Posted in Aesop's fabes, Animal Stories, Books for children, Drama Activities for children, Drama for children, drama for kids, Drama games for 3 year olds, Drama games for 4 year olds, Esl Drama, The Hare and the Tortoise

The Hare and the Tortoise – A Drama Learning Opportunity for Children



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.

Boast/boastful/boasting: Stand up straight and puff out the chest.

Woods: Children make themselves into trees.

Animals: Each child chooses a different animal found in the woods and moves like that animal.

Hare: Make bunny ears with your hands.

Fast: Children move as fast as they can.

Run: Run on the spot.

fTortoise: Children bend over as if they have something heavy on their back.

Slow: Children move in slow motion around the room.

Narrator: Once upon a time, there was a very boastful hare that lived in the woods with lots of other animals. He was always boasting about how fast he could run. He boasted, “I’m the fastest animal in the woods. No one can run as fast as me.” The other animals were tired of listening to him. One day the tortoise said to the hare,Hare you are so boastful. I challenge you to a race.” Hare laughed and said, “Tortoise, you will never beat me. You are too slow and steady.” They decided whoever got to the other side of the woods the fastest was the winner. All the other animals in the woods came to watch the race. The hare ran as fast as he could through the woods. After a while, he thought to himself, “I’m so fast that slow tortoise will never beat me. I think I will take a quick nap.” Soon he fell asleep. The tortoise walked slowly through the woods. He passed the sleeping hare. The animals watched the tortoise near the finishing line. The animals cheered loudly. The hare woke up and ran as fast as he could through the woods to the finishing line, but it was too late. The slow tortoise had won the race. All the animals in the woods congratulated the tortoise. The hare had to remind himself that he shouldn’t boast about his fast pace because slow and steady won the race.

 Physical warm-up: Get each child to find a clear space. They must make sure that they are not touching anyone else. The children crouch down on the floor and make a ball shape with their bodies. The teacher explains that all children are magic rocks and that the teacher is a magic wizard. The teacher waves the magic wand and says: “Magic rocks turn into hares.” All the children turn into hares and move around the room as hares. The teacher then says: “Magic rocks turn into magic rocks.” The children return to their clear spaces and crouch down on the floor again as quickly as possible. The magic wizard can change the magic rocks into the animal they can be found in the jungle.

Variation: The children can take it turns to be the magic wizard.

Role on the wall: Divide the class into groups of four. Give each group either an outline of the hare or the tortoise and ask the children to draw or write inside the image the different characteristics or personality traits of the hare or the tortoise. If they are too young to write, get them to draw inside the image. The teacher may also ask them what their word and write I. For them. Each group talks about their image and the words or drawings that they put inside.

Still Image/Thought Tracking: Ask each child to make a still image of the Hare at the beginning of the race. The teacher taps each child on the shoulder, and they must say how they feel. Then get them to make a still image of the hare at the end of the race. The teacher taps each child on the shoulder, and they must say how they feel. Can they tell the difference?

Slow-motion: Divide the class into pairs, and one of the children is the hare, and the other is the tortoise. They go to starting line, and they are going to move in slow motion to the finishing line but showing what happened between the start of the race and the ending.

Extension: They can go fast forwards or rewind.

Teacher in Role: The teacher takes on the role of the tortoise. She tells the children she feels sorry for the hare because he thought he was the fastest in the forest and now he is upset. Ask the children what they suggest they could do to make him feel better.

Hot seating: One of the children volunteers to be the hare. The hare sits in the hot seat, and the rest of the children asks him questions.

Three Little Pigs – a drama workshop.

Goldilocks and the Three Bears – a drama workshop.

The Hare and the Tortoise – a five minute play.

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Click below for more drama workshops for children.

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.

Click here for more children’s plays based on Aesop’s fables.

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


Characters: Three storytellers, hare, tortoise, foxes, badgers, hedgehogs, bears and an
(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 at 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.
Storyteller 1: After a while the hare stopped and said…
Hare: (He wipes his brow.) I’m already half way through so I think I will have a nap in the warm sunshine. (The hare starts to make himself comfortable, lies down and starts snoring.)

Storyteller 2: The hare fell fast asleep and the tortoise walked steadily on and on.
Storyteller 3: The hare woke up suddenly. (He starts to yawn and stretch.)
Hare: What a nice sleep. No sign of the tortoise so I better stroll along and finish the race.

Storyteller 1: The hare ran to the finish line.
Storyteller 2: Just as he got there he saw the tortoise crossing the line.
Storyteller 3: All the other animals were cheering and celebrating the tortoise’s victory. (All the other animals start to congratulate the tortoise. The hare stomps off in anger.)

Tortoise: Slow and steady wins the race.
Everyone: (except the hare who is sulking) Hip, Hip, Hooray! Hip, Hip, Hooray, Hip, Hip, Hooray!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

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Click on the link below for more Aesop’s Fables on Stage.

The Hare and the Tortoise – A drama learning opportunity for children.