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 stories, poetry and games, click on the link below.

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Posted in Action Poems, Circle games, Drama, Drama Activities for children, Drama for children, drama for kids, English teaching games, Esl, Esl Drama, expressive arts, Nursery Rhymes

Circle Time Activities for preschoolers

girls in classroom

Quiet Mouse, Still Mouse. Children sit in a circle as the leader announces which child (eventually, you hope, all of them) has become a mouse by being very quiet and still.
Alphabet Shopping. Using the first letter, match the child’s name with something to buy that begins with that letter. For example, “My name is Connor and I will buy a coat.” This facilitates teaching categories and organizational skills by using alphabet animals, foods and places.

Storm Leader starts by wiggling fingers for the rain, this passes around the circle until everyone is wiggling their fingers. The leader then changes the action to other aspects of the storm, e.g. wind – arms waving, thunder – slap knees. End with the sun – mime a circle.

Weather and calander of the day.– Start the day off by asking what is the weather like outside or what day is it. Find some visual aids or printables that show days of the week or months of the year or weather symbols to help you talk about these things.

 

For more drama games for preschoolers click on the link below.

 

Posted in Aesop's fabes, creative arts, Drama Activities for children, Drama for children, drama for kids, English as a second language, Esl, Esl Drama, fables, Fairy Tales, Hans Christian Andersen, Plays, Plays for Children, The Nutcracker

The Nutcracker – A Playscript for children

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Characters: Two Storytellers, Clara, Godfather, Nutcracker Toy, Three Mice, Mouse King, Six Soldiers, Sugarplum Fairy, Arabian Princesses, Chinese Tea Dancers and Flower Ballerinas.
Storyteller 1: Once upon a time there lived a girl called Clara. It was Christmas Eve.
Clara: (looks out the window) It is snowing. It is dazzling white except for that golden light coming from my house.
Storyteller 2: Her parents were having a Christmas Eve party.
(Clara’s godfather walks in and greets everyone.)
Godfather: Merry Christmas, Clara. (He gives Clara a hug and a large Christmas present.)
Clara: Thank you very much. I’ll put it under my Christmas tree.
Storyteller 1: That night, when everyone had gone to bed, Clara crept downstairs as quiet as a mouse.
Clara: I’m so excited to open my present from my godfather.
(She opens the present.)
Clara: It is a Nutcracker Toy. What a wonderful present. I’m so tired. (She yawns.) I’ll just have a quick nap under this Christmas tree.
Storyteller 2: Bong, bong; the clock struck midnight.
Clara: My goodness, the tree is rising above me.
(Nutcracker Toy comes to life and starts moving.)
Nutcracker Toy: Hello, Clara.
Clara: The Nutcracker Toy has come alive.
Nutcracker Toy: I’m the nutcracker prince.
Clara: What are you doing here?
Nutcracker Toy: I’ve come to protect you.
Clara: Why do I need protecting?
Nutcracker Toy: The kitchen mice are plotting to kidnap you. (He blows his whistle.) Never mind, these six soldiers are here to help you.
(The soldiers march by.)
(Mice follow the soldiers into the room.)

