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discussions, exercises, games before and after the play
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AND THE BEAST: Fun Activities, Exercises
Before the Play
theatre and what a play is. What other plays have you
seen? Describe them to the class. Why do you think
certain parts of those plays are memorable to you? What do you
expect this play will be like? What is the difference between
seeing a play on television or movies and seeing actors perform it live?
students the proper etiquette for audience members during a live
performance. Impress upon them that the actors they see are
live people who care very much how you respond to the work they are
doing. Young audience members should learn the meaning of
applause and laughter and that they should be polite to the people
who are performing for them.
original story and the synopsis of the play that appear in this
Teachers Guide. How are the stories alike? How are they
different? Talk about the practical consideration of putting on
a play and why the actors might need to adjust the story in order to
present it on stage.
The play takes
place in France where they used to tell fairy tales. Look up France
on the Internet and in books, locate it on the globe. Talk
about what we know about the country, history, music and the
people. What kinds of clothes do they wear and what did the
wear in years past? Remember your answers when you see the
actors in their costumes. Or if you are performing in the play
use the pictures you find to help create your costume.
play, children will be asked to participate by helping make sounds,
wind, music, wolves, etc.. Describe a storm, scary forest,
angry mob or ferocious wolves and talk about how they sound and
move. Point out the actual events or other plays or movies you
may have seen. How does your play relate to events in "real
life or other "fantasies?
clothes and what they say about your personality. Name some of
your favorite movie stars or musicians and how the clothes they wear
shape the image we have of them. What makes some clothes come
into fashion why others go out of style. Describe your favorite
shoes, hat and coat. What makes you like them? How do you
feel when you wear them?
After the Play
Discuss in more
detail the play you have just seen. Who is your favorite
character and why? Talk about how the actors created the
illusion of many things such as the castle, the forest, the
marketplace and the invisible painting that Marcel sets up.
Talk about how you were asked to sue you imagination as opposed to
movies and cartoons that show you a picture of everything.
Talk about some
of the characters you saw in the play such as the Villagers and
Household Servants. What did they do with their voices and
bodies to convey their character to you? Would you like to try
your hand at acting? Write down the names of characters such as
Beast and Wolves. Come up with crazy names as Huey Kazooie and
show the class how Huey would act and talk. Choose other
characters, perform them and ask your classmates to guess who you are.
Perrault wrote many play besides Beauty
and the Beast. What titles are you familiar with?
Can you recount these stories? Which do you like best and why?
What do you
think a magical Prince-turned-Beast would actually look like?
Draw a picture of the Beast showing how he thought he looked once
like a Prince. Draw a picture of the Prince before he turned
into a Beast.
What is the
meaning of this famous story? When people say "his bark is
worst than his bite what do you think they mean? The
Prince embarrassed when he realized he had been tricked and turned
into the Beast. What might he have done to prevent this embarrassment?
Beauty & the Beast, Monkton Central School, VT
STORY: Read a version of the story as a class. View an
animated version and compare the two. After seeing the show,
compare all three genres.
HERO: Ask the class what it means to be a hero.
Brainstorm a list of qualities that make a person seem like a
hero. In groups, pick the most important qualities and identify
heroes today. Share as a class. Discuss whether or not there is
a hero in Beauty and the Beast.
ACTIVITY: Have students imagine that they are in Beautys
shoes. In order to save their fathers, the students have to
live with a terrifying beast. What would it feel like? Would the
students have the courage to do it?
"YOU ARE A
HERO!: Ask students to write about a time in their lives
when they had to overcome something or helped someone.
OUTSIDE IN: Have students imagine that they could only show
people their worst qualities. No one would ever know the good
qualities they had deep down inside. What would that look
like? What would it feel like? Have students draw what
that person would look like, and write a story to go along with it.
FUNNY: Have students write a fractured version of Beauty and
the Beast. Explain that a fractured fairy tale is made to be humorous
by changing the story in a surprising way; like changing a character
or adding todays language and events to the story.
Encourage the students to take creative risks.
NOW YOU SEE IT,
NOW YOU DONT: The element of magic is common in
fairytales. In Beauty and the Beast, things arent always
what they seem. Explore optical illusions. Look at
examples as a class. View optical illusions as a class using
the internet and books.
WORLD ONCE UPON A TIME: Research different fairy tales from around
the world and different times.
INFORMATION DOWN GENERATION TO GENERATION: Gather students on the rug
and have them sit in a circle. Explain that fairytales were
handed down through word of mouth. Pretend that each student
sitting in that circle is another generation. Play a game of
"telephone (one person thinks of a sentence and whispers
it in the person sitting next to him/hers ear, and that person
passes, and so on) to demonstrate how stories change.
HISTORY: Ask students to rewrite the ending of Beauty and the
Beast. What would the play version of this look like?
After rewriting the way the story turns out, have students design a
scene from their versions (the castle, forest, etc&ldots;) using only
their imaginations to guide them.
PICTURE: Have students design what the costumes would look
like. Remind them that the story can take place anywhere and in
any time period.
IS&ldots;: Ask students to define beauty. This can be
done through words or pictures
Christmas Carol Classroom Activities
Discussions for ArtReach's A
Read the original story A
Christmas Carol by Charles Dickens or the ArtReach School
Play, adapted from the Dickens Classic. What do you think is
the "main theme of the story? Consider other stories that
the students are familiar with such as Cinderella,
Snow White and the Wizard
of Oz. What aspects of these stories are the same? Which are different?
