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

 

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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.

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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.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Posted in Drama for children, English as a second language, English teaching games, Esl, Esl Drama, Fairy Tales, Hans Christian Andersen, Storytelling, The Emperor's New Clothes

The Emperor’s New Clothes – A Playscript for Children

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Characters: Three storytellers, Dresser, Emperor, Two soldiers, Royal Advisor, Slick, Slicker, four subjects, father, small child.

Storyteller 1: Once upon a time, there was an emperor.
Storyteller 2: He didn’t spend much time ruling his empire
Storyteller 3: Because he was too interested in how he looked and what clothes he wore.
Emperor: (looking in the mirror) I wonder what clothes I’ll wear today. Dresser come here at once.
(Dresser comes rushing holding up two outfits, the emperor grabs one.)
Dresser: That is the tenth outfit you have tried on today, Your Excellence.
Emperor: It is important to look good when you are the emperor of all that you can see and beyond.
(Enter two soldiers.)
Soldier 1: (bows) Your Excellence, the enemy is attacking us.
Soldier 2: (bows) By land, air and sea. What shall we do?
Emperor: How dare you interrupt me with these trivial matters. I’ve way more important things to worry about, like what outfit I’m going to wear today. Please leave at once.
Storyteller 1: When the royal advisor came to advise, he dismissed him.
Royal Advisor: We must talk about how to run the empire.
Emperor: Go away, can’t you see I’m busy admiring myself and my beautiful clothes. Dresser, let’s go outside so all my subjects can admire my clothes.
(Walks up and down like he is on a catwalk. He turns and twirls so all his subjects can see and admire him.)
Subjects: (bows) You look amazing, Your Excellence.
Emperor: Dresser, next week is the annual royal parade. What shall I wear?
Dresser: You have 10,438 outfits to choose from.
Emperor: I need something new and different. I want to look fabulous. I want the whole empire to talk about me and my beautiful clothes. Find me the finest tailors in the land at once.
Dresser: (Comes on stage ringing a bell.) Hear ye, hear ye, the emperor needs a magnificent outfit for the royal parade. Can anyone help? Hear ye, hear ye.
(Enter Slick and Slicker.)
Slick: Do you hear that? We could make lots of money.
Slicker: But we aren’t tailors.
Slick: I know, but I’ve got a plan.
(They huddle together and whisper.)
(Dresser enters the palace with Slick and Slicker. The emperor is sitting on his throne.)
Dresser: I found them, Your Excellence.
Slick: I’m Slick.
Slicker: I’m Slicker. At your service. (Both bow before the emperor.)
Slick and Slicker: We are the finest tailors in the land.
Slick: I’m sure you MUST have heard of us.
Storyteller 2: The emperor liked to pretend he knew everything, so he said…
Emperor: Of course, I’ve heard of you.
Slick: Well then, you must know our clothes are very special.
Emperor: Special?
Slicker: Oh yes, they are magic clothes.
Emperor: Magic?
Slicker: Why, have you not heard? only very clever people can see our clothes.
Slick: Our clothes are invisible to stupid people.
Emperor: Make me a magic outfit at once.
Slicker: Well, it is very expensive.
Emperor: Money is no object. Here take this. (He throws a bag of money at them.) Now get to work at once. You have only a week left to make me the most spectacular outfit for the royal parade.
(Emperor and Dresser exit.)
Storyteller 2: After a few days, the emperor was excited to see his new outfit. He knocked on the door.
Emperor: Knock, knock, may I come in?
Slick and slicker: Oh no, you can’t come in. We want the outfit to be a surprise.
Emperor: Dresser, go inside and look at the outfit and tell me how fabulous it is.
(Enter Dresser. Slick holds up an imaginary outfit.)
Slick: So, what do you think?
Dresser: (Speaks to the audience.) I can’t see anything, but if I say so, everyone will think I’m stupid.
Dresser: It is wonderful, the emperor will be so happy.
Storyteller 3: He scuttled off to tell the emperor that his outfit was amazing.
Storyteller 1: News quickly spread across the empire about the magic outfit. Everyone came the day of the parade to see this fantastic suit.
Storyteller 2: On the day of the parade, the emperor entered the room for the first time.
Slick: (Holds up the outfit.) Well, what do you think?
Emperor: (Speaks to the audience.) I can’t see anything. I must be stupid, but I can’t let them now. I’ll pretend I can see it. (Turns to Slick and Slicker.) It is amazing, magnificent, fabulous.
Slicker: Well, put it on then.
Dresser: I will help you. You look fantastic.
Emperor: It is a perfect fit. Dresser, carry my train.
Storyteller 3: He admired himself one last time. The soldiers opened the palace doors.
Emperor: Let the parade commence.
Storyteller 1: The crowd gasped with excitement. They knew only clever people could see the clothes.
Subject 1: You look so handsome.
Subject 2: Such an amazing outfit.
Subject 3: What magnificent tailoring.
Emperor: The clothes I’m wearing must be beautiful.
Small child: I can’t see. I want to see the emperor’s new clothes.
Father: Come here, I’ll show you. (Father picks up the small child.)
Small child: But the emperor has no clothes on.
Subject 4: What did he say?
Subject 1: He said the emperor has no clothes on.
Subject 3: He is right, the emperor is naked.
Subject 4: The emperor has no clothes on.
Storyteller 2: Everyone started to whisper and the whispering turned into shouting.
Everyone: The emperor has no clothes on.
Emperor: (Looks down.) They are right. I’ve got no clothes on. (He tries to cover himself up.)
Slick and Slicker: Time to go with our bags full of money. (They tip toe off the stage quickly without anyone seeing them.)
Emperor: Cover me up at once. (Dresser comes running in with a blanket.)
Storyteller 3: The emperor got what he wished for. People talked about the emperor with no clothes for years to come.

