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discussions, exercises, games before and after the play
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Lessons Does Wizard of Oz Teach Us?
Discussions Wizard of Oz
Discussion / Questions
1. Why does Dorothy want to be
in some other place than Kansas?
2. Do you ever feel like
3. Dorothy is taken to Oz by a
"twister", what is another name for a twister?
4. Oz is a very beautiful and
colorful world, but Dorothy still finds problems there. Do you think
there is any place where there are no problems?
5. Do you think the Scarecrow
really needed a brain? The Tinman a heart? The Lion his courage?
6. The Wizard, at the end of
the play, turns out not to be a Wizard. Though he didn't have the
magic powers of a wizard, do you think he helped Dorothy, the
Scarecrow, the Tinman, and the Lion?
7. It is interesting that
Dorothy had the power to return home to Kansas anytime she wanted to
but she wasn't aware of it. Do you think we often have the power to
do what we want but we may not know it?
8. How many books have been
written about the Land of Oz? (hundreds) Have you heard of any others
besides The (Wonderful) Wizard of Oz?
Roar With Fun!
A Roaring Good Time
at Lakefront Youth Theatre Experience, New Orleans
You saw the Wicked Witch' s
castle, what do you think Glinda's castle looks like?
Draw a picture of your
favorite part of the show; of your favorite character.
Draw a picture of yourself
with characters in the play. Where would you be? What would you be doing?
of Oz Quotes
Discuss what meaning these
sayings have for us in our everyday lives. Can you give an example
that illustrates the meaning?
"Never question the
truth of what you fail to understand, for the world is full of wonders."
-- L. Frank Baum
friend, a heart is not judged by how much you love, but by how much
you are loved by others..." Wizard
"...if I ever go
looking for my hearts desire again, I won't look any further than my
own backyard... Because if it isn't there, I never really lost it to
Talk about Courage!
Cowardly Lion in Wizard Of Oz
is Perfect for Discussion!
/ Questions: Have a
class discussion about the Lion's search for courage. The following
questions could be addressed:
do you think the Lion felt that he needed courage?
are known as the King of the Jungle. The Lion felt that he did not
have enough courage to live up to the expectations of others)
About the Cowardly Lion in Wizard of Oz
School, Cambridge, NZ - British
School, Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam
important is it to live up to the expectations of others, such as
parents, friends, and acquaintances? Do you feel that there are times
when you do not have enough courage? What do you do in these situations?
would you like to do? What is the best thing for you to do?
the Wizard able to give the Lion courage at the end of the story?
he discovered that courage must come from within. As various
challenging situations arose on the journey, the Lion unconsciously
responded courageously because of his desire to help others)
students to reflect upon a time they exhibited courage when they
thought that they lacked it. Have students think about ways they can
students write a commercial or jingle that tells/shows the audience:
How to Cultivate the Courage that Lies Within Us. Some ideas that can
be incorporated are: Believe in yourself. Don't be afraid to say no.
Telling the truth is always the best policy. Don't feel that you must
follow the crowd in order to survive. It is more important to think
Luther King in the Classroom
for We are the Dream
with Classroom Activities
/ Role Playing
common activity is used in classrooms everywhere but it's one
worth repeating from time to time! The activity helps students
understand the concept of "discrimination."
this activity, divide the class into two or more groups. Some
teachers divide students by eye or hair color; some invite students
to select and wear badges of different colors (purple, green, and
other colors that are not related to skin color); and others isolate
students whose first names begin with the letter B (or whichever
letter is the most common first letter of students' names in the class).
a class period or for an entire school day, one group of students
(for example, the kids who have blond hair, those wearing orange
badges, names start with B, etc.) are favored above all others. Those
students receive special treats or special privileges, and they are
complimented often. Students who aren't in the "favored"
group, on the other hand, are ignored, left out of discussions, and
otherwise discriminated against.
the end of the period, students discuss their feelings.
How did it feel to be treated unfairly, to be discriminated against?
Invite students to talk about times they felt they were judged or
How does this experiment relate to the life of Martin Luther King?
Your Kids Live the Dream!
Performs MLK's Dream Speech!
