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.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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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 here.

Posted in Aesop's fabes, Christmas plays, Drama for children, Esl, Esl Drama, Hans Christian Andersen, Oscar Wilde, Panchatantra plays, Rudyard Kipling, The Emperor's New Clothes, The Little Mermaid, The Nutcracker

The Fir Tree – A five minute play based on Hans Christian Andersen’s popular story.

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Characters: Three narrators, Little Fir Tree, Squirrel, Sun, Hare, Two woodcutters, Wind, Swallow, two children, Woman, Man.

Narrator 1: Once upon a time, there was a little fir tree.
Narrator 2: He was not very happy that he was so little.
Narrator 3: He wanted to grow big and tall.
Little Fir Tree: Oh, I wish I was tall like all the other trees.
Squirrel: You should be careful what you wish for.
Sun: Try not to grow up so quickly. You should enjoy the sunshine and the wind blowing freely through your branches.
Hare: Look on the bright side. I can jump over you because you are so little.
Little Fir Tree: I want to grow up and see the world.
Narrator 1: Every autumn, woodcutters would visit the forest.
Woodcutter 1: How about this little fir tree? Shall I cut it down?
Woodcutter 2: Don’t bother. That tree is too small.
Narrator 2: The woodcutters cut down lots of trees, took off their branches and dragged them off.
Little Fir Tree: Where are they going?
Wind: Don’t worry where they are going. Just enjoy being young and free.
Narrator 3: When Christmas time came, the woodcutters would take down the trees but not take off their branches.
Little Fir Tree: Where are they going?
Swallow: People take the trees and decorate them with colourful ornaments.
Little Fir Tree: Oh, how I long to be a Christmas tree.
Squirrel: No, you don’t.
Hare: Stay here with us.
Narrator 1: The tree was still not happy. The next Christmas came and the little fir tree had grown.
Woodcutter 1: Look at this fir tree.
Woodcutter 2: It will make a perfect Christmas tree.
Narrator 2: They cut the tree and sold him to a man who carried him off.
Child 1: What a beautiful Christmas tree.
Child 2: Let’s decorate it.
Narrator 3: After a few days, the fir tree was not happy.
Little Fir Tree: I have such a pain in my neck from standing up straight trying to hold up these ornaments.
(Children run around playing and shouting.)
Little Fir Tree: It is so noisy. I wish I was back in the forest with my friends, the hare, the squirrel, the swallow, the sun and the wind.
Woman: Well, Christmas is over for another year. It is time to get rid of the tree.
She takes off the ornaments. (Man enters.)
Woman: Take this tree away.
Man: I will put it in the yard.
Little Fir Tree: I’m outside at last. How I missed the fresh air.
Narrator 1: As he stretched out, his needles dropped off.
Little Fir Tree: what’s happening? I’m brown and I’m withering. I wish I had enjoyed myself when I was younger. I shouldn’t have wanted to grow up so fast.
Narrator 2: The next day, the man came back with an axe. He chopped up the tree.
Man: This will make great firewood and will keep the family warm this winter.
Narrator 3: The tree’s life was past.

For more plays based on Hans Christian Andersen’s stories, click here.

 

Posted in Aesop's fabes, creative arts, Drama, Drama Activities for children, Drama for children, drama for kids, Esl, Esl Drama, fables, Fairy Tales, Panchatantra plays, Plays, Plays for Children, Role playing stories, Storytelling, Storytelling in the Early years, Storytelling techniques, The ant and the grasshoppers, The Hare and the Tortoise, the lion and the mouse

The Ants and the Grasshoppers – A 5 minute play script for children.

Ant and Grasshopper, illustration

Characters: Three storytellers, three ants, grasshopper, owls, squirrels and bears.  

(Stage Directions: the owls, squirrels and bears are in a large semicircle stage right; storytellers are stage left and the ants are in the centre of the stage.)

