FREE RESOURCES: Classroom Activities [ Page 5 ]
Student discussions, exercises, games before and after the play
< Prev | 1 | 2 | 3 | 4 | 5 | 6 | 7 | 8 | 9 | Next >

ZOOM: Kids & Schools Get Creative During Coronavirus Crises >

This page (Page #5) has creative activities for use in the classroom.  Kids love to learn more about the play’s origin and subject.  Check out these articles and activities related to ArtReach’s popular titles: Treasure Island, Emperor's New Clothes, Sleeping Beauty, Alice in Wonderland, Christmas Cinderella, Sleepy Hollow, Aladdin, Christmas Wizard of Oz, A Thousand Cranes.  Don’t forget, a Teachers Guide will come with your School Play Package and contains tons of creative new ideas for your teaching lessons!

Ho! Ho! Ho! And a Bundle of Fun!
Fun Classroom Activities for ArtReach's Treasure Island

Long John Silver’s Missing Leg: Pirates are often depicted with missing eyes, hands or legs. It is understood that these injuries were the result of pirate warfare. Describe the story of Long John Silver’s life. Where was he born? How did he become a pirate? Long John claims he lost his leg in a noble patriotic battle for his country. Do you think this is true?

Treasure Map: Roll out a long length of paper and draw a treasure map using your school as the island where it is buried. Where will you bury your imaginary treasure? On the playground, in the cafeteria, in the gym? Draw the path to it.

 Argg! Me Hearties! Kids Love to Play Pirates!

ArtReach's Treasure Island - Haoexpression, Sunnyvale, CA

Sailing a Ship: Look at the picture of the ship in this Teachers Guide and discuss the parts of a ship. What does each part do and why is it necessary? Pretend you are sailor and stand up and pretend you are in the actual ship. What will you do to get the ship out of the harbor and onto sea? How do you land a ship on an island?

Deserted Island: If you were left on a deserted island what 3 things would you like to have with you? A book, a computer, lots of candy or toys? What things would you need to survive? How would you get the things you needed?

Pirate Names: Pirates were often given names that described their personality or something they liked to do. What words do you think describe your personality? Do you like to play baseball, eat pasta, talk on the phone, play games? Use these characteristics and make up your own pirate name. Have each student say their pirate name and the reasons for it.

Traveling on the Sea: Pirates often spent many weeks or months on a boat out at sea. Think about the qualities of the sea and the creatures in it. Think about the dangers such as storm, wind, rain, heat. What kinds of animals are in the sea? Pretend you are one of these animals and a ship is sailing over your head. What do you think of that ship and what does it make your creature do? Have you ever been snorkeling in the ocean? Describe what it is like under the sea.

Becoming a Hero: Jim Hawkins has a fantasy of sailing on the ocean. What is your fantasy? Would you like to climb mountains, fly to the moon, climb redwood trees? Think of the place in the world or beyond and describe it by writing it all down on paper. What grows there? What do you eat there? What kind of clothes do you wear for your adventure? Do you have to fight any enemies there? Write a story about your fantasy adventure starring yourself as the hero.

Becoming a Hero & Traveling on the Sea
Treasure Island is written just for kids to perform! Fun for boys and girls!  Treasure Island!
Rockfish, Lynchburg, VA - Newport Heights, Bellevue, WA

Pirate Names: Pirates were often given names that described their personality or something they liked to do. What words do you think describe your personality? Do you like to play baseball, eat pasta, talk on the phone, play games? Use these characteristics and make up your own pirate name. Have each student say their pirate name and the reasons for it.

Traveling on the Sea: Pirates often spent many weeks or months on a boat out at sea. Think about the qualities of the sea and the creatures in it. Think about the dangers such as storm, wind, rain, heat. What kinds of animals are in the sea? Pretend you are one of these animals and a ship is sailing over your head. What do you think of that ship and what does it make your creature do? Have you ever been snorkeling in the ocean? Describe what it is like under the sea.

