Posted in Closure activities, Creative Visualisation, Drama for children, drama for kids, Drama strategies, Endings, English as a second language, Movement activities, Relaxation activities for kids, Relaxation games

Closure/Relaxation Activites

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Relaxation is very important in Drama. The following activities will enable children to reduce stress and to help them release mental, physical and emotional tension. A relaxed body also leads to good voice production – benefiting all aspects of the voice such as pitch, pace, pause, inflection and projection.

Game: Be a waxwork
Minimum number of participants: 2
Resources needed: Clear space
Instructions: The children must imagine that they are a waxwork in Madame Tussauds’ Museum in London. Everyone can decide which very famous person they want to be. The children get into position and then the leader walks around looking at the waxworks and tries to guess who is who. When she has guessed everyone there is unfortunately a fire in the museum and all the waxworks melt slowly to the ground.

Game: Smoke in the chimney
Minimum number of participants: 2
Resources needed: Clear space
Instructions: The children imagine that they are smoke rising from a chimney. They move, undulating slowly. They stretch their bodies as much as they can and then they finally relax.

Game: Puppet on a string
Minimum number of participants: 2
Resources needed: Clear space
Instructions: The children imagine they are puppets with strings attached to their shoulders that someone is pulling from above. The leader tells them that they are being pulled up and their limbs fly out in all directions. Even the feet can be pulled off the ground at times. Finally the strings are cut, and the body relaxes.

Game: Floating tongue
Minimum number of participants: 1 (and the Leader)
Resources needed: Clear space
Instructions: The children are told to hold their tongues out of their mouths. They must make sure that their tongues don’t touch any part of the mouth. Then the leader tells them to clench their jaws and relax them slowly. After that they let their tongues completely relax. They should do these five times.

Game: Lion’s roar
Minimum number of participants: 1
Resources needed: Clear space
Instructions: Each child imagines that s/he is a mighty lion with a loud roar. But the roar is bottled up inside the lion. S/he should stand up like a proud lion; scrunch up his/her face and hands, ready to let the lion’s roar go. Then the leader tells them to take a deep breath and let the roar out. Tell them to stick out their tongues and hold their arms and hands out in front of them as they roar.

Game: The rock
Minimum number of participants: 1 (and the Leader)
Resources needed: Clear space and chairs
Instructions: Each child sits on a chair with knees bent, feet firmly on the ground and back straight. The leader tells them they are rocks embedded in the sea. They should feel the cool and refreshing sea water against them. Tell them to take a deep breath of sea air and let it go gently, imagining the sound of seagulls in the distance. Tell them to breathe in and out slowly and gently, feeling each breath with their whole body. When their bodies are completely relaxed, gently tell them to slowly open their eyes. Have them discuss how this felt.

Game: Happy place
Minimum number of participants: 1 (and the Leader)
Resources needed: Clear space, mats
Instructions: The children should lie down on mats and close their eyes. Tell them to imagine they are in a place where they feel happy and safe. Tell them to think about: what they see; what they hear. Tell them in their happy place they should feel safe, peaceful and relaxed. Tell them to put their left hand on top of their right hand and that when they do this in future, they will go back to their happy place. Then gently ask them to slowly open their eyes.

 

Devise your own closure activity a and post in the comments.

 

 

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Posted in Drama for children, Esl Drama, Movement activities, Movement stories for children, Role playing stories

Goldilocks and the Three Bears Movement Story for children.

 

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All the children sit in a circle. When the children hear the following words in the story they must jump up and do the following actions. The words are in bold to assist the teacher.

Goldilocks: Skip around the space.
Bear/Bears: Walk slowly and growl.
Bowl/Bowls: Clasp fingers together and stick out arms to make a round shape.
Porridge: Wiggle body up and down.
Chair/s: Squat down and stick out arms.
Bed/s: Lies straight on the floor.
First: Holds up one finger.
Second: Holds up two fingers.
Third: Holds up three fingers.

Once upon a time, there was a girl called Goldilocks. One day she decided to go for a walk in the woods. Soon she became tired. She saw a little cottage in the woods. came upon a house. She knocked, there was no answer so she decided to go inside and rest.