Storyteller 1: One hot summer’s day …

Storyteller 2: … there were some ants working hard.

Storyteller 3: They were collecting food for the winter. (All the ants are miming digging, pulling and pushing.)

Ant 1: I am so hot.

Ant 2: Me too!

Ant 3: This is very hard work.

Storyteller 1: They saw a grasshopper listening to some music on his iPod. (Grasshopper passes by, singing and dancing; the ants stop work and look at him.)

Storyteller 2: He was dancing …

Storyteller 3: … and laughing and enjoying the lovely weather.

Grasshopper: Ants, you are so silly. You need to enjoy the sunshine.

(Ants start working again.)

Ant 1: We are working hard.

Ant 2: We want to have food for the winter. (Grasshopper keeps dancing.)

Storyteller 1: The grasshopper continued enjoying himself. (The Ants keep working and move stage right.)

Storyteller 2: Winter started to come and the weather got colder and colder.

Storyteller 3: The snow began to fall.

Storyteller 1: The grasshopper was cold and hungry. (Grasshopper rubs his stomach and shivers. He looks at the owls that start to fly around the stage.)

Grasshopper: I am cold and hungry; perhaps my friends the owls will feed me. Owls! Owls! Will you please feed me?

Owls: (Owls fly around the grasshopper and stop centre stage. They stand around the grasshopper.) Twit Tuhooo! Oh no, we will not feed you. (They fly back to their place in the semicircle.)

Grasshopper: Oh dear! I know, I will ask my friends the bears to feed me. (Grasshopper walks towards the bears.) Bears! Bears! Please feed me. (Bears are asleep so he wakes them up and they walk to the centre stage.)

Bears: (The bears are very angry that they have been woken up.) Growl! Growl! Oh no, we will not feed you. (The bears go back to their place in the semicircle.)

Storyteller 1: Then the grasshopper saw some squirrels. (The squirrels mime eating nuts stage right.)

Grasshopper: Squirrels! Squirrels! Please feed me! (They squirrels walk towards him.)

Squirrels: Oh no, we will not feed you. (They hop back to stage right.)

Storyteller 2: The grasshopper was very cold and hungry. He didn’t know what to do. (Grasshopper is shivering and rubbing his stomach.)

Storyteller 3: Then he thought of the ants. (The ants move to the centre of the stage.)

Grasshopper: Ants! Ants! Please feed me. (The ants go into a huddle away from the grasshopper.)

Storyteller 1: The ants thought about it and decided to give him some food. (All the ants face the grasshopper.)

Ant 1: You must promise that next year you will work hard in the summer. (Grasshopper gets down on his hands and knees.)

Grasshopper: Oh thank you Ants, I promise.

Storyteller 1: That summer the grasshopper kept his promise and worked hard to collect food for the next winter. (Grasshopper mimes pushing, pulling, carrying and digging with all the ants.)

Storyteller 2: The lesson of the story is: fail to prepare …

Storyteller 3: …prepare to fail.

Click here for more children’s plays based on Aesop’s fables.

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.

Click here for more children’s plays.
For more free plays see below.

The Lion and the Mouse – five minute play

The Town Mouse and the Country Mouse – A Ten Minute Play

Posted in Aesop's fabes, creative arts, Drama, Drama Activities for children, Drama for children, drama for kids, Drama strategies, Elements of Drama, Esl, Esl Drama, expressive arts, fables, Fairy Tales, Freeze Frame, Hot seating, Mime, Panchatantra plays, Role playing stories, Still image, Storytelling, teacher in role, Voice Production

Drama Lesson based on “The Lion and The Clever Rabbit”

The following is a Drama workshop to do with children in primary or elementary school. It is a useful workshop if you want to focus on the issue of Bully and isolation. It is based on the fable from the Panchatantra called “The Lion and the Clever Rabbit”. Here is a link to a version on you tube.

Once the teacher has told the story or watched the video ask the children to get into groups of four.