General Classroom Activities
Creative dramatics exercises & games

Mirror:  Have the students pair up (any one without a partner gets to go with the instructor!). In each pair, decide who will be the "leader" and who will be the "reflection" first. The reflection must duplicate all actions by the leader. No speaking is allowed. The leader should not try to trick or confuse the reflection. At a particular time (after a couple minutes or so) the instructor claps or otherwise signals that the partners should reverse roles.  The mirror exercise is used in ArtReach's The Emperor's New Clothes.

The Emperor's New Clothes!  Funny Play for Kids to Perform!
Emperor's New Clothes - Granite City High School, Granite City IL - Fremont Civic Theatre, Canan City CO

Freeze:  Have two students begin an improvised scene of action that requires teamwork (washing a car, making cookies, etc). After a minute or so, or as soon as they've gotten "into" the routine, the instructor claps or otherwise signals them to come to a complete stop - freeze!. Either choose someone or ask for a volunteer to take the place of one of the two frozen actors. When in place, the new actor will begin a completely new and different action that evolves from the frozen pose. [For instance, waxing a car could evolve into petting a dog] This repeats until imaginations run dry.

Pantomime:  Explain pantomime to children as acting without words or props. It combines elements of theater and works best with a strong script or actions and allows the actors to "talk" without speaking. The secret is to exaggerate everything and move in slow motion.

For simple pantomime activities, pick kids and ask them to pretend they are doing, say, sports activities. The kids in the audience should try to guess what the "actor" is doing. If possible, have enough activities so that every child has an opportunity to pantomime.

· Lifting weights
· Bowling 
· Throwing a baseball 
· Dribbling a basketball 
· Serving a tennis ball 
· Eating foods they might get at a game, like hot dogs, peanuts, popcorn, etc.

Try a scripted pantomime with older kids. Some scripts are available (usually for a small fee) on the Internet but older kids can easily develop their own script from simple fairy tales and traditional stories, such as "The Tortoise and the Hare."

Improvisation: For improvisational dramatics, the actors do not have a script and they perform spontaneously. The unpredictability lends itself especially well to comedy. You do not need a script or prepared scenes, but detailed instructions and improv game ideas are available in Funny Bones: Comedy Games and Activities and On Stage: Theater Games and Activities for Kids, both written by Lisa Bany-Winters.

ArtReach's Sleeping Beauty, Lesson ideas and Pictures of Rehearsals

DIFFERENT VERSIONS: Read both versions of the story and discuss which elements are similar and which are different. The castle, fairies, prince, spinning wheel and the kiss are in both stories. These stories were written many years ago.  Why do you think these are the parts of the stories that we remember the most?

Kids and teachers make rehearsals fun!
Forest Animals in Sleeping Beauty Fairies in Sleeping Beauty play Director of Sleeping Beauty Summer Camp Play
Lighthouse Drama Players, Appomatox VA - Rehearsals for ArtReach's Sleeping Beauty

FOLK TALES: The Brothers Grimm did not think that they were creating fairy tales. They were more interested in collecting stories that ordinary people told each other. Perrault used folk tales and added to them to create his own story. Discuss how the reasons for both directions. Consider the stories of another famous fairy tale writer, Hans Christian Andersen. Is he more like the Grimms or Perrault?

FAIRIES: Read the section on the history of fairies in this Teacher’s guide. How do fairies differ from living humans? Are they real or imaginary? Why do you think these beings play such a strong role in so many fairy tales? Do you like to pretend that you have a fairy as a friend. Describe your personal fairy and tell the class what magical powers your fairy has and why. Write a short story about how your fairy helped you in a trouble that you have at home, on the playground or at school.

"What magical powers does your fairy have and why?"
Gruesome Ghouls in Sleeping Beauty Playscript Rehearsala and practice for Sleeping Beauty Play
Lighthouse Drama Players, Appomatox VA - Rehearsals for ArtReach's Sleeping Beauty

FAIRY TALES: Now that you have considered fairies, what do you think make sup a fairy tale? What must the fairy do in order to make the story end happily? If you were a fairy what things would you do to make things end happily in real life?

