The Three Billy Goat’s Gruff – A Classroom Drama




Read the story or poem or watch the video. See links above.

Introduction: All the children sit in a circle. The teacher asks them what a troll looks like? Get the children to express their thoughts and ideas freely.

Role on the wall: Give an outline of an image and ask the children to write inside the image the different characteristics or personality traits of a troll. If they are too young to write, get them to draw inside the image.

Group work: Divide the class in to smaller groups of 5 or 6 children. Each group works together to create the troll with their bodies.
Suggestions: One of them could be head, the others could be the bodies or the legs. They could be two heads, 10 legs, four hands, etc.., Each group should be different.
Then ask each group to move around the room as the troll. The group should stay connected as they walk. Once they have mastered the movement they can make sound.

Still Image: Get each group to make a still image of the troll. He should look as fierce and as scary as possible.

Teacher in Role: The teacher assumes the role as the troll. She can do this by changing her voice or using a prop or putting on a costume. She sits on a seat which becomes the hot seat.

Hot Seating: Each child in the class asks the troll a question.
Suggestions: Why does the troll live by himself?
Where is his family?
Why does he not like the Billy Goats?
Does he not have any friends?
Why does he live under a bridge?

Voice Production (Pitch and Power): Divide the class into groups of three. They each must assume the role of one of the Billy Goats. They should experiment with the pitch and power of each of the billy goats.
The smallest goat should have a soft and high-pitched voice.
The middle size goat should have a medium volume and  medium-pitched voice.
The biggest goat should have a loud and low-pitched voice.
Give each group time to find their voices.

Choral speaking: Get each group to practice saying the following together:

  • “Please, Mr Troll, may we cross the bridge so we can graze on the green grassy ridge.”

Get them to say it first as the smallest goat, then the middle sized goat and then finally the biggest goat.

Thought tracking: The teacher tell each group they are going to cross the bridge. She taps each goat on the shoulder and they must say how they feel about crossing the bridge and confronting the goat. The teacher can extend this by asking each goat what they will say to the troll.

Conscience Alley: The class forms two lines facing each other. The line on the left must think of reasons why the troll should eat the Billy Goats. The line on the right should think of reasons why the troll shouldn’t eat the Billy Goats.

TIR – teacher walks down the centre of the line as the troll and she listen to each reason carefully.

Improvisation: Divide the class into pairs. One child is the biggest billy goat and the other is the troll. They must come up with alternative ending. The goat doesn’t throw the troll into the river. They can act out an alternative and most positive ending.





Acting out some emotions:

Emotions emoticons

  • try to maintain each expression for 10 seconds, even if other people lose it!
  • try to challenge yourself further, you can try to manage links between each emotion convincingly!

Try out the following:

  • waiting for something
  • confusion
  • physical ache or pain
  • thinking about something deeply
  • bored
  • something’s caught my attention
  • quietly amused
  • trying to remember something, but failing
  • remembering something painful
  • remembering something happily
  • frustration
  • anger
  • elation
  • trying to hide your irritation
  • scheming, or devising a plan
  • despair
  • verge of tears
  • relief

Now let’s try some more complex techniques, still not involving words:

  • Guffaw (short laugh)
  • Sniff, perhaps to show awkwardness
  • Clearing throat, perhaps to show you’re trying to clear your thoughts or perhaps to get attention
  • Sigh, perhaps from tiredness or perhaps because you’re relieved or frustrated
  • Muttering in panic, irritation or disbelief
  • Mmmm, perhaps thinking, perhaps ‘agreeing with yourself’ or confirming your own thoughts

Drama movement games – Part 2


Name: Cat and mouse.

Age: 4 years +.

Required number: 10+.

Requirements: Clear space.

Procedure: All children are in pairs. One child is cat, one other child is mouse, and all others stay in pairs, arms hooked together. Cat chases mouse; when mouse is caught then mouse becomes cat and vice versa. However, mouse can escape chase by hooking into any pair of other players. At that point the player at the other end of the pair becomes cat and the cat becomes mouse.

