Posted in Coordination games, creative arts, Drama, Drama Activities for children, Drama for children, drama for kids, Drama strategies, Drama techniques, Drama workshops for children, Fairy Tales, improvisation, Mime for children

Fairy-tale Chaos: A Fun Journey through Drama

Fairy-tale Chaos: A Fun Journey through Drama

Duration: 2 hours

Objective: To explore the concept of Fairy-tale Mash-up through creative drama techniques, promoting imagination, teamwork, and confidence among the participants.

Workshop Plan:

  1. Warm-Up (15 minutes): Initiate with a fun “zip, zap, zop” game to warm up the group and enhance focus. Then, engage in some simple physical exercises and stretches to get their bodies moving.Here’s how you play:
    1. Formation: Participants stand in a circle facing each other.
    2. The Game Begins: One person starts by pointing at another person in the circle and saying “Zip”.
    3. Passing It On: The person who was pointed at then points to yet another person and says “Zap”.
    4. Continuing the Pattern: The third person then points to another person and says “Zop”.
    5. The Cycle Repeats: This pattern of “Zip, Zap, Zop” continues to be passed around the circle.

    The objective is to keep the rhythm going and the game should move quite quickly. If someone breaks the rhythm or says the wrong word, they are “out” and step out of the circle, or they can do a quick funny penalty (like a silly dance) before the game continues.