Charteret School, Bloomfield, NJ
aloud one of many Martin Luther King, Jr. biographies to motivate
interest in creating a timeline of his life. Your school and local
libraries are sure to have several to choose from.
a handful of the most important events from the book to start your
timeline. Let students fill in other events as they use other books
(and online resources) to learn more.
at the lower grades might focus on books that emphasize a
"getting along" theme -- books such as The Land of Many
Colors by the Klamath County YMCA (Scholastic, 1993), Together by
George Ella Lyon (Orchard Paperbacks), and The Berenstain Bears and
the New Neighbor (about the bears' fears when a panda family moves in
a U.S. map highlight places of importance in the life of Martin
Luther King. Place a pushpin at each location and extend a strand of
yarn from the pin to a card at the edge of the map. On the card
explain the importance of that place.
/ Role Playing
a list of events that are included on your Martin Luther King
timeline (e.g., Rosa Parks' bus ride, integrating Little Rock's
schools, a lunch counter protest, the "I have a dream speech).
students work in groups to write short plays in which each group
acts out one of the events.
Luther King's "I have a dream" speech is one of the most
famous and often quoted speeches of all time.
Read the speech aloud.
Invite students to listen to the speech. ( Hear
the speech )
Write on a chart some of the "dreams" Martin Luther King
expressed in it.
Ask students to think about the things they dream for themselves,
their families, their country, and the world, and to express those
dreams in their own "I have a dream essays.
simple class or school project can demonstrate the beauty of diversity!
Luther King's dream was to see people of all countries, races, and
religions living together in harmony. Gather seeds of different kinds
and invite each student to plant a variety of seeds in an egg carton.
The seeds of different shapes, sizes, and colors will sprout side by side.
the plants are large enough, transplant them into a large pot in the
classroom or in a small garden outside. Each class in the school
might do the project on its own, culminating in the creation of a
beautiful and colorful (and diverse!) school-wide garden.
Etiquette - ArtReach
Here are a few
ideas for discussing etiquette with your students and young audiences:
1. Sometimes we
forget when we come into a theatre that we are one of the most
important parts of the production. Without an audience there would be
no performance. Your contribution of laughter, quiet attention and
applause is part of the play.
2. When you
watch movies or television, you are watching images on a screen, and
what you say or do cannot affect them. In the theatre the actors are
real and present in person, creating an experience with you at that
very moment. They see and hear you and are sensitive to your
response. They know how you feel about the play by how you watch and listen.
3. An invisible
bond is formed between actors and a good audience, and it enables the
actors to do their best for you. A good audience helps make a good performance.
bond is formed between actors and audience.
Horses -- Huron High School, Sioux Falls SD -- Cast and Audience
1. You share
the performance with everyone in the audience. Your talking, movement
or any other distracting activity, once the show has begun, not only
disturbs the actors onstage but the audience around you as well.
comments and ideas about the play are important, but save them for
after the play to discuss them. Or even better, write a letter to the performers.
entering the performance area, get a drink of water or visit the
restroom if you need to.
4. Once you are
seated, you should remain seated. When the play begins, because the
actors are directed to move all about the room, it's important for
everybody's safety that the walkways and stage areas remain clear of students.
Tubman: Take My Hand and Follow Me
ArtReach's New School
Play for Kids to Perform: Here's the Plot Outline
ArtReach's new play, Harriet
Tubman: Take My Hand and Follow Me, presents the true-life story
of one of America's greatest heroes. At great risk to her own life
and freedom, former runaway Harriet Tubman, traveled back to slave
country nineteen times to lead hundreds of people to freedom in the
North. She was a conductor of the Underground Railroad, the secret
network of abolitionists who helped runaway slaves escape. The play
inspires while encouraging participation from the audience in singing
the songs of freedom - a host of American spirituals.
who will come and go with me?"
Public art mural on the
Harriet Tubman Museum and Educational Center, Cambridge, MD
The play begins with an
introduction by Storytellers which is a depiction of the moment of
escape and running. They set the scene in a frightening swamp and
forest at night. Harriet appears and tells the audience to be quiet,
just as she would tell her followers as they traveled the Underground
Railroad. She says, "Take my hand and follow me." The
Storytellers use this as a rhythm and refrain for the play and begin
narrating the story of Harriet's life.
