• Soft toy caterpillar/butterfly
• Lifecycle of a butterfly
• Days of the weeks/number sequencing cards
• Play food props
• Non fiction books about butterflies/caterpillars
• Activity ideas – fruit printing, painting butterflies.

Little red riding hood
• A little red riding hood doll
• Puppets for wolf/grandma/woodcutter
• A basket full of flowers
• A red cloak
• Pictures of forest
• Non fiction book about the forest/wolves
• Activity ideas – recipe for making cakes for grandma.

Include some learning targets and a short guide of questions to ask/discussion points to consider and other ideas to extend the activity. Finally, it is worth laminating the activity idea cards to protect them and including a list of what is in the bag so nothing gets lost.
For more information and ideas on Story Sacks
http://www.literacytrust.org.uk/assets/0000/3210/Story_sack_guide.pdf
http://www.twinkl.co.uk/resources/story-sack-resource-pac

Posted in Action Poems, Drama, Drama Activities for children, Drama for children, drama for kids, Elements of Drama, Movement activities, Movement stories for children

More Action Poetry for Children

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Five Currant Buns in a Baker’s Shop
Directions: Five children can be the current buns and six children can be the
customers. One child can be the baker. Everyone else can say the rhyme below The
baker lines up his currant buns in the shop. When each customer comes in to choose a currant bun, the children say the customer’s name. Then the baker selects a currantbun for the customer to buy.

Five currant buns in the baker’s shop ,Big and round, with a cherry on the top. Along came ……………….. with a penny one day, Bought a currant bun and took it away.
Four currant buns in the baker’s shop, Big and round, with a cherry on the top. Along came ……………….. with a penny one day, Bought a currant bun and took it away.
Three currant buns in the baker’s shop, Big and round, with a cherry on the top. Along came ……………….. with a penny one day, Bought a currant bun and took it away.
Two currant buns in the baker’s shop, Big and round, with a cherry on the top. Along came ……………….. with a penny one day, Bought a currant bun and took it away.
One currant bun in the baker’s shop, Big and round, with a cherry on the top. Along came ……………….. with a penny one day, Bought a currant bun and took it away.
No currant buns in the baker’s shop, Nothing big and round, with a cherry on the top. Along came……………….. with a penny one day, “Sorry,” said the baker, “no more currant buns today.”

In A Dark, Dark Wood
Directions: As the children say the poem below they must all mime going into the dark woods, opening the door of the dark house, looking in the cupboard, feeling the shelf and opening the box. Every time the poem is said the teacher can decide what is in the box, for example a ghost, a dragon, a dinosaur or a cake. The children must give the appropriate reactions to whatever the teacher, says is in the box for example if it is a ghost they must scream whereas if it is a cake they should pretend to eat it.

“In a dark, dark wood, there was a dark, dark house.
And in that dark, dark house, there was a dark, dark room.
And in that dark, dark room, there was a dark, dark cupboard.
And in that dark, dark cupboard, there was a dark, dark shelf.
And on that dark, dark shelf, there was a dark, dark box.
And in that dark, dark box There was a …………….. !”

Five Little Ducks
Directions: Before you start, choose five children to be the ducks and one child to be the mother duck. Each time the verse is said by the rest of the children ducks must waddle away quacking. When the mother duck says, “quack, quack” only the appropriate number of children must come back. Do this until there are no ducks left and then the mother duck must cry at the end.

Five little ducks, Went out one day, Over the hill and far away. Mother duck said: “Quack, quack, quack, quack.” But only four little ducks came back.
Four little ducks, Went out one day , Over the hill and far away. Mother duck said: “Quack, quack, quack, quack.” But only three little ducks came back.
Three little ducks, Went out one day Over the hill and far away. Mother duck said: “Quack, quack, quack, quack.” But only two little ducks came back.
Two little ducks, Went out one day, Over the hill and far away. Mother duck said:“Quack, quack, quack, quack.” But only one little duck came back.
One little duck, Went out one day, Over the hill and far away. Mother duck said: “Quack, quack, quack, quack.” But none of the five little ducks came back.
Sad mother duck, Went out one day, Over the hill and far away. The sad mother duck said “ Quack, quack, quack, quack.” And all of the five little ducks came back.