Name: Magic Box.

Age: 3 years +.

Required number:  2+.

Requirements: Clear space.

Procedure: This is a fun mime game. Everyone sits in a circle. Ask the students can they see the box in the centre of the circle. Ask them what colour is it?. What shape is it? 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 in first and opens the box and takes out an object. She then mimes the object and the class must get what object it is. When the students guess what object it is the teacher puts the object in the box and closes it. Whoever guessed correctly takes a turn at taking something out of the box.

Name: Captain’s coming.

Age: 4 years +.

Minimum number of participants:  3+.

Resources: Clear space

Procedure: The teacher can be the captain or one child is chosen to be the captain. The captain calls out orders to the rest of the children who are the crew. If a child does not follow an order correctly s/he is out. !

Orders                                     Action

Bow                                          run to the left side of the space

Stern                                        run to the right side of the space

Port                                          run to the left.

Starboard                              run to the right

Man overboard                   lie on back and swim

Submarines                           lie on back and stick one leg straight up.

Man the Lifeboats               find a partner, sit together, and row!

scrub the Decks                   children crouch down and pretend to clean the floor with their hands.

Climb the Rigging                 children pretend to climb a rope ladder.

Captain’s coming                  children salute and shout out “Aye Aye Captain”

Man Overboard                     children on their backs waving legs and arms in air as they drown.

Walk the Plank                       children have to walk in a perfect straight line one foot exactly in front of the other with arms outstretched to the sides.

Captain’s daughter is coming.     everyone curtseys

Hit the Deck                             children lie down on their stomachs.

 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


Action Poems for Young Children – Movement

girls in classroom

Action Poems

When Goldilocks went to the house of the bears

When Goldilocks went to the house of the bears (Walk on the spot).
Oh, what did her blue eyes see? (Point to their eyes)

A bowl that was huge and a bowl that was small
And a bowl that was tiny and that was all (Make increasingly smaller shapes with arms for each bowl).
And she counted them – one, two, three (Use finger to point as if counting each bowl).

When Goldilocks went to the house of the bears (Walk on the spot).
Oh, what did her blue eyes see? (Point to eyes).

A chair that was huge and a chair that was small
And a chair that was tiny and that was all (Use hands to show the increasingly smaller height and size of each chair)
And she counted them – one, two, three (Use finger to point as if counting each chair).

When Goldilocks went to the house of the bears (Walk on the spot).
Oh, what did her blue eyes see? (Point to eyes).

A bed that was huge and a bed that was small
And a bed that was tiny and that was all (Use hands to show the increasingly smaller length and size of each bed).

And she counted them – one, two, three

When Goldilocks went to the house of the bears (Walk on the spot).
Oh, what did her blue eyes see? (Point to eyes).

A bear that was huge and a bear that was small
And a bear that was tiny and that was all ((Use hands to show the increasingly smaller height and size of each bear).


There was a princess long ago, long ago, long ago, there was a princess long ago, long long ago.

There was a princess long ago, long ago, long ago, there was a princess long ago, long long ago. (In a circle everyone curtsy/bow and the  princess  is in the middle dancing).

And she lived in a big high tower, a high tower, high tower, she lived in a biigh high tower long ago, long, long ago. (put hands in “triangle” shape to make tower, princess still dances).

A wicked fairy cast a spell, cast a spell, cast a spell, cast spell. A wicked fairy cast a spell long ago, long, long ago. (Fairy chases princess about, then taps her head as casting a spell. Everyone in the circle cast spell with “wands”).

The princess slept for a hundred years etc

(Princess lies in middle of circle sleeping everyone puts head on hands as sleeping action).

A great big forest grew around etc (cross arms and hold )

A handsome prince came riding by etc (Prince runs/gallops round circle and everyone  gallops on the spot)

He took his sword and cut the trees etc (prince chops trees with arm everyone  pretend to cut treess with their arms)

He woke the princess with a kiss etc (Prince gives the princess a kiss on head/cheek/lips everyone blow kisses0

The wedding bells go ding dang ding etc (All with hands pretend to ring bells; prince and princess dance in middle)

And every bodys happy now etc (All happy, clapping, dancing, jumping etc).