Mouse 1: There she is.
Mouse 2: Let’s get her.
Soldier 1: We must stop the mice.
Soldier 2: Use these lumps of cheese and fire them at the mice.
Soldier 3: Spray them with water.
Mouse 3: Help us, help us.
(The Mouse King enters.)
Mouse King: Is this the best you can do? (He whips out his sword and points it at the nutcracker prince. They have a sword fight.)
Clara: I must help the Nutcracker Toy. (She takes off her shoe and fires them at the Mouse King.)
Mouse King: Something has hit me. (He collapses and is out cold.)
Nutcracker Toy: You saved me, Clara. I must thank you.
Storyteller 2: The Nutcracker Toy called his reindeer and sleigh.
Reindeer: Your sleigh awaits, Prince.
Nutcracker Toy: Jump on board, Clara.
Clara: Where are we going?
Nutcracker Toy: It is a surprise.
Storyteller 1: They flew through an open window and into a snow-filled sky. Eventually, they arrived at their destination.
Clara: Where are we? Look, the trees are made of lollipops and the flowers are made of marshmallows.
Nutcracker Toy: This is the land of treats.
(They get off the sleigh.)
Nutcracker Toy: Clara, come. I want to show you something. This is the marzipan castle. It is decorated with ever kind of sweet you can imagine.
(He knocks at the door.)
Sugarplum Fairy: Welcome. I’m the Sugar Plum Fairy. I’m so glad you could make it. Please come inside. Make yourself at home and eat anything you want.
Clara: I’ve never seen so many cookies, cakes and candy.
Storyteller 1: Clara and the Nutcracker Toy ate to their hearts’ content.
Storyteller 2: Once they had finished all the food, they were entertained by the Arabian Princesses (the Arabian Princesses come out and dance to music), Chinese Tea Dancers (the Chinese Tea Dancers come out and dance to music), and Flower Ballerinas (the Flower Ballerinas come out and dance to music.)
Clara: This is an amazing place. I’ve had an amazing time.
Nutcracker Toy: Clara, it is time to go home.
Clara: Thank you for a wonderful adventure.
Reindeer: Hop on.
Storyteller 1: The next morning, Clara woke up underneath the Christmas tree.
Clara: Where am I? I’m underneath the Christmas tree. (She picks up the Nutcracker Toy.) Where is the prince? It must have been a dream … unless it was the magic of Christmas Eve.

For More Fairytales on Stage, click below, only $0.99.

 

 

Posted in Closure activities, Creative Visualisation, Drama for children, drama for kids, Drama strategies, Endings, English as a second language, Movement activities, Relaxation activities for kids, Relaxation games

Closure/Relaxation Activites

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Relaxation is very important in Drama. The following activities will enable children to reduce stress and to help them release mental, physical and emotional tension. A relaxed body also leads to good voice production – benefiting all aspects of the voice such as pitch, pace, pause, inflection and projection.

Game: Be a waxwork
Minimum number of participants: 2
Resources needed: Clear space
Instructions: The children must imagine that they are a waxwork in Madame Tussauds’ Museum in London. Everyone can decide which very famous person they want to be. The children get into position and then the leader walks around looking at the waxworks and tries to guess who is who. When she has guessed everyone there is unfortunately a fire in the museum and all the waxworks melt slowly to the ground.

Game: Smoke in the chimney
Minimum number of participants: 2
Resources needed: Clear space
Instructions: The children imagine that they are smoke rising from a chimney. They move, undulating slowly. They stretch their bodies as much as they can and then they finally relax.

Game: Puppet on a string
Minimum number of participants: 2
Resources needed: Clear space
Instructions: The children imagine they are puppets with strings attached to their shoulders that someone is pulling from above. The leader tells them that they are being pulled up and their 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.

Game: Floating tongue
Minimum number of participants: 1 (and the Leader)
Resources needed: Clear space
Instructions: The children are told to hold their tongues out of their mouths. They must make sure that their tongues don’t touch any part of the mouth. Then the leader tells them to clench their jaws and relax them slowly. After that they let their tongues completely relax. They should do these five times.

Game: Lion’s roar
Minimum number of participants: 1
Resources needed: Clear space
Instructions: Each child imagines that s/he is a mighty lion with a loud roar. But the roar is bottled up inside the lion. S/he should stand up like a proud lion; scrunch up his/her face and hands, ready to let the lion’s roar go. Then the leader tells them to take a deep breath and let the roar out. Tell them to stick out their tongues and hold their arms and hands out in front of them as they roar.

Game: The rock
Minimum number of participants: 1 (and the Leader)
Resources needed: Clear space and chairs
Instructions: Each child sits on a chair with knees bent, feet firmly on the ground and back straight. The leader tells them they are rocks embedded in the sea. They should feel the cool and refreshing sea water against them. Tell them to take a deep breath of sea air and let it go gently, imagining the sound of seagulls in the distance. Tell them to breathe in and out slowly and gently, feeling each breath with their whole body. When their bodies are completely relaxed, gently tell them to slowly open their eyes. Have them discuss how this felt.