Physical warm up: In each group there is a monkey, an elephant, a snake and a rabbit. Get the children to move around the room and sound like their different animals. Get them to find the animal that is like them from the other groups and interact and play with them. The teacher gives a loud roar and the animals are frightened.

Teacher in role: The teacher in role as the Lion roars at them. She says “I’m very hungry and I’m going to eat all the animals in the jungle one by one.”

Still Image: In their animal groups the children make a still image of how they feel when they think the Lion is coming to get catch them and eat them.

Thought tracking: Once all groups are in the still image then the teacher out of role goes and touches them on the shoulder. Each animal has to say how they feel at that moment.

Conscience alley: Once the children are out of their still image they make two lines facing each other. The teacher in role as the the Lion walks in between the line as the children speak out as his conscience. The children in the line on the left hand should speak out that it is wrong to scare and eat the other animals and the children on the right hand side should speak out saying that he is right to scare and the eat the animals.
Examples: The left side could say “the animals are scared”, “what about their families?”,
“they want to stay in the jungle and play with their friends”.
The right side could say: “none of the other animals like you”, “you are hungry and you need to eat”, “you have no friends so you don’t care what they think of you”.

Hot seating: The teacher in role as the Lion sits in the hot seat. The children who are being themselves ask the Lion why he is behaving this way. Why does he want to eat all the animals in the jungle? Why is he horrible and mean to the other animals?

Group discussion: Get the children to get into role as their original animals. Tell them that they are going to change the ending of the story because the way the Clever Rabbit treated the Lion was as bad as how the Lion treated the other animals. They must come up with a more positive ending.

Group improvisation: The groups all improvise their endings in front of the other groups. The teacher takes on the role as the Lion in each group.

Role on the wall: Put two outlines of a Lion on the wall. Let the children choose words that describes the Lion before he got stuck in the well and one for after he was rescued from the well.

Closure|relaxation activity: Sleeping Lions – get the children to lie still on the floor and pretend to be a sleep. If they move then they are out and have to wake up with aloud roar.

To buy the Panchatantra  Stories on Stage, click  here. 

Posted in Aesop's fabes, Animal Stories, Drama for children, English as a second language, English teaching games, Esl, Esl Drama, fables, Panchatantra plays, Plays, Plays that teach emotions, Role playing stories, Storytelling in the Early years

The Four Friends and the Hunter – 5 minute play based on the Panchatantra story.

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About the Panchatantra:
The Panchatantra is one of the world’s oldest books and even today it remains one of the most popular works of literature. It originated in India and was initially written in the Indian languages of Sanskrit and Pali. It is a collection of stories with morals that aim to help people to succeed in life. It is believed to have been written around 300 B.C by Vishnu Sharma. The Panchatantra has been translated into fifty languages and there are over two hundred different versions available.

Background to the Panchatantra:
The legend behind the Panchatantra is there once lived a king who had three sons. The sons were not very bright. The king was worried that they might not rule his kingdom justly and fairly when he died. The king asked a Brahmin called Vishnu Sharma to help his sons become more knowledgeable. Sharma decided to pass on his wisdom by the use of stories. In these stories, all animals take on human qualities. Pancha means “five” and tantra means “ways” or “principles.”
The five books or principles are:
Book 1: The separation of friends. (The Bull and the Lion.)
Book 2: The gaining of friends. (The Four Friends and the Hunter)
Book 3: Conflict and solutions. (The Owl and Crow)
Book 4: Loss of gains. (The Monkey and the Crocodile.)
Book 5: Ill-considered actions. (The Sage and the Mouse.)

Write Your Own Panchatantra Tale

Book/principle:

Title:

Characters:

Hero/es:

Villain/s:

Other character/s:

Setting:

Problem:

Solution:

Trickery:

Moral:

To help you write your own tale, the following is a list of the most common characters found in the Panchatantra:
Brahmin
King
Hunter
Sage
Lion
Tiger
Jackal
Crow
Fish
Deer
Owl
Hare
Monkey
Crocodile
Rat
Dove
Pigeon
Tortoise
Mongoose
Mouse
                        The Four Friends and the Hunter

Characters: Three storytellers, mouse, crow, deer, turtle, two hunters.