Posted in Drama for children, Drama strategies, English as a second language, Esl, Esl Drama, fables, Freeze Frame, Hot seating, Movement activities, Movement stories for children, Still image, teacher in role, The Hare and the Tortoise

The hare and the tortoise, a fun drama workshop for children.

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Read the following movement story to the children. When they hear any of words in bold 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.

Physical warm up: Get each child to find a clear space. They must make sure that they are not touching anyone else. The children crouch down on the floor and make a ball shape with their bodies. The
teacher explains that all children are magic rocks and that the teacher is a magic wizard. The teacher waves the magic wand and says: “Magic rocks turn into hares.” All the children turn into hares and move around the room as hares. The teacher then says: “Magic rocks turn into magic rocks.” The children return to their clear spaces and crouch down on the floor again as quickly as possible. The magic wizard can change the magic rocks into animal they can be found in the jungle.
Variation: The children can take it turns to be the magic wizard.

Role on the wall: Divide the class into groups of four. Give each group either an outline of the hare or the tortoise and ask the children to write inside the image the different characteristics or personality traits of the hare or the tortoise. If they are too young to write, get them to draw inside the image. Each group talks about their image and what they put inside.

Still Image: Ask each child to make a still image of the Hare at the beginning of the race. The teacher taps each child on the shoulder and they must say how they feel. Then get them to make a still image of the hare at the end of the race. The teacher taps each child on the shoulder and they must say how they feel. Can they tell the difference?

Freeze Frame: Divide the class into pairs. They have to make six images that tell the story of the hare and the tortoise. They then show their freeze frame to the rest of the class.

Teacher in Role: The teacher takes on the role of the tortoise. She tells the children she feels sorry for the hare because he thought he was the fastest in the forest and now he is upset. Ask the children what do they suggest they could do to make him feel better.

Hot seating: One of the children volunteers to be the hare. The hare sits in the hot seat and the rest of the children asks him questions.

Closure: The children sit in a circle. Each child finishes the following sentences “if I could be an animal I would be a………

Turn on some music and everyone dances as their animal.

 

Posted in Drama for children, English as a second language, Esl, Oscar Wilde, Oscar Wilde's Stories, Plays, Plays for Children, The Canterville Ghost

The Canterville Ghost by Oscar Wilde -A Playscript for Children

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Characters: Lord Canterville, Mr Otis, Mrs Otis, Virginia, James, Lewis, Clark, (Lewis and Clark are twins), Mrs Umney and Sir Simon (the ghost).
(Outside Canterville Castle there is a sign for sale which Lord Canterville is taking down.)

