Posted in Aesop's fabes, Drama, Drama for children, Esl Drama, fables, Fairy Tales, Storytelling, Storytelling in the Early years, Storytelling techniques, The Paperbag Princess

” The Paperbag Princess” by Robert Munsch

One of my favorite picture for children is “The Paperbag Princess. Click on the link above to see the full story.  Here are 10 intersting facts about it.

1. The Paper Bag Princess is a children’s book written by Robert Munsch and illustrated by Michael Martchenko. It was first published on 1980 by Annick Press.

2. The plot centres around the beautiful princess Elizabeth who lives a vey privilege life inside the walls of her castle. She is engaged to be married to the handsome prince Ronald. She believes she will live happily ever after until a fire breathing dragon burns all her clothes and kidnaps her handsome prince. She has nothing to wear, so she dons a paperbag to conceal her nakedness. She cleverly outwits the dragon and rescues her handsome prince. Prince Ronald who is a narcissist is appalled at her appearance. He tells her not to come near him until she has transformed herself back into a beautiful princess. She responds by calling him a bum, gives him his marching orders and dances off into the sunset.

3. The book turns gender stereotypes on its head which considering when it was published in 1980’s shows how progressive Munsch was.

4. Although this is a feminist fairytale it also transcends gender. The book shows children how to be resourceful, have humility, have confidence and most importantly know when to walk away from a bad situation.

5. Robert Munsch first told the story to a group of children in a childcare centre in the early 1970s.

6. It was Munsch’s wife who gave him the idea. She suggested getting the princess to rescue the prince.

7. The original ending had Elizabeth’s punching Ronald in the face. The ending was considered too violent so in the end she calls him a bum and walks away.

8. It has sold over three million copies world wide.

9. In some international editions bum was changed to toad.

10. The last line is “they didn’t get married after all.”

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

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

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

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

 

For more animal play scripts click on the link below.

 

 

 

 

 

Posted in Action Poems, Aesop's fabes, creative arts, Drama, Drama Activities for children, Drama for children, Esl, expressive arts, fables, Panchatantra plays, Plays, Plays for Children, the lion and the mouse

Rhyming Tales – The Lion and the Mouse

A king lion and a mouse under the tree

 

Rhyming Tales
The following poem can be used in a variety of ways: The practionner could read it at story time or the children could act out or mime the different parts for fun or in front of an audience. They could also be recited. Each child could learn four lines each and they could recite it as a choral piece. These stories help children with their vocal expression and give them an understanding of rhythm.

The Lion and the Mouse
There was a lion who lived in a cave.
He was extremely big and terribly brave.
The lion was not frightened of anything
Because he was the fearsome jungle king.
One day he was asleep near his house
When he was woken by a little mouse.
The lion grabbed the mouse with his large paw
He licked his lips and opened his wide jaw.-
The little mouse looked at him with sheer dread –
He didn’t want to be some scrumptious spread. –
“Squeak, squeak, Mr. Lion do not eat me
Some day I will help you so let me be.”
“You help me,” he said “I don’t think so
But I’m not that hungry, so off you go.”
One day while hunting deep in the jungle
The lion tripped over and took a tumble.
Suddenly he was stuck in an evil trap
The other animals began to clap.
He saw some grey elephants and he cried:
“Elephants, please help me I’ve swallowed my pride.”
“Oh Mr. Lion we will not help you
So how does it feel to be in a stew?”
The elephants said with extreme delight
And off they trundled into the dark night.
The lion waited and a few hours passed
Then out of the blue he saw some giraffes
“Giraffes, Giraffes,” he said, “please, please help me.”
The Giraffes looked at him and decided to flee.
He was extremely hungry and very cold
He was terribly tired and feeling less bold.
When all of a sudden down by the lake
He heard the hissing of a slimy snake.
“Snake, please, please help me I’m stuck in a trap,
I feel confused and I’m all in a flap.”
The snake hissed: “Jungle King I must admit,
You really do look like a proper twit.”
Snake laughed and laughed and felt real good
And away he slithered into the deep wood.
The Lion felt a sense of despair’
He was stuck outside in the cold night air.
Then all of a sudden out from his house
Came the patter of the little brown mouse.
“Pardon Lion I’m not one for prying
But please tell me why you are crying?”
The lion told the mouse his whole story
In all its wondrous gruesome glory.
The little mouse began to gnaw and gnaw
The scary lion sat there full of great awe.
At last, the lion roared: “I’m FREE I’m free.”
With that he invited the mouse home for tea.