It is 1820 and Old Rit has had
a baby in a tiny cabin, slave quarters. She sings a lullaby, "All
the Pretty Little Horses". Prompted by Preacher, the audience
sings the song with her. After the lullaby, slave neighbors visit her
and father Ben to see the newborn babe. Old Rit, whose real name is
Harriet, tells them her baby's name is Araminta. Her friends tell her
the Master will decide what she is called, probably Minty. They also
hint that Old Rit needs to secure a job in the big house for the
girl, a much easier life than work in the fields.
As time goes on, Minty appears
as a six-year-old who loves to be outside. Old Rit tells her to make
herself more suitable for house work when the Master Brodess arrives
with news. He has hired out Minty to a neighboring estate. Old Rit is
distraught that she will lose her little girl and protests that
Brodess has already sold two of her daughters. There is some relief
that Minty is only hired out and not sold south where life is much
harder than it is in the Maryland Tidewater.
in the water, wade in the water, children..."
Old Rit sings "Sweet Low,
Sweet Chariot" as we hear of the hard life Minty is forced to
live on the Cook estate. The audience then sings along with her. At
the end of the song we learn that Minty has been released after a
year of unsuccessful hard work. Her mother and father are very happy
to have her back home. Minty and Ben take a walk in the woods where
Minty tells her father that she cannot stand to be a slave any
longer. Her father Ben implies that she must not tell him if she is
planning an escape. However, he does teach her about survival in the
swamp forest and tells her to follow the drinking gourd in the sky, a
constellation of stars that points to the North Star that will lead
Harriet on the right path. The Preacher prompts the audience to sing
"Follow the Drinkin' Gourd."
Before Minty has a chance to
escape there is an incident in the fields involving her brother John.
Master Brodess comes to tell him that he has been sold. Everyone is
aghast as Brodess tries to take him away. His wife Mary tries to stop
him. Just as Brodess is about to strike Mary and John with a rake,
Minty jumps in and is hit in the head. Minty is knocked out cold and
lays in a deep sleep for two months.
When Minty awakens from her
coma she tells of a vivid dream she had. She has dreamt of a river
with beautiful ladies and freedom on the other side. She takes off
her bandage to reveal the wound on her forehead. She calls this her
Top Eye and she believes it gives her visions she needs for her
coming work. She also tells everyone that her name is no longer
Minty. She will now be known as Harriet Tubman. Soon Harriet hears
that she is to be sold south.
Harriet escapes into the swamp
forest. Storytellers recreate the scene as Harriet travels and
audience sings, "Bound for the Promised Land". Brodess is
in pursuit of her, posting a Wanted Poster for her capture and
return. But Harriet is able to elude him. After days of running and
nearly starved, Harriet encounters Mrs. & Mr. Garrett who are
Quakers and members of the Underground Railroad. The Garretts feed
her and let her rest in their home for days before she returns to her
journey. After many long arduous days, and many encounters with
Underground Railroad members, Harriet has walked a hundred miles and
arrived in Philadelphia. Harriet is finally free. Preacher prompts
the audience to celebrate by singing "Go Tell It on the
Mountain." William Still, a famous former slave himself and a
networker for the Underground Railroad, welcomes her to freedom and
introduces her to many other abolitionists.
Although Harriet is now safe
and free, everyone is astonished when she announces that she must go
back to help her family and other slaves escape as she has done.
Harriet again walks the hundred miles through swamp and forest to
find her family at Brodess' estate distraught that three of them are
about to be sold south. Harriet tells them to have courage and follow her.
looked over Jordan and what did I see..."
After many days of travel the
family members are exhausted. When faced with a freezing river to
cross they lose heart and tell Harriet they are going back. This is a
decisive moment for Harriet. She orders them to follow her or die.
She tells them that no one on the Underground Railroad can ever go
back because Master will beat valuable information out of them. They
agree to cross the river. Harriet miraculously leads them across the
river to safety. She immediately slumps into a deep sleep, a
left-over symptom of the wound she received to her forehead. They
wait for her to recover and eventually follow her to freedom.
