Posted in Drama for children

Christmas Stories on Stage FREE on Amazon until the 19/12/17

Advertisements
Posted in Aesop's fabes, Drama for children, English as a second language, English teaching games, Movement activities, Movement stories for children, the lion and the mouse

The Lion and the Mouse – A fun, simple movement story for children.

A king lion and a mouse under the tree

Read the following story. When the children hear the following words they must do the actions.
Lion: Get down on hands and knees and move around stealthily as a lion stalking his prey.
Mouse: Scamper like a mouse and squeak.
Forest: Make yourself into a large tree.
Roar/roared/roaring: Everyone roar as loud as you can.
Eat: Do a gobbling action.
Help: Extend hands in a kindly gesture.

One day a lion was fast asleep in the forest, his head resting on his paw and he was snoring away. A timid little Mouse came scampering by him and accidentally scampered across the Lion’s nose. The Lion woke up with a loud roar. The Lion laid his huge paw angrily on the timid little mouse. He roared “I’m going to eat you up.
“Don’t eat me!” begged the poor Mouse. “Please let me go and some day I will help you.”
The Lion was much amused to think that a Mouse could ever help him. But he was generous and finally let the Mouse go.
Some days later, while walking in the forest, the Lion was caught in a hunter’s net. Unable to free himself, he filled the forest with his angry roaring. The Mouse heard the roar and quickly found the Lion trapped in the net. Running to one of the great ropes that bound him, she chewed it until it fell apart and soon the Lion was free.
“You laughed when I said one day I would help you,” said the Mouse. “Now you see that even a Mouse can help a Lion.”
They hugged and from then on they were very good friends.

For more movement stories click on the link below.

 

Posted in Drama for children, Just so stories, Oscar Wilde, Oscar Wilde's Stories, Plays, Plays for Children, Rudyard Kipling

How the Camel got his Hump – A play for children based on the story by Rudyard Kipling

95016AA1-4BC8-4219-B0A8-3BF7A02AE21B

Characters: Three storytellers, Camel, Man, Ox, Horse, Dog, Djinn.

Storyteller 1: In the beginning when the world was new.
Storyteller 2: All the animals were working hard to make the world a better place.
Storyteller 3: Except for the camel who was very lazy. The camel lived in the middle of the Howling desert.
Camel: Look at all those animals running around working. I’m going to sit here relax and much on some sticks, stones and tamarisks. Humph.
Storyteller 1: On Monday, the horse came trotting by.
Horse: Neigh, neigh, Camel, come and trot like the rest of us.
Camel: Humph.
Horse: Is that all you must say? Humph
Camel: (nods his head) Humph, just humph.
(Horse trots off and meets the man.)
Horse: That camel is SO lazy.
Storyteller 2: After a while dog came by. He had a stick in his mouth.
Dog: woof, wolf, Camel, come and fetch and carry like the rest of us.
Camel: Humph.
Dog: Is that all you have to say? Humph
Camel: (nods his head) Humph, just humph.
(Dog bounds off and meets the man.)
Dog: That camel is SO lazy.
Storyteller 2: Soon an ox passed by. He had a yoke on his neck.
Ox: woof, wolf, Camel, come and plough and carry like the rest of us.
Camel: Humph.
Ox: Is that all you have to say? Humph
Camel: (nods his head) Humph, just humph.
(Ox slowly moves off and meets the man.)
Ox: That camel is SO lazy.
Storyteller 3: At the end of the day. The man called the horse, the dog and the ox together and said…
Man: I’m very sorry for you (with the world so new-and-all); but that Humph-thing in the Desert doesn’t seem to be able to do any work, so I am going to leave him alone, but I’m afraid you must work twice as hard to make up for it.
Horse: Well that’s not very fair, is it?
Man: Life isn’t fair sometimes.
Dog: We worked hard all day.
Ox: I’m very angry with that humph thing in the dessert.
Camel: Ha, ha. Why would I work? When I can sit here and be scrumptiously idle.
Storyteller 1: Presently along came the djinn of all dessert. (He comes rolling in.)
Horse: Djinn of All Deserts, sit right for anyone to be idle, with the world so new-and-all?’
Djinn: Of course not. Why do you ask?
Horse: There is a thing in the middle of your Howling Desert with a long neck and long legs, and he hasn’t done a stroke of work since Monday morning. He won’t trot.’
Dog: He says “Humph! ‘and he won’t fetch and carry.
Djinn: Does he say anything else?
Ox: Only “Humph!”; and he won’t plough,
Djinn: I’ll humph him if you will kindly wait a minute.
Djinn: What’s all this I hear about you being bone idle?
Camel: Humph, Just humph.
Djinn: All the animals have had to work twice as hard since you won’t pull your weight.
Camel: Humph, just humph.
Djinn: I really wouldn’t say Humph again if I were you,
Camel: Humph, just humph.
Storyteller 3: The Djinn used some magic and suddenly a hump grew on the camel’s back. And the Camel said ‘Humph!’ again; but no sooner had he said it than he saw his back, that he was so proud of, puffing up and puffing up into a great big lolloping humph.
Camel: Djinn, what have you done?
Djinn: Now you can work for three days because that hump on your back will keep your food and drink in it for three days.
Storyteller 1: And the Camel humphed himself, humph and all, and went away to join the other three.
Storyteller 2: And from that day to this the Camel always wears a humph (we call it ‘hump’ now, not to hurt his feelings);
Storyteller 3: But he has never yet caught up with the three days that he missed at the beginning of the world, and he has never yet learned how to behave.