Game: Happy place
Minimum number of participants: 1 (and the Leader)
Resources needed: Clear space, mats
Instructions: The children should lie down on mats and close their eyes. Tell them to imagine they are in a place where they feel happy and safe. Tell them to think about: what they see; what they hear. Tell them in their happy place they should feel safe, peaceful and relaxed. Tell them to put their left hand on top of their right hand and that when they do this in future, they will go back to their happy place. Then gently ask them to slowly open their eyes.

 

Devise your own closure activity a and post in the comments. For more closure or relaxation activity click on the link below.

 

Posted in Action Poems, Drama for children, drama for kids, English teaching games, Esl Drama, Goldilocks anD the three bears, Movement activities, Movement stories for children, Plays, Plays for Children, Role playing stories, Storytelling, Storytelling in the Early years, Storytelling techniques

Goldilocks and the Three Bears Movement Story for children.

 

goldilocks

All the children sit in a circle. When the children hear the following words in the story they must jump up and do the following actions. The words are in bold to assist the teacher.

Goldilocks: Skip around the space.
Bear/Bears: Walk slowly and growl.
Bowl/Bowls: Clasp fingers together and stick out arms to make a round shape.
Porridge: Wiggle body up and down.
Chair/s: Squat down and stick out arms.
Bed/s: Lies straight on the floor.
First: Holds up one finger.
Second: Holds up two fingers.
Third: Holds up three fingers.

Once upon a time, there was a girl called Goldilocks. One day she decided to go for a walk in the woods. Soon she became tired. She saw a little cottage in the woods. came upon a house. She knocked, there was no answer so she decided to go inside and rest.

At the table in the kitchen, there were three bowls of porridge. Goldilocks was hungry. She tasted the porridge from the first bowl.
“This porridge is too hot!” she exclaimed.
So, she tasted the porridge from the second bowl.
“This porridge is too cold,” she said
So, she tasted the third bowl of porridge.
“Ahhh, this porridge is just right,” she said happily and she ate it all up.
After she’d eaten the three bears’ breakfasts she decided she was feeling a little tired. So, she walked into the living room where she saw three chairs. Goldilocks sat in the first chair to rest her feet.
“This chair is too big!” she exclaimed.
So she sat in the second chair.
“This chair is too big, too!” she whined.
So she tried the third and smallest chair.
“Ahhh, this chair is just right,” she sighed. But just as she settled down into the chair to rest, it broke into pieces!
Goldilocks was very tired by this time, so she went upstairs to the bedroom. She lay down in the first bed, but it was too hard. Then she lay in the second bed, but it was too soft. Then she lay down in the third bed and it was just right. Goldilocks fell asleep.

As she was sleeping, the three bears came home.
“Someone’s been eating my porridge,” growled the Papa bear.
“Someone’s been eating my porridge,” said the Mama bear.
“Someone’s been eating my porridge and they ate it all up!” cried the Baby bear.
“Someone’s been sitting in my chair,” growled the Papa bear.
“Someone’s been sitting in my chair,” said the Mama bear.
“Someone’s been sitting in my chair and they’ve broken it all to pieces,” cried the Baby bear.

They decided to look around some more and when they got upstairs to the bedroom, Papa bear growled, “Someone’s been sleeping in my bed,”
“Someone’s been sleeping in my bed, too” said the Mama bear
“Someone’s been sleeping in my bed and she’s still there!” exclaimed Baby bear.

Just then, Goldilocks woke up and saw the three bears. She screamed, “Help!” And she jumped up and ran out of the room. Goldilocks ran down the stairs, opened the door, and ran away into the woods. And Goldilocks never returned to the home of the three bears.

For more animal move,ent storoes/plays, click on the link below.

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 fun movement games clock on the link below.

 

 

 

 

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 on the link below.

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

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, Drama for children, drama for kids, Esl Drama, Fairy Tales, Legends, Plays, Plays for Children, St Patrick, Storytelling

The King and the Donkey’s Ears – An Irish Legend – 5 minute play scripts.