Harriet now has become the
most famous runaway slave and Underground Railroad conductor in
America. Preacher and Storytellers sing "Wade in the Water"
with its reference to Moses, the name she is now known by. One more
time Harriet returns to bring her own aging parents out of slavery.
Storytellers continue the
story of Harriet Tubman, Moses. They tell of all the people she led
out of the south and the work she did for the Union army during the
Civil War. Harriet takes the stage to tell everyone to "keep
going." Preacher notes that the river is still wide and the
journey is still going on and urges them to sing "Amazing Grace."
The play ends on a joyous
refrain of "Go Tell it on the Mountain."
great dream begins with a dreamer. Always remember, you have within
you the strength, the patience, and the passion to reach for the
stars to change the world."
-- Harriet Tubman
History of Santa's Elves (Elf)
A Snow White Christmas!
According to tradition, Saint
Nicholas (St. Nick, Santa Claus) has many helpers in all the
different countries around the world. While each helper goes back and
forth to St. Nick's Workshop, many live in the countries they
In some countries where
English is the main language, these helpers are called Santa's Elves.
Each Elf , traditionally a green and red clad helper, wraps the gifts
and makes the toys in Santa's Workshop, which is located in the
Arctic North Pole.
A Snow White Christmas - Bremerton
Community Junior Theatre, WA
In days gone by, children
loved St. Nick, but were afraid of his helpers. For it was told that
is was the helpers who kept track of who had been naughty and who had
been nice. Naughty children would get coal in their stockings and may
even be carried away in the helper's bags until they learned to be good.
What can you do to help keep
an Elf from playing pranks on you on Stocking Day or Christmas Eve?
Rumor has it that if you leave a bowl of porridge out for an Elf, it
will help keep them from playing any pranks on you.
What are Elves called in other countries?
In the Netherlands, this
helper is called Black Peter.
In Iceland they are called
In Germany, they are Knecht Ruprecht.
In many parts of France, the
helpers are called, Père Fouettard.
In Luxembourg, they are known
In Nordic Countries such as
Finland, Iceland, Denmark, Norway and Sweden, an Elf will usually
only wear red, not the red and green known in English speaking countries.
In Iceland, from December 12
to December 24 the 13 the Yule Lads visit homes (a different Yule Lad
visits every day). It's during that time that the Yule Lads leave
presents and also play tricks on the children.
Legend of Sleepy
Hollow Classroom Ideas
Tennessee South University, MTSU Theatre and Dance, Murfreesboro
Space: Apply sensory and emotional experiences to
create a character. Each student finds their own personal space
in the room. As the teacher reads aloud the story of Sleepy Hollow,
the students act out and move with their own interpretation of the
story. There should be no interaction between students and no talking.
in Other People's Shoes: Develop movement to
express thought feeling and characterization. The teacher will
instruct students to walk around the room normally. As they are
walking the teacher will call out loud a character from sleepy hollow
(Ex. Katrina, Ichabod, Sleepy Hollow Boy, etc.) and the students have
to move about the room as if they were this character.
Classroom Ideas: Character Study & Script Writing
Legend of Sleepy Hollow - Jonesborough Rep Theatre, Jonesborough TN
Study: Apply sensory and emotional experiences
to create a character Students have 20 minutes to come up with a
character as a townsperson from Sleepy Hollow. They must develop
their characters and their relationship with Ichabod, Katrina, and
Brom Bones. Were they friends of Katrina? Were they one of Ichabod's
students? Were they Brom Bones' mother? Students must develop a
complete character and write a short character description on them to
Writing: Express meaning and character through
dialogue. After developing a character, students should get into
groups of 2 or 3 and write a short scene using their characters.
Allow students 30 minutes to write them and then rehearse/perform
them the next day in class.
& Speaking Activities & Literary Genres
Legend of Sleepy Hollow - Jonesborough Rep Theatre, Jonesborough TN
Activities: Write in a variety of modes and
genres. Have students write a story as either Brom Bones
(for the boys) or Katrina (for the girls) describing their opinion of
Ichabod Crane and how they felt about him. Be sure they write about
their opinion of his disappearance and what they think happened to
him. Have students write a business letter to a teacher
asking them to apply to be the new schoolmaster of Sleepy Hollow.