  2. Introduction to Fairy-tale Mash-up (10 minutes): Describe the Fairy-tale Mash-up concept to the children, explaining how characters from different fairy tales have ended up in the wrong stories. Divide participants into groups, and assign each group two different fairy are a few examples of fun and interesting fairytale mash-ups:
    1. “Cinderella and the Three Bears”: Cinderella, tired of her evil stepmother and stepsisters, runs away and finds herself in the house of the Three Bears. There, she learns to stand up for herself when Goldilocks shows up and starts causing havoc.
    2. “The Beauty and the Beanstalk”: Belle finds a magic bean in the Beast’s garden, plants it, and ends up climbing a giant beanstalk into the sky, where she meets a giant and his golden goose. She needs to find a way back to her Beast and perhaps find something that can break the curse in the process.
    3. “The Little Red Riding Hood and the Seven Dwarfs”: On her way to her grandmother’s house, Little Red Riding Hood stumbles upon the Seven Dwarfs’ cottage and decides to rest. What will happen when the Big Bad Wolf meets Snow White’s friends?
    4. “Puss in Boots and the Frog Prince”: The smart Puss in Boots encounters the Frog Prince and promises to break his curse in exchange for a favor. What ensues is a comical adventure filled with clever tricks and surprises.
    5. “Aladdin and the Glass Slipper”: Aladdin finds a glass slipper instead of a magic lamp. As he tries to find the owner of the slipper, he gets tangled up in Cinderella’s story, providing a different twist to both of their tales.
    6. “Rapunzel’s Tangled Adventure with Hansel and Gretel”: Rapunzel, with her long hair, and Hansel and Gretel, lost in the woods, team up to outwit the witch and find their way home.
    7. Sleeping Beauty and the Pied Piper”: Sleeping Beauty wakes up in the town of Hamelin, where she must team up with the Pied Piper to outwit the rat infestation and a new wicked fairy who threatens the town.
    8. “Jack and the Three Little Pigs”: Jack trades his cow for magic beans and climbs the beanstalk, only to find the Three Little Pigs are the ones living above the clouds. They team up to avoid the Giant and the Big Bad Wolf!
    9. “Pinocchio in Wonderland”: Pinocchio, instead of trying to become a real boy, falls down the rabbit hole into Wonderland. His peculiar condition of having his nose grow when he lies becomes even stranger in the topsy-turvy world of Wonderland.
    10. “Peter Pan and the Snow Queen”: Peter Pan, on one of his flights, veers off course and ends up in the icy realm of the Snow Queen. He needs to find a way to bring the warmth of Neverland to thaw the Snow Queen’s icy heart.
    11. “The Little Mermaid and the Frog Prince”: The Little Mermaid rescues the Frog Prince from the sea. In return, he promises to help her win the love of her prince with a magic potion.
    12. “Red Riding Hood and the Beast”: Red Riding Hood, on her way to her grandmother’s house, meets the Beast who needs her help to break the curse, in a journey filled with excitement, fear, and friendship.
    13. Remember, these are just ideas, and the fun part is in the exploration and creation of the new storyline. Encourage children to use their imagination and creativity to build on these ideas and come up with their unique fairy tale mash-ups.
  3. Character Creation (15 minutes): Encourage each participant to choose a character from one of the assigned fairy tales. Ask them to introduce their character to the group, stating their name, some key characteristics, and how they feel about suddenly being in a new story.
  4. Exploring the Mash-up World (20 minutes): Ask each group to create a tableau representing their mashed-up fairy tale. Encourage them to use exaggerated facial expressions and body language. Once frozen in tableau, walk around tapping each student on the shoulder. When tapped, the student should come alive and explain what they’re thinking or doing in the scene.
  5. The Giant Story Circle (15 minutes): Form a circle with everyone involved. Start a collective storytelling session where you begin the mixed-up fairy tale story, and then each child adds a sentence to develop the story. This will help them to understand narrative progression and sequencing.
  6. Pass the Prop (15 minutes): This activity encourages creativity. Using a basic prop (such as a piece of cloth, a hat, or a stick), each participant must use it in a scene as their character would. For example, the cloth could be Cinderella’s cleaning rag, then become Jack’s beanstalk, then Goldilocks’ blanket.
  7. Mime Time (20 minutes): In their groups, the children will mime a short scene from their mashed-up fairy tale. The rest of the group will guess what is happening. This encourages non-verbal communication and creativity.
  8. Fairy-tale Improv (30 minutes): Now it’s time to bring it all together. In their groups, participants will improvise a short scene from their mashed-up fairy tale, using all the elements they’ve practiced. Encourage them to use dramatic actions, character voices, and props.
  9. Show and Tell (15 minutes): Allow each group to perform their scene in front of the others. After the performance, give positive feedback and ask the performers how they felt about the experience.
  10. Cool Down (5 minutes):Sure, let’s break down that cool-down activity into more detailed steps:
    1. Slow Down the Pace (1 minute): Start by asking the children to find a comfortable space in the room and stand or sit comfortably. They should spread out enough so that they’re not touching anyone else. This is a signal that the high-energy part of the workshop is ending and it’s time to start winding down.
    2. Yoga Stretch (2 minutes): Lead the group in some simple yoga stretches. Start with a “Mountain Pose” where everyone stands tall, reaching their hands up to the sky. Then transition into a “Forward Fold”, bending at the waist and letting the arms dangle towards the ground. After that, sit down and stretch legs in a “Butterfly Pose”, with the soles of the feet touching each other and fluttering like wings. Remember to maintain a calm and soft voice while instructing, helping the children to relax.
    3. Deep Breathing Exercises (1 minute): Once everyone is seated comfortably after the stretch, guide the group through a short deep-breathing exercise. You could say, “Close your eyes. Take a deep breath in through your nose, hold it for a moment, now breathe out through your mouth. Imagine any remaining energy or excitement is leaving your body with each breath out. Let’s do that three more times.”
    4. Group Reflection (1 minute): Ask the group to open their eyes and, if they feel comfortable, share one word about how they’re feeling now or one thing they enjoyed about the workshop. This promotes self-awareness and a sense of community.
    5. Group Cheer (less than a minute): Finally, bring everyone back to their feet and into a circle. Place your hand in the middle and ask everyone else to do the same. Choose a phrase related to the workshop, like “Fairy Tale Magic” or “Drama Stars”. On the count of three, everyone should shout the phrase and lift their hands up together. This creates a sense of accomplishment and unity to end the workshop on a high note.

    Remember, the purpose of the cool-down is to help children transition from the high-energy activities of the workshop to a calmer state, preparing them to return to their regular activities. It’s also a time to reinforce the sense of accomplishment and camaraderie they’ve built during the workshop.

This workshop plan is designed to keep the fun quotient high, while still teaching essential elements of drama. Remember, the key to a successful workshop is creating a safe and supportive environment for the children to express their creativity.

Posted in Drama, Drama Activities for children, Drama for children, drama for kids, Drama strategies, Drama techniques, Freeze Frame, Hot seating, improvisation, Mime for kids, Plays about graditude, Plays for Children, Plays for well being, Plays that teach emotions, Role playing stories, Still image, Storytelling

A drama workshop for children which is based on gratitude.

Here is a drama workshop for 5 to 8 year olds based on the theme of “The Magic of Thankfulness”: It is from the book Gratitude Stories on Stage.

Introduction: Begin the workshop by discussing the concept of gratitude and what it means to be thankful. Ask the children to share examples of things for which they are grateful.

