Very active listening – a drama in four acts

May 6, 2011 § Leave a comment

This is a listening activity which works well with bigger groups, I think the minimum of students you need is 8- 10.

 In the first step you need to preteach the vocabulary. After that tell your students they are going to play a short theatre play, but they don’t need to learn any text.  Then you assign a role to each student. Essential roles are: a girl, a hunter, trees and rabbits, and a curtain. You can also add a dog for the hunter, a bench, and wind or anything else that fits the story, depending on the size of your group. I usually let them draw a picture card with their roles. Group the same roles together and rehearse their roles: rabbits hopping, squirrels nibbling nuts, trees shaking in the wind with outstretched arms, curtains walking aross the ‘stage’, wind running around the trees, the girl playing with her hair, the hunter shooting, the dog barking, the bench squeaking. Tell them that every time they hear their role in the story they have to do their movements/noises.

… and then you start telling the story …

‘The curtain opens.

Once upon a time there was a beautiful girl. She lived close to a forest and she loved looking at the trees. In the forest lived rabbits and squirrels and the girl loved watching the squirrels and rabbits playing around the trees. Sometimes there was a lot of wind and the trees were shaking in the wind.

The curtain closes and the curtain opens.

The girl loved a hunter. The hunter and his dog often met the girl in the forest where the rabbits and squirrels were playing around the trees. They sat on a bench and the wind played with the girl’s hair.

The curtain closes and the curtain opens.

One day the hunter and his dog were walking through the forest. There was a lot of wind and the trees were shaking in the wind. The hunter wanted to shoot a rabbit, but he could only see squirrels. He sat on the bench and looked for rabbits. Then he saw something moving behind the trees. It was the girl, but he didn’t see her, he just saw something behind the trees. The hunter thought it was a rabbit and shot at it. At the same time the dog ran off to meet the girl.

The curtain closes and the curtain opens.

The hunter didn’t shoot the girl but he shot his dog. The dog wasn’t dead and the hunter and the girl took it home and saved it. The hunter never went hunting again. Now the squirrels and rabbits could play around the trees, the wind blew and the hunter, the girl and the dog sat on the bench and watched them.

The curtain closes.’

If they don’t hear what you’ve said because they are laughing, just repeat the last instruction again.

I’ve tried this activity with different age groups (7 – 55), just adapting the story slightly for different levels or ages. If possible, I let them write their own dramas or stories afterwards and try them out with them.


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