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.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Posted in Drama for children, How the camel got his hump, How the elephant got his trunk, Just so stories, Oscar Wilde, Oscar Wilde's Stories, Plays, Plays for Children, Rudyard Kipling, The how whale got his throat

How the Camel got his Hump – A play for children based on the story by Rudyard Kipling

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Characters: Three storytellers, Camel, Man, Ox, Horse, Dog, Djinn.

Storyteller 1: In the beginning when the world was new.
Storyteller 2: All the animals were working hard to make the world a better place.
Storyteller 3: Except for the camel who was very lazy. The camel lived in the middle of the Howling desert.
Camel: Look at all those animals running around working. I’m going to sit here relax and much on some sticks, stones and tamarisks. Humph.
Storyteller 1: On Monday, the horse came trotting by.
Horse: Neigh, neigh, Camel, come and trot like the rest of us.
Camel: Humph.
Horse: Is that all you must say? Humph
Camel: (nods his head) Humph, just humph.
(Horse trots off and meets the man.)
Horse: That camel is SO lazy.
Storyteller 2: After a while dog came by. He had a stick in his mouth.
Dog: woof, wolf, Camel, come and fetch and carry like the rest of us.
Camel: Humph.
Dog: Is that all you have to say? Humph
Camel: (nods his head) Humph, just humph.
(Dog bounds off and meets the man.)
Dog: That camel is SO lazy.
Storyteller 2: Soon an ox passed by. He had a yoke on his neck.
Ox: woof, wolf, Camel, come and plough and carry like the rest of us.
Camel: Humph.
Ox: Is that all you have to say? Humph
Camel: (nods his head) Humph, just humph.
(Ox slowly moves off and meets the man.)
Ox: That camel is SO lazy.
Storyteller 3: At the end of the day. The man called the horse, the dog and the ox together and said…
Man: I’m very sorry for you (with the world so new-and-all); but that Humph-thing in the Desert doesn’t seem to be able to do any work, so I am going to leave him alone, but I’m afraid you must work twice as hard to make up for it.
Horse: Well that’s not very fair, is it?
Man: Life isn’t fair sometimes.
Dog: We worked hard all day.
Ox: I’m very angry with that humph thing in the dessert.
Camel: Ha, ha. Why would I work? When I can sit here and be scrumptiously idle.
Storyteller 1: Presently along came the djinn of all dessert. (He comes rolling in.)
Horse: Djinn of All Deserts, sit right for anyone to be idle, with the world so new-and-all?’
Djinn: Of course not. Why do you ask?
Horse: There is a thing in the middle of your Howling Desert with a long neck and long legs, and he hasn’t done a stroke of work since Monday morning. He won’t trot.’
Dog: He says “Humph! ‘and he won’t fetch and carry.
Djinn: Does he say anything else?
Ox: Only “Humph!”; and he won’t plough,
Djinn: I’ll humph him if you will kindly wait a minute.
Djinn: What’s all this I hear about you being bone idle?
Camel: Humph, Just humph.
Djinn: All the animals have had to work twice as hard since you won’t pull your weight.
Camel: Humph, just humph.
Djinn: I really wouldn’t say Humph again if I were you,
Camel: Humph, just humph.
Storyteller 3: The Djinn used some magic and suddenly a hump grew on the camel’s back. And the Camel said ‘Humph!’ again; but no sooner had he said it than he saw his back, that he was so proud of, puffing up and puffing up into a great big lolloping humph.
Camel: Djinn, what have you done?
Djinn: Now you can work for three days because that hump on your back will keep your food and drink in it for three days.
Storyteller 1: And the Camel humphed himself, humph and all, and went away to join the other three.
Storyteller 2: And from that day to this the Camel always wears a humph (we call it ‘hump’ now, not to hurt his feelings);
Storyteller 3: But he has never yet caught up with the three days that he missed at the beginning of the world, and he has never yet learned how to behave.

 

THE Camel’s hump is an ugly lump
Which well you may see at the Zoo;
But uglier yet is the hump we get
From having too little to do.