 

THE Camel’s hump is an ugly lump
Which well you may see at the Zoo;
But uglier yet is the hump we get
From having too little to do.

Kiddies and grown-ups too-of-oo,
If we haven’t enough to do-oo-oo,
We get the hump—
Cameelious hump—
The hump that is black and blue!

We climb out of bed with a frouzly head
And a snarly-yarly voice.
We shiver and scowl and we grunt and we growl
At our bath and our boots and our toys;

And there ought to be a corner for me
(And I know there is one for you)
When we get the hump—
Cameelious hump—
The hump that is black and blue!

The cure for this ill is not to sit still,
Or frowst with a book by the fire;
But to take a large hoe and a shovel also,
And dig till you gently perspire;

And then you will find that the sun and the wind,
And the Djinn of the Garden too,
Have lifted the hump—
The horrible hump—
The hump that is black and blue!

I get it as well as you-oo-oo—
If I haven’t enough to do-oo-oo—
We all get hump—
Cameelious hump—
Kiddies and grown-ups too!

For more Just So Stories plays click on the link below.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Posted in Drama for children

Choral Speaking with Children

cropped-img_0052.jpg

Choral verse/speaking is an excellent way to introduce a large class to poetry and sound. It develops the ear. It requires discipline and it gives the student the experience of performing within a group. The shy child is not overlooked. It also keeps the entire group occupied all the time.
The following points should be considered:

Choice of Poem:
Not all poems lend themselves to interpretation by Choral Speaking however poetry is meant to be recited aloud so there is a wide selection to choose from. Poems expressing individual emotion are usually more suited to the solo voice. Poems must be suited to the age group.

Group Awareness:
The group must learn to trust each other, to anticipate each other reactions and to coordinate cues.

Tonal Quality of Voices:
Where the teacher is unfamiliar with students’ voices, ask the class to stand in two groups according to their own assessment e.g. light voices, dark voices.
First reading of the poem:
Ask the students to read/say the poem in unison.
What’s it about?
What’s the author’s intention?
Are they any hidden meanings?
Would background noises help?

Sound Effects:
In some poems, descriptive background noise can be used to enhance the poem and to create an atmosphere. E.g. to preface a poem about the sea, very effective sea noise can be use, In a town poem experiment with traffic noises. Imaginative use of the voice can produce some very original work, but care must be taken not to get carried away by the ideas, so beauty of the words is not lost in the cacophony of sound.

Movement:This can be helpful, expressive and visually attractive but must not go over the top. Movement must be subtle and suggestive rather than dramatic, it must complement but not dominate the poem. Under this heading can also include facial expression ad the use of the eyes, this is very important. If the words are deeply felt, they must be reflected in the face and more importantly in the eyes. Tre involvement in the poem must be expressed in the eyes. An audience can be riveted by the intensity of eye power.

 

Divide the class into two groups. Each group must come up with a choral speaking performance of the following poem:

Old King Cole was a merry old soul,
And a merry old soul was he;
He called for his pipe,
He called for his bowl,
And he called for his fiddlers three.

Then he for his fifers two
And they puffed and they blew tootle-oo;
And King Cole laughed as his glass he quaffed,
And his fifers puffed tootle-ooo

The he called for his drummer boy,
The army’s pride and joy,
And the thuds out-rang with a loud bang! bang!
The noise of noisiest toy.

Then he called for his trumpeters four,
Who stood at his own palace door,
And they played trang-a-tang.
Whist the drummer went bang,
And king Cole he called for more.

He called for a man to conduct,
Who into his bed had been tuck’d,
And he had to get up without bite or sup
And waggle his stick and conduct.

Old King Cole laughed with glee,
Such rare antics to see;
There never was man in merry England
Who was half as merry as he.