CREATIVE WRITING: Have the class write a fairy tale together. Remember to include the Princess, the Prince, the good fairies and the bad fairies. To help them create the story, provide them with settings such as the forest, a mountain, a castle, an island in the sea. Set it in the past or consider setting their story in the future which might include cities and outer space. Roll out paper on the floor and have them draw and paint different scenes from their own story.

SPINNING WHEELS: Read the section in this Teachers guide about spinning wheels. What do spinning wheels do and how do they work? How might a person prick their finger on such a device? Why did they use spinning wheels in the past but not today?

" What do spinning wheels do and how do they work?"
Bad Witch and Gruesome Ghouls in ArtReach's Sleeping Beauty Kids do Creative Dramatics with Sleeping Beauty
Lighthouse Drama Players, Appomatox VA - Rehearsals for ArtReach's Sleeping Beauty

LIFE IN THE MIDDLE AGES: Talk about how the spinning wheel was one of the chores of a medieval family. Read the section in this Teacher’s Guide about Life in a Medieval Village. What other chores might they do that we do not do today? Would you like to live in those times or do you think it is better to live today? What might be better? What might be worse.

MUSIC: Listen to a recording of The Sleeping Beauty ballet by Pyotr Tchaikovsky. Much of the music in the play is taken from this ballet. Listen to various movements and discuss how the tempo and composition enhances the story. Can you pick out which parts are identified with Morgana and which parts are identified with the fairies?

Imagination: A Wonderland All Around Us
Alice in Wonderland Activities

Objective:  Help students understand the importance of imagination, creativity and the creative arts - for everyone, children and adults alike.  Just like Alice's adventure, imagination is a Wonderland all around us.  

Activities:  Have the class reflect on the familiar story of Alice In Wonderland.  Use the synopsis in this guide (or another source), view the video, or simply discuss the story as you and they know it.

· Ask students to write a summary of the story (50-100 words)

· Allow students to read their summaries to the class.

· Ask students to draw their favorite character or scene (and tell why they picked that character - can combine with summary story, above - helpful in assigning roles in the play!).

· Display all the drawings (great as a guide for costume and set design!)

· Ask students to name (or draw) the "real life" characters (Lewis Carroll, Alice, what about all five Alices!)

· Ask students to name (or draw) the "imaginary" characters from Wonderland (White Rabbit, Cheshire Cat, Caterpillar, Mad Hatter, Dormouse, March Hare, Queen of Hearts, etc.)

"It was great fun and a huge hit!"
School Play for Children - Alice in Wonderland School Play for Children - Alice in Wonderland
Pinecrest Elementary School Drama Club, Van Nuys CA

Discussion / Questions:  Have a class discussion about what it would be like to suddenly fall down a deep hole (or walk through a door, or crawl under a bed&ldots;) and end up in a strange place - a make-believe place - like Wonderland. 

Do you think there's actually a strange, magical place like Wonderland?

    (There was for Alice!  Wonderland is an imaginary place created by the man who wrote the story, Lewis Carroll.  Even Alice and all the characters in the story are imaginary [though Alice was based on a real-life Alice].  But isn't imagination a wonderful thing?  Without it we wouldn't have wonderful stories like Alice In Wonderland, The Wizard of Oz, Peter Pan, Cinderella.)

Can you think of your own magical place?  What would you call it?

    (Magicland?  Fantasyland?  Funnyland?  Weirdland?  Billyland?  Meaganworld?)

Who would live in your magic land? 

    (You? Me? White Rabbits? Squawking Flamingos?  Space aliens? Dinosaurs? Green elephants?  Hump back camels and chimpanzees?  Unicorns?)

Can you grow nineteen feet tall?  Or shrink to three inches? 

    (No, but maybe you can imagine what it would be like to be the tallest person in the world?  Sometimes the only way we can "do" something is to imagine doing it.)

Continue the discussion.

What would it be like if we couldn't imagine fun or silly or impossible things?

If we couldn't play?  If we had to be serious and real all the time?

Even adults like to imagine fun things, don't they?  (Ask the teacher)

So even though we can't really do everything we want to, sometimes we can be like Alice by using our imaginations to create a Wonderland where anything is possible - by writing stories, painting pictures, telling tales, playing games&ldots;

Or performing a play.

