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.

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Posted in Drama for children, Story sacks, Storytelling, Storytelling in the Early years, Storytelling techniques

Storytelling Activities for the ESL Classroom.

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Storytelling games are very important in any learning environment. They are particularly important when working with students as they encourage them to use their imaginations. The games also help to instil confidence in students and to develop both their receptive and expressive skills. The following activities are a fun and enjoyable way of developing storytelling techniques. A variety of tenses, comparatives, adjectives, nouns, verbs, conjunctions, vocabulary, question formation and different parts of speech are the main language aspects that are practiced in this section.

Game: Story Stones
Level: Elementary +
Other benefits: This activity practices sequencing and develops the students’ imagination.
Minimum number of participants: 2
Resources needed: Story stones or the materials to make the stones
Instructions: Story stones are smooth, flat stones. Each stone has a picture of a character or animal or object on it. The story stone can be created in many ways. The students can paint a picture on it, or they can draw on the stone with a permanent marker. Alternatively, they can use cut outs or fabric scraps to make their story stones. All the stones are put in a tray. One student chooses a stone and they start a story. Each student picks a stone and uses it to add to the story.

Game: A Shell’s Life Story
Level: Beginners+
Other benefits: This game practices adjectives and the past tenses.
Minimum number of participants: 3
Resources needed: A collection of different types of shells. The shells can be replaced by other objects such as books, shoes, stones, chairs.
Instructions: Every one sits in a circle. Different types of shells are passed around the circle. The students must come up with an adjective such as rough, smooth, hard, soft, big, small to describe each shell. Divide the class into groups of three or four students in a group. Each group chooses a shell. They must come up with a life story about the shell. How did the shell land on the beach? How old is the shell? Does the shell have any family? What happened on its journey to the classroom? Give the students some time to come up with their story. Tell them that they can be as imaginative as they wish. Each group must tell the rest of the class their shell’s life story.

Game: Four Ws -Who, What, Where, When.
Level: Pre -Intermediate
Other benefits: This game focuses on vocabulary development as well as giving tuners an opportunity to practice different type of tenses.
Minimum number of participants: 4
Resources needed: Four categories of cards with who, what, where, when on them.
Instructions: Divide the class into groups of four. Each member of the group chooses a card from a different category. Each group should end up with a who, what, where and when card. They must make up a story based on their cards. When each group have developed their story either tell or act out it for the rest of the class.

Some ideas for the various categories:

Who:
• An Alien
• An Astronaut
• A Lion
• A Prisoner
• The Devil
• A Witch
• A Ballerina
• A Strong-woman
• A Dinosaur
• A Policeman

Where:
• Jungle
• Under the sea
• Moon
• Mars
• Arctic
• Mount Everest
• Hell
• Desert
• Prison
• Farm

What:
• Can’t stop running
• Lost the use of voice
• Woke up and have lost a leg
• Caused a plane crash
• Can only say yes or no
• Under a spell
• In a very strange place
• Lost a very expensive watch
• Won the lottery
• Falls into a pig sty

Where:
• Past
• Present
• Future

 

For more ESL drama ideas 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 Action Poems, Aesop's fabes, Animal Stories, co-operation, creative arts, 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, expressive arts, Fairy Tales, Freeze Frame, Hot seating, Mime, Movement stories for children, Panchatantra plays, Still image, Story sacks, Storytelling, Storytelling in the Early years, Storytelling techniques, teacher in role, The three billy goats gruff

Using drama strategies in the classroom

Posted in creative arts, Drama Activities for children, Drama for children, drama for kids, Drama strategies, Elements of Drama, English as a second language, English teaching games, Esl, Esl Drama, expressive arts, Mime, Mime for all ages, Mime for children, Mime for kids, Movement activities, Movement stories for children, Role playing stories, Still image, Storytelling, Storytelling in the Early years, Storytelling techniques

Mime Workshop for all ages

Mime theme image 2

Main objective of workshop: Mime encourages confidence and awareness of self and of others. It encourages physical control, simplicity of thought and movement and more importantly it stimulates the imagination.

Sub aims:

  • To introduce relaxation exercises and understand their role in a drama class.
  • To promote group work and co-operation.

Relaxation exercises

Be a star: Lie sown on your back and spread your arms, palms up to the side and open your legs. Stretch the limbs all together. Feel you are making a four pointed star. Suddenly the star collapses. Feel the tension disappear.

Be Hercules: In the same position, imagine that the body is being pushed down by a heavy weight so that all parts of the body are being pressed into the ground suddenly the weight is removed. Feel yourself float on the ground.

Shake off the ants:  In the same position, imagine you are tied to the ground but you can wiggle. A colony of ants finds and begins to crawl over you. Commence to wiggle the body until the last ant leaves you. Then collapse.

Be a rubber puppet: Imagine you are made of rubber and there are strings attached to your shoulders which someone can pull from above. You are being pulled up and you find your 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.

Mime Activities:

What’s in the Box: All the students sit in a large circle. The teacher asks them to imagine there is a magic box in the centre of the circle. The teacher can ask what size is it? What colour is it? Ask can everyone see it. This is a fun mime game. Everyone sits in a circle. Ask the children if they can see the box in the centre of the circle. Ask them what colour it is? What shape it is? Tell them it can be a different shape and colour, depending on where you are sitting in the circle. This is because it is a magic box.  The teacher goes into the centre of the circle first and mimes opening the box and taking out an object. She then mimes holding the object and the class must guess what it is. When the children guess correctly the teacher mimes putting it back in the box and closing it. The child who guessed correctly takes a turn at taking an object out of the box.