Scene 1: Canterville Castle
Lord Canterville: Well, it looks like we have a deal, Mr Otis. The castle is yours.
Mr Otis: Thank you, Lord Canterville. I’m sure my family will be very happy here. (They shake hands.)
Lord Canterville: (Looks at him hesitantly.) Perhaps, I should mention that Canterville Castle is haunted by a ghost. (Ghost walks in behind them. They don’t see the ghost but the audience does.)
Mr. Otis: I don’t believe in ghosts, Lord Canterville, so I’m sure I have nothing to be frightened of. (They exit the stage.)
(Mr and Mrs Otis and their four children, Virginia, James, Lewis and Clark, enter. They are greeted by an old woman dressed in an apron.)
Mrs Umney: Welcome, I’m Mrs Umney the housekeeper. Please, come in. There is tea in the library. (There is a table and two chairs on the left side of the stage. Mr and Mrs Otis sit on them and Mrs Umney serves them tea.)
Virginia: It is so exciting.
James: I know, let’s explore. (The four children run around the stage. They mime opening and closing doors.)
Lewis: Look what’s that? (He picks a note up from the floor.)
Clark: It’s a note.
Virginia: Let me see.
James: If a child enters the secret room and stays until dead of night.
Lewis: Then at last Sir Simon can sleep in his tomb and at Canterville all will be alright.
Clark: What does that mean?
(Meanwhile in the library Mrs Otis is inspecting the ground carefully.)
Mrs Otis: I’m terribly sorry, Mrs Umney. I think I spilled something on your carpet.
Mrs Umney: That’s not tea, it is blood.
Mr Otis: We must get rid of it. (The children all come in and inspect the blood stain on the carpet.)
Mrs Umney: I’m afraid that is impossible. That is the blood of Lady Eleanor Canterville. She was murdered by her husband Sir Simon Canterville 500 years ago. Then, Sir Simon disappeared and his body has never been found. They say his spirit haunts the house.
Lewis: I’ll get rid of it. (He rubs it.)
Clark: Look it’s gone.
(Then there is thunder and lightning and Mrs Umney faints. Lights go out. When the lights come back on, the blood stain is back.)
Mr Otis: Maybe the house is haunted after all.

Scene 2: Night in the Castle
(Mr and Mrs Otis are asleep in bed. There is a strange ratting noise and it was getting louder and louder. Mr Otis gets up and puts on his slippers and dressing gown. He opens the door and there in front is the ghost in chains.)
Mr Otis: Oh, you must be Sir Simon.
Sir Simon: (Nods.) Yes I am. (He rattles his chains really loudly.)
Mr. Otis: Here, take this bottle of oil (he hands the bottle to the ghost) and oil your chains. They are making too much noise. I can’t sleep.
(Sir Simon throws the bottle on the ground and runs away and starts to make haunting noise.)
(The two twins come on stage rubbing their eyes.)
Lewis: What’s going on?
Clark: Who is making all that noise? (They stop and share at the ghost.)
Lewis: It’s the ghost.
Clark: Here, throw your pillow at him to scare him (They throw the pillows and run off stage.)
Sir Simon: Well, I never. I have been scaring people for nearly 500 years and I have never been treated like this. Don’t worry, I will get my revenge.