Classroom Activities
General Preparation for 'Alice in Wonderland'

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?

Read the synopsis in the Teachers Guide and discuss the story.  You may also want to read the book by Lewis Carroll.  Can you find Wonderland on the map?  Why not?  Why do you think all the characters in the story act the way they do?  Who is your favorite character and why?

"The Audience Laughed and Loved It!"
School Play for Children - Alice in Wonderland School Play for Children to Perform!  Alice in Wonderland!
Pinecrest Elementary School, Van Nuys -- Dramaworks, Budapest

Talk about how Lewis Carroll had to use his imagination to make up all the strange things that Alice encountered in Wonderland.  Can you make up crazy characters and animals like that?  Think of animals you know like a bird or a horse.  Now give the animal special characteristics.  Is you animal selfish or wise?  Handsome or silly?  Is he hungry or hot or happy or skinny?  Where does he live?  What does he where and eat?  What kind of sounds does he make?  Can he talk? 

Name your animal.  Can you pretend to be your animal and introduce yourself to the rest of the class?  Can they guess what kind of animal you are without telling them?  If they can, they you have just become a great actor!  (This is a great exercise to later help in the role selection process).

Roll out some plain wrapping paper and make a group drawing of Wonderland.  Show the path Alice took and draw the characters she met along the way: White Rabbit, Pigeons, Caterpillar, Cheshire Cat, Mad Hatter, Gardeners, Queen of Hearts, Flamingoes, etc.  You can even make the drawing real big and use it as a backdrop for the performance!

A Christmas Cinderella:  Read the story before performance and show!
ArtReach puts Holiday Twist on Classic Fairy Tale

As A Christmas Cinderella begins the Chorus sets the scene:  Long ago in a faraway land it was a cold and silent night.  All members of the cast and audience set the mood by singing "Silent Night".  Cinderella enters her lonely room after a long day of hard work.  She looks out her window and gazes at the beautiful castle on the hill and sings of her dreams for a better life.  Cinderella climbs into bed, shivers beneath her blanket as Chorus sings her to sleep.

But Cinderella is not alone.  She has six mouse friends who scamper in the room.  Sam, the ring-leader tells them he has heard there will be a Christmas ball at the castle on the hill!   The mice bemoan Cinderella's plight - all work, no play and nothing to wear to the ball.  They decorate a spindly Christmas tree to cheer  her but have only meager offerings:  a block of moldy cheese, a thimble and a safety pin. They hope a song will help - the mice and audience sing "O, Christmas Tree".

The mice and audience sing "O, Christmas Tree"

A Christmas Cinderella - International Academy, Bulacan, Philippines

Greta Snaggle-Bones roars onstage demanding her special Christmas tea!  Stepsisters Bella-Bomb and Lulu-Lolly have their own outrageous demands. They sing "Bring the tea and the cups, Cinderella" and poor Cinderella must rush to serve them.  At the castle on the hill King Grumble-knees has a problem.  He fumes that his fool son the Prince will not get married and the King is restless for an heir.   He demands that his assistants, Snitwick and Sez-So, gather every unmarried maiden for his Christmas ball that very night.

Snaggle-Bones and the Stepsisters are singing a comic version of "The Twelve Days of Christmas" when the King's Assistants arrive with invitations to the ball!  When Mister Snitwick includes Cinderella in the invitation her stepsisters laugh and Cinderella tells him that she cannot go because has nothing to wear.  Scrubbing the floor, Cinderella weeps and again sings of her hopes and dreams.  

Fairy Godmother appears in all her splendor.  With the help of the audience and the mice Fairy Godmother works her magic and soon Cinderella is dressed in a beautiful gown.   The audience helps as Fairy Godmother turns a pumpkin into a Christmas sleigh with none other than the Mice as Flying Reindeer!   When Fairy Godmother wonders who will drive the sleigh, who should appear but Santa himself!   It is not yet Christmas Eve so he has the night off and would be honored to drive Cinderella to the Christmas ball!  Off they go, dashing through the snow, as Fairy Godmother reminds them to believe in the magic and be home at the stroke of midnight.