At the table in the kitchen, there were three bowls of porridge. Goldilocks was hungry. She tasted the porridge from the first bowl.
“This porridge is too hot!” she exclaimed.
So, she tasted the porridge from the second bowl.
“This porridge is too cold,” she said
So, she tasted the third bowl of porridge.
“Ahhh, this porridge is just right,” she said happily and she ate it all up.
After she’d eaten the three bears’ breakfasts she decided she was feeling a little tired. So, she walked into the living room where she saw three chairs. Goldilocks sat in the first chair to rest her feet.
“This chair is too big!” she exclaimed.
So she sat in the second chair.
“This chair is too big, too!” she whined.
So she tried the third and smallest chair.
“Ahhh, this chair is just right,” she sighed. But just as she settled down into the chair to rest, it broke into pieces!
Goldilocks was very tired by this time, so she went upstairs to the bedroom. She lay down in the first bed, but it was too hard. Then she lay in the second bed, but it was too soft. Then she lay down in the third bed and it was just right. Goldilocks fell asleep.

As she was sleeping, the three bears came home.
“Someone’s been eating my porridge,” growled the Papa bear.
“Someone’s been eating my porridge,” said the Mama bear.
“Someone’s been eating my porridge and they ate it all up!” cried the Baby bear.
“Someone’s been sitting in my chair,” growled the Papa bear.
“Someone’s been sitting in my chair,” said the Mama bear.
“Someone’s been sitting in my chair and they’ve broken it all to pieces,” cried the Baby bear.

They decided to look around some more and when they got upstairs to the bedroom, Papa bear growled, “Someone’s been sleeping in my bed,”
“Someone’s been sleeping in my bed, too” said the Mama bear
“Someone’s been sleeping in my bed and she’s still there!” exclaimed Baby bear.

Just then, Goldilocks woke up and saw the three bears. She screamed, “Help!” And she jumped up and ran out of the room. Goldilocks ran down the stairs, opened the door, and ran away into the woods. And Goldilocks never returned to the home of the three bears.

 

Posted in Action Poems, Drama, Drama Activities for children, Drama for children, drama for kids, English teaching games, Mime, Mime for all ages, Mime for children, Mime for kids, Movement activities, Movement stories for children

More Fun Movement Games for Children

 

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Game: Call and Response
Age: 4 years +
Minimum number of participants: 2
Resources: Clear space
Other Benefits: Creativity, focus, listening.
Instructions: Everyone sits in a circle. The teacher starts the activity by making a simple clapping rhythm. The rest of the circle repeats the rhythm. The child who is sitting next to the teacher takes a turn at making a simple clapping rhythm and the rest of the group copies it. When the group has got comfortable with the call and response technique the game can become a little more complicated. Each child must add on to the clapping rhythm that has gone before them. The child who is last in the round must remember everybody else clapping rhythm before they do their own.
Extension: Older children can stand in a circle and use different parts of their bodies to make the rhythms. For example they could use body percussion, stomping or tap dancing.

Game: Action Charades
Age: 4 years+
Minimum number of participants: 4
Resources: Clear space and a list of verbs.
Other Benefits: Critical thinking, creativity.
Instructions: If there is a large number of children divide them into groups of 4 or 5. Give each group a verb such as cleaning, cooking and swimming. One child will mime the verb to their group. The group members have a minute or two to guess the verb. . To reduce noise, have one group participate at a time, while the other group members watch.
Suggestions of Verbs:
Taste
Smell
Dance
Jog
Skate
Scream
Fight
Cry
Read
Write
Cook
Clean
Paint
Joke
Sleep
Sneeze

Game: Balloon Keepy Ups
Age: 4 years +
Minimum number of participants: 2
Resources: Clear space, balloons.
Other Benefits: Coordination, imagination, spatial awareness.
Instructions: Divide the group into smaller groups of six to eight, hand each group a balloon, and ask them to form a circle holding hands. The teacher tells them that, on her/his cue, they are to put the balloon in the air between them and to keep it up using the body part the teacher calls (e.g., knees) without letting go of hands. They are to continue until the teacher calls out a different body part.
Suggestion of different body parts that can be used:
Arms
Legs
Chests
Elbow
Fingers
Knees
Fists
Noses
Heads
Thighs
Shoulders
Face 

For more fun movement games clock on the link below.

 

 

 

 

Posted in Drama for children, English as a second language, English teaching games, Esl, Esl Drama, Fairy Tales, Movement activities, Movement stories for children, Plays, Plays for Children, Storytelling in the Early years

The Little Red Hen – A Movement Play.