Kiddies and grown-ups too-of-oo,
If we haven’t enough to do-oo-oo,
We get the hump—
Cameelious hump—
The hump that is black and blue!

We climb out of bed with a frouzly head
And a snarly-yarly voice.
We shiver and scowl and we grunt and we growl
At our bath and our boots and our toys;

And there ought to be a corner for me
(And I know there is one for you)
When we get the hump—
Cameelious hump—
The hump that is black and blue!

The cure for this ill is not to sit still,
Or frowst with a book by the fire;
But to take a large hoe and a shovel also,
And dig till you gently perspire;

And then you will find that the sun and the wind,
And the Djinn of the Garden too,
Have lifted the hump—
The horrible hump—
The hump that is black and blue!

I get it as well as you-oo-oo—
If I haven’t enough to do-oo-oo—
We all get hump—
Cameelious hump—
Kiddies and grown-ups too!

For more Just So Stories plays click on the link below.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Posted in Christmas drama games, Christmas plays, Drama, Drama Activities for children, Drama for children, drama for kids, Drama strategies, English as a second language, English teaching games, Fairy Tales, Hans Christian Andersen, Plays, Plays for Children, Role playing stories

Christmas Drama Games for Children

 

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Game: What’s the time Santa Claus?
Age: 3 years +
Minimum number of participants: 4
Resources needed: Clear space.
Benefits: This activity is based on a popular traditional children’s game that can also be used very
effectively in a drama session as a warm-up game. This game also helps children with their listening
and co-ordination skills.
Instructions: One child is chosen or volunteers to be Santa Claus and stands at one side of the clear space. His/Her back is to the other children, who are standing at the opposite end of the
space. The rest of the children shout out: “What’s the time Santa Claus?” Santa Claus does not turn around. He/she replies: “four o’clock.” The children walk forward the number of steps that Santa Claus calls out (in this case, four). The children ask again: “What time is it Santa Claus?” Santa Claus replies: “five o’clock.” The children take five steps forward. The children continue to ask the question and to walk the appropriate number of steps forward. Eventually, when Santa Claus thinks that the children are near enough he/she will say: “Christmas time!” Then, Santa Claus turns around and chases the children. They must try to rush back to their starting place. If
Santa Claus catches one of them before they reach home, that child is Santa Clausin the next game.

 

Game: Elves and Reindeers
Age: 5 years+
Minimum number of participants: 2
Resources needed: Clear space.
Benefits: The children work as part of a pair but it helps them practise giving clear directions to
their partners.
Instructions: This is a fun game that children enjoy. Divide the group into pairs. Child A is the
Elf and child B is the reindeer. The elf must guide the reindeer around the clear space by giving
them very specific directions. The elf can say for example: “go ten steps forwards” or “put your
hands in the air and turn around five times”. The elf must make sure that their reindeers do not bump into other elves and reindeers in the group. They can switch roles after a few minutes.

 

Game: Mrs Claus’s Knickers
Age: 5 years +
Minimum number of participants: 3
Resources needed: Clear space.
Benefits: This helps to improve eye contact and children body language. It also stimulates the
imagination as the children must come up with unique questions.
Instructions: The children sit in a circle. One child sits in the middle of the circle and everyone
in the circle takes it in turns to ask him/her a question, for example: “What did you have for
breakfast?” The child in the middle is only allowed to answer “Mrs Claus’s Knickers’ and they must not laugh or smile. If they laugh or smile they must change places with the child who ask the question.

Posted in Drama for children, English as a second language, English teaching games, Esl, Esl Drama, Plays, Plays for Children, Role playing stories, Story sacks, Storytelling, The Enormous Turnip

The Enormous Turnip – A five minute playscript for children

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Characters: Three storytellers, old man, old woman, boy, girl, dog, cat and mouse.