Fairy Godmother turns a pumpkin into a Christmas sleigh.

A Christmas Cinderella - International Academy, Bulacan, Philippines

Christmas cheer abounds and the Chorus decorates the stage for the Christmas Ball as everyone sings "Deck the Halls".    Miss Hooty-Toot leads a comic band of Fancy Ladies who compete for the Prince's attention.  Irritated by his father's plan the Prince announces that he will only marry when he falls in love!  At that moment his eyes fall on Cinderella.

When Snaggle-Bones and the Stepsisters arrive Cinderella runs from the hall with the Prince following close behind.  He asks her to dance and for a brief moment it seems Cinderella's dream has finally come true.  But all too soon the clock strikes twelve.  Off she flies, leaving her shoe.  The dumbfounded Prince orders that the King's Assistants find the owner, for that lady will be his wife.

The King, Assistants, Fairy Godmother and even Santa sing a round of "A Shoe a Slipper or a Boot" hoping for a Christmas Day wedding.   When the King's Assistants show up at the Snaggle-Bones house each lady tries the shoe but none of them can squeeze into it.  At last, Cinderella is asked to try and her foot glides into the lovely slipper.  The Prince appears and sings, "Suddenly I have found my true love." and asks her to marry him.  As the everyone sings "Joy to the World"  Cinderella and the Prince are wed.

Everyone is invited to the wedding party, even the Chorus!
A Christmas Cinderella - International Academy, Bulacan, Philippines

Everyone is invited to the wedding party, even the Chorus!  There is cheese for the Mice and cookies are served to everyone including the audience!  Prince Charming dances with each girl who played Cinderella while everyone cheers, "hip, hip, hooray"!   Santa makes a return appearance, asking Fairy Godmother to dance.  All cast members waltz the stage and even the audience joins in.  At last, Fairy Godmother waves her magic wand and the Christmas fairy tale is at an end.  Santa calls out:  "Merry Christmas, everyone!  Ho, ho, ho!"

"Christmas, my child, is love in action."
Dale Evans

Glossary for The Legend of Sleepy Hollow
Words found in Washington Irving's Classic Story

Abundance: Having a great or plentiful amount of something.

Actuate: To put into motion or action; activate.

Anecdotes: A short account of an event or incident, especially those of an interesting or amusing nature.

Arrogance: Overbearing pride.

Atmosphere: The dominant mood or emotional tone of any given place.

Behooved: To be necessary or proper for, as for moral or ethical considerations.

Washington Irving's Classic Novel for Kids
Halloween Classic Play Student performs Ichabod's ride
The Legend of Sleepy Hollow - Shawnee Playhouse, Shawnee on Delaware, PA

Burrs: A rough or irregular protuberance on any object, as on a tree.

Cherish: To hold or treat as dear.

Conquest: The winning of favor, affection, and/or love.

Dame: The mistress of a household.

Dimension: measurement in length, width, and thickness.

Foreboding: A strong inner feeling about the future and what is to come. 16

Frolic: Playful behavior or action; a prank.

Garnish: To adorn or show off something ornamental.

Gaunt: Extremely thin and bony.

Invigorate: To fill with life and energy.

Lank: Lean; gaunt; think. Oddly long and slender.

Lull: To soothe or quiet.

Margin: A border or edge. o Maxim: A principle or rule of conduct.

Mettle: Courage and fortitude: A man of mettle.

Murmur: A mumbled noise; a low, continuous sound; i.e., the wind.

Persevere: To persist in anything, despite how difficult it may be.

Words for Students, Classroom Activities
American Clssic for Kids Brom Bones and Ichabod in The Legend of Sleepy Hollow
The Legend of Sleepy Hollow - Shawnee Playhouse, Shawnee on Delaware, PA

Pious: Relating to religious devotion.

Pommel: The protuberant part at the front and top of a saddle.

Potent: Powerful, persuasive, capable.

Psalmody: The practice of setting psalms to music.

Rapturous: Full of or feeling extreme joy or delight.

Resplendent: Shining brilliantly; gleaming.