 

Things to think about:
How would divide the group? Solos, light voices, dark voices.
What movement would you use?
What sound effects would use?
What would be the shape of the group?
Come up with additional ideas for this poem.

Examples of additional ideas:
Creative and art can be incorporated into this activity by having the children make homemade instruments. Children will enjoy becoming the orchestra and playing their musical creations. You can switch the orchestra to a marching band and stage the parade in the classroom. The teacher could be the conductor.

Nursery Rhymes:
The following are some Nursery Rhymes that can be used as choral verse. These rhymes can be interpreted in more than one way literally, telling the story, or miming the characters caught in amusing or nonsensical situations.

Simple Simon
Simple Simon Simple Simon met a pieman going to the fair;
Said Simple Simon to the pieman “Let me taste your ware”
Said the pieman to Simple Simon “Show me first your penny”
Said Simple Simon to the pieman “Sir, I have not any!”

Simple Simon went a-fishing for to catch a whale;
All the water he had got was in his mother’s pail.
Simple Simon went to look if plums grew on a thistle;
He pricked his fingers very much which made poor Simon whistle.
He went for water in a sieve but soon it all fell through;
And now poor Simple Simon bids you all “Adieu”

 

The Queen of Hearts
The Queen of Hearts she made some tarts all on a summer’s day;
The Knave of Hearts he stole the tarts and took them clean away.
The King of Hearts called for the tarts and beat the Knave full sore
The Knave of Hearts brought back the tarts and
vowed he’d steal no more.

Old Mother Hubbard
Old Mother Hubbard
Went to the cupboard
To get her poor dog a bone;
But when she got there,
The cupboard was bare,
And so the poor dog had none.

She went to the baker’s
To buy him some bread;
And when she came back,
The poor dog was dead.

She went to the joiner’s
To buy him a coffin;
And when she came back,
The doggy was laughin’.

She went to the butcher’s
To buy him some tripe;
And when she came back,
He was smoking his pipe.

She went to the hatter’s
To buy him a hat;
And when she came back,
He was feeding the cat.

She went to the barber’s
To buy him a wig;
And when she came back,
He was dancing a jig.

She went to the tailor’s
To buy him a coat;
And when she came back,
He was riding a goat.

She went to the cobbler’s
To buy him some shoes;
And when she came back,
He was reading the news.

Little Miss Muffet
Little Miss Muffet
Sat on a tuffet,
Eating her curds and whey;
Along came a spider,
Who sat down beside her,
And frightened Miss Muffet away.

Humpty Dumpty

Humpty Dumpty sat on a wall.
Humpty Dumpty had a great fall.
All the king’s horses and all the King’s men
Could not put Humpty together again.

Humpty Dumpty sat on a wall.
Humpty Dumpty had a great fall.
All the king’s horses and all the King’s men
Could not put Humpty together again.

They tried to push him up.
They tried to pull him up.
They tried to patch him up.
Couldn’t put him back together again.

 

Echo is a variation on Nursey rhymes. As the poem is unfamiliar to you will have to read it aloud first and in your groups, spend a little time talking about echoes and where you hear them.

 

Echo
Sometimes wonder where he lives,
This Echo I never see.
I hear his voice now in the hedge,
Then down behind the willow tree.

And when I call “Oh, please come out,”
“Come out,” he always quick replies.
“Hello, hello,” again I say;
“Hello, hello,” he cries.

He must be jolly, Echo must,
For when I laugh, “Ho, ho, ho,”
He answers me “Ho,ho,ho.

I think perhaps he’d like to play;
I know some splendid things to do.
He must be lonely hiding there;
I wouldn’t like it. Now, would you?

Each group must make up an original story based on the poem. If there is time each group could do a freeze frame, or an improvisation based on their stories.

 

 

Posted in Drama for children

Christmas Drama Games for Children

 

christmas tree

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 Clausin the next game.

 

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.

 

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 ask the question.

Posted in Drama for children

More Movement Games

image

Cooperation/Teamwork Games

Cooperative activities help to develop children’s ability to work successfully in a group. This process enables the children to improve patience, socialisation and their capacity to problem-solve. In order for these activities to be successful the children have to actively listen to one another and articulate their thoughts and ideas in a clear manner. The following activities help children to be a valuable part of a team which helps to promote confidence and self-esteem, as it gives them the opportunity to demonstrate their skills and abilities.

Game: Call and Response
Age: 4 years +
Minimum number of participants: 2
Resources needed: 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 gotten comfortable with the call and response technique, the game can become a little more complicated. Each child must add to the clapping rhythm that has gone before them. The child who is last in the round must remember the clapping rhythm of everyone else 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 needed: 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 clean, cook or swim. 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