(Stage Directions: storytellers on stage left and the old man in the centre. All the other characters are in a line off-stage or they can be on stage, with each character miming doing their own thing.)
Storyteller 1: Once upon a time there lived a little old man.
Storyteller 2: One day he planted a turnip seed in his garden. (Old man plants his seed.)
Old Man: This turnip is going to be very big and very sweet. (Looks at the audience.)
Storyteller 3: The turnip grew and grew.
Old Man: I think it is time to dig up the turnip. (Old man mimes trying to pull it up.)
Storyteller 1: He pulled and pulled but he couldn’t pull up the turnip.
Old Man: I know, I will ask my wife to help me. Wife! Wife! Please help me to pull up the turnip. (Wife holds on to him at the waist and they try pulling up the turnip.)
Storyteller 2: His wife came and helped him.
Storyteller 3: They pulled and pulled but they couldn’t pull up the turnip.
Wife: I know, I will ask the boy to help us. Boy! Boy! Please help us to pull up the turnip. (She calls for the boy and the boy comes to help them.)
Storyteller 1: The boy came and helped them. (The boy holds on to her at the waist.)
Storyteller 2: They pulled and pulled but they couldn’t pull up the turnip.
Boy: I know I will ask the girl to help us. Girl! Girl! Please help us to pull up the turnip. (He calls for the girl and the girl comes to help them.)
Storyteller 3: The girl came and helped them. (The girl holds on to him at the waist.)
Storyteller 1: They pulled and pulled but they couldn’t pull up the turnip.
Girl: I know, I will ask the dog to help us. Dog! Dog! Please help us to pull up the turnip. (She calls for the dog and the dog comes to help her.)
Storyteller 2: The dog came and helped them. (The dog holds on to her at the waist.)
Storyteller 3: They pulled and pulled but they couldn’t pull up the turnip.
Dog: I know, I will ask the cat to help us. Cat! Cat! Please help us to pull up the turnip. (He calls for the cat and the cat comes to help them.)
Storyteller 1: The cat came and helped them. (The cat holds on to him at the waist.)
Storyteller 2: They pulled and pulled but they couldn’t pull up the turnip.
Cat: I know, I will ask the mouse to help us. Mouse! Mouse! Please help us to pull up the turnip. (She calls for the mouse and the mouse comes to help them.)
Storyteller 3: The mouse came and helped them. (The mouse holds onto her at the waist.)
Storyteller 1: They pulled and pulled and then suddenly they and then suddenly they pulled up the turnip. (They all fall over.)
Storyteller 2: Everyone was very happy and they all thanked the mouse. (Everyone shakes hands with the mouse.)
Storyteller 3: Everyone had turnip soup for dinner. (The wife mimes giving each one of them a bowl of soup and they mime drinking it.)

 

Posted in Drama for children, Fairy Tales, Nursery Rhymes, Plays, Plays for Children, Storytelling

Humpty Dumpty – a 5 minute play script for children.

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Cast of characters (14): Humpty Dumpty, Egg 1, Egg 2, Egg 3, Egg 4, General, King’s man 1, King’s man 2, King’s man 3, King’s horse 1, King’s horse 2, King’s horse 3, King and Servant.

(Stage directions: There is a big wall upstage and there are a group of eggs playing outside the wall. They accidentally throw the ball over the wall.)

Egg 1: Oh dear, what will we do now?

Egg 2: Well, one of us will have to climb over the wall and get the ball.

Egg 3: Humpty Dumpty will do it

Humpty Dumpty: Why do I have to do it?

Egg 4: Because you are bravest egg of all eggs.

Egg 1: Don’t tell us you are scared.

All: Scaredy Egg! Scaredy Egg!
Humpty Dumpty: Alright, alright I’ll do it.

(Humpty Dumpty starts to climb the wall. He is shaking because he is so scared. He gets to the top but he is too frightened to move.)

Humpty Dumpty: I can’t move. What shall I do?

(Enters General.)

General: What is going on here?

(All the eggs run off.)

Humpty Dumpty: I climbed the wall because we threw the ball over the wall and I wanted to get back for all my egg friends but now I’m stuck and I can’t get down.

