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The Little Red Hen – a five minute play for young children

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Characters: Six storytellers, the Little Red Hen, dog 1, dogs, cat 1, cats, goose 1, geese, duck 1, ducks (you can have as many dogs, cats, ducks and geese as you want), farmer and miller.

(Stage Directions: Storytellers are on the left-side of the stage and the animals are all in a semi-circle in the centre of the stage.)

Storyteller 1: Once upon a time there was a little red hen that lived on a farm.

Storyteller 2: She was always busy! (She moves around the stage looking busy.)

Storyteller 3: She spent all morning laying eggs for the farmer. (The Little Red Hen bends down and lays eggs. Balloons can be used for the eggs.)

Farmer: Chick Chicken! Please lay an egg for my tea. (The Farmer walks to the centre stage and talks to the Little Red Hen.)

All Sing: Chick, Chick, Chick, Chicken,

Chick, chick, chick, chick, chicken,

Lay a little egg for me!

Chick, chick, chick, chick, chicken,

I want one for my tea!

I haven’t had an egg since Easter

And now it’s half past three!

So chick, chick, chick, chick, chicken

Lay a little egg for me!

Storyteller 4: After the Little Red Hen laid her egg…..

Storyteller 5: …..She found a grain of wheat.

Storyteller 6: She wanted to plant it in a field.

Red Hen: I think I’ll ask my animal friends to help me. (She moves towards the dogs.) Dogs, Dogs! Will you help me plant the wheat?

Dogs: Oh no, we will not help you. We are too busy burying our bones. (They all make burying actions.)

Dog 1: Get the ducks to help you. (They all point to the ducks.)

Red Hen: Ducks, Ducks! Will you help me plant the wheat? (Little Red Hen moves towards the ducks.)

Ducks: Oh no, we will not help you. We are too busy swimming. (They all make swimming actions.)

Duck 1: Get the geese to help you. (All the ducks point to the geese.)

Red Hen: Geese, Geese! Will you help me plant the wheat? (She moves towards the geese.)

Geese: Oh no, we will not help you. We are too busy sunbathing. (All the geese are lying on the floor enjoying the sun and rubbing lotion on themselves.)

Goose 1: Get the cats to help you. (All geese point towards the cats.)

Red Hen: Cats, Cats! Will you help me plant the wheat?

Cats: Oh no, we will not help you. We are too busy licking our paws. (Cats lick their paws.)

Cat 1: Plant it yourself.

Storyteller 6: No one would help the little, red hen so she planted it herself. (Red Hen, centre stage, mimes planting the wheat.)

Storyteller 1: The sun and the rain helped the wheat to grow.

Storyteller 2: Soon the wheat was tall and yellow and needed to be cut.

Red Hen: I think I’ll ask my animal friends to help me. Dogs, Dogs! Will you help me cut the wheat? (She moves towards the dogs.)

Dogs: Oh no, we will not help you. We are too busy burying our bones. (The dogs mime burying their bones.)

Dog 1: Get the ducks to help you. (Dogs point at the ducks.)

Red Hen: Ducks, Ducks! Will you help me cut the wheat?

Ducks: Oh no, we will not help you. We are too busy swimming.

Duck 1: Get the geese to help you. (All the ducks point to the geese.)

Red Hen: Geese, Geese! Will you help me cut the wheat?

Geese: Oh no, we will not help you. We are too busy sunbathing.

Goose 1: Get the cats to help you. (All geese point to the cats.)

Red Hen: Cats, Cats! Will you help me cut the wheat?

Cats: Oh no, we will not help you. We are too busy washing our faces.

Cat 1: Plant it yourself.

Storyteller 3: So the little red hen cut the wheat herself.

Storyteller 4: So she took the wheat to the miller.

Storyteller 5: The miller turned the wheat into flour.

Miller: (Gives Little Red Hen the bag of flour.) Here’s your flour to make bread and cakes.

Storyteller 6: The little red hen thanked the miller.

Storyteller 1: She made bread and cakes.