Specter: A ghost; some object of terror or dread.

Squall: A sudden disturbance or commotion.

Trouper: A loyal, dependable worker or participant in a job or other undertaking.

Vocation: A job, business, profession, or a calling.

Woeful: Full of woe; wretched; unhappy.

Thanks to: Middle Tennessee South University, MTSU Theatre and Dance, Murfreesboro

Theatre Games for the Classroom
Fun Games for Elementary / Primary School Students

Fruit Bowl (Anyone Who) Game

Class in a circle, each child sits on a chair. 

Teacher is in the middle and explains the rules of the game. 

Students think of four things (e.g. anyone who had breakfast, anyone who likes rap music, anyone who has a watch on, anyone who watches a particular TV program).

When the person (student or teacher) in the middle calls out something you have on, have done, have seen etc., you must leave your chair and move to another one, BUT YOU MUST NOT SIT ON A CHAIR ON EITHER SIDE OF THE CHAIR YOU ARE PRESENTLY SITTING ON.

The person left without a chair (the teacher is participating) becomes the person in the middle, calling out the next criteria for moving. The person in the middle must speak quickly and clearly.

VARIATIONS: Students crawl, moonwalk, walk backwards (start with hands on chairs), run, twist, skip, jump to chairs.

Magician's Power Game

The teacher takes on the role of the almighty powerful Magician who holds in his/her hands the most potent power of the universe (the Magician's hands and arms begin to shake with the awesome power and he/she begins to hum, slowly making it louder and louder).

The Magician's Power Game is Great for Aladdin!
Scripts for Kids!  Aladdin for Children to Perform! Aladdin!  Script for Kids to Perform!
Young Aladdin Cast, Solano Youth Theatre, Vacaville, CA

Meanwhile the students who have been seated in a circle begin to hum also. 

The Magician explains hat he/she is going to send the power to other magicians, but warns that those magicians seated either side of the one holding the POWER will be shrivelled if they don't protect themselves by raising the hand and placing it on the cheek nearest to the person holding the POWER.

The POWER is passed by throwing it with great force to another whilst calling out their name

Noises accompany the passing of the power, such as room ro shhooom. 

Every time someone is shrivelled, he/she leaves the circle. 

The winners are the last two magicians.

Trust Run Game

Students are in pairs.

Students line up like a race, one partner behind the other, facing the finish line which the teacher has marked out.

The person behind closes his/her eyes and holds onto the hands of the person in front.

The teacher says "Go!" and the students race off. Once they reach the line they swap places and race back. The most difficult thing is to keep your eyes closed.

Fun Activities & Ideas for A Christmas Wizard of Oz
Taking a Step Closer to A Christmas Wizard of Oz


Study cyclones, tornadoes, blizzards etc. You may want to make your own - When the cyclone hits, Dorothy and her house travel in the storm. You can make your own version of a cyclone with two soda bottles, some water, a little glitter and some duct tape. Fill one of the bottles with water and a small amount of glitter. Tape the two bottles securely together at the openings. Flip the full bottle to the top position and swirl them so that the water forms a whirlpool or cyclone as it flows into the other bottle. You may also want to get out the encyclopedia (or library books) to learn about cyclones and weather in general. Learn about rust. What causes rust? What can be done to prevent it?

Is That Santa's Reindeer in the Sky?
A Christmas Wizard of Oz is Crazy Fun for Kids! Every Child Shines in A Christmas Wizard of Oz!
Stuffed Lion and Toy Friends, The Rhodes School, Houston TX


Get out an encyclopedia about Kansas (or library books). Learn about the climate, the weather and the people of Kansas. You may also wish to make a map of Kansas. Talk with your child about the words North, South, West and East. Label four walls of a room with these words. This would be a great time to teach your child how to use a compass. As you drive around town, talk about the directions that you are traveling.


Learn about the heart and the brain. Talk about the importance of each organ. Can we live without either of them?