General: I’ll get a ladder and help you get down. (General mimes getting a ladder but Humpty Dumpty starts to wobble and falls off the ladder.)

Humpty Dumpty: Help me! I’m broken. (Humpty Dumpty is lying on the floor.)

General: Don’t worry, I’ll call all the King’s men to come and help put you back together again.

General: (gets out his phones and dials the King’s men) Please come quick, a giant egg has fallen off a wall.

(King’s men come galloping in on their horses. They look at Humpty Dumpty on the ground.)

King’s Man 1: Oh dear, this looks very bad.

King’s Horse 1: I don’t think we are going to be able to fix him.

King’s Man 2: Don’t give up we can try.

King’s Horse 2: Look everybody where do you think this goes? (He holds up an arm.)

King’s Man 3: I think that might be his leg. (They all try hard to put him back together. They circle him so the audience can’t see while they are working on him. Then after a few minutes they stop.)

King’s Horse 3: We tried our best but there is nothing we can do.

(They all put their heads down.)

(Trumpet blows and the King’s servant enters.)

Servant: The king is coming. Everyone bow.

(They all bow as the King enters and sits at the table.)

King: I’m so hungry. (Rings bell.) What is for dinner tonight, servant?

Servant: Lots and lots of scrambled egg.

All: (Come out to the centre stage and recite the Humpty Dumpty rhyme.)
Humpty Dumpty sat on a wall.
Humpty Dumpty had a great fall.
All the King’s horses and all the King’s men
Couldn’t put Humpty together again.
They tried to push him up.
They tried to pull him up.
They tried to patch him up.
But couldn’t put him back together again.

For more plays based on Fairytales click on the link below.

Posted in Drama, Drama for children, drama for kids, Esl Drama, Fairy Tales, Legends, Plays, Plays for Children, St Patrick, Storytelling

The King and the Donkey’s Ears – An Irish Legend – 5 minute play scripts.

IMG_0257Narrator 1: Once upon a time, there was a boy called Donal

Narrator 2: He wanted to be a Barber when he grew up.

Donal: Mother, When I grow up I want to be a barber.

Mother: Don’t be silly. You can’t be a barber. Everyone knows what happens to Barbers in this land.

Donal: What happens?

Mother: Every year a barber gets summons to the King’s palace and they are never seen again.

Donal: That won’t happen to me.

Narrator 3: Years later Donal grew up and became a very successful; Barber.

At the palace:

King: I need a haircut. Summon Donal the barber to the Palace at once. I hear he gives a very good haircut.

Servant: Your majesty Soon there won’t be any barbers in the land. Maybe you could stop executing them.

King: Nonsense. Get him for me now. How dare you question my actions. All the barbers that cut my hair are to be executed. That is the rule.
(servant exits.)

(Messenger arrives at Donal’s house.)

Messenger: You are summoned to the palace to cut the King’s hair.

Mother: Noooooooooooooooooo. You are not to go Donal.

Donal: I must.

Mother: Stay here. I will go to the palace and talk to the King.

(Mother goes to the palace; she wails and wails.)

Narrator 1: everyone at the palace but their fingers in their ears.

Narrator 2: However, the king couldn’t because he had donkey’s ears.

(King takes off his crown and shows the audience his donkey’s ear. He puts the crown back on when he hears someone coming.)

King: Make that noise stop at once. It is driving me in insane.

Chief Minister: I can’t. She is Donal the barber’s mother. She said if you execute her son she will wait forever.

King: I can’t listen to that awful noise. Tell her if she stops immediately I will let her husband live.

(Mother stops wailing and leaves with a smile on her face.)

(Donal enters. He looks nervous.)

King: I will let you live but you must promise not to tell anyone about these…

(The king takes off his crown and shows off his donkey’s ears.)

(Donal looks very shocked.)

Donal: I promise I will never breathe a word of this to a living soul.

