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.

Posted in Animal Stories, Christmas plays, Drama, Drama Activities for children, Drama for children, drama for kids, Drama games for 3 year olds, Drama games for 4 year olds, Drama strategies, Drama workshop for childre, Elements of Drama, Endings, English as a second language, English teaching games, Esl, Esl Drama, fables, Fairy Tales, Hot seating, Mime for children, Role playing stories, Story sacks, Storytelling, Storytelling in the Early years, Storytelling techniques, teacher in role, The Gruffalo, The Gruffalo drama workshop, Voice Production

The Gruffalo – Drama Workshop

Posted in Role playing stories

Magical fairy tales -Improvisation

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Minimum number of participants: 4
Resources needed: Three lists: one with characters, one with settings, and one with objects
Instructions: Create three lists with the suggestions below or come up with your own. On the first is a variety of characters .
Here are some suggestions:
• Shrek
• Cinderella
• The Troll (from Three Billy Goats Gruff)
• Snow White
• The Wicked Queen
• The Bad Fairy (from Sleeping Beauty)
• Gingerbread Man
• The Wicked Wolf
• Buzz Lightyear
• Dora the Explorer
• Peppa Pig
• Mickey Mouse
• Little Bo Peep
• Pinocchio
• Jack (from Jack and Jill)
• Jill
• The Beast (From Beauty and the Beast)
• Little Miss Muffet
• One of the Three Little Pigs
• Prince Charming
• Jack (from Jack and the Beanstalk)
• Ugly Duckling
• Fairy Godmother

The second list is a variety of places. Here are some suggestions:
• A castle
• A dragon’s cave
• A haunted house
• A jail cell
• A superhero’s house
• A dark forest
• A stolen ship
• A wolf’s den
• A dungeon

The final list is a variety of magical objects. Here are some suggestions:
• Magical wand
• Magic beans
• Magic kisses
• A genie
• Magical dust
• Magic ring
• Magic potions
• Magic carpets
• Magic lamps
• Magic swords
• Cloak of invisibility

Divide the students into groups of three of four and have each child choose a character. When they have chosen their characters, each group must choose one setting and one magical item. They can pick these randomly out of a hat or can choose from the list, whichever the leader prefers. In their groups, they make up a story with their chosen characters, setting and magical object. If they are more advanced, they can do an improvisation based on what they have chosen.

Posted in Role playing stories

The Gruffalo – Drama for young children

The following drama is based on the Gruffalo by Julia Donaldson

Children are in the role of Monsters spotters (Mantle of the Expert technique). Ask them what do they need to know about monsters? Ask the children what monsters do they know and what ones have they spotted?
They are in the Monster spotters office.
They get a phone call.
They need to answer – hello my name is …… Monster spotter office how may we help you? They can practice their telephone voice. Get them to go around and shake everyone’s hand and say

Hello my name is …… Monster spotter office how may we help you

The magpie arrives and claims that a Gruffalo has been spotted in the woods. This can be done by the teacher using the teacher in role technique.– The teacher takes on the role of the magpie by using a puppet or changing their voice or their appearance. . The children ask the Magpie questions – (Hotseating technique).

The Magpie hasn’t actually seen the Gruffalo. He gives the children information but it is only hear say. The Magpie leaves and the teacher comes out of role and asks  the following questions. What do they know about the Guffalo? What does he look like? We don’t know but we know that the fox, snake and owl know so we need to go to the woods to find them and ask them about what they saw.

The spotters go to the woods. The teacher has collected and placed pine cones, stones, leaves, sand trays, mushrooms, flowers, piece of bark, twigs all around the room. The children go and touch the objects and feel them. Talk about how it feels and the textures of each items that they have collected. They put all the items on a large sheet of paper. They spray paint all around them so that they see what shape they make.

Ask the children what kind of animals are found in the forest. Ask the children to imagine that they are one of the animals that is found in the woods. Then the children to make a sculpt of their bodies into their animal and freeze (Still Image technique). When the teacher touches them on the shoulder they must shout out the name of their animal and move like it the animal and make the sound of their chosen animal (Role Play). Allow them to make the sound and movement of their animal for a few minutes then the teacher shouts freeze..

Divide them into threes and tell them one of them is going to be the owl, fox and snake. Get them to imagine that they have come across the Gruffalo. Show the face of how their animal will react to seeing the scariest animal in the woods. Are they frightened or are they brave. Do they run or do they stay? They make a still image. While they are in the still image touch them on the shoulder and get them each to tell you one word about how they feel as their character (thought tracking). Then in threes get them to move as their animal (owl, fox and snake) (Moving Picture technique). Get them to say the following together.

A gruffalo? What’s a gruffalo?”
“A gruffalo! Why, didn’t you know? He has terrible tusks, and terrible claws, and terrible teeth in his terrible jaws.” (Choral Speaking).

Teacher asks what sort of questions would the monster spotters ask the fox snake and owl. The sort of questions could be what does he look like? Why is he scary? Where did he go? When is the last time you saw him? Where was he going? Get the children to devise their own questions.