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

The Thirsty Crow – A 5 minute Playscript for children

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Characters: Three storytellers, crow, bees, ladybirds, butterflies.

Storyteller 1: One fine morning the crow woke up. He was very hungry.
Storyteller 2: He decided to go looking for some breakfast.
Storyteller 3: Soon, he came across some juicy flies. (Crow eats the flies.)
Crow: That was delicious but now I’m really thirsty.
Storyteller 1: The crow flew around and he came across a pitcher.
Crow: At last, I found some water.
Storyteller 3: He pushed his beak into the pitcher.
Storyteller 1: But his beak was too big and he couldn’t reach the water.
Crow: Ouch, my poor beak. I’m so thirsty. What will I do now?
Storyteller 2: Soon some bees came buzzing by.
Crow: I’m very thirsty but my beak won’t reach the water in the pitcher.
Bees: Why don’t you tip the pitcher over and pour it out?
Crow: That won’t work because the water will spill everywhere.
Storyteller 1: The crow was very sad.
Storyteller 2: After a while some ladybirds walked by.
Ladybirds: What’s the matter, Crow?
Crow: I’m very thirsty but my beak won’t reach the water in the pitcher.
Ladybirds: Why don’t you break the pitcher with one of these stones? (They pick up some stones and Crow: That won’t work because the water will spill everywhere.
Storyteller 3: Soon, some butterflies flew by.
Butterflies: What’s the matter, Crow?
Crow: I’m very thirsty but my beak won’t reach the water in the pitcher.
Butterflies: Why don’t you put these stones into the pitcher and the water level will rise and then Crow: What a good idea. (He picks up stones and puts them in the pitcher one by one. The butterflies help Storyteller 1: Eventually the water rose to the top.
Crow: Now, I can reach the water.
Storyteller 1: The crow drank and drank until he was satisfied.
Storyteller 2: Then she flew off to enjoy the rest of her day.
Storyteller 3: The moral of the story is …….where there is a will, there is a way..

 

Posted in Drama, Drama Activities for children, Drama for children, English as a second language, English teaching games, Esl, Esl Drama

Drama/Communication Activities for Esl Students

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Communication drama games have a vital role to play in the ESL classroom. These activities help the learners to speak with and listen to other learners. The purpose of the following activities is for the students to find information, break down barriers and talk about themselves in a relaxed manner. The language areas that are practiced in this section are questions, conditionals, past and present simple tenses, past and present continuous tenses, there is/there are, expressions for giving opinions and negotiating.

Game: The Dog Show
Level: Pre-Intermediate +
Other benefits: This activity allows the students to practice forming questions and responding in an appropriate manner.
Minimum number of participants: 2
Resources needed: Clear space.
Instructions: This is a communication activity where the students must use their imagination. This is an opportunity for the students to use mime, providing a chance to use the “teacher in role” drama technique. Get each student to imagine that they are a dog owner. They must each mime interacting with their dog. Once they have done this and gotten used to the size of their dog, get them to imagine they are competing in a dog show. The teacher takes on the role as a judge of the show. She/he interviews each of the dog owners individually and asks them the following questions:
• What type of dog is it?
• Where did you get him from?
• What type of personality does he have?
• What dog tricks can he do? Can you show us?
• Why should you dog win the show?
The judge/teacher can decide at the end of the activity who wins the show. The winner/winners can take a photo at the end with their dogs. This is a still image (see Drama Techniques section).

