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.

 

 

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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.

 

 

Posted in Drama for children, English as a second language, English teaching games, Esl, Esl Drama, Fairy Tales, Movement activities, Movement stories for children, Plays, Plays for Children, Storytelling in the Early years

The Little Red Hen – A Movement Play.

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Each child finds a space and sits down. Each child or a group of children are assigned a specific word and a corresponding action. The narrator/teacher reads the story aloud, and when the children hear their word, they must jump up and do their actions. The words are in bold to assist the teacher.

Movement: Action.
Little Red Hen: Make yourself as small as possible and cluck around like a chicken.
Plant: Mime digging a hole and planting a seed.
Wheat: Make your body into the shape of a wheat plant.
Dogs: Move and bark like a dog.
Ducks: Waddle and quack like a duck.
Geese: Move like a goose and say “gobble, gobble.”
Cats: Move like a cat and meow.
Cut: Use a slashing movement.
Bread and cakes: Mime eating a delicious cake.

 

Once upon a time, there was a little red hen that lived on a farm. She was always busy! She spent all morning laying eggs for the farmer.
“Little Red Hen, please lay an egg for my tea,” said the farmer. After the little red hen had laid her egg, she found a grain of wheat. She wanted to plant it in a field.
“I’ll ask my animal friends to help me. Dogs, Dogs! Will you help me plant the wheat?” she said.
“Oh no, we will not help you. We are too busy burying our bones. Get the ducks to help you,” barked the dogs.
“Ducks, Ducks! Will you help me plant the wheat?” said the little red hen.
“Oh no, we will not help you. We are too busy swimming. Get the geese to help you,” quacked the ducks.
“Geese, Geese! Will you help me plant the wheat?” said the little red hen.
“Oh no, we will not help you. We are too busy sunbathing. Get the cats to help you,” gaggled the geese.
“Cats, Cats! Will you help me plant the wheat?” said the little red hen.
“Oh no, we will not help you. Plant it yourself,” meowed the cats.
No one would help the little red hen, so she planted it herself. The sun and the rain helped the wheat to grow. Soon, the wheat was tall and yellow and needed to be cut. “I’ll ask my animal friends to help me. Dogs, Dogs! Will you help me cut the wheat?” said the little red hen.
“Oh no, we will not help you. We are too busy burying our bones. Get the ducks to help you,” barked the dogs.
“Ducks, Ducks! Will you help me cut the wheat?” said the little red hen.
“Oh no, we will not help you. We are too busy swimming. Get the geese to help you,” quacked the ducks.
“Geese, Geese! Will you help me cut the wheat?” said the little red hen.
“Oh no, we will not help you. We are too busy sunbathing. Get the cats to help you,” gaggled the geese.
“Cats, Cats! Will you help me cut the wheat?” said the little red hen.
“Oh no, we will not help you. We are too busy washing our faces. Cut it yourself,” meowed the cats.
So, the little red hen cut the wheat herself, and she took the wheat to the miller. The miller turned the wheat into flour.
“Here’s your flour to make bread and cakes,” said the miller.
The little red hen thanked the miller. She made bread and cakes.
“Who will help me eat the bread and cakes?” said the little red hen.
“We will!” shouted all the animals.
“Oh no, I will eat it myself. If you want to eat the food, what will you do next time?” asked the little red hen.
“We will share the work,” said all the animals.

For more movement plays, click below.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Posted in Drama Activities for children, Drama for children, Drama strategies, Elements of Drama, English as a second language, Esl Drama, Fairy Tales, Movement activities, Movement stories for children, Storytelling in the Early years, The Enormous Turnip

The Enormous Turnip – Drama workshop for children

 

Read the story of “The Enormous Turnip”

Warm up: Enormous, Enormous Turnip. All the children except the child who is It, sit in a circle. It walks around the circle, tapping each player on the head, saying “Enormous” each time until he decides to tap someone and say “Turnip” That child becomes the turnip and runs after It, trying to tag him before It can take his seat. If It successfully reaches the turnip’s seat without being tagged, the turnip is the new It. If the turnip tags It, then the turnip keeps his spot in the circle and It must either continue to be It for another turn or sit in the middle of the circle until another It is tagged.