Then the teacher takes on the role as the fox, snake and owl (Teacher in role) by using a puppet or changing their voices or appearance. The children ask their questions – (hot seating).

The teacher comes out of role and ask the children
What do we know? What information have we gathered..

Using different types and shapes of materials get the children as a group to create an image of what they think the Gruffalo looks like.

Teacher out of role asks the children if they met the Gruffalo what would we ask him? Why is he so scary? Does he want to make friends. Is it hard having no friends. What could he do to make friends. Maybe we could invite to the wood party so he can meet people.
Teacher in role as the Gruffalo – children ask their  questions. They make friends with him in the end when discovers that he is lonely and wants to make some friends.

The Gruffalo is invited to a party in the woods with all the other animals and he make friends with them.

Posted in Role playing stories

Teacher in Role – Explained

Children dressing up as professionals

Drama is an excellent tool for bring lessons to life. It not only stimulates creativity and imagination in a fun and enjoyable way but it can heighten a child’s self-confidence and improve concentration and co-operation skills. One of the most effective drama techniques that I have used in the classroom is “Teacher in Role”.

Teacher in Role
What?
The teacher takes on a role as part of a story and the children interact with the teacher inside the confines of this role.

Why?
This technique allows the child to engage with the story of the drama. If the teacher is fully immersed in her/his role it makes an easier for the children to use their imagination and enter into their own roles. It is an effective way to get the children involved in the story.

How?
The teacher explains very clearly at the outset that they are going to take on a particular role/s in the drama. It is important that the teacher chooses the roles carefully. The must think about what the learning objective is for that particular drama.
For example
If the objective is to:
To stimulate the imagination – the teacher could take on the role of Aladdin and the children could ask what he had seen the magical cave.
To help reach a consensus – the teacher could be a police officer who has come to sort out an accident and the children could be witnesses to the accident.
To help make suggestions – the teacher could be someone with a problem looking for a solution. The children could offer him choices.
To offer advice – the teacher could be Jack from Jack and the Beanstalk. He could be looking for advice whether to accept the beans, climb the beanstalk, etc..,
The teacher can assume more than one role in the drama. However she/he should make it very clear to the children whenever H/she uses a certain prop or costume they are in role as that particular person.
Example:
If she wears an apron she is Jack’s mother
If she picks up a baton she is the police officer.
It is important that the teacher comes out of role at certain times during the drama as this will allow the children and teacher to feedback and reflect what is happening within the drama.

When?
The teacher in Role (TIR) technique can be used at any age or level however it is particularly effective with younger children as they are willing to take on any role they are given without question. They are very quick to use their creativity and engage in an imaginary world.

For more drama techniques for children, click below.

Posted in Role playing stories

Drama plan based on the story “The day the sea went out and never came back” by Margot Sunderland

I Drama plan based on the story “The day the sea went out and never came back”
by Margot Sunderland.

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Placing group in the role of experts:
To place the group in the role of experts welcome the children as happiness experts. Ask them what makes people happy? They can use their own experience. Ask them to mime what makes them happy. The happiness helpers work in the happiness office. If someone is or if they know someone who is sad then they contact the happiness office and the happiness helpers will try to help.

Ask the group to answer the Phones in the happiness office.
“Hello Happiness Office … speaking how many I help you.” Ask the group to move around the room, shaking hands with everyone and each time they repeat the greeting. If they would like to add their own words or have their own greeting they may do so.

Using an email to introduce the problem
The helpers are on the computer when an email arrives from Surfthedog@thebeach.com

Read out the email
Dear Happiness Helpers
I live on the beach and there is a sand dragon just lying on the beach. He doesn’t look well I asked him what is wrong and he said he is very sad because his good friend the sea went out but unfortunately never came back.
Please can you help?
Best Wishes
Surf the dog.

Brainstorming/reflecting in role
Ask them if they have any ideas about what to do. Do they need extra detail? How long has the sea gone? Has she done this before? Where does she usually go? What does she look like? How long has the sand dragon been friends with the sea? Perhaps we could make a phone call to Surf the dog and ask him these questions. No answer to the phone call.

Narration/still image/ thought tracking
So we can’t speak to sand dragon but we must try to think how is feeling as the sea has been gone for a long time and there isn’t any sign of it coming back. In pairs discuss how the sand dragon is feeling and then make a still image of how you think he is feeling.
“Please, please come back sea. Don’t leave me. Please don’t leave me. You are my everything.” Use movement with the narration. Return to the still image and then tap them on the shoulder ask them how they are feeling they can response by saying a word or a sentence.

Creating the environment and exploring the world of the drama
Suggest that we should go to the beach and find the sand dragon and ask him what happened to make him so sad. What other questions could we ask? Let them come up with suggestions.
Divide the group into pairs. Use the materials given to make the environment and items on the beach. – the sand, the rock, flowers, water. Each pair walks around the scene and asks how the different items feel about the sea going out and never coming back. Ask how each item might help each other.