(Donal cuts the King hair. The king is happy and gives him some money and he puts back on his crown. Donal exits the palace.)

At Donal’s house. (Donal is sleeping.)

Narrator 2: Donal tried very hard to keep the king’s secret. However, he started to have nightmares about the king’s ears.

(Donal starts screaming in his sleep. His mother comes running in and she wakes him.

Mother: Donal, whatever is the matter? Ever since you came back from the king’s palace you have been having dreadful nightmares.

Donal: The king has a secret. I am the only person who knows. It is driving me mad that I can’t tell anyone.

Mother: Tell me.

Donal: I can’t. I promised him if he let me live I wouldn’t tell another living soul.

Mother: Well tell a tree then. It isn’t a living soul. There is a big tree down by the lake. You could whisper the secret to it.

Donal: What a good idea.

Narrator 2: The next day Donal went for a stroll down by the lake and saw the willow tree. He whispered the king’s secret to the tree.

Donal: The king has donkey’s ears, the king has donkey’s ears, the king has donkey’s ears. I feel some much better now that I have got that off my chest.

Narrator 3: One day a harpist passed by the willow tree.

Harpist: What a lovely bark. I will cut it down and make a new harp that I will play for the king.

Narrator 1: He made the harp from the tree and when it was ready he took it to the palace to play for the king.

Narrator 2: As soon as the harpist touched the strings the harp began to sing by itself.

Harp: The king has donkey’s ears.
The king has donkey’s ears.
The king has donkey’s ears.
Everyone stared at the king.
King: How dare you. Stop that harp at once. (His crown falls off and his ears are visible to everyone.

Courtier 1: Having donkey’s ears is not a big deal. Everyone has something they don’t like about themselves.

Courtier 2: This is Ireland. It is impossible to keep a secret in this country.

Courtier 3: Now we all know your secret you don’t have to hide from us anymore. Everyone is different.

Courtier 4: Now that everyone knows no more barbers must put to the death.

Narrator 3: Donal was made the royal barber and his mother was very happy.

Donal: I’m glad I’ve made you proud.

(Donal and his mother hug.)

For more Irish Legends plays click on the link below.

 

Posted in Drama for children, English as a second language, English teaching games, Esl, Esl Drama, Plays for Children, Role playing stories, Storytelling, Voice Production

Some Improvisation Activities for ESL Students.

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Improvisation is an effective way for ESL students to develop language skills that they can use outside of the classroom. Improvisation develops skills such as confidence and empathy. The following activities give students an outlet to express a range of emotions. A variety of tenses, vocabulary, question forms, idioms and proverbs are the focus of this section.

Game: Forwards/Backwards
Level: Elementary+
Other benefits: The main language is to practice target language and the present tense.
Minimum number of participants: 2
Resources needed: Clear space and copies of simple dialogues; see below for examples. Any of the dialogues from the teaching language books can be used.
Instructions: Divide the group into pairs and give each pair a copy of a simple dialogue. Give each pair time to practice their dialogues. When they have memorised the dialogues, get them to perform them in front of the class. Get the group to repeat it in slow motion, fast forwards, hopping on one leg, replacing the words with numbers or the alphabet, backwards, or jumping up and down.

Dialogue 1: Introductions
Adam: Good morning. What’s your name? Where are you from?
Anna: My name is Anna. I’m from America.
Adam: My name is Adam and I’m from Alaska.
Anna: Pleased to meet you. (They shake hands.)
Anna: Goodbye. (Waves and walks off.)
Adam: See you soon.

Dialogue 2: Giving directions
Betty: Hello, you look lost. Can I help you?
Brian: Yes, please. I’m looking for the football stadium. Do you know where it is?
Betty: Of course. Go straight (points straight), turn left and it is next to the big shopping centre.
Brian: Thank you very much.
Betty: You are welcome.
Brain: Goodbye. (They wave goodbye.)

Dialogue 3: Greetings
Carl: Hello, how are you?
Cathy: Not so good.
Carl: What’s the matter?
Cathy: I’ve a headache.
Carl: I hope you feel better soon.
Cathy: Thank you.