Circle time: Ask the children to sit in the circle. Ask them if they can name the different characters in the story. Ask the following questions:
How would the different characters move? What would they sound like?
What do you think they were doing before they were called to help with the Turnip?
How do they feel about pulling the Turnip up and eating it?

Character exploration: Get the children find their own space in the room. When the teacher calls out a character the children have to become the character and move around the room.
Old Man: Hunches over and moves very slowly with a walking stick.
Wife: Busy doing housework and moves very busily and quickly.
Boy: Plays football, does headers, keepy ups and scores goals.
Girl: Skips along happily.
Dog: Moves like a dog and barks.
Cat: Moves like a cat and meows.
Mouse: Moves like a mouse and squeaks.

Movement story: https://dramastartbooks.com/2017/10/08/2712/ Get the children to participate in the above Enormous Turnip Movement Story.

Mime: All the children find a space and they curl up and imagine that they are a turnip seed. The seed are get bigger and bigger until eventually they grow into a large Turnip and are pulled from the earth.

Still image: They make a still image of the moment they find out that they are going to be turned into turninip soup.

Thought tracking: The teacher goes and taps each Turnip on the shoulder and they must say one word how they feel about being eaten for dinner.
Voice exploration: Each child says the following sentence
Please, please don’t eat me for your dinner.”
In a happy voice
Sad voice,
Surprised voice,
Shocked voice,
Tired voice,
Angry voice,
Scared voice,
Excited voice.

Group work: Divide the class in to groups of 3 or 4. The group have to use their bodies to make the one big, Enormous Turnip. They have to move as the turnip but stay connected.

Freeze Frame: Divide the class into groups of 8. Each group have to make six still images that tell the story. They can show it to the other groups.
Improvisation: For older children they can add dialogue to their freeze frames.

Closure: The children stand in a circle. Child A says “If I had a turnip, I would turn it in to an Apple.” Child B says “If I had a turnip, I would turn it in to an Apple and a banana.” Child C says “If I had a turnip, I would turn it in to an Apple, a banana and a cat” and so on until everyone gets a chance. If they make a mistake or stumble they are eliminated and sit down.. The last child standing at the end wins.

Play: https://dramastartbooks.com/2017/10/08/the-enormous-turnip-a-five-minute-playscript-for-children/

 

Posted in Drama for children, English as a second language, English teaching games, Esl, Esl Drama, Plays, Plays for Children, Role playing stories, Story sacks, Storytelling, The Enormous Turnip

The Enormous Turnip – A five minute playscript for children

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Characters: Three storytellers, old man, old woman, boy, girl, dog, cat and mouse.