For more rhyming plays click on the link below:

Posted in Aesop's fabes, creative arts, Drama Activities for children, Drama for children, drama for kids, English as a second language, Esl, Esl Drama, fables, Fairy Tales, Hans Christian Andersen, Plays, Plays for Children, The Nutcracker

The Nutcracker – A Playscript for children

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Characters: Two Storytellers, Clara, Godfather, Nutcracker Toy, Three Mice, Mouse King, Six Soldiers, Sugarplum Fairy, Arabian Princesses, Chinese Tea Dancers and Flower Ballerinas.
Storyteller 1: Once upon a time there lived a girl called Clara. It was Christmas Eve.
Clara: (looks out the window) It is snowing. It is dazzling white except for that golden light coming from my house.
Storyteller 2: Her parents were having a Christmas Eve party.
(Clara’s godfather walks in and greets everyone.)
Godfather: Merry Christmas, Clara. (He gives Clara a hug and a large Christmas present.)
Clara: Thank you very much. I’ll put it under my Christmas tree.
Storyteller 1: That night, when everyone had gone to bed, Clara crept downstairs as quiet as a mouse.
Clara: I’m so excited to open my present from my godfather.
(She opens the present.)
Clara: It is a Nutcracker Toy. What a wonderful present. I’m so tired. (She yawns.) I’ll just have a quick nap under this Christmas tree.
Storyteller 2: Bong, bong; the clock struck midnight.
Clara: My goodness, the tree is rising above me.
(Nutcracker Toy comes to life and starts moving.)
Nutcracker Toy: Hello, Clara.
Clara: The Nutcracker Toy has come alive.
Nutcracker Toy: I’m the nutcracker prince.
Clara: What are you doing here?
Nutcracker Toy: I’ve come to protect you.
Clara: Why do I need protecting?
Nutcracker Toy: The kitchen mice are plotting to kidnap you. (He blows his whistle.) Never mind, these six soldiers are here to help you.
(The soldiers march by.)
(Mice follow the soldiers into the room.)

Mouse 1: There she is.
Mouse 2: Let’s get her.
Soldier 1: We must stop the mice.
Soldier 2: Use these lumps of cheese and fire them at the mice.
Soldier 3: Spray them with water.
Mouse 3: Help us, help us.
(The Mouse King enters.)
Mouse King: Is this the best you can do? (He whips out his sword and points it at the nutcracker prince. They have a sword fight.)
Clara: I must help the Nutcracker Toy. (She takes off her shoe and fires them at the Mouse King.)
Mouse King: Something has hit me. (He collapses and is out cold.)
Nutcracker Toy: You saved me, Clara. I must thank you.
Storyteller 2: The Nutcracker Toy called his reindeer and sleigh.
Reindeer: Your sleigh awaits, Prince.
Nutcracker Toy: Jump on board, Clara.
Clara: Where are we going?
Nutcracker Toy: It is a surprise.
Storyteller 1: They flew through an open window and into a snow-filled sky. Eventually, they arrived at their destination.
Clara: Where are we? Look, the trees are made of lollipops and the flowers are made of marshmallows.
Nutcracker Toy: This is the land of treats.
(They get off the sleigh.)
Nutcracker Toy: Clara, come. I want to show you something. This is the marzipan castle. It is decorated with ever kind of sweet you can imagine.
(He knocks at the door.)
Sugarplum Fairy: Welcome. I’m the Sugar Plum Fairy. I’m so glad you could make it. Please come inside. Make yourself at home and eat anything you want.
Clara: I’ve never seen so many cookies, cakes and candy.
Storyteller 1: Clara and the Nutcracker Toy ate to their hearts’ content.
Storyteller 2: Once they had finished all the food, they were entertained by the Arabian Princesses (the Arabian Princesses come out and dance to music), Chinese Tea Dancers (the Chinese Tea Dancers come out and dance to music), and Flower Ballerinas (the Flower Ballerinas come out and dance to music.)
Clara: This is an amazing place. I’ve had an amazing time.
Nutcracker Toy: Clara, it is time to go home.
Clara: Thank you for a wonderful adventure.
Reindeer: Hop on.
Storyteller 1: The next morning, Clara woke up underneath the Christmas tree.
Clara: Where am I? I’m underneath the Christmas tree. (She picks up the Nutcracker Toy.) Where is the prince? It must have been a dream … unless it was the magic of Christmas Eve.

For More Fairytales on Stage, click below, only $0.99.

 

 

Posted in creative arts, Drama Activities for children, Drama for children, drama for kids, Esl Drama, fables, Panchatantra plays, Plays, Plays for Children

The Monkey and the Crocodile – A playscript for children

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Characters: Three storytellers, the crocodile, the crocodile’s wife and the monkey.