Red Hen: Who will help me eat the bread?

All animals: We will!

Red Hen: Oh no, I will eat it myself. If you want to eat the food what will you do next time?

All: We will share the work.

Storytellers: THE END!

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The Monkey and the Crocodile – A simple play for children based on an old Indian Story

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Characters: Three storytellers, the crocodile, the crocodile’s wife and the monkey.

Storyteller 1: Once upon a time there lived a crocodile that lived in the river Ganges in India.
(Crocodile enters stage swimming slowly.)
Storyteller 2: On both sides of the Ganges there were large music fruit trees.
Storyteller 3: A monkey lived in one of the trees. He ate fruit all day.
(Monkey mimes eating fruit.)
Monkey: These fruits are so delicious and juicy I’m so lucky to live in a fruit tree.
(Crocodile sits under the tree for shade.)
Crocodile: It is very hot I think I will sit under this tree and sleep in the shade. (Looks up.) The fruits on tree look so delicious. I wish I could climb the tree and pick some.
Monkey: (climbs down from the tree) Since you are resting under my tree, you are my guest. Please come and taste some of my delicious fruits.
Storyteller 1: The monkey plucked the juiciest fruit off the tree and gave it to the crocodile.
Crocodile: Oh thank you Monkey you are so kind.
Monkey: You are welcome. Come again, any time.
Storyteller 2: Soon, the crocodile came every day. They would eat the fruit and talk to one another for hours.
(Crocodile and the monkey mime having a conversation and eating lots of fruits.)
Storyteller 3: One day as the crocodile was leaving to swim home. The monkey gave him some fruit.
Monkey: Crocodile give these fruits to your wife. I plucked them especially for her.
Storyteller 1: The crocodile swam home and gave the fruit to his wife, She was very happy.
(Crocodile swims home and gives his wife the fruit.)
Crocodile’s wife: These fruits are delicious. I have never tasted such sweet fruit in all my life. Where did you get them from?
Crocodile: I got them from my friend the monkey. He lives in the fruit tree so he knows which ones are the sweetest.
Crocodile’s wife: Does the monkey eat fruit every day?
Crocodile: Yes, only the sweetest and juiciest ones. Why do you ask?
Crocodile’s wife: Because that means his heart must be so sweet. If I eat his heart I would remain young and beautiful forever. You must steal the monkey’s heart and give it to me.
Crocodile: But he is my good friend. He is my only friend. It would be unfair for me to steal his heart.
Crocodile’s wife: (gets angry) If you loved me you would do it.
Crocodile: Do not get anger my dear, I will do as you wish.
Storyteller 2: The next day the crocodile swam to the riverbank and reached the tree where the monkey lived.
Monkey: Crocodile, you are late today. I thought you weren’t coming.
Crocodile: My wife has made a meal for you. She has invited you to tea because she wants to thank you for giving her your beautiful sweet fruit.
Monkey: That’s very kind of her but I’m a land animal, I can’t swim.
Crocodile: We live on a sand bank just jump on my back and I’ll take you there.
Storyteller 3: The monkey hopped on the crocodile’s back and away they went.
Monkey: Slow down, Croc. You are going too fast.
Crocodile: I’m sorry Monkey but I have to go fast because my wife wants to eat your heart for her tea.
Monkey: Oh Croc, you should have told me this before we left. I always keep my heart in the hollow of the tree for safe keeping.
Crocodile: I’ll take you back to the tree and you can collect your heart.
Monkey: That would be great.
Storyteller 1: Crocodile turns and swims back to the tree where the monkey lives upon reaching the bank the monkey jumps off the crocodiles back and clambers up the tree. After a while the crocodile says…..
Crocodile: Monkey, you must have found your heart by now. My wife will get angry if we don’t arrive soon.
Monkey: You are so foolish crocodile. Don’t you know your heart is within yourself? It was a trick to save my life. Now leave my tree and never come back again.
Storyteller 2: The crocodile left empty handed.
(Crocodile’s wife looks very angry.)
Storytellers: The moral of the story is at times presence of mind pays well.

