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.

 

 

 

 

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

Drama/Communication Activities for Esl Students

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Communication drama games have a vital role to play in the ESL classroom. These activities help the learners to speak with and listen to other learners. The purpose of the following activities is for the students to find information, break down barriers and talk about themselves in a relaxed manner. The language areas that are practiced in this section are questions, conditionals, past and present simple tenses, past and present continuous tenses, there is/there are, expressions for giving opinions and negotiating.

Game: The Dog Show
Level: Pre-Intermediate +
Other benefits: This activity allows the students to practice forming questions and responding in an appropriate manner.
Minimum number of participants: 2
Resources needed: Clear space.
Instructions: This is a communication activity where the students must use their imagination. This is an opportunity for the students to use mime, providing a chance to use the “teacher in role” drama technique. Get each student to imagine that they are a dog owner. They must each mime interacting with their dog. Once they have done this and gotten used to the size of their dog, get them to imagine they are competing in a dog show. The teacher takes on the role as a judge of the show. She/he interviews each of the dog owners individually and asks them the following questions:
• What type of dog is it?
• Where did you get him from?
• What type of personality does he have?
• What dog tricks can he do? Can you show us?
• Why should you dog win the show?
The judge/teacher can decide at the end of the activity who wins the show. The winner/winners can take a photo at the end with their dogs. This is a still image (see Drama Techniques section).

Game: Alibi
Level: Pre-intermediate +
Other benefits: This game focuses on question formation as well as practising communicating in a spontaneous manner.
Minimum number of participants: 6
Resources needed: Clear space.
Instructions: Explain what an alibi means. Create a crime scene scenario. Divide the class into groups of 4 or 5. Get one group to be the suspects and send them out of the room to get their story straight. While the suspects are getting their story straight, get the other group to be the investigators. They must compile a series of questions. After the students are finished preparing their questions, invite the suspects back and the interrogation begins. Each group interviews each suspect and then they compare notes and decide whose story didn’t match up; they must come to a consensus on who they will officially accuse.
Different scenarios:
• Bank robbery
• Kidnapping
• Shoplifting

Extension: More advanced students could hold a trial in which each group is assigned different roles.

Game: If I Were an Animal
Level: Pre-Intermediate+
Other benefits: The language focus of this game is to practice the conditional tense.
Minimum number of participants: 4
Resources needed: Clear space.
Instructions: Everyone sits in a circle and one by one each student says, “If I were an animal, I would be a ______” and then states a reason.
For example, “If I were an animal, I would be a lion because a lion is big and strong.”
Then you could go around the circle again using the following:
• If I were a car, I would be ………
• If I were a kitchen utensil, I would be …….
• If I were a sport, I would be …….
• If I were a country, I would be …….
• If I were a hobby, I would be….
• If I were a flower, I would be …….
• If I were an item of clothing, I would be…….
• If I were a body part, I would be…….

For more Esl Drama ideas click on the link below.

Posted in Drama for children, drama for kids, English teaching games, Esl, fables, Fairy Tales, Hans Christian Andersen, King Midas, King Midas playscript, Legends

King Midas – A Play for Children.

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Characters: Three Narrators, King Midas, Dionysus, servant, Princess and Rover the dog

Narrator 1: In ancient Greece, there lived a King called Midas.

King Midas loved money more than anything else in the world.

Narrator 2: He loved to count his gold every day. (The king is sitting on the centre stage counting his bars of gold.)

King Midas: 4,936, 4937, 4938, I love gold more than anything. It makes me so happy.
(Enter Dionysus.)

Dionysus: I want to thank you Midas for letting me stay with you. You have been very kind.

King Midas: I’m glad you enjoyed your stay, Dionysus. You know you are always welcome here.

Dionysus: Midas: I wish to show you my appreciation by granting you a wish.

Narrator 3: The king was delighted and he thought carefully what he could wish for.

King Midas: I wonder what I could possibly wish for? (He thinks carefully for a while.) I know. Dionysus, Dionysus! I know what I want. I want everything that I touch to turn to gold.

Dionysus: (bows) Your wish is my command, Your Majesty. From now on everything you touch will turn to gold. Goodbye. (King Midas goes to shake his hand but Dionysus avoids him and runs off.)

King Midas: (waves) Goodbye Dionysus. Could it be true that everything I touch will turn to gold?
(He moves around the room and touches the chair, the chair which turns to gold and becomes heavy and he struggles to carry it. He rubs his hands with glee and then touches a book and then the table and everything turns to gold.)

King Midas: (does a little dance) I’m going to be even richer than I was before. All this work is making me hungry. (He tries to ring the bell for tea but that turns to gold and doesn’t ring.)

King Midas:
Never mind; Servant! Servant!
(Servant enters.)

Servant: (bows) You called, Your Majesty.

King Midas: I’m hungry, bring me my tea.

Servant: Yes, Your Majesty. (He walks backwards while bowing.)

Narrator 1: The servant brought King Midas his tea.
(Enter servant with the food but everything turns to gold when the king touches it. He tries eating it with just his mouth but that doesn’t work and his mouth hurts trying to eat the food.)

King Midas: Oh, dear, I’m so hungry. Servant, bring me my tennis racket and ball. (Servant brings him the tennis racket and ball and everything turns to gold. Rover the dog comes in and tries to get the ball and give it to the king but it is too heavy.)

Rover: Woof! Woof!

King Midas: Good boy, Rover. (He pats him and he turns to gold.)

King Midas: Poor Rover, but you will look good as a statue in the hall.
(Princess enters.)

Princess: (calling for Rover) Rover? Rover? Daddy, have you seen Rover. Oh, my, what a beautiful statue of Rover.

King Midas: You can have it if you like.

Princess: Oh, thank you, Daddy. (She goes to hug him.)

King Midas: Please don’t touch……. (King Midas tries to avoid her but it is too late and she turns to gold.)

King Midas: Me!?? Oh, no! what have I done? I have turned my only daughter into gold. (He starts to cry.) Dionysus, Dionysus, please come back. I have been so selfish. I’m so sorry.
(Dionysus appears.)

Dionysus: I think you have learned your lesson. I will take away your magic wish only if you promise not to love money so much.
(The princess and the dog start to move and they hug King Midas.)

Narrator 3: From that day on Midas was never selfish or greedy again.