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

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

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

For more Irish Legends on Stage, click on the link below.

 

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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 Drama, Drama Activities for children, Drama for children, drama for kids, Drama strategies, Elements of Drama, English as a second language

Elements Of Drama for Children

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Belief
Role and Character
Action
Place
Time
Tension
Significance
Genre

The relationship between the drama elements.

Belief: How can the child be encouraged to enter into the drama with full belief? Evident in the child’s trust in and ease with make-believe play.

Role and Character: How will the child move from role playing to entering into character? Taking on the characteristics, attributes and thought process of another person.

Action: What is happening in the drama? Action in drama comes from the interaction between characters and situations in which they find themselves in the drama.

Place: Where is the action taking place? How is real place and space used to represent this?

Time: When is the action taking place? The fictional past and fictional future will have a bearing on the drama.

Tension: How will tension drive forward the action of the drama? The characters will be faced with choices, desires and uncertainties. Such tension causes characters to make decisions and moves the drama forward.

Significance: What is the relevance of the drama to the child’s life? How can the child relate to the drama?

Genre: What’s the genre? Naturalistic drama is the genre that most imitates life. Mainly for this age group the genres used are either naturalistic or fantasy. The children step into the world of make believe easily. The create a symbolic reality through which they can explore the real world and come to terms with its strangeness while remaining in the safety of their fictional world.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Posted in Drama, Drama for children, Movement stories for children, Storytelling, Storytelling techniques

A Fun Movement Story for Children- The Hungry Tree

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· Age: 5+
· Minimum number of participants: 3
· Resources needed: Clear space.
· Other Benefits: This is an excellent introduction to improvisation as the children are free to explore their imaginations. It also helps with their coordination skills.
· Instructions: The teacher tells the children the following story and they have to improvise the movements in the story. The teacher gets the children to imagine they are an adventurer who wants to go on an adventure. They have topack up their bags. The teacher asks what they need in the bags. Children’s answers are usually for example water, sandwiches, sun cream, and sunglasses and so on. The children mime putting all these essentials into their bag and then mime all the actions in the adventure below. The teacher says imagine you are walking quickly because you are so happy to be on your adventure. You see a mountain and decide you should climb it. The sun is getting hotter and hotter and you are getting tired. You get very, very tired. You wipe your brow to show how tired you are. You begin to climb slower and slower. You are very thirsty. You take out your water and take a drink. You put it back in your bag and climb the rest of the way up the mountain. Eventually you get to the top. You are exhausted, very hot and very hungry. You decide it is time for your picnic. You see a lovely tree and you go and sit under its shade. You eat your picnic and go for a nap. Then suddenly you wake up and see the tree moving towards you. The tree grabs you and you realise it is a very hungry tree and wants to eat you. You scream. You struggle. You fight the branches but you are getting weaker and weaker. Then suddenly the tree stops fighting for a moment. You get your chance to escape. You quickly grab your bag, and run back down the mountain. You get to the end and you don’t stop in case the hungry tree is running after you. You run all the way home, lock all the doors and hide under the table.

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

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 on the link below.

Posted in Drama, Drama Activities for children, Drama for children, Esl, Esl Drama, fables, Plays, Plays for Children, Role playing stories

The Ants and the Grasshopper – 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.

If you would like to read more plays scripts based on popular Aesop’s Fables then click on the link below.

Posted in Drama, Drama Activities for children, Drama for children, drama for kids, Fairy Tales

The Three Billy Goat’s Gruff – A Classroom Drama

 

 

http://www.poemsaplenty.com/childrens-three-billy-goats-gruff-by-julie-meighan

Read the story or poem or watch the video. See links above.

Introduction: All the children sit in a circle. The teacher asks them what a troll looks like? Get the children to express their thoughts and ideas freely.

Role on the wall: Give an outline of an image and ask the children to write inside the image the different characteristics or personality traits of a troll. If they are too young to write, get them to draw inside the image.

Group work: Divide the class in to smaller groups of 5 or 6 children. Each group works together to create the troll with their bodies.
Suggestions: One of them could be head, the others could be the bodies or the legs. They could be two heads, 10 legs, four hands, etc.., Each group should be different.
Then ask each group to move around the room as the troll. The group should stay connected as they walk. Once they have mastered the movement they can make sound.

Still Image: Get each group to make a still image of the troll. He should look as fierce and as scary as possible.

Teacher in Role: The teacher assumes the role as the troll. She can do this by changing her voice or using a prop or putting on a costume. She sits on a seat which becomes the hot seat.

Hot Seating: Each child in the class asks the troll a question.
Suggestions: Why does the troll live by himself?
Where is his family?
Why does he not like the Billy Goats?
Does he not have any friends?
Why does he live under a bridge?

Voice Production (Pitch and Power): Divide the class into groups of three. They each must assume the role of one of the Billy Goats. They should experiment with the pitch and power of each of the billy goats.
The smallest goat should have a soft and high-pitched voice.
The middle size goat should have a medium volume and  medium-pitched voice.
The biggest goat should have a loud and low-pitched voice.
Give each group time to find their voices.

Choral speaking: Get each group to practice saying the following together:

  • “Please, Mr Troll, may we cross the bridge so we can graze on the green grassy ridge.”

Get them to say it first as the smallest goat, then the middle sized goat and then finally the biggest goat.

Thought tracking: The teacher tell each group they are going to cross the bridge. She taps each goat on the shoulder and they must say how they feel about crossing the bridge and confronting the goat. The teacher can extend this by asking each goat what they will say to the troll.

Conscience Alley: The class forms two lines facing each other. The line on the left must think of reasons why the troll should eat the Billy Goats. The line on the right should think of reasons why the troll shouldn’t eat the Billy Goats.

TIR – teacher walks down the centre of the line as the troll and she listen to each reason carefully.

Improvisation: Divide the class into pairs. One child is the biggest billy goat and the other is the troll. They must come up with alternative ending. The goat doesn’t throw the troll into the river. They can act out an alternative and most positive ending.