Scene 3: The Next Morning.
(Family are sitting at the table for breakfast.)
Mrs Otis: Children, you mustn’t be frightened of the ghost.
Mr. Otis: Well, he didn’t look very scary to me. (Sir Simon comes out from the other side of the stage and stares at the family.)
Sir Simon: I will exact my revenge on those pesky children.
(The following is all done through mime. The children dress up as ghosts and scare Sir Simon. They hold a piece of string and trip him up. They put oil on the floor and he slips. They run off laughing. This can be done with music in the background.)
Sir Simon: I’ll stop those children once and for all. I’ll appear as my most terrifying characters Reckless Rupert. Reckless Rupert always scares people. (He tiptoes into the children’s room and a bucket of water is thrown on him. The children laugh and he goes off dejected.)
Lewis: We haven’t seen the ghost for ages.
Clark: I think maybe we scared in off for good.
(They exit the stage.)
(Ghost comes in and sits on a chair. He is crying. Virginia walks in.)
Virginia: Why are you crying, Sir Simon? (She puts her arm around his shoulder to comfort him.)
Sir Simon: Because your brothers keep playing nasty tricks on me.
Virginia: They would stop if you behaved yourself.
Sir Simon: But I’m a ghost. I have to rattle my chains and moan and groan and walk around at night.
Virginia: You have been wicked. You murdered your wife. It’s wrong to kill people.
Sir Simon: I know but her brother captured me and starved me to death.
Virginia: You poor ghost.
Sir Simon: Please help me. I’m so unhappy and so very tired.
Virginia: Have you not slept?
Sir Simon: I haven’t slept for 500 years.
Virginia: I don’t know how I can help.
Sir Simon: You could. Do you remember the note you found?
Virginia: (Takes it out of her pocket and reads it.) But I don’t know what it means.
Sir Simon: It means that you must come with me to my chamber and pray for me.
Virginia: That sound easy enough.
Sir Simon: No person has ever entered the chamber and come out alive.
Virginia: I’ll come with you.
(Off they go and disappear.)
(Mrs Otis and the other children come on stage looking for Virginia.)
Mrs Otis: Where is she?
Mr Otis: I’m getting worried.
(Then they hear a crash and she comes out of the secret chamber.)
Mrs Otis: Where have you been?
Virginia: I’ve been with the ghost. He knows he has been wicked and he is very sorry for everything. He gave me this box of jewels. (They all look at the expensive jewels.)

Final scene: At the Graveyard
(There is a gravestone that’s says “Sir Simon Canterville RIP.” The whole family, Mrs. Umney and Lord Canterville all walk in and bow their heads in respect.)
Lord Canterville: Finally he is at peace.
Virginia: He is happy at last.

For more plays based on Oscar Wilde’s stories click on the link below.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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

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 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, expressive arts, fables, Fairy Tales, Panchatantra plays, Role playing stories, Story sacks, Storytelling, Storytelling in the Early years, The Twits by Roald Dahl, The Twits play

