Posted in Aesop's fabes, Drama, Drama Activities for children, Drama for children, drama for kids, English as a second language, English teaching games, Esl, Esl Drama, fables, Fairy Tales, Panchatantra plays, Plays, Plays for Children

The Monkey and the Jealous Camel – A five minute playscript for children

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Characters: Three storytellers, Monkey, Giraffe, Lion, Kangaroo, Crocodile, Penguin, Monkey, Camel, Frog, Pig, Squirrel, Ant.

Storyteller 1: Once upon a time a long time ago.
Storyteller 2: All the animals in the world decided to have a big party to celebrate the midsummer.
Storyteller 3: It was a midsummer party and all the animals in the world were going.
Storyteller 1: From the tiniest ant to the enormous elephant.
Storyteller 2: The animals arrived Two by two.
(Everyone sings the animals arrived two by two hurrah hurrah.)
Storyteller 3: Eventually, all the animals had arrived.
(Monkey is ticking off the all the names as the animals enter. He has a click board and looks very official. Giraffe is the look out.)
Monkey: Is that everyone?
Giraffe: I think so, I can’t see anyone else coming.
Lion: Well, let’s get this party started. Welcome, everyone to this party to celebrate the
midsummer. I hope everyone will have wonderful time tonight. I want to introduce the band. Back by popular demand all the way from the Jungle. I would like to introduce our band- the animals.
(Everyone cheers, and claps Elephant is playing her trumpet with his trunk, the bear is playing the drums with his feet. Other animal musical instruments.)
Storyteller 1: Everyone danced and chatted and had a merry time.
(Music playing.)
Kangaroo: Stop the music. I just noticed that the camel isn’t here.
Crocodile: Never mind him, he is so grumpy.
Penguin: He couldn’t be bothered coming.
Giraffe: No wait, I see something coming up in the hill in the distance.
(Monkey climbs up the tree.)
Monkey: It is the camel and he doesn’t look very happy.
(The camel trundles up the hill very slowly)
Penguin: We should be very welcoming to him, when he arrives.
(Camel eventually makes his way up the hill.)
Animals: Hello Camel, welcome to the midsummer’s eve party.
Lion: Come and join us.
Camel: (sighs and wipes his brow.) This better be a good party. I have come an awfully long way.
Frog: It will be wonderful. Let’s play a game of leap frog,
(All the animals jump over one another.)
Pig: That was fun but now let’s play piggy in the middle.
(All the animals throw a ball and the pig tries to catch it.)
Storyteller 2: Everyone had so much fun.
Storyteller 3: Then the dolphins performed a lovely water display.
(Music is playing.)
Monkey: now it my turn to show my contemporary dance.
Storyteller 1: The monkey danced, and all the other animals were impressed.
(All the animals cheer and clap when the monkey is finished.)
Pig: That was amazing.
Frog: You are such a good dancer,
Camel: Harrumph! What’s all the clapping and cheering about. Anyone can dance like that.
Kangaroo: That’s not true. The monkey is a very good dancer.
Ant: You are such a grumpy all hump, Camel.
Elephant: You are just jealous Camel, everyone knows camels can’t dance.
Camel: Of course, Camels can dance.
Monkey: Go on then, show us how camels can dance.
(The Camel slowly makes his way to the middle of the circle. All the animals are staring at him and there is a deafening silence.)
Penguin: Band, Music please.
Storyteller 1: The band started to play, and the camel started to dance.
Storyteller 2: It was the most peculiar dance they had ever seen.
(Camel gives a sideways hop and wiggle and then falls over and he bashes into the band and the music stops.)
Squirrel: Watch where you are going.
(The camel does a high kick and hits the kangaroo.)
Kangaroo: Ouch. (Kangaroo starts limping.)
Storyteller 3: The camel swings his tail and the rabbit is knocked to the floor.
Storyteller 1: Then, he nearly trod on the ants.
Ant/s: Oh, my goodness. Somebody stop him before he kills us.
(The camel is so clumsy that all the animals scatter to the far side of the stage.)
Lion: (roars) Stop! Stop Camel.
Camel: But I’m in the middle of my dance. Can’t you see I’m the best dancer here.
Storyteller 1: Then, the unimaginable happened.
Storyteller 2: He stood on the lion’s tail.
Lion: (roars).
(All the animals freeze.)
Camel: Is it just me? But I get the feeling you didn’t like my dance Lion. (Looks around.) why is anyone clapping.
Pig: Your dancing is ……horrible.
Camel:(hangs his head) I must admit that it wasn’t as fun as the monkey’s dance. (Looks at the monkey) You dance very well, Monkey.
Monkey: Thank you. You have special talents too. You can walk for miles without water and you can give everyone rides on your hump.
Kangaroo: Everyone has a talent.
Lion: The world would be a strange place if we all good at the same thing.
Camel: I guess you are right. Well who would like on my hump.
All animals: Me.
Camel: Hop on then.
Storyteller 1: The camel smiled with pride and pleasure.
Storyteller 2: The moral of the story is
Storyteller 3: Everyone is good at something.

 

For more animal play scripts click on the link below.

 

 

 

 

 

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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.

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 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.

For more rhyming plays click on the link below:

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.

 

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 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

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.