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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. 

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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

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

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The Gruffalo – Drama Workshop

Posted in creative arts, Drama, Drama Activities for children, Drama for children, drama for kids, Esl, Esl Drama, fables, Fairy Tales, Hans Christian Andersen, Plays, Plays for Children, Storytelling in the Early years, The Magic Porridge Pot

The Magic Porridge Pot – 10 Minute Play for Children

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The Magic Porridge Pot

Characters: Two storytellers, Daisy, Maisy, Mother, four villagers, old woman and the porridge pot.
Storyteller 1: Once upon a time, there was a little girl called Daisy who lived with her mother in a very small house.
Storyteller 2: They were very poor and they didn’t have much to eat. One day, they were really, really, really hungry.
Mother: I am very hungry. (She rubs her tummy.)
Daisy: I know, I will go into the forest and collect some mushrooms.
(She walks into the forest by herself and starts collecting mushrooms. Suddenly, an old woman creeps up behind her.)
Old Woman: What are you doing, little girl?
Daisy: My mother and I are very hungry. I am looking for some mushrooms for us to eat for our tea.
Old Woman: (She hands the little girl a porridge pot.) Here, take this.
Porridge Pot: Oh, dear, what is to become of me? (Starts crying.)
Old Woman: I am travelling far away and I can’t take this porridge pot with me. (Woman walks off.)
Daisy: (Looks at the crying porridge pot and shakes her head.) What am I suppose to do with you?
Porridge Pot: Well, if you are hungry just say, ‘Boil, pot, boil, pot.’
(Porridge comes out and spreads all over. This can be mimed.)
Daisy: How wonderful, but how do I stop the porridge flowing?
Porridge Pot: Just say, ‘Stop, pot! Stop, pot!’
Daisy: Stop, pot! Stop, pot! (Daisy brings the pot home and shows her mother and they both eat until they are full.)
Mother: This is wonderful. We should make some for the neighbours.
Daisy: Oh no, we should keep this as our own secret.
Storyteller 1: One day, the little girl went out playing with her friend Maisy.
Maisy: Let’s go into the forest and play hide-and-seek. (Maisy and Daisy skip off stage.)
Storyteller 2: Her mother was feeling hungry and she got the porridge pot to boil.
Mother: Boil, pot! Boil, pot! (Mother eats her porridge but she wants it to stop.)
Mother: I am full now so halt, pot! Halt, pot!
Storyteller 1: The porridge pot kept boiling.
Storyteller 2: There was porridge all over the place. (Mother jumps up on a chair.)
Mother: Don’t, pot! Don’t, pot!
Storyteller 1: The porridge spread everywhere.
Mother: Please, pot! Please, pot!
Villager 1: What is going on here?
Villager 2: The streets are paved with porridge.
Villager 3: Come, everyone, let’s fill ourselves up with porridge.
Villager 4: This is delicious. Yummy! (The villagers start swimming through the porridge.)
Villager 1: There is a porridge flood!
Villager 2: Help us!
Villager 3: We are drowning!
Villager 4: In porridge!
Mother: Oh dear, no, pot! No, pot! (Daisy returns with Maisy. She looks confused and shocked.)
Daisy: (Shouts) Stop, pot! Stop, pot!
(Porridge pot stops boiling porridge.)

Storyteller 1: The villagers had porridge for the rest of the winter.
Storyteller 2: They weren’t hungry. (Everybody is eating porridge and the porridge pot looks happy.)
Storyteller 1: In the spring, the old woman came back from her travels.
Storyteller 2: She asked for her pot back.
Old Woman: Thanks for taking care of my magic porridge pot.
Daisy: I didn’t take care of it. It took care of us.

If you want to read more Fairy Tales on Stage please click below.

Posted in Action Poems, Aesop's fabes, Animal Stories, Drama, Drama Activities for children, Drama for children, drama for kids, fables, Movement activities, Movement stories for children, Plays for Children, Role playing stories, Storytelling, Storytelling in the Early years, The Hare and the Tortoise

The Hare and the tortoise – A play for children

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The Hare and the Tortoise

Characters: 3 storytellers, hare, tortoise, foxes, badgers, hedgehogs, bears and an eagle.

(Stage Directions: The three storytellers are on the left hand side of the stage and the tortoise is moving around the stage in slow motion.).

Storyteller 1: Once upon a time there lived a tortoise.

Storyteller: 2: He liked to go for a leisurely stroll by the edge of a big forest.

Storyteller 3: One day a hare came bounding up towards him. (Hare comes running on the stage.)

Hare: (He pushes the tortoise out of the way and nearly knocks him over.) Out of my way you slow coach. You must be so bored because it takes you so long to get anywhere.

Storyteller 1: The tortoise looked up at the hare and said…

Tortoise: I know I could beat you in a race any day.

Hare: You beat me? Don’t make me laugh! I am so much faster than you. (He shows off his muscles and starts to run up and down.)

Storyteller 2: The hare laughed and laughed

Storyteller 3: Then he met some foxes. (Foxes enter the centre of the stage.)

Hare: Foxes, do you think that tortoise could beat me in a race?

Foxes: Oh, no he couldn’t. (Foxes shake their heads in disbelief.)

Tortoise: Oh yes, I could. (He nods his head.)

Storyteller 1: Then some hedgehogs came to see what was happening. (Hedgehogs enter the centre of the stage.)

Hare: Hedgehogs, do you think that tortoise could beat me in a race?

Hedgehogs: Oh yes, he could. (The Hedgehogs nod their heads.)

Hare: Oh no he couldn’t. (He shakes his head.)

Storyteller 2: The badgers that were underground heard the arguing and came up to the surface. (They mime moving to the earth and getting to the surface.)

Badgers: What’s going on here? (They are annoyed that they have been disturbed by the noise.)

Hare: The tortoise thinks that he can beat me in a race. What do you think?

Badgers: Oh no, he couldn’t. (Badgers shake their heads.)

Tortoise: Oh yes, I could. (He nods his head.)

Storyteller 3: The bears that were sleeping heard the noise and came trundling along. (Bears enter the centre stage by making bear noise and taking big loud steps.)

Bears: What’s going on here?

Hare: The silly tortoise thinks he can be beat me in a race. What do you think?

Bears: Oh yes, he could. (They shake their heads.)

Storyteller 1: The animals continued to argue about who would win the race. (All the animals start arguing with one another making lots of noise.)

Storyteller 2: Then, suddenly the eagle swooped down to where all the animals were. (Eagle flies gracefully on to the stage.)

Eagle: (Eagle uses a whistle to stop the noise.) What’s going on here?

Hare: The silly tortoise thinks he can beat me in a race. Do you think he could beat me?

Eagle: I don’t know but there is one way of finding out. Why don’t you have a race?

Everyone: What a great idea. (They all start cheering.)

Eagle: Right: Hare and Tortoise line up at the starting line. (The hare and the tortoise start limbering up and they get ready at the start line.) On your marks, get set, GO!

Storyteller 3: All the animals cheered at the side as the hare ran off very quickly and the tortoise just plodded along.

For more plays based on Aesop’s Fables. Click Here.

The little red hen – A movement play for children.

Continue reading “The Hare and the tortoise – A play for children”