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.
Using drama strategies in the classroom
part two by Julie Meighan
Read/Tell the Story of The Gruffalo by
Mantle of the Expert
Children are in the role of Gruffalo Watchers. Ask them what do they need to know about
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?
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
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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
Moving picture technique and Choral
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).
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.
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).
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
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
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.
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