1. What mistakes do you think
Scrooge made in the story? When is he selfish? When
is he kind and generous? What are his consequences and rewards for
2. Can students think of times
when theyve felt or acted like Scrooge?
3. How does Scrooge change
throughout the story? What is his "character development?
develops from a grumpy old miser to a happy, generous person. He is
shown that life is short, and that it is a person's responsibility to
look after others. He comes to realize that it is possible to be
happy, and happiness has nothing to do with money.)
Paris Community Children's
Theatre, Paris TX
4. What specific things does
Scrooge do to show he is a bad person? To show he is a good person?
(Bad: mean to
Cratchit; refuses to give to charity; doesnt like Christmas;
etc. Good: gives Cratchit a raise; gives money away; sends turkey to
Cratchits; cheerful about Christmas; etc..)
5. What would be a good essay
or discussion topic for the story (something about why so many
people, especially children, love the story).
(For one thing,
the story is simple the lesson is to be good to people,
because that is the only way to be happy. Children can relate to the
metaphorical characters: the grumpy old man, the poor clerk, the
joyful nephew, the saint-like little boy. The story is stark and
vivid. It is easy to understand but hard to forget.)
Animals in Preparation for The
Look closely -
There are pictures of animals all around us
Animal Awareness: Look
around your classroom for depictions of animals everywhere.
Look on each others clothing, on the illustrations on your
shoes and backpacks. Outside of the classroom look for
illustrations of animals on wallpaper, carpet, jewelry, sculptures
and designs on architectural buildings. Humans have always used
animals for design, art, function and pleasure! Keep your eyes
open and always look for the animals that are all around us!
The Best Activity Ever!
Go to the Zoo! Early on in the rehearsal process, see if you
can arrange to have the whole cast to take a trip to the nearest
zoo. Have all performers go to each of the animals that will be
represented in play. While there, in front of the animal,
discuss the looks, walk and sounds that the animal makes. Let
everyone play around with imitations. These tiny performances
may be funny and silly. Back at the rehearsal site, recreate
these imitations and see how they effect the mood and personality of
the character they will play. Use what you have learned
at the zoo to play your Jungle-Person!
Happening at the Zoo-Who!
Jungle Book Classroom Activities
Discussions for ArtReachs The
LOVE your version of The Jungle Book. I have looked at 5
different versions and yours is the best! I love the fact that
there is the focus on Community and that there is such flexibility as
far as roles. We have done the Disney Jungle Book but that
doesn't have the heart that yours has."
Diana Guhin Wooley, LAMB Arts
Ltd, Sioux City, IA
Take a look at the list of characters at the beginning of the script.
Look at each name and consider the personality traits of each one.
What words would you choose to describe Mowgli: Brave, strong,
curious, impulsive, funny, adventurous? What kind of traits would you
use to describe yourself? If you are brave, give an example of when
your bravery was present.
Battles the Mighty Shere Khan!
Audience becomes the
Man-Village helping Mowgli save the Jungle.
Create Your Own Jungle:
Discuss the various things you might find in a jungle such as plants
and nature: flowers, trees, vines, moss, rocks, creek. What kind of
animals would you find there? Snakes, frogs, vultures, lions,
elephants, butterflies, mosquitoes. Have students choose a jungle
"thing. Dont tell each other what you have chosen.
Now draw a circle on the floor and have a few students go into the
circle and become their "thing. Have others enter the
jungle and try to guess what the "things are. You can also
do this activity without the guessing game. Have students enter the
"jungle and simply enjoy it.
Moral of the Story:
Think of aphorisms such as "a bird in the hand is worth two in
the bush. What aphorisms would you use to describe the message
of The Jungle Book? A moral is: A lesson that is learned from a story
or an experience. Think of stories that have morals at the end like
Aesops Fables. What do you believe is the moral of The Jungle Book?
Magic Near Your Home:
Have you ever encountered a wild animal where you least expected it?
A deer in your backyard, a turtle crossing the road, an opossum in an
alley, a snake slithering in your garden? Tell the class about your
experience. Why is it so exciting to encounter wild animals in a
human setting? Should we continue to have these encounters or should
we work to have animals and humans live apart?
Raised by Wolves:
What do you think it was like for Mowgli to have brother and sister
who are wolves? What if you were raised as an animal in the wild?
Consider if your family was made up of porcupines, lions, elephants
or squirrels. What would you wear? What would you eat? What sound
would you make when you are hungry or frightened?
Study the effects of water on human civilization and on the plants
and animals of the world. Too much water can cause floods and
drowning while too little water can cause drought with thirst and
hunger as a result. Think about your day as a human and look back on
your activities to remember how many times a day you needed water.
How would you brush your teeth without water? How would you take your
vitamin pills without water? What if you had to go for weeks or
longer without a bath? Write a paragraph on what water means to you.
Pets as Wild Creatures:
If you have a pet at home, its likely to be a cat or dog. Your
cat may be a descendant of panthers like Bagheera. Your dog may be a
descendant of a wolf like Akela. Imagine your pet in the forest
alone. How would your pet handle an encounter with Shere Khan? How
would you train your pet to live in the jungle?
Look around your classroom for depictions of animals everywhere. Look
on each others clothing, on the illustrations on your shoes and
backpacks. Outside of the classroom look for illustrations of animals
on wallpaper, carpet, jewelry, sculptures and designs on
architectural buildings. Humans have always used animals for design,
art, function and pleasure. Keep your eyes open and always look for
the animals that are all around us!
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