Pass the object: This is a follow on from the Magic Box game. The teacher mimes taking an object out of the box, for example a mouse, a rotten egg, a cream cake, chewing gum, lipstick or a puppy, and the children guess what it is. When they have guessed she passes the object around the circle. The children should react as if they were holding the actual object in their hands. Eventually the last child in the circle gets rid of the object and the teacher goes to the box and takes out a new.

Locomotion: Get the students consider the ways that people walk. The teacher gets the children to walk around the room. Then call out different ways of walking

Walk like  a …..

•           Toddler

•           child in high heels

•           child wearing heavy wellington boots

•           child splashing in a puddles

•           child stuck in mud

•           child walking on stony beach

•           child walking on hot sand

•           someone walking on fire

•           someone walking wearily

•           an old frail person.

Chain Mime: Divide the class into 2 or 3 groups. Have at least 6 in each group. Number the students from one to six. Get each member of the group to leave the room except for number one. The other groups stay in the room. You then give number one an action to mime. You then call number 2 into the room and number one mimes to number 2. They do not talk. Number 2 can not say anything and she has to do mime exactly what she saw to number 3, then number 3 comes into the room and watches number 2 very carefully. Number 3 does the mime for number four and so on. When number 6 comes into the room she has to guess what the original mime was. This is like broken telephone but it is done through mime. Here are some suggestions for mimes:

•           Riding a horse

•           Skiing

•           Washing dishes

•           Eating hot food

•           Counting money

•           Telling someone you love them

•           Eating spaghetti

•           Singing

•           Playing tug of war

•           Washing your dog

•           Ballet dancing

•           Moon walk

•           Playing basketball

•           Singing opera

•           Walking in the desert

•           Playing tennis

•           Making pancakes

•           Opening a present that you do not like

The other groups watch how the mime changes with each person. This is a fun game and helps with observation skills.

Basic Situation: Divide the class into small groups and they must use body language and facial expression to 5 ways of showing that their are

•           Cold

•           Hot

•           Surprised,

•           Frightened

Meetings

The class gets into pairs. Each pair stands back to back. When the teacher calls out go they must turn around and pass their partner if

•           They were strangers

•           They were a casual acquaintance

•           Meeting some one they haven’t seen for 10 years

•           Meeting someone that owes them money.

Group Mime: Divide the class into groups and give each group one of the following outlines for a group mime. Allow the class 10 to15 minutes to prepare

The Concert   

  • Audience arrive for outdoor concert
  • Band enters with different instruments
  • Audience is very enthusiastic, claps, jumps up and down and waves hands in the air.
  • One person faints
  • Security arrives and removes him and her
  • No one takes any notice
  • Band plays on
  • Girl gets up on the stage and tries to touch members of the group
  • Security removes them
  • It starts to rain and after awhile everyone goes away disappointed

Hijack

  • Passengers board the plane
  • Welcomed by the air hostess
  • The plane takes off
  • One hijacker takes over the plane and an other one holds up the passengers
  • One passenger faints
  • This distracts the hijacker for a second
  • Pilot overcomes him
  • Airhostess holds him and the handcuff are put on him
  • Pilot overcomes the second hijacker and handcuffs him to hijacker 1
  • All the passengers have a strong drink and cheer the pilot as he brings the plane to land.

The Bank Robbery

  • Cashiers arrive bored and yawning they open up their desks and talk to each other
  • People come in and walk up to the cashiers and put in and withdraw money
  • Suddenly two robbers come in wearing masks
  • They make everyone lie on the floor and they hold up the bank clerks and make them hand over the money
  • Little old lady trips up robber and he falls and spills the money
  • Security guard then holds up robbers and takes off their masks.

Other ideas/themes for group mimes: Camping, The Circus, Christmas morning, The big mistake.

Starting  to use mime in a Drama session;

Start beginner groups on occupational mimes and later move to emotional mimes. Mime starts within and is then portrayed by the body. Never forget that through mime is that art of movement it is also the art of stillness.

Occupational Mimes: lift a bucket, box, brush. Place the same objects on a shelf or table, place them, carefully on top of each other. Use scissors, shears, pickaxes, fishing rod. Use activities such as sewing buttons, cooking, putting on clothes, painting, cleaning windows.

Character Mimes: Portray different types of character, the young girl, the old woman, the rich lady, beggar, clown. Watch people around you.

Emotional Mimes: These are the hardest to portray. Feel, understand, convey happiness at receiving a gift. Sadness at hearing bad news, shock, horror, love etc..,

More mime games

What’s the Chair?

Place a chair in the centre of the circle and particiapnts take turns to mime what they imagine it to be:, for example:  a post box, a kitchen sink, a dog, a naughty schoolboy, a new car.

The person who guesses correctly takes their place in the middle.

Take over

•           in a circle, walking on the spot

•           leader makes a gesture, in time, that the everyone else imitates

•           continue for 8 beats or so, then shout the name of a particiapnt and they must change or add to the action

•           this can continue until the group have warmed up

What’s my job?

All sit in a circle.  Give everyone an occupation (e.g. policeman, astronaut, postman, teacher).  Use each occupation twice, and make sure the occupations are kept secret.

Students use the space to mime their own occupation.  Their task is to spot the person with the same occupation as them.  When they have done this they should approach their partner, and without speaking, check that they are both miming the same job.

They should sit down in their pair when they think they have found them.

The game continues until everybody is sitting down.  The teacher should check they are all correct at the end of the game!

For more Mime and Movement ideas buy Drama Start Two Drama Activities and Plays for Children (ages 9 to 12) at amazon.com or amazon.co.uk or if you can buy the kindle version from amazon.com or amazon.co.uk