Main Focus/The Magic Wand: Mime and Movement – Explain to the children that they will be using their imaginations to pretend they have a magic wand that can make things appear or disappear. Have them practice moving the wand in different ways to make different things happen, such as waving it to make a flower appear or flicking it to make a rock disappear.

Still Image – In small groups, have the children create a frozen image of themselves holding their magic wands and casting spells.

The Ungrateful Friend: Action Narration – Tell the story of an ungrateful friend who never says thank you or appreciates the things others do for them. Have the children act out the story as it unfolds.

Narration: Once upon a time, there was an ungrateful friend named Max. Max had many friends, but he never thanked them for their help or appreciated what they did for him. One day, Max’s friend Sam cooked him a delicious dinner and invited him over. Max came over and enjoyed the meal, but when he left, he didn’t even say thank you to Sam. The next day, Max’s friend Sarah invited him to her birthday party. She decorated her whole house, baked a cake, and had a special present for Max. But when Max arrived, he didn’t even say happy birthday to Sarah or thank her for inviting him. Max’s friends started to get tired of his ungrateful behaviour. They started to distance themselves from him and stopped inviting him to their events. Max didn’t even notice and thought nothing of it. One day, Max needed help with a big project, so he reached out to his friends for assistance. But none of them wanted to help him. Max was surprised and didn’t understand why. He realized that he had taken his friends for granted and never showed them appreciation or gratitude. Max decided to change his ways and started saying thank you and showing appreciation for his friends. He even threw a party to apologize for his past behaviour and to thank his friends for always being there for him. From then on, Max’s friendships grew stronger, and he learned the importance of showing gratitude and appreciation.

During the story, the children can act out the various scenes by showing appreciation, saying thank you, and giving hugs to each other. They can also show Max’s ungrateful behaviour by ignoring their friends and refusing to say thank you. The children can also act out the scene where Max realizes his mistake and shows gratitude to his friends by hugging and thanking them.

Hot Seating – Choose one child to play the ungrateful friend and another to play their best friend. The rest of the children will take turns asking them questions about their actions and feelings towards each other.

The Magic of Thankfulness: Flash Forward – Have the children create a scene showing the ungrateful friend realizing the importance of being thankful and expressing gratitude towards others.

Role Play Sculpting – In small groups, have the children take turns playing the role of someone who has done something kind for them, while the others sculpt them into a frozen image to represent their gratitude towards that person.

The Thankful Tree: Conscience Alley – Set up a “thankful tree” by taping a large piece of paper to the wall and drawing a tree trunk and branches. Have the children take turns walking through the “conscience alley” and adding leaves to the tree with things they are thankful for.

Storytelling – End the workshop by reading a story about thankfulness, such as “The Giving Tree” by Shel Silverstein, and encourage the children to share their favourite parts of the story and how it relates to the theme of gratitude.

Conclusion: Gather the children in a circle to reflect on the workshop. Discuss how the different drama techniques helped them understand the theme of gratitude and its importance.

Encourage the children to practice being thankful and expressing gratitude towards others in their daily lives.


Posted in Drama Activities for children, Drama for children, drama for kids, Drama strategies, Drama techniques, Elements of Drama, Esl Drama, improvisation, Improvisation around bullying

Improvisation for beginners

What is improvisation?

Improvisation is theatre without a script. The performers hear it for the first time at the same time as the audience. Improvisation is shared creation. Improvisers make it up on the spot, often working from a suggestion from others. We build ideas step by step, using, “Accept the offer and build on it.”.

 This means that the improvisers must  listen carefully and add to what their partner is offering.

Beginner improvisation activity: 1, 2, 3 Counting

This is a very popular warm-up and one Augusto Boal mentions in his book ‘Games for Actors and Non-Actors’. The premise is simple yet requires concentration.

  1. Divide the group into pairs and ask the members of each group to name themselves either A or B.
  2. Ask them to count to three as a pair with A saying ‘1’, B saying ‘2’, A saying ‘3’, B saying’1′, A saying ‘2’, B saying ‘3’ etc.
  3. Now ask the As in each group to come up with a sound and movement that will replace ‘1’. The pair will continue counting with each partner substituting the sound and movement for the number ‘1’.
  4. Now ask the Bs in each group to come up with a sound and movement that will replace ‘2’. The pair will continue counting with each partner substituting As sound and movement for the number ‘1’, and Bs sound and movement for the number ‘2’
  5. Now ask A to come up with another sound and movement, this time for the number ‘3’. By now, there should be no numbers heard, only the unique sounds and movements that have been substituted for each number.

