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discussions, exercises, games before and after the play
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THE BEAST: Fun Activities, Exercises
Before the Play
Talk about 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?
Discuss you 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.
Read the 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.
During the 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?
Talk about 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
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.
Charles 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?
ArtReachs Beauty & the
Beast, Monkton Central School, VT
CLASS 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.
BEING A 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.
JOURNAL 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.
FROM THE 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.
FRACTURED AND 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.
AROUND THE WORLD ONCE UPON A
TIME: Research different fairy tales from around the world and
HANDING 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.
RE-WRITE 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.
FINISH THE PICTURE: Have
students design what the costumes would look like. Remind them
that the story can take place anywhere and in any time period.
BEAUTY IS&ldots;: Ask
students to define beauty. This can be done through words or pictures
Christmas Carol Classroom Activities
Classroom Discussions for
ArtReach's A Christmas Carol
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?
(Scrooge 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.)
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 Jungle Book
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!
Its all Happening at the Zoo-Who!
Book Classroom Activities
Activities & Discussions for
ArtReachs The Jungle Book
"I 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?
Water Awareness: 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?
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!
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