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Each child finds a space and sits down. Each child or a group of children are assigned a specific word and a corresponding action. The narrator/teacher reads the story aloud, and when the children hear their word, they must jump up and do their actions. The words are in bold to assist the teacher.

Movement: Action.
Little Red Hen: Make yourself as small as possible and cluck around like a chicken.
Plant: Mime digging a hole and planting a seed.
Wheat: Make your body into the shape of a wheat plant.
Dogs: Move and bark like a dog.
Ducks: Waddle and quack like a duck.
Geese: Move like a goose and say “gobble, gobble.”
Cats: Move like a cat and meow.
Cut: Use a slashing movement.
Bread and cakes: Mime eating a delicious cake.

 

Once upon a time, there was a little red hen that lived on a farm. She was always busy! She spent all morning laying eggs for the farmer.
“Little Red Hen, please lay an egg for my tea,” said the farmer. After the little red hen had laid her egg, she found a grain of wheat. She wanted to plant it in a field.
“I’ll ask my animal friends to help me. Dogs, Dogs! Will you help me plant the wheat?” she said.
“Oh no, we will not help you. We are too busy burying our bones. Get the ducks to help you,” barked the dogs.
“Ducks, Ducks! Will you help me plant the wheat?” said the little red hen.
“Oh no, we will not help you. We are too busy swimming. Get the geese to help you,” quacked the ducks.
“Geese, Geese! Will you help me plant the wheat?” said the little red hen.
“Oh no, we will not help you. We are too busy sunbathing. Get the cats to help you,” gaggled the geese.
“Cats, Cats! Will you help me plant the wheat?” said the little red hen.
“Oh no, we will not help you. Plant it yourself,” meowed the cats.
No one would help the little red hen, so she planted it herself. The sun and the rain helped the wheat to grow. Soon, the wheat was tall and yellow and needed to be cut. “I’ll ask my animal friends to help me. Dogs, Dogs! Will you help me cut the wheat?” said the little red hen.
“Oh no, we will not help you. We are too busy burying our bones. Get the ducks to help you,” barked the dogs.
“Ducks, Ducks! Will you help me cut the wheat?” said the little red hen.
“Oh no, we will not help you. We are too busy swimming. Get the geese to help you,” quacked the ducks.
“Geese, Geese! Will you help me cut the wheat?” said the little red hen.
“Oh no, we will not help you. We are too busy sunbathing. Get the cats to help you,” gaggled the geese.
“Cats, Cats! Will you help me cut the wheat?” said the little red hen.
“Oh no, we will not help you. We are too busy washing our faces. Cut it yourself,” meowed the cats.
So, the little red hen cut the wheat herself, and she took the wheat to the miller. The miller turned the wheat into flour.
“Here’s your flour to make bread and cakes,” said the miller.
The little red hen thanked the miller. She made bread and cakes.
“Who will help me eat the bread and cakes?” said the little red hen.
“We will!” shouted all the animals.
“Oh no, I will eat it myself. If you want to eat the food, what will you do next time?” asked the little red hen.
“We will share the work,” said all the animals.

For more movement plays, click below.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Posted in Drama Activities for children, Drama for children, Drama strategies, Elements of Drama, English as a second language, Esl Drama, Fairy Tales, Movement activities, Movement stories for children, Storytelling in the Early years, The Enormous Turnip

The Enormous Turnip – Drama workshop for children

 

Read the story of “The Enormous Turnip”

Warm up: Enormous, Enormous Turnip. All the children except the child who is It, sit in a circle. It walks around the circle, tapping each player on the head, saying “Enormous” each time until he decides to tap someone and say “Turnip” That child becomes the turnip and runs after It, trying to tag him before It can take his seat. If It successfully reaches the turnip’s seat without being tagged, the turnip is the new It. If the turnip tags It, then the turnip keeps his spot in the circle and It must either continue to be It for another turn or sit in the middle of the circle until another It is tagged.

Circle time: Ask the children to sit in the circle. Ask them if they can name the different characters in the story. Ask the following questions:
How would the different characters move? What would they sound like?
What do you think they were doing before they were called to help with the Turnip?
How do they feel about pulling the Turnip up and eating it?

Character exploration: Get the children find their own space in the room. When the teacher calls out a character the children have to become the character and move around the room.
Old Man: Hunches over and moves very slowly with a walking stick.
Wife: Busy doing housework and moves very busily and quickly.
Boy: Plays football, does headers, keepy ups and scores goals.
Girl: Skips along happily.
Dog: Moves like a dog and barks.
Cat: Moves like a cat and meows.
Mouse: Moves like a mouse and squeaks.