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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

https://www.amazon.com/Panchatantra-Stage-Children-Julie-Meighan-ebook/dp/B01HL30BDY?SubscriptionId=AKIAJBDF5XQBATGDX4VQ&tag=spea06-20&linkCode=xm2&camp=2025&creative=165953&creativeASIN=B01HL30BDY

 

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Movement Story -Adventure in Space

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Adventure in Space

Resources needed: Clear space, balloons, flags, and objects for the moon (optional).
Introduction: Tell the children that they are going to become astronauts. Explain what an astronaut is or show them pictures of an astronaut in space. An astronaut is a person who is trained to travel in space. Discuss some interesting facts about astronauts with the children.

Ten interesting facts about astronauts:
• Yuri Gagarin was the first man to travel in space in 1961. He was Russian. His space shuttle was called “Vostok 1.”
• John Glenn was the first American to travel in space in 1962. His space shuttle was called “Friendship 7.”
• Laika, a stray dog trained by the Russians, was the first living thing to go into space. Unfortunately he died a few hours after launch. Ham, the chimp, was the first animal taken into space by an American astronaut. He arrived safely back to earth after 16 hours in space.
• In space you float because there is no gravity. The inner ear doesn’t need to keep you balanced. When astronauts come back from space they are very clumsy.
• In space, there is no gravity to weigh you down so your spine stretches and relaxes, and the astronaut can grow up to 5cm. or 2 inches.
• In space the sun rises every 90 minutes.
• Astronauts in space can see other planets without a telescope.
• In space it is not possible to breathe air normally. The space suits have oxygen attached to them to help astronauts breathe when they are outside the space shuttle.
• The longest time an astronaut has spent in space is 2 years and 73 days.
• Astronauts have to sleep in buckled bunk beds. If they are not strapped to the bed they will float when they are asleep, as there isn’t any gravity.

The teacher discusses with the children that they are going to go on a special mission to space. Ask for suggestions for the name of their space shuttle. Ask them how they will move in space as there is no gravity. They must move in slow motion with their space suits. Get the children to practice moving around the room very slowly. Get them to jump up and down in slow motion. Once they are used to the slow movements, the story can begin. The teacher will be the pilot.

Pilot: Astronauts, this is space shuttle (name of the space shuttle). My name is (pilot’s name). I am your pilot for this important top-secret space mission. (All the astronauts walk on to the shuttle and take their positions on the floor.) Welcome on board the (name of the space shuttle). Our flight time will be (time) and we will be flying at an altitude of (altitude), at a speed of (speed). At this time all electronic devices must be switched off or set to space shuttle mode. (All the astronauts take out their devices and mime switching them off.) Please take your seat and fasten your seat belt. (The astronauts lie on the floor with their feet in the air.) Astronauts, please prepare for blast off. Everybody count down 10, 9, 8, 7, 6, 5, 4, 3, 2, 1, BLAST OFF. (Everybody count from 10 to 1 and creates a loud explosive sound.) Keep your seat belts on as there is a lot of turbulence. (Astronauts are shaking from side to side while fastening their seats.) We have reached a height of (height). The seat belt sign has been switched off. (The astronauts take off their seat belts, and because there is no gravity they start moving in slow motion and imagine that they are floating. They go forwards and backwards, up and down, side to side as they look out of the windows.) Astronauts, due to a technical problem with the space shuttle we have to make an emergency landing on the moon. Everyone, please take your seats as quickly as possible. (The astronauts sit back in their seats and put their seat belts on.) Everyone hold on tight. (They make an emergency stop and they all go forward and backward.) We are going to be stuck on the moon until we manage to fix the technical problem with the space shuttle. If you would like, you can put on your space suit and go for a walk on the moon. (The astronauts put on their space suits.) Remember to use your oxygen masks. (Everyone puts on their oxygen mask.) You have to move slowly on the moon because you don’t want your space suits to burst open. (They all get off the rocket carefully.) Everyone take your time going down the space shuttle steps. Hold on tight. Now that we are on the moon we should put our country’s flag on the moon. We should all take something from the moon as a souvenir. (Astronauts move around the room carefully and slowly and they mime picking up something and putting it in their space suit pocket.) Oh, look, it is a meteorite. (Teacher throws a balloon in the air which represents a meteorite.) Astronauts, we must make sure that the meteorite doesn’t hit the moon as it will cause a crater. (The astronauts try to keep the balloon from hitting the floor. They work together. The teacher can keep adding meteorites or balloons until they start to drop on the floor and cause craters.) It has turned into a meteorite shower and it is getting worse, and we have to run to the rocket to take cover. (They run as fast as they can in the space suits. Remember they can burst them if they run too fast. They all climb the stairs and get back into the rocket.) Welcome abroad. Please take your seats and fasten your seatbelts. (They lie on the backs with the feet up.) Count down begins 10, 9, 8, 7, 6, 5, 4, 3, 2, 1, lift off. (They count down and make the sound of the engine taking off. They slowly begin to sit up as the rocket levels off and is floating through space.) The seatbelt sign has been switched off. Everyone look out the window. Remember what you see so you can tell everybody on Earth. (The children take off their seatbelts and look out the window.) Astronauts, it is time to return to Earth. Everyone fasten your seatbelts. I hope you enjoyed this space flight and will join us again in the future. (They land safely and everyone alights from the space shuttle.)