Storyteller 1: Once upon a time there lived a crocodile that lived in the river Ganges in India.
(Crocodile enters stage swimming slowly.)
Storyteller 2: On both sides of the Ganges there were large music fruit trees.
Storyteller 3: A monkey lived in one of the trees. He ate fruit all day.
(Monkey mimes eating fruit.)
Monkey: These fruits are so delicious and juicy I’m so lucky to live in a fruit tree.
(Crocodile sits under the tree for shade.)
Crocodile: It is very hot I think I will sit under this tree and sleep in the shade. (Looks up.) The fruits on tree look so delicious. I wish I could climb the tree and pick some.
Monkey: (climbs down from the tree) Since you are resting under my tree, you are my guest. Please come and taste some of my delicious fruits.
Storyteller 1: The monkey plucked the juiciest fruit off the tree and gave it to the crocodile.
Crocodile: Oh thank you Monkey you are so kind.
Monkey: You are welcome. Come again, any time.
Storyteller 2: Soon, the crocodile came every day. They would eat the fruit and talk to one another for hours.
(Crocodile and the monkey mime having a conversation and eating lots of fruits.)
Storyteller 3: One day as the crocodile was leaving to swim home. The monkey gave him some fruit.
Monkey: Crocodile give these fruits to your wife. I plucked them especially for her.
Storyteller 1: The crocodile swam home and gave the fruit to his wife, She was very happy.
(Crocodile swims home and gives his wife the fruit.)
Crocodile’s wife: These fruits are delicious. I have never tasted such sweet fruit in all my life. Where did you get them from?
Crocodile: I got them from my friend the monkey. He lives in the fruit tree so he knows which ones are the sweetest.
Crocodile’s wife: Does the monkey eat fruit every day?
Crocodile: Yes, only the sweetest and juiciest ones. Why do you ask?
Crocodile’s wife: Because that means his heart must be so sweet. If I eat his heart I would remain young and beautiful forever. You must steal the monkey’s heart and give it to me.
Crocodile: But he is my good friend. He is my only friend. It would be unfair for me to steal his heart.
Crocodile’s wife: (gets angry) If you loved me you would do it.
Crocodile: Do not get anger my dear, I will do as you wish.
Storyteller 2: The next day the crocodile swam to the riverbank and reached the tree where the monkey lived.
Monkey: Crocodile, you are late today. I thought you weren’t coming.
Crocodile: My wife has made a meal for you. She has invited you to tea because she wants to thank you for giving her your beautiful sweet fruit.
Monkey: That’s very kind of her but I’m a land animal, I can’t swim.
Crocodile: We live on a sand bank just jump on my back and I’ll take you there.
Storyteller 3: The monkey hopped on the crocodile’s back and away they went.
Monkey: Slow down, Croc. You are going too fast.
Crocodile: I’m sorry Monkey but I have to go fast because my wife wants to eat your heart for her tea.
Monkey: Oh Croc, you should have told me this before we left. I always keep my heart in the hollow of the tree for safe keeping.
Crocodile: I’ll take you back to the tree and you can collect your heart.
Monkey: That would be great.
Storyteller 1: Crocodile turns and swims back to the tree where the monkey lives upon reaching the bank the monkey jumps off the crocodiles back and clambers up the tree. After a while the crocodile says…..
Crocodile: Monkey, you must have found your heart by now. My wife will get angry if we don’t arrive soon.
Monkey: You are so foolish crocodile. Don’t you know your heart is within yourself? It was a trick to save my life. Now leave my tree and never come back again.
Storyteller 2: The crocodile left empty handed.
(Crocodile’s wife looks very angry.)
Storytellers: The moral of the story is at times presence of mind pays well.

For more plays based on Animal Stories click on the link below.

Posted in Aesop's fabes, Drama, Drama Activities for children, Drama for children, drama for kids, Esl Drama, fables, Fairy Tales, Legends, Panchatantra plays, Plays, Plays for Children, Role playing stories, Storytelling, Storytelling in the Early years, Storytelling techniques

The Thirsty Crow – A 5 minute Playscript for children

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Characters: Three storytellers, crow, bees, ladybirds, butterflies.

Storyteller 1: One fine morning the crow woke up. He was very hungry.
Storyteller 2: He decided to go looking for some breakfast.
Storyteller 3: Soon, he came across some juicy flies. (Crow eats the flies.)
Crow: That was delicious but now I’m really thirsty.
Storyteller 1: The crow flew around and he came across a pitcher.
Crow: At last, I found some water.
Storyteller 3: He pushed his beak into the pitcher.
Storyteller 1: But his beak was too big and he couldn’t reach the water.
Crow: Ouch, my poor beak. I’m so thirsty. What will I do now?
Storyteller 2: Soon some bees came buzzing by.
Crow: I’m very thirsty but my beak won’t reach the water in the pitcher.
Bees: Why don’t you tip the pitcher over and pour it out?
Crow: That won’t work because the water will spill everywhere.
Storyteller 1: The crow was very sad.
Storyteller 2: After a while some ladybirds walked by.
Ladybirds: What’s the matter, Crow?
Crow: I’m very thirsty but my beak won’t reach the water in the pitcher.
Ladybirds: Why don’t you break the pitcher with one of these stones? (They pick up some stones and Crow: That won’t work because the water will spill everywhere.
Storyteller 3: Soon, some butterflies flew by.
Butterflies: What’s the matter, Crow?
Crow: I’m very thirsty but my beak won’t reach the water in the pitcher.
Butterflies: Why don’t you put these stones into the pitcher and the water level will rise and then Crow: What a good idea. (He picks up stones and puts them in the pitcher one by one. The butterflies help Storyteller 1: Eventually the water rose to the top.
Crow: Now, I can reach the water.
Storyteller 1: The crow drank and drank until he was satisfied.
Storyteller 2: Then she flew off to enjoy the rest of her day.
Storyteller 3: The moral of the story is …….where there is a will, there is a way..

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.