Reflecting
Everyone reflects on what has happened. How can we help the Sand Dragon? In pairs, come up with ideas. Decide together if we should talk to Sand Dragon. What should we say? What could we say to help him not be so sad?

Teacher in role/Puppet
TIR – as the sand dragon or puppet answers the group’s questions. He explains that he misses the sea so much and that he is just going to lie on the beach waiting for her to come back. Then devise a gauntlet and everyone must do an action or say something to help the Sand Dragon as he walks down it.

Treasure chest-Mime
The group thinks of things that could help the sand dragon to remember the sea. One by one they collect them and put them in the treasure chest. When everyone has done that they sit in a circle and pass the treasure chest around and mime taking out their item. They explain carefully what it is and how it will help the sand dragon to remember the sea.

Group sculpt.
In groups sculpt themselves how the dragon feels after he has accepted that sea isn’t coming back and that he will never forget it and that he has a treasure chest full of memories. Each group looks at the other and discusses what feelings represented.

In groups – write a final letter to the sea. Tie it on to a balloon and let it go.

Posted in Aesop's fabes, Plays, Plays for Children, Role playing stories

The Lion and the Mouse – five minute play

A king lion and a mouse under the tree

The Lion and the Mouse

Characters: Three Storytellers, Lion, Mouse, Elephants, Giraffes, Snake/s, Owls. You can have as many elephants, giraffes, snakes and owls as you want.

(Stage Directions: all the animals are in a semi-circle on the stage; they are grouped according to their animal type. Storytellers can be placed on the right or the left of the stage.)

Storyteller 1: One hot day a lion was asleep in a cave. (Lion is sleeping in the centre of the stage.)

Storyteller 2: Suddenly a little mouse ran over his paw.  (Mouse comes scampering out quickly and touches the Lion’s paw.)

Storyteller 3: The lion woke up with a loud roar. He grabbed the mouse with his paw and said … (Lion wakes up and grabs the mouse.)

Lion: I’m going to kill you and eat you up. (Lion roars loudly.)

Mouse: Squeak, Squeak! Please, Mr. Lion, Please don’t eat me. Some day I will help you.

Lion: Ha, Ha, Ha! You, help me! Don’t make me laugh, but I’m not that hungry so I will let you go. (Lion pushes the mouse away.)

Storyteller 1: The lion laughed and laughed and the mouse ran home.

To read the rest of the play subsribe to our mailing list and receive a free copy of Aesop’s Fables on Stage. Click on the image below.

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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”

Posted in Role playing stories

Storytelling Games

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Storytelling games are very important in any learning environment. They are particularly important when working with children as they encourage them to use their imaginations. The games also help to instil confidence in children and to develop both their receptive and expressive skills.

The following activities are a fun and enjoyable way of developing storytelling techniques.

Game: One-word story

  • Difficulty rating: ***
  • Minimum number of participants: 5
  • Resources needed: Clear space
  • Instructions: The children sit in a circle, and the leader tells them to create a story as a group. One child volunteers to start the story and says a word. The next child in the circle adds a second word to the story, and the next child does the same, until everyone in the circle has contributed one word. The story goes around the circle a few times. It is important that the story makes grammatical sense.
  • Variation: You can do the same activity using whole sentences instead of single words.

Game: Unfortunately/fortunately

  • Difficulty rating: *****
  • Minimum number of participants: 3
  • Resources needed: Clear space
  • Instructions: This is an extension of the one-word/one-sentence story. The children sit in a circle. The leader begins the story; then each child in turn contributes one sentence to the story. This time, however, they must alternately say “fortunately” or “unfortunately” before each sentence.
  • Example:
  • Leader: One day there was a pilot flying a plane.
  • Child 1: Fortunately he had a tank full of petrol.
  • Child 2: Unfortunately the engine failed.
  • Child 3: Fortunately he had a parachute so he jumped out of the plane.
  • Child 4: Unfortunately the parachute wouldn’t open.
  • Child 5: Fortunately he fell on top of a haystack.
  • Child 6: Unfortunately in the haystack there was a pitchfork.
  • And so on.

Game: First-liners/last-liners

  • Difficulty rating: ***
  • Minimum number of participants: 4
  • Resources needed: Clear space
  • Instructions: Divide the class into groups of three or four. Give each group a line and the children must come up with a story that starts with that line.
  • Examples:
  • It was a dark and stormy night.
  • “Wake up! Wake up!” she screamed.
  • “Oh look what has happened,” she sighed. “I told you not to eat it.”
  • “I wouldn’t go into that room if I were you,” she said.
  • An extension of this activity is that each group gets a sentence that the story must finish with:
  • And then he ate the goldfish.
  • “Quick, run!”
  • “I was only joking,” he said.
  • She couldn’t believe how much money she owed.
  • It is important to give the children 10 or 15 minutes to come up with their stories. Each group then has to narrate its story, with every child contributing.

If you want more storytelling games go to Drama Start Two.