Closure: The children sit in a circle. One by one they take out their souvenir from the moon and explain what it is, what it looks like, or what it feels like? Each child says what they saw or experienced in space.

This story is from the book “Movement Start: Over 100 Activities and Stories for Children”.

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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 on my Amazon page.

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Using drama to build confidence with 3 – 7 years olds

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The following is a guest post by Samantha Marsden author of ‘How to make a living as a freelance drama teacher.’

I taught drama to 3 – 7 year olds for nine years. During this time I had hundreds of parents tell me how drama had improved their child’s confidence. Here are some tips on how to help students gain more confidence in your drama class.

Performing: Plan your lesson so that students get a chance to perform in front of their classmates. The more they practice performing, the easier it will become for them. Even if a student gets up for only three seconds and shows the class their impression of a cat, this counts as a performance.

Praise: Even when a student mumbles a few inaudible lines, find something to praise them for. Chances are it took a lot of guts for them to get up and do that in front of the class. Try and make the praise specific. It’s ok to include constructive criticism as long as it’s said in a gentle and kind tone. For example, ‘Lily I really liked the way you smiled during your poem but do you think you could make the words a little louder?’

Applaud: Whenever someone performs in front of the class encourage everyone to clap afterwards. Make sure you clap as well and if it was really good throw in a few whoops and cheers!

Comparisons: Always compare a student to themselves not to others. Progress should be measured by how far a student has come, not by what they are like compared to other students.

Respect: Respect your students’ ideas and never belittle an idea even if it is a little crazy! If a child is speaking or performing give them your full attention and make sure the class does too.

No nastiness: Make it a very strict rule that no one is to say anything nasty about anyone during the drama class.

Don’t put a child on the spot: Please don’t ever randomly pick a child and ask them to answer your question or perform. Children hate looking stupid in front of their peers and if they don’t know the answer to your question they will quickly lose confidence and won’t volunteer themselves to do anything in your class in the future.

Simplicity: Keep the lesson content simple. If you make the lesson too complex, which is easily done with this age group, students will lose confidence as they will feel out of their depth.

Make mistakes: Kid’s love it when you make mistakes. If you get the words of a song wrong,laugh at yourself and say, ‘Silly me.’ Don’t try to hide your mistakes. They’ll love it if you muck up and it will make them feel better about themselves. I’ve been to known to fake a few mistakes so that students feel more at ease.

No forcing: Never force a child to perform or to do anything in your class. They will join in and perform when they are ready, not when you are ready. By forcing them you may ruin their confidence and then they may never perform as they have a terrible memory of the time they were forced to do it. If you don’t force anyone and only positively encourage students I can guarantee you that every student will be volunteering to perform by week 5 or 6.