Extension: If the students are comfortable, get them to continue the dialogue until it comes to a natural conclusion. This is a good introduction to improvised work.

Game: TV Channels
Level: Elementary+
Other benefits: The focus is to listen and be observant as well as to react quickly.
Minimum number of participants: 4
Resources needed: Clear space.
Instructions: A volunteer sits in the centre of the circle. The rest of the students are the TV channels. The student in the centre of the circle is watching the television. He/she is channel surfing. When they point to someone in the circle, they have turned on the channel. The person must speak; they can be a news channel, weather, sports, documentary comedy, drama, or a soap opera.
The channel surfer stays on the channel for about 30 seconds and then moves on. They can always come back to the same channel. Everyone should have a chance at being a TV station.

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, English as a second language, Esl, Oscar Wilde, Oscar Wilde's Stories, Plays, Plays for Children, The Canterville Ghost

The Canterville Ghost by Oscar Wilde -A Playscript for Children

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Characters: Lord Canterville, Mr Otis, Mrs Otis, Virginia, James, Lewis, Clark, (Lewis and Clark are twins), Mrs Umney and Sir Simon (the ghost).
(Outside Canterville Castle there is a sign for sale which Lord Canterville is taking down.)

Scene 1: Canterville Castle
Lord Canterville: Well, it looks like we have a deal, Mr Otis. The castle is yours.
Mr Otis: Thank you, Lord Canterville. I’m sure my family will be very happy here. (They shake hands.)
Lord Canterville: (Looks at him hesitantly.) Perhaps, I should mention that Canterville Castle is haunted by a ghost. (Ghost walks in behind them. They don’t see the ghost but the audience does.)
Mr. Otis: I don’t believe in ghosts, Lord Canterville, so I’m sure I have nothing to be frightened of. (They exit the stage.)
(Mr and Mrs Otis and their four children, Virginia, James, Lewis and Clark, enter. They are greeted by an old woman dressed in an apron.)
Mrs Umney: Welcome, I’m Mrs Umney the housekeeper. Please, come in. There is tea in the library. (There is a table and two chairs on the left side of the stage. Mr and Mrs Otis sit on them and Mrs Umney serves them tea.)
Virginia: It is so exciting.
James: I know, let’s explore. (The four children run around the stage. They mime opening and closing doors.)
Lewis: Look what’s that? (He picks a note up from the floor.)
Clark: It’s a note.
Virginia: Let me see.
James: If a child enters the secret room and stays until dead of night.
Lewis: Then at last Sir Simon can sleep in his tomb and at Canterville all will be alright.
Clark: What does that mean?
(Meanwhile in the library Mrs Otis is inspecting the ground carefully.)
Mrs Otis: I’m terribly sorry, Mrs Umney. I think I spilled something on your carpet.
Mrs Umney: That’s not tea, it is blood.
Mr Otis: We must get rid of it. (The children all come in and inspect the blood stain on the carpet.)
Mrs Umney: I’m afraid that is impossible. That is the blood of Lady Eleanor Canterville. She was murdered by her husband Sir Simon Canterville 500 years ago. Then, Sir Simon disappeared and his body has never been found. They say his spirit haunts the house.
Lewis: I’ll get rid of it. (He rubs it.)
Clark: Look it’s gone.
(Then there is thunder and lightning and Mrs Umney faints. Lights go out. When the lights come back on, the blood stain is back.)
Mr Otis: Maybe the house is haunted after all.