Game: Alibi
Level: Pre-intermediate +
Other benefits: This game focuses on question formation as well as practising communicating in a spontaneous manner.
Minimum number of participants: 6
Resources needed: Clear space.
Instructions: Explain what an alibi means. Create a crime scene scenario. Divide the class into groups of 4 or 5. Get one group to be the suspects and send them out of the room to get their story straight. While the suspects are getting their story straight, get the other group to be the investigators. They must compile a series of questions. After the students are finished preparing their questions, invite the suspects back and the interrogation begins. Each group interviews each suspect and then they compare notes and decide whose story didn’t match up; they must come to a consensus on who they will officially accuse.
Different scenarios:
• Bank robbery
• Kidnapping
• Shoplifting

Extension: More advanced students could hold a trial in which each group is assigned different roles.

Game: If I Were an Animal
Level: Pre-Intermediate+
Other benefits: The language focus of this game is to practice the conditional tense.
Minimum number of participants: 4
Resources needed: Clear space.
Instructions: Everyone sits in a circle and one by one each student says, “If I were an animal, I would be a ______” and then states a reason.
For example, “If I were an animal, I would be a lion because a lion is big and strong.”
Then you could go around the circle again using the following:
• If I were a car, I would be ………
• If I were a kitchen utensil, I would be …….
• If I were a sport, I would be …….
• If I were a country, I would be …….
• If I were a hobby, I would be….
• If I were a flower, I would be …….
• If I were an item of clothing, I would be…….
• If I were a body part, I would be…….

For more Esl Drama ideas 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 Action Poems, Circle games, Drama Activities for children, Drama for children, drama for kids, Movement activities, Movement stories for children, Relaxation activities for kids, Relaxation games

Four Fun Movement Games for Children.

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Game: Doors and Windows
Age: 5 years+
Minimum number of participants: 10
Resources needed: Clear space
Other benefits: Spatial awareness, group work
Instructions: The children form a circle while standing and holding their hands. The group spreads out enough so that everyone’s arms are straight in the circle. This should form large spaces between the circle members. These large spaces represent the windows and doors. Then one child is chosen to be the runner. The runner starts running, and weaving in and out between the windows and doors. The children in the circle randomly drop their arms down trying to touch or trap the runner who is weaving his/her way in and out of the windows and doors. Once the runner is caught or touched by the arms of someone in the circle, they are out. The runner chooses another child in the group to take his/her place and they become the next child to weave in and out of the windows and doors.

Game: Centipede
Age: 5 years +
Minimum number of participants: 5
Resources needed: Clear space
Other benefits: Teamwork, trust
Instructions: Divide the group into groups of 5 or 6. The children in each group sit on the floor and hold the ankles of the child behind them. They call out left, right and the group has to try to move while everyone is holding the ankles of the child in front of them. If there is more than one group they can have a centipede race.

Game: Object Relay
Age: 5 years +
Minimum number of participants: 4
Resources needed: Clear space, a ball and a variety of objects (optional)
Other benefits: Imagination, teamwork, focus
Instructions: Children stand in a line. If there are lots of children in the class you make more than one line. Each line has a ball. The ball must be passed down the line. The teacher calls out the instruction of how the ball should be passed down the line. Once the ball gets to the end of the line it has to be passed back.
Suggested instructions:
Pass the ball overhead.
Pass the ball between your legs.
Pass the ball without using your hands.
Pass the ball by just using your chest.
Pass the ball by just using your head.
If a team drops the ball then they have to go back to the beginning.
Extension: You could have a box of different objects that they must pass down the line. Each line should have the same objects. The line that gets all the objects down safely is the winner.

Game: Bean Bag Balance
Age: 4 years +
Minimum number of participants: 2
Resources needed: Clear space, bean bags for each member of the class
Other benefits: Focus, imagination, problem solving
Instructions: The teacher gets the children put a bean bag on their heads and they walk slowly around the room. Once they feel comfortable the children can walk faster and faster. They can see if they can run with the bean bag on their head. Once they have mastered balancing the beanbags on their head then they can see if they can balance the bean bag on other parts of their body.
Suggested Body Parts:
Knees
Foot
Hands
Thighs
Shoulder
Face
Wrist
Toes
Again, they start off slowly and then they get faster and faster. The child that can balance on the most body parts and move the fastest is the winner.

For more movement stories, activities and games click here.