Storyteller 1: Long, long, ago there lived three friends in the jungle.
Storyteller 2: There was a deer, a crow, and a mouse.
(Deer, crow and mouse are all jumping and playing with each other.)
Storyteller 2: They always played together and looked out for one another. One day, a turtle came along.
(Turtle plods slowly towards the three friends.
Turtle: Hello, everyone. May I play with you and be your friend?
Deer: Of course.
Crow: You are most welcome.
Mouse: Come and play with us now.
Storyteller 1: Then, suddenly, the mouse stopped and sniffed and he said…
Mouse: I smell some hunters.
Deer: What will we do?
Crow: Quick, let’s get out of here.
(Enter two hunters looking for prey.)
Storyteller 2: The deer darted through the jungle.
Storyteller 3: The crow flew high up into the sky.
Storyteller 2: And the mouse scarpered into a hole, but the turtle moved very slowly indeed.
Hunter 1: Oh no! We just missed that juicy deer.
Hunter 2: Never mind (points to turtle); we can catch that turtle and we will have delicious turtle stew for dinner.
(The hunters capture the turtle. They put a net over him and start to pull.)
Storyteller 3: The turtle’s three friends were very worried.
Mouse: They have caught the turtle!
Crow: How will we save him?
Deer: Listen, I have an idea. (They huddle up together and whisper to each other.)
Storyteller 1: The crow flew up into the sky and spotted the two hunters carrying the turtle near the river.
Crow: (shouts down and points) There they are.
Storyteller 2: The deer darted through the jungle and when she came to the path, she lay down as if she were dead.
Hunter 1: Do you see what I see?
Hunter 2: Yes, it is a dead deer.
Hunter: We really will eat like kings tonight.
Hunter 2: And we can sell its beautiful skin to the highest bidder.
Storyteller 3: In their excitement, they put down the turtle.
Storyteller 1: This was exactly what the deer had planned.
(Mouse sneaks out very quietly and starts to gnaw at the rope)
Turtle: I’m free! Thank you mouse. You are a true friend.
Mouse: Come with me.
(Turtle moves slowly and then disappears into the river and the mouse runs into the jungle.)
Storyteller 1: Just as the hunters were going to lean down and take the deer, she got up and darted off into the jungle.
Hunter 1: She wasn’t dead at all.
Hunter 2: Never mind, we still have the turtle.
Storyteller 2: They turned around and saw that the trap was empty and the turtle was gone.
Hunter 1: The trap is empty.
Hunter 2: (sighs) Looks like we will go hungry again tonight.
Storytellers: The moral of this story is this: A friend in need is a friend indeed.

If you would like to read more plays based on the Panchatantra then go to

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

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Drama Activities for ESL Students



Game: The Dog Show 

Level: Pre Intermediate +

Aim: Questions

Minimum number of participants: 2

Resources needed: Clear Space

Instructions: This is a communication activity where the students have to use their imagination. There is an opportunity for the students to use mime and provides 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 got use to the size of their dog get them to imagine that 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 ask 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. (Still image).

Game: Alibi

Level: Pre intermediate +

Aim: To ask questions and to communicate in a spontaneous manner.

Minimum number of participants: 6

Resources needed: A 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 suspect send them out of the room to get their story straight. Meanwhile the suspects are getting their story straight. Get the other group to be the investigators to compile a series of questions. After the students are finished preparing invite the suspect back and the interrogation begins. Each group interviews each suspect and then they compare notes and decide whose story didn’t match up and they must come to a consensus who they will officially excuse.

Different scenarios

Bank robbery

Kidnapping

Shop lifting

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

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