Thumbs up: If a child is particularly terrified whilst performing stick your thumbs up at them as they perform and encourage other members of the class to do so as well.. You’ll often see a smile spread across the terrified child’s face when you show them support.

Friend:  Buddy children up and help them to make friends with each other. They’ll have a lot more confidence if they know they have a friend routing for them.

Stickers: Give out stickers and be specific about why you’re giving them. The children will be more proud of their achievement if they know exactly what the sticker is for, for example: ‘Well done Caleb I really liked your lion face in that song.’

Certificates: Give out certificates. Each week have a ‘performer of the week,’ or two, or even three depending on the size of your class. Keep a list of who gets the certificate each week and make sure everyone gets it at least once during the term.

Student praise: After a performance, ask the class what they liked about it. Try and get about three positive comments from the class per performance – any more and you won’t have enough time. You’ll be amazed at what lovely things they have to say about each other.

Written by Sam Marsden, author of ‘How to make a living as a freelance drama teacher.’

Whether you’re an experienced drama teacher or straight out of college, my new book Teach Drama: How to Make a Living as a Freelance Drama Teacher will help you get work as freelance drama teacher.
https://www.dramafountain.com

4

ESL Drama Games – Icebreakers

Group Of Children With Teacher Enjoying Drama Class Together

Game: Greetings
Level: Beginners+
Aim: The main focus of this activity is for the students to learn how to greet people. The extension to the activity promotes imagination and creativity.
Minimum number of participants: 3
Resources needed: Clear space.
Instructions: The students stand up and walk around the room in different directions. They have 30 seconds to shake everyone hands and say “Hello, my name is …. Please to meet you?
Extension: you can make this more difficult for higher levels. When’s hey have greeted everyone in 30 seconds they have to go around the room and greet everyone in different scenarios. The teacher calls out the different scenarios.
Examples of the different scenarios:
Greet someone you haven’t seen for ten years.
Greet someone that owes them money.
Greet everyone as if they have bad breath
Greet everyone as if you are in love with them.
Greet everyone as if you don’t like them.
Greet everyone as if you are suspicious of them.
Greet everyone as if you are frightened of them

Game: Snowballs
Level: Pre intermediate +
Aim: Statements and interrogative questions is the language focus here but this activity helps the students to be observation and be aware of other people’s body language.
Minimum number of participants: 4
Resources needed: Pieces of paper, pens and a clear space.
Instructions: This is a good icebreaker or warm up game for a class that don’t know each other that well. Give each student a piece of paper. Each student writes a statement about themselves on the piece of paper. When everyone has done this they scrunch up the pair and throw it in the circle. They keep picking up and throwing different pieces of paper until the teacher says stop. They pick up a random piece of paper and they must ask each other questions to find out who the piece of paper belongs to. If they group knows each other well get them to write down less obvious statements about themselves.

Game: Roll The Ball
Level: Beginners+
Language focus: This is a very useful game to play at the start of a new class. It helps both the students and teacher learn each other’s name in a fun way.
Minimum number of participants: 4
Resources needed: A clear space and a ball.
Instructions: This is a fun and easy game to play with younger students. It help with coordination skills. You need a ball. All the students sit in a circle with their legs wide open. The say the following rhyme as they roll the ball to on another.
Roll the ball, roll the ball, roll the ball to (name)
(name) has got the ball, roll it back to me.

Game: Data Processing
Level: Elementary+
Aim: The main aim of this activity of this activity is to ask personal questions but it also aids listening skills..
Minimum number of participants: 4
Resources needed: A clear space
Instructions: Get the class to work together and get them to get into a straight line:
• Alphabetically by their first name
• Alphabetically by their surnames
• Alphabetically by their best friend’s name
• Hair length
• Show size
• Birthdays
• How many brothers and sisters you have?

Extension: If the students are advanced get them to do this exercise by not using sound. They can only use body movement and gesture.