The Twits – A Play based on a Roald Dahl Classic

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The following is a play adapted from Roald Dahl’s classic “The Twits.”
Characters: Mr Twit, Mrs Twit, three narrators, four little boys, Roly Poly Bird, monkeys and birds – you can have as many monkeys and birds as you want.
Narrator 1: Mr and Mrs Twit were truly awful people. They were awful in every way. They were awful on the inside and awful on the outside. They never realised that if you are ugly on the inside, you’ll be ugly on the outside too.
Narrator 2: Everybody knows that if you’re beautiful on the inside, you’ll be beautiful on the outside, even if your feet are too big and your ears are too small and you have a wonky nose. When you think beautiful thoughts they shine out of your face like sunbeams. Mr and Mrs Twit never, ever thought beautiful thoughts, so you can imagine how awful they were to look at.
Narrator 3: They hated everything and everyone, and even hated each other. They only thing they loved doing was playing nasty tricks, and they were always trying to see which one of them could be the nastiest.
Mrs Twit: Hmmmmm, what kind of trick can I play on Mr. Twit today? I know! I’ll put some worms in his spaghetti. He’ll never know because I’ll put lots of sauce and cheese on it.
Mr Twit: Where is my dinner?
Mrs Twit: Here it is, dear.
Mr Twit: Hey, my spaghetti is moving!
Mrs Twit: It’s a new kind called squiggly spaghetti. I think it’s delicious.
Narrator 1: Of course, there were no worms in Mrs Twit spaghetti.
Mr Twit: I don’t like it. It is too squishy and bitter.
Mrs Twit: Stop complaining and finish your dinner. I didn’t slave over a hot stove for nothing.
Mr Twit: Okay, okay. (Continues to eat, making faces the whole time, then finishes and wipes his mouth on his sleeve.)
Mrs Twit: Do you want to know why your spaghetti was squishy and bitter?
Mr Twit: Why?
Mrs Twit: Because their were worms in it! Ha, ha, ha!
Mr Twit: (running away with his hand in his mouth) I’ll pay you back for this!
Narrator 2: That very night ……
Mr Twit: Hmmmm, what can I do to get Mrs Twit back for putting worms in my spaghetti? I know since she hates frogs so much, I’ll catch one and put it in her bed before she goes to sleep!
(Mr and Mrs Twit go to bed)
Background noise: Ribbit, Ribbit!
Mr Twit: Good night. (Giggles to himself.)
Mrs Twit: Hey, there’s something in my bed.
Mr Twit: What? Something squishy and slimy.
Mrs Twit: Yes, how did you know?
Mr Twit: Oh, I was wondering…
Mrs Twit: Wondering what?
Mr Twit: If It could be a ….
Mrs Twit: A what?
Mr Twit: A frog!
Mrs Twit: Ewww!
Mr. Twit: What’s wrong?
Mrs Twit: There is one in my bed. (Kicks and kicks and kicks and kicks.)
Mr. Twit: Are you okay?
Mrs Twit: Ohhhh …(faints)
Mr. Twit: Hee, hee, hee!
Narrator 3: If you think that’s bad, see how they are to their people.
First little boy: Hey, let’s climb that tree!
Second little boy: But it’s in Mr and Mrs Twit’s yard.
Third little boy: Never mind, we can be quick.
Fourth little boy: Okay, let’s go.
Narrator 1: What the boys didn’t know was Mr. Twit had spread sticky stuff on the branches of the tree, so that he and Mrs Twit could have tasty things for supper, like bugs and birds and small children. As they climb the tree, the first little boy notice something was wrong.
First little boy: Hey, we are stuck.
Second little boy: What do you mean?
Third little boy: Try to get up?
Fourth little boy: Ahh! I can’t.
First little boy: Take your pants off!
Other little boys: Huh?
Narrator 2: The first little boy who was the smartest, knew that it was just their pants that stuck to the tree, and if they took them off, they would be able to get away.
First Little boy: We’re free, we’re free!
Other little boys: We’re free! We’re free.
Narrator 3: All this time, Mr and Mrs Twit had kept some monkey in a cage not far from the tree. They had been caught in the same way that the Twits had try to catch the little boys. When the birds would come and try to roost on the Twits’s tree the monkeys would shout:
Monkeys: There is sticky stuff all over the tree.
If you land on the branches, you will never be free.
So fly away! Fly away! Stay up high!
Or you’ll finish up tomorrow in a hot bird pie.
Narrator 1: The Roly Poly Bird, who watches over all birds, animals and insects decided that enough is enough and that he’d better get involved.
Roly Poly Bird: What is going on here?
Little boys, monkeys and birds: The Twits are awful, they won’t leave us alone.
Roly Poly Bird: Well, let’s see what we can do. Since the Twits have turned your life upside down, maybe we can return the favour and show them what it is like.
Narrator 2: So, all the monkeys, the birds and the little boys set to turn the Twits house upside down. One day, when the Twits were out, they glued all the furniture in the house to the ceiling! Imagine the Twit’s surprise when they came back that day.
Mr Twit: (opening the door) Whoa!
Mrs Twit: What?
Mr Twit: Everything’s upside down!
Mrs Twit: I know! We’ll stand on heads and everything will be right side up.
Mr. Twit: Good idea!
Narrator 3: Just then, one of the birds that had helped to the glue the Twit’s furniture flew in and dripped some glue on the Twits’ heads, but they were far too excited to notice. This was the last and most important part of the Roly Poly Bird’s plan.
Mrs Twit: Ready?
Mr. Twit: Okay!
(The Twits stand on their heads.)
Twits: Oh no! We’re stuck!
Narrator 1: The Twits were indeed stuck. They stayed stuck, no matter how hard they tried to get away and eventually they shrank and shrank until there was nothing left of them but two stinky piles of old clothes.
Everyone: Hooray!
The End

If you enjoyed this play and would like to see more children’s plays please click below.