They must use vivid adjectives to describe the job requirements and
describing the town of Sleepy Hollow. Write a paragraph on the
legend of Sleepy Hollow and rearrange the sentences. Students must
arrange the sentences into sequential order.
Activities: Continue to develop oral language
skills necessary for communication. Have students get into pairs and
interview each other. One student will be a resident of Sleepy Hollow
and the other will be a news reporter asking about the disappearance
of Ichabod Crane. They will ask questions, express reactions,
personal experiences, and opinions orally.
Genres: Experience various literary and media genres.
Explain the genre and format of playwriting, and have students write
a short script (1-2 min.) about their favorite Halloween memory.
Thanks to: Middle Tennessee
South University, MTSU Theatre and Dance, Murfreesboro
students fold 1,000 paper cranes for Japan
Reporter and Sound Publishing, Inc.
seventh-grade students at Islander Middle School collected and folded
more than 1,000 origami paper cranes to benefit Japan earthquake and
tsunami relief last weekend.
Three seventh-grade students
at Islander Middle School collected and folded more than 1,000
origami paper cranes to benefit Japan earthquake and tsunami relief
last weekend. Elisabeth Williams was finishing performances of
"Singin' In the Rain" at Studio East in Kirkland when she
saw two boxes filled with paper cranes. She had been making
cranes after IMS Leadership classes, as teacher Becky Mullvain
and WEB Leaders responded to a Japan relief project of Seattle's
Bezos Family Foundation. The foundation's Students Rebuild/Japan
partnered with DoSomething.org to encourage students to support
Graders Fold Paper Cranes
Islander Middle School,
Paper cranes will launch a
$200,000 donation from the foundation at $2 per crane with a goal of
100,000 cranes made by students worldwide. Sabrina Kwan, a
leadership student and Gillian Dewhurst, helped Williams fold many
cranes and brought the total of their efforts to over 1,000
pieces. Studio East presented "A
Thousand Cranes" in February and the cast folded cranes for
set decoration. The theater training program was eager to join in the
The donation will go to
Architecture for Humanity's reconstruction projects in Japan, and the
cranes will be woven into an art installation. Prepaid shipping
labels for boxes of 50 or more cranes are available by e-mailing
[email protected] For more information, go to http://studentsrebuild.org/japan/.
A World That Never Grows Old
Talking Points for
ArtReach's Peter Pan
Help students understand the importance of imagination, creativity
and the creative arts - for everyone, children and adults alike. Like
Peter Pan, it's a world that never grows old.
the class reflect on the familiar story of Peter Pan.
Ask students to write a summary of the story (50-100 words).
1. Allow students to read
their summaries to the class.
2. Ask students to draw their
favorite character or scene (and tell why they picked that character
- can combine with summary story, above - helpful in assigning roles
you think there's actually a magical place like Neverland?
Pan -- Bremerton Junior Theatre, WA
3. Display all the drawings
(great as a guide for costume and set design!).
4. Ask students to name (or
draw) the "real life" characters (Wendy, her brothers, John
and Michael, her Mother and Father, their dog, Nana). Ask
students to name (or draw) the "imaginary" characters from
Neverland (Peter, Tinker Bell, Stars, Lost Boys, Tiger Lily, Indians,
Captain Hook, Smee, pirates, crocodile, etc.).
grow up and to live in an imaginary - make-believe - place like
Neverland: What would happen if you never grew up, never
got older? (You'd be in this same class forever! No more
birthdays! Nor birthday presents! Your friends would get older,
graduate, go away, you'd still be a kid! Etc., etc. This can be
fun.) Why do you think Peter Pan never wanted to grow up?
(On the day he was born his parents told him all the things he would
have to do when he grew up - so he ran away from home! Now, that's
6. Do you think there's
actually a magical place like Neverland? (There was for Peter Pan!
Neverland is an imaginary place created by the man who wrote the
story, J. M. Barrie. Even Peter Pan and all the people in the story
are imaginary. But isn't imagination a wonderful thing? Without it we
wouldn't have wonderful stories like Peter Pan, the Wizard of Oz, Cinderella.)
7. Can you think of your own
magical place? What would you call it? (Magicland? Fantasyland?
Funnyland? Weirdland? Darelland, Meaganworld?)
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