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


Exploring Disability – Drama Workshop

AIMS: To explore through drama how people with special or individual needs may be treated by society.

STRATEGIES: Hot Seating                    Small group work

Whole group                   Thought tracking

Discussion: Discussion about different types of disability and how people can come to be disabled.

A) Run a lottery to decide who will play the part of the disabled person, small pieces of paper are pulled from a bag and one is marked with a cross.

B) Ask the class to open their papers together. What are their feelings before they open the paper? After finding out whether it is them or not, how do they feel?

Small groups:

A) In small groups devise and show a scene before the accident happened to show why the person was liked and popular.

B) In small groups do a “911 Moment” What were people doing when they heard the news of the accident? How did they feel?

C) Show small moments – FREEZE- then interview/thought track in role.

Bigger groups

A) The person’s friends want to visit now that they have returned home. How will they organize this? How do they feel  before they knock on the front door? How does the disabled person feel before their friends arrive?  (There may be awkward silences.

B) The whole class decides to take their friend out as a treat. Where to?

When they arrive someone in authority is unhelpful and rude about their friend.   Act this out.  How do they react? How do they feel?

Reflection:   What have we learned? How would we cope if it were us? How would we want to be treated if it was us who became disabled or were born with special needs?  List all the places and activities that a disabled person might find it  difficult to use. Think of your school and list all the ways in which a disabled person would have difficulties using it.


Drama Workshop which deals with the issue of bullying -any age!

Drama Workshop which deals with the issue of bullying

Main Objective:  To use naturalistic acting techniques to examine the issue of bullying and harassment.

Sub aims:

  • To explore the body language of statues and power
  • To identify and enact human responses to messages of welcome or rejection.
  • To work in groups to make and present a drama on the theme of bullying.

Materials: An empty space and chairs

Warm Up

WALK IT, TALK IT: Mingle around the room, walking and talking in the manner of:

TOUGHS – slouch, swagger, call out across room to mates. Pair up on command: 30 seconds to boast about your latest tough deed.

TIMIDS – scuttle, dart, make little greetings as you pass. Pair up on command: 30 seconds to ask for directions

STARS – saunter or strut, greet your fans, stop to pose for cameras. Pair up on command: 30 seconds to boast about your latest movie or engagement.

SnapShot: Divide into groups of three and each group make a still image of:

• the star hits town

• louts hang out on local street

• first day in the new school.

Each group presents to the class.

Comment on differences in body language

• What differences in body language did you see in those pictures?

• Were the bodies more open or more closed?

• Where was the focus of that picture?

• How was it made more interesting by use of levels, angles, proximity of one character to another, and so forth?

Main activity:

Pair up. One person brings out a chair and sits on it.

Show a tableau of the bully (standing) demanding money from the other (sitting). Upon instruction, bring the scene to life with a line from the bully, ‘You knowwhat I want – so give it to me!’

Swap roles the tableau is  of the bully lounging on the seat and the other person  arriving to find their seat taken. Upon command, bring the scene to life with the line, ‘Excuse me, but that’s my seat…’

Lightning looks

Have all pairs play at once. Freeze them and activate one or two pairs at a time to take lightning looks at their scenes.

Talk about body language of status. Look at how status is conferred.

Replay. Ask for some partnerships to replay the scene, but as characters of equal status.

Discuss what differences you notice in what is done and or said.

What are the bully characters doing with body / voice / choice of language/ positioning o claim status?

What are the victim characters doing with body / voice /choice of language/ positioning to bestow status?

What difference do you see when they are played at equal status?

How do actors create images of status? Point out how role is both created and bestowed by the reactions of others.

When / where do you see this happening in real life?

Human guinea pig’ scenarios:

Each scene is to begin with the others acting as friends gossiping about the weekend. Upon a command the ‘guinea pigs’ arrive into their groups. Four variants are played in the following order (maintain the order to finish on a positive note):

  • the arriving party is ignored
  • the arriving party is blamed for something
  • the arriving party is actively welcomed and included
  • the arriving party is treated as a celebrity.