IMG_0257Narrator 1: Once upon a time, there was a boy called Donal

Narrator 2: He wanted to be a Barber when he grew up.

Donal: Mother, When I grow up I want to be a barber.

Mother: Don’t be silly. You can’t be a barber. Everyone knows what happens to Barbers in this land.

Donal: What happens?

Mother: Every year a barber gets summons to the King’s palace and they are never seen again.

Donal: That won’t happen to me.

Narrator 3: Years later Donal grew up and became a very successful; Barber.

At the palace:

King: I need a haircut. Summon Donal the barber to the Palace at once. I hear he gives a very good haircut.

Servant: Your majesty Soon there won’t be any barbers in the land. Maybe you could stop executing them.

King: Nonsense. Get him for me now. How dare you question my actions. All the barbers that cut my hair are to be executed. That is the rule.
(servant exits.)

(Messenger arrives at Donal’s house.)

Messenger: You are summoned to the palace to cut the King’s hair.

Mother: Noooooooooooooooooo. You are not to go Donal.

Donal: I must.

Mother: Stay here. I will go to the palace and talk to the King.

(Mother goes to the palace; she wails and wails.)

Narrator 1: everyone at the palace but their fingers in their ears.

Narrator 2: However, the king couldn’t because he had donkey’s ears.

(King takes off his crown and shows the audience his donkey’s ear. He puts the crown back on when he hears someone coming.)

King: Make that noise stop at once. It is driving me in insane.

Chief Minister: I can’t. She is Donal the barber’s mother. She said if you execute her son she will wait forever.

King: I can’t listen to that awful noise. Tell her if she stops immediately I will let her husband live.

(Mother stops wailing and leaves with a smile on her face.)

(Donal enters. He looks nervous.)

King: I will let you live but you must promise not to tell anyone about these…

(The king takes off his crown and shows off his donkey’s ears.)

(Donal looks very shocked.)

Donal: I promise I will never breathe a word of this to a living soul.

(Donal cuts the King hair. The king is happy and gives him some money and he puts back on his crown. Donal exits the palace.)

At Donal’s house. (Donal is sleeping.)

Narrator 2: Donal tried very hard to keep the king’s secret. However, he started to have nightmares about the king’s ears.

(Donal starts screaming in his sleep. His mother comes running in and she wakes him.

Mother: Donal, whatever is the matter? Ever since you came back from the king’s palace you have been having dreadful nightmares.

Donal: The king has a secret. I am the only person who knows. It is driving me mad that I can’t tell anyone.

Mother: Tell me.

Donal: I can’t. I promised him if he let me live I wouldn’t tell another living soul.

Mother: Well tell a tree then. It isn’t a living soul. There is a big tree down by the lake. You could whisper the secret to it.

Donal: What a good idea.

Narrator 2: The next day Donal went for a stroll down by the lake and saw the willow tree. He whispered the king’s secret to the tree.

Donal: The king has donkey’s ears, the king has donkey’s ears, the king has donkey’s ears. I feel some much better now that I have got that off my chest.

Narrator 3: One day a harpist passed by the willow tree.

Harpist: What a lovely bark. I will cut it down and make a new harp that I will play for the king.

Narrator 1: He made the harp from the tree and when it was ready he took it to the palace to play for the king.

Narrator 2: As soon as the harpist touched the strings the harp began to sing by itself.

Harp: The king has donkey’s ears.
The king has donkey’s ears.
The king has donkey’s ears.
Everyone stared at the king.
King: How dare you. Stop that harp at once. (His crown falls off and his ears are visible to everyone.

Courtier 1: Having donkey’s ears is not a big deal. Everyone has something they don’t like about themselves.

Courtier 2: This is Ireland. It is impossible to keep a secret in this country.

Courtier 3: Now we all know your secret you don’t have to hide from us anymore. Everyone is different.

Courtier 4: Now that everyone knows no more barbers must put to the death.

Narrator 3: Donal was made the royal barber and his mother was very happy.

Donal: I’m glad I’ve made you proud.

(Donal and his mother hug.)

For more Irish Legends plays click on the link below.

 

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

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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