Scene 2: Night in the Castle
(Mr and Mrs Otis are asleep in bed. There is a strange ratting noise and it was getting louder and louder. Mr Otis gets up and puts on his slippers and dressing gown. He opens the door and there in front is the ghost in chains.)
Mr Otis: Oh, you must be Sir Simon.
Sir Simon: (Nods.) Yes I am. (He rattles his chains really loudly.)
Mr. Otis: Here, take this bottle of oil (he hands the bottle to the ghost) and oil your chains. They are making too much noise. I can’t sleep.
(Sir Simon throws the bottle on the ground and runs away and starts to make haunting noise.)
(The two twins come on stage rubbing their eyes.)
Lewis: What’s going on?
Clark: Who is making all that noise? (They stop and share at the ghost.)
Lewis: It’s the ghost.
Clark: Here, throw your pillow at him to scare him (They throw the pillows and run off stage.)
Sir Simon: Well, I never. I have been scaring people for nearly 500 years and I have never been treated like this. Don’t worry, I will get my revenge.

Scene 3: The Next Morning.
(Family are sitting at the table for breakfast.)
Mrs Otis: Children, you mustn’t be frightened of the ghost.
Mr. Otis: Well, he didn’t look very scary to me. (Sir Simon comes out from the other side of the stage and stares at the family.)
Sir Simon: I will exact my revenge on those pesky children.
(The following is all done through mime. The children dress up as ghosts and scare Sir Simon. They hold a piece of string and trip him up. They put oil on the floor and he slips. They run off laughing. This can be done with music in the background.)
Sir Simon: I’ll stop those children once and for all. I’ll appear as my most terrifying characters Reckless Rupert. Reckless Rupert always scares people. (He tiptoes into the children’s room and a bucket of water is thrown on him. The children laugh and he goes off dejected.)
Lewis: We haven’t seen the ghost for ages.
Clark: I think maybe we scared in off for good.
(They exit the stage.)
(Ghost comes in and sits on a chair. He is crying. Virginia walks in.)
Virginia: Why are you crying, Sir Simon? (She puts her arm around his shoulder to comfort him.)
Sir Simon: Because your brothers keep playing nasty tricks on me.
Virginia: They would stop if you behaved yourself.
Sir Simon: But I’m a ghost. I have to rattle my chains and moan and groan and walk around at night.
Virginia: You have been wicked. You murdered your wife. It’s wrong to kill people.
Sir Simon: I know but her brother captured me and starved me to death.
Virginia: You poor ghost.
Sir Simon: Please help me. I’m so unhappy and so very tired.
Virginia: Have you not slept?
Sir Simon: I haven’t slept for 500 years.
Virginia: I don’t know how I can help.
Sir Simon: You could. Do you remember the note you found?
Virginia: (Takes it out of her pocket and reads it.) But I don’t know what it means.
Sir Simon: It means that you must come with me to my chamber and pray for me.
Virginia: That sound easy enough.
Sir Simon: No person has ever entered the chamber and come out alive.
Virginia: I’ll come with you.
(Off they go and disappear.)
(Mrs Otis and the other children come on stage looking for Virginia.)
Mrs Otis: Where is she?
Mr Otis: I’m getting worried.
(Then they hear a crash and she comes out of the secret chamber.)
Mrs Otis: Where have you been?
Virginia: I’ve been with the ghost. He knows he has been wicked and he is very sorry for everything. He gave me this box of jewels. (They all look at the expensive jewels.)

Final scene: At the Graveyard
(There is a gravestone that’s says “Sir Simon Canterville RIP.” The whole family, Mrs. Umney and Lord Canterville all walk in and bow their heads in respect.)
Lord Canterville: Finally he is at peace.
Virginia: He is happy at last.

For more plays based on Oscar Wilde’s stories click on the link below.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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

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

Ant and Grasshopper, illustration

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

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

Storyteller 1: One hot summer’s day …

Storyteller 2: … there were some ants working hard.

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

Ant 1: I am so hot.

Ant 2: Me too!

Ant 3: This is very hard work.

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

Storyteller 2: He was dancing …

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

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

(Ants start working again.)

Ant 1: We are working hard.

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

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

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

Storyteller 3: The snow began to fall.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Grasshopper: Oh thank you Ants, I promise.

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

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

Storyteller 3: …prepare to fail.

If you would like to read more plays scripts based on popular Aesop’s Fables then click on the link below.