What was it like to be ignored, blamed, welcomed or fussed over?

What emotions do these different responses trigger in real life?

How did each affect the character’s behaviour (voice, body, dialogue)?

If this was real life, rather than make believe, how would these experiences affect someone?

In real life, what are some of the reasons why groups hand out different sorts of treatment?

Making a scene from a story

small group improvisation

1. Set groups to prepare an improvisation around the title ‘new kid’. Distribute different tasks to each group

• a new kid approaches a group in the yard and is welcomed

• a new kid is introduced to the ‘wrong’ group by a teacher

• a new kid is called over to the group and given a celebrity welcome

• a new kid boasts about previous exploits• a new kid is tested out by the group

• a new kid is reassured by parents on the first day of school.

2. Allow students time to talk through, cast and try out their scene.

3. Present the scenes to the class.

Using Poetry as a stimulus to explore the issue of bullying


Four o’clock, Friday, I’m home at last,

time to forget the week that’s passed.

On Monday break they stole my ball

And threw it over the garden wall.

On Tuesday morning, I came in late,

But they were waiting behind the gate.

On Wednesday afternoon, in games,

They threw mud and called me names.

Yesterday, they laughed after the test,

‘cos my marks were lower than the rest.

Today, they trampled my books on the floor

And I was kept in because I swore.

Four o’clock, Friday, at last I’m free;

For two whole days they can’t get me.


Setting up a role play in an Early Education Setting

Children dressing up as professionals

Role Play

Role Play can be one of the most important activities for young children; it not only stimulates their imagination but can help with their social development. Literacy, numeracy and other curriculum activities can all be planned as part of a role play situation

A Garden Shop

This can be particularly appropriate in the Spring and Summer Terms when it can coincide with growing activities.

Suggested items to collect:

Plant pots, Containers of artificial flowers, Seed packets (made by the children), Posters, and Child sized: Spade, Fork, Trowel, Canes, Watering can, Seed trays and Sieve


Take a trip to a local garden centre.

Grow cress, sunflowers, pumpkins, beans, bean sprouts etc.

Design and make seed packets.

Make paper and card flowers for the shop.

Discuss safety issues in a garden, including poisonous plants and berries.

Maths activities – Counting, using plant pots and seeds, flowers in a bucket.

Money, using a play till and money.

There are endless variations of shops: Bakers, Newsagents, Shoe and Clothes shops, even a mini supermarket which can all incorporate activities from other curriculum areas.

A cafe

This is appropriate any time of the year and can encourage a lot of interaction between the children. Make a change by having a French or Italian cafe – the possibilities are endless.

Suggested items to collect: Plastic Tea set, Beakers, Napkins and serviettes, Plastic cutlery, Trays,  Play food, Cakes and Biscuits,  Menu cards, Blackboard for menu,  Notepads and pencils,  Hats and aprons,  Chairs and tables,


Cooking, making small cakes and biscuits to sell in the shop.

Use the cafe as a way of introducing food from other cultures.

Make menu cards or have a blackboard for the children to write the menu for the day.

Maths activities – Weighing out ingredients when cooking.

Money, using a play till and money.

Counting and sorting cups, saucers, plates and cutlery, cakes etc.

A Theatre or Cinema Box Office

Again this is appropriate any time of the year and could coincide with an end of term performance of songs or play for the parents.

Suggested items to collect: Computer,  Keyboard,  Play till,   Posters, (real or child made),  Tickets,  Simple seating plan, Popcorn,  Programmes (made by the children),  Uniform,


Making posters and programmes.

The box office could be used to sell tickets to parents for an end of term event.

If possible this activity could coincide with a visit to a local theatre.

Making popcorn, looking at the change in the corn

Maths activities – Money, using a play till and money.

Counting by making a seating plan out of squared paper and using coloured stickers to stick on the squares to represent when the seat has been sold.

Introducing time, what time the performances will start.