Movement story: https://dramastartbooks.com/2017/10/08/2712/ Get the children to participate in the above Enormous Turnip Movement Story.

Mime: All the children find a space and they curl up and imagine that they are a turnip seed. The seed are get bigger and bigger until eventually they grow into a large Turnip and are pulled from the earth.

Still image: They make a still image of the moment they find out that they are going to be turned into turninip soup.

Thought tracking: The teacher goes and taps each Turnip on the shoulder and they must say one word how they feel about being eaten for dinner.
Voice exploration: Each child says the following sentence
Please, please don’t eat me for your dinner.”
In a happy voice
Sad voice,
Surprised voice,
Shocked voice,
Tired voice,
Angry voice,
Scared voice,
Excited voice.

Group work: Divide the class in to groups of 3 or 4. The group have to use their bodies to make the one big, Enormous Turnip. They have to move as the turnip but stay connected.

Freeze Frame: Divide the class into groups of 8. Each group have to make six still images that tell the story. They can show it to the other groups.
Improvisation: For older children they can add dialogue to their freeze frames.

Closure: The children stand in a circle. Child A says “If I had a turnip, I would turn it in to an Apple.” Child B says “If I had a turnip, I would turn it in to an Apple and a banana.” Child C says “If I had a turnip, I would turn it in to an Apple, a banana and a cat” and so on until everyone gets a chance. If they make a mistake or stumble they are eliminated and sit down.. The last child standing at the end wins.

Play: https://dramastartbooks.com/2017/10/08/the-enormous-turnip-a-five-minute-playscript-for-children/

 

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.

 

Posted in Drama for children, Movement activities, Movement stories for children

Four Fun Movement Games for Children.

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Game: Doors and Windows
Age: 5 years+
Minimum number of participants: 10
Resources needed: Clear space
Other benefits: Spatial awareness, group work
Instructions: The children form a circle while standing and holding their hands. The group spreads out enough so that everyone’s arms are straight in the circle. This should form large spaces between the circle members. These large spaces represent the windows and doors. Then one child is chosen to be the runner. The runner starts running, and weaving in and out between the windows and doors. The children in the circle randomly drop their arms down trying to touch or trap the runner who is weaving his/her way in and out of the windows and doors. Once the runner is caught or touched by the arms of someone in the circle, they are out. The runner chooses another child in the group to take his/her place and they become the next child to weave in and out of the windows and doors.

Game: Centipede
Age: 5 years +
Minimum number of participants: 5
Resources needed: Clear space
Other benefits: Teamwork, trust
Instructions: Divide the group into groups of 5 or 6. The children in each group sit on the floor and hold the ankles of the child behind them. They call out left, right and the group has to try to move while everyone is holding the ankles of the child in front of them. If there is more than one group they can have a centipede race.

Game: Object Relay
Age: 5 years +
Minimum number of participants: 4
Resources needed: Clear space, a ball and a variety of objects (optional)
Other benefits: Imagination, teamwork, focus
Instructions: Children stand in a line. If there are lots of children in the class you make more than one line. Each line has a ball. The ball must be passed down the line. The teacher calls out the instruction of how the ball should be passed down the line. Once the ball gets to the end of the line it has to be passed back.
Suggested instructions:
Pass the ball overhead.
Pass the ball between your legs.
Pass the ball without using your hands.
Pass the ball by just using your chest.
Pass the ball by just using your head.
If a team drops the ball then they have to go back to the beginning.
Extension: You could have a box of different objects that they must pass down the line. Each line should have the same objects. The line that gets all the objects down safely is the winner.

Game: Bean Bag Balance
Age: 4 years +
Minimum number of participants: 2
Resources needed: Clear space, bean bags for each member of the class
Other benefits: Focus, imagination, problem solving
Instructions: The teacher gets the children put a bean bag on their heads and they walk slowly around the room. Once they feel comfortable the children can walk faster and faster. They can see if they can run with the bean bag on their head. Once they have mastered balancing the beanbags on their head then they can see if they can balance the bean bag on other parts of their body.
Suggested Body Parts:
Knees
Foot
Hands
Thighs
Shoulder
Face
Wrist
Toes
Again, they start off slowly and then they get faster and faster. The child that can balance on the most body parts and move the fastest is the winner.

If you want more movement games and stories. Click on the link below.