(Stage Directions: storytellers on stage left and the old man in the centre. All the other characters are in a line off-stage or they can be on stage, with each character miming doing their own thing.)
Storyteller 1: Once upon a time there lived a little old man.
Storyteller 2: One day he planted a turnip seed in his garden. (Old man plants his seed.)
Old Man: This turnip is going to be very big and very sweet. (Looks at the audience.)
Storyteller 3: The turnip grew and grew.
Old Man: I think it is time to dig up the turnip. (Old man mimes trying to pull it up.)
Storyteller 1: He pulled and pulled but he couldn’t pull up the turnip.
Old Man: I know, I will ask my wife to help me. Wife! Wife! Please help me to pull up the turnip. (Wife holds on to him at the waist and they try pulling up the turnip.)
Storyteller 2: His wife came and helped him.
Storyteller 3: They pulled and pulled but they couldn’t pull up the turnip.
Wife: I know, I will ask the boy to help us. Boy! Boy! Please help us to pull up the turnip. (She calls for the boy and the boy comes to help them.)
Storyteller 1: The boy came and helped them. (The boy holds on to her at the waist.)
Storyteller 2: They pulled and pulled but they couldn’t pull up the turnip.
Boy: I know I will ask the girl to help us. Girl! Girl! Please help us to pull up the turnip. (He calls for the girl and the girl comes to help them.)
Storyteller 3: The girl came and helped them. (The girl holds on to him at the waist.)
Storyteller 1: They pulled and pulled but they couldn’t pull up the turnip.
Girl: I know, I will ask the dog to help us. Dog! Dog! Please help us to pull up the turnip. (She calls for the dog and the dog comes to help her.)
Storyteller 2: The dog came and helped them. (The dog holds on to her at the waist.)
Storyteller 3: They pulled and pulled but they couldn’t pull up the turnip.
Dog: I know, I will ask the cat to help us. Cat! Cat! Please help us to pull up the turnip. (He calls for the cat and the cat comes to help them.)
Storyteller 1: The cat came and helped them. (The cat holds on to him at the waist.)
Storyteller 2: They pulled and pulled but they couldn’t pull up the turnip.
Cat: I know, I will ask the mouse to help us. Mouse! Mouse! Please help us to pull up the turnip. (She calls for the mouse and the mouse comes to help them.)
Storyteller 3: The mouse came and helped them. (The mouse holds onto her at the waist.)
Storyteller 1: They pulled and pulled and then suddenly they and then suddenly they pulled up the turnip. (They all fall over.)
Storyteller 2: Everyone was very happy and they all thanked the mouse. (Everyone shakes hands with the mouse.)
Storyteller 3: Everyone had turnip soup for dinner. (The wife mimes giving each one of them a bowl of soup and they mime drinking it.)

 

Posted in Drama for children, English as a second language, English teaching games, Esl, Esl Drama, Plays for Children, Role playing stories, Storytelling, Voice Production

Some Improvisation Activities for ESL Students.

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Improvisation is an effective way for ESL students to develop language skills that they can use outside of the classroom. Improvisation develops skills such as confidence and empathy. The following activities give students an outlet to express a range of emotions. A variety of tenses, vocabulary, question forms, idioms and proverbs are the focus of this section.

Game: Forwards/Backwards
Level: Elementary+
Other benefits: The main language is to practice target language and the present tense.
Minimum number of participants: 2
Resources needed: Clear space and copies of simple dialogues; see below for examples. Any of the dialogues from the teaching language books can be used.
Instructions: Divide the group into pairs and give each pair a copy of a simple dialogue. Give each pair time to practice their dialogues. When they have memorised the dialogues, get them to perform them in front of the class. Get the group to repeat it in slow motion, fast forwards, hopping on one leg, replacing the words with numbers or the alphabet, backwards, or jumping up and down.

Dialogue 1: Introductions
Adam: Good morning. What’s your name? Where are you from?
Anna: My name is Anna. I’m from America.
Adam: My name is Adam and I’m from Alaska.
Anna: Pleased to meet you. (They shake hands.)
Anna: Goodbye. (Waves and walks off.)
Adam: See you soon.

Dialogue 2: Giving directions
Betty: Hello, you look lost. Can I help you?
Brian: Yes, please. I’m looking for the football stadium. Do you know where it is?
Betty: Of course. Go straight (points straight), turn left and it is next to the big shopping centre.
Brian: Thank you very much.
Betty: You are welcome.
Brain: Goodbye. (They wave goodbye.)

Dialogue 3: Greetings
Carl: Hello, how are you?
Cathy: Not so good.
Carl: What’s the matter?
Cathy: I’ve a headache.
Carl: I hope you feel better soon.
Cathy: Thank you.

Extension: If the students are comfortable, get them to continue the dialogue until it comes to a natural conclusion. This is a good introduction to improvised work.

Game: TV Channels
Level: Elementary+
Other benefits: The focus is to listen and be observant as well as to react quickly.
Minimum number of participants: 4
Resources needed: Clear space.
Instructions: A volunteer sits in the centre of the circle. The rest of the students are the TV channels. The student in the centre of the circle is watching the television. He/she is channel surfing. When they point to someone in the circle, they have turned on the channel. The person must speak; they can be a news channel, weather, sports, documentary comedy, drama, or a soap opera.
The channel surfer stays on the channel for about 30 seconds and then moves on. They can always come back to the same channel. Everyone should have a chance at being a TV station.

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.