This exercise is simple and low-pressure yet begins to awaken the creative muscles by calling on students to create movement and sound on the spot.

Warm up improvisation activity: Word Ball

Word ball is another simple game but regards a high level of concentration. It works by gathering the students into a circles and ‘throwing’ words around.

  1. Choose any word to begin with (e.g. cat) and place your hands as if you were holding the word in them, then ‘throw’ the word using both your voice and your hands to a member of the group.
  2. The member of the group must ‘catch’ the word, and then throw the first word that comes to mind (e.g. cuddly) to the next member of the group.
  3. The next member ‘catches’ this word, and throws the first associated word that pops into their head (e.g. teddy bear) to the next person. The exercise continues like this until everybody has had plenty of chances to throw words around. Try to dissuade students from hesitating and encourage them to simply go with the first thing that comes to mind, reminding them that there is no such thing as wrong or right when it comes to improv.

Some  Simple Rules for improvisation:

It’s time to introduce some basic rules of improv. Although there is no right or wrong, there are rules that can help in the creation of improvisational theatre.

RULE ONE: Offer and Accept

There’s nothing worse when doing improv than working with somebody who constantly negates your ideas. e.g.

A: Wow, did you see that elephant over there?

B: No. What are you talking about?

Negating an idea forces your partner to do all the work by coming up with idea after idea. In the example above, B has stopped the flow of the scene by rejecting A’s offer. If he had accepted it, the scene could continue quite easily:

A: Wow, did you see that elephant over there?

B: WOW! That’s the biggest elephant I’ve ever seen! Where do you suppose it came from?

Yes, and improvisation activity:

This is a nice little game that trains students to accept offers and add to them. Like in the second example above, B accepts the existence of the elephant, and offers a question as an addition to his acceptance.

  1. Divide the class into two even lines, call one line A, and the other line B. Have the two lines face each other
  2. Begin with the students who are at the top of the lines. Ask the student in the A line to come up with an offer. The student in the B line must accept and add to it. A must then accept B’s addition, and add to it again. e.g.:

A: Would you like to cut my hair for me?

B:Yes!I have a hairdressing set in my room, let’s do it there.

A: Great! I’ll bring a picture of what I want it to look like.

3.   When they’re finished, each student will go to the end of the opposite line (i.e. The student from line A will go to the end of line B, the line B student will go to the end of line A), and the next two students will have their chance to go.

  1. Keep this game going until all students have had a chance to be in both lines.

RULE TWO: Keep Questions Direct

Open-ended questions can really stump your partner as you are essentially forcing them to do the work in the scene. For example, starting a scene by saying

– What’s going on here? means someone else has to supply the information for the scene. A better way to go about it would be to say

-Why are you Riding that horsurs Here, you are still asking a question but are also supplying your partners with information while you do it.

The most basic ground rule is that there is no right or wrong. Something that inhibits a lot of students is the worry that they are somehow doing something wrong. Improv is about going with your impulses and creating something from them. While there are some rules we will cover in this lesson that can make improv easier, there is no right or wrong.

Teach your students to repeat these questions and answers to themselves when they are feeling unsure:

– How do I do it?

– Just do it.

– Am I doing it right?

– Yes

What are you doing? Improvisation activity:

Group stands in a circle. One person goes into the centre of the circle and starts an action (such as brushing her teeth).

A person goes into the centre, and asks, “What are you doing?”

The person brushing her teeth answers by saying something other than what she is doing. “I’m dribbling a basketball.”

The first person then leaves, and the new person starts “dribbling a basketball.” Then a new person goes in and asks, “What are you doing?”

And so on…

Encourage students to make new choices each time. (No repeats.)

Newspaper Headlines

In a group of 3 pr4, chose one of the following headlines:

Airline removes passenger who won’t stop doing pull ups.

Arrest over theft of £5million gold toilet from palace.

Fisherman gets shock, as he reels in dinosaur like fish with huge eyes.

Two headed snake, named Double Dave found in the forest.

Woman dreams of swallowing a ring and wakes up to find she has.

Queen returns pet monkey to girl.

Make a still image, freeze frame, mime, improvise the story.


Airline removes passenger who won’t stop doing pull ups.


Arrest over theft of £5million gold toilet from palace.


Fisherman gets shock, as he reels in dinosaur like fish with huge eyes.


Two headed snake, named Double Dave found in the forest.


Woman dreams of swallowing a ring and wakes up to find she has.


Queen returns pet monkey to girl.

Some other links:

Therapeutic Storytelling 

Anti bullying workshop for children