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The Gruffalo drama workshop

The following is a drama workshop based on the story "The Gruffalo" by Julia Donaldson. There are a variety of drama strategies used such as MOE, TIR, OOR, Hot-Seating, Still Image, Choral speaking, Reflecting, Closure.

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The Gruffalo drama workshop

  1. 1. The Gruffalo Drama workshop Using drama strategies in the classroom part two by Julie Meighan
  2. 2. Read/Tell the Story of The Gruffalo by Julia Donaldson
  3. 3. Mantle of the Expert Children are in the role of Gruffalo Watchers. Ask them what do they need to know about The Gruffalo? Ask the children have they every spotted a Gruffalo? They are in the Gruffalo Watcher’s office. They get a phone call. They need to answer – hello my name is …… Gruffalo Watcher’s office how may we help you? They can practice their telephone voice. Get them to go around and shake everyone’s hand and say Hello my name is …… Gruffalo Watcher’s office how may we help you?
  4. 4. Teacher in Role The magpie arrives and claims that a Gruffalo has been spotted in the woods. This can be done by the teacher using the teacher in role technique.– The teacher takes on the role of the magpie by using a puppet or changing their voice or their appearance.
  5. 5. Hot-seating technique The children ask the Magpie questions. The Magpie hasn’t actually seen the Gruffalo. He gives the children information but it is only hear say. The Magpie leaves and the teacher comes out of role and asks the following questions. What do they know about the Gruffalo? What does he look like? We don’t know but we know that the fox, snake and owl know so we need to go to the woods to find them and ask them about what they saw.
  6. 6. Sensory Exploration The watchersgo to the woods. The teacher has collected and placed pine cones, stones, leaves, sand trays, mushrooms, flowers, piece of bark, twigs all around the room. The children go and touch the objects and feel them. Talk about how it feels and the textures of each items that they have collected. They put all the items on a large sheet of paper. They spray paint all around them so that they see what shape they make.
  7. 7. Still Image Technique Ask the children what kind of animals are found in the forest. Ask the children to imagine that they are one of the animals that is found in the woods. Then the children to make a sculpt of their bodies into their animal and freeze.
  8. 8. Role Play When the teacher touches them on the shoulder they must shout out the name of their animal and move like it the animal and make the sound of their chosen animal. Allow them to make the sound and movement of their animal for a few minutes then the teacher shouts freeze.
  9. 9. Still Image 2 Divide them into threes and tell them one of them is going to be the owl, fox and snake. Get them to imagine that they have come across the Gruffalo. Show the face of how their animal will react to seeing the scariest animal in the woods. Are they frightened or are they brave. Do they run or do they stay? They make a still image.
  10. 10. Thought Tracking While they are in the still image touch them on the shoulder and get them each to tell you one word about how they feel as their character.
  11. 11. Moving picture technique and Choral speaking Then in threes get them to move as their animal (owl, fox and snake) (Moving Picture technique). Get them to say the following together. A gruffalo? What’s a gruffalo?” “A gruffalo! Why, didn’t you know? He has terrible tusks, and terrible claws, and terrible teeth in his terrible jaws.” (Choral Speaking).
  12. 12. Teacher out of Role (OOR) Teacher asks what sort of questions would the Gruffalo Watchers ask the fox snake and owl. The sort of questions could be what does he look like? Why is he scary? Where did he go? When is the last time you saw him? Where was he going? Get the children to devise their own questions.
  13. 13. Teacher in Role and Hot-Seating 2 Then the teacher takes on the role as the fox, snake and owl (Teacher in role) by using a puppet or changing their voices or appearance. The children ask their questions – (hot seating).
  14. 14. Creating the Character Using different types and shapes of materials get the children as a group to create an image of what they think the Gruffalo looks like.
  15. 15. Reflection and Closure Teacher out of role asks the children if they met the Gruffalo what would they ask him? Why is he so scary? Does he want to make friends. Is it hard having no friends. What could he do to make friends. Maybe we could invite to the wood party so he can meet people. Teacher in role as the Gruffalo – children ask their questions. They make friends with him in the end when discovers that he is lonely and wants to make some friends. The Gruffalo is invited to a party in the woods with all the other animals and he make friends with them.
  16. 16. An Invitation • If you are looking for more children’s plays and drama activities then check out my blog • • Follow me on twitter • If you would like to sign up to our mailing list and receive our newsletter and updates of new books click here.
  17. 17. BOOKS • My books which focus on drama activities and plays for children can be found at • • Barnes and Noble • IBOOKS • Kobo