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.