Creative Writing

Have your child write a story with themselves as the main character. In the story, have them go to a strange land through a strange mode of travel and describe all of the unusual people and the weird things they do while there.   Write a biographical sketch of at least three of the characters in the book, "Wizard of Oz."  Compare and contrast two or more characters in the book. You may take this a little further and do the compare/contrast exercise with the same character, comparing the character as they appear in the book and as they appear in the movie.  Compare/contrast the book and the Warner Brothers movie staring Judy Garland. My preference would be to watch the movie AFTER reading the book, but this is up to you.


Figure out how long after the story was written that the movie was released. How many numbers you can find while reading the book?


Have your child create a play based on the book.  Create costumes for characters in the story, by drawing or sewing. Recite portions of the book, using correct pronunciation, diction, voice inflection, etc.  Create scenery for your play.

World Peace Activity for A Thousand Cranes
Social Studies/Humanities Classroom Activities

(From First Stage Theatre Study Guide for A Thousand Cranes:
Taken from: )

1. Discuss with students what rights should be "universal" and apply to people in all nations? 

a. Begin by asking students about the basic rights of children. "Kids everywhere deserve..." might be a good way to start. 

b. To prompt discussion, you may want to visit the online bulletin board at the PBS "Not For Ourselves Alone" Web site, where children submitted ideas for a Kid's Bill of Rights. How important are these ideas? Do they apply to kids every where?

Advanced Discussion - Children's Cry for World Peace
Sadako's Statue - A Thousand Cranes World Peace Message Gemini Production of A Thousand Cranes
Professional Production, A Thousand Cranes, by Gemini Collective, Angle Park, SA, Australia
(Adelaide Fringe Festival Award 2018)  Sadako's Story

2. See what international organizations like the United Nations and UNICEF have to say about this subject. (You may want to provide a brief introduction to the two organizations to help students contextualize this information.)

a. Visit the UN's Human Rights in Action interactive exhibit. There, students may access a multimedia display built around the UN's Declaration of Human Rights. (Note: in addition to "plain language" versions of each article in the Declaration, this exhibit offers activity ideas built around each article, so this may be expanded into a longer curricular unit if you wish.)

b. UNICEF's Convention on the Rights of the Child site offers useful information that you may paraphrase for younger children. 

3. Call to the class's attention those statements related to safety, security, and world peace. 

a. How important do these ideas seem in the UN and UNICEF declarations? How often were they mentioned in class discussion? 

b. What do students think--is life in a peaceful neighborhood a "right" that we should try to ensure for every person?

4. Ask students to imagine what a world at peace might be like. To help them imagine this, have them visit the United Nations "Pictures of Peace" exhibit. There, students will see drawings by other kids from around the world and a collaborative poem created by children from 38 countries in 1997.

5. Use online photography galleries (or have students create their own artwork) as part of an original multimedia composition about world peace. 

a. Each student (or groups of students) should write a poem or short essay about the world at peace and choose art work that complements their writings. 

b. An online photography gallery you might visit is the United Nations Staff Photography Gallery cyberschoolbus/gallery/staffphoto/thumbs.asp

6. Finally, discuss why people commit acts of violence. What might make individuals, groups, or nations commit such violent acts? To have a World At Peace, how can we prevent conflict--at home, at school, in our communities, and around the world? Brainstorm ideas to share with families and local officials.

7. As an extension, you may want to explore the United Nations "Preventing Conflict" curriculum, which includes international progress reports, case studies, activities, and recommended resources.

Kirigami for Classroom Activities - Tie-in to A Thousand Cranes
Fun for Teachers and Students

Many schools learn to craft origami for productions of A Thousand Cranes.  Introduce your kids to its sister craft for even more fun.

Kirigami is a variation of origami that includes cutting of the paper, rather than solely folding the paper as is the case with origami, but typically does not use glue.  Kirigami comes from the Japanese words "kiru" (to cut) and "kami" (paper). It is similar to origami because some folding is involved, but different because the primary method of creating a design is the skillful cutting of the paper.  In the United States, the term kirigami was introduced to paper crafters by Florence Temko in 1962. The practice was described in detail in her book Kirigami, the Creative Art of Papercutting.

Kirigami Tips:  Symmetry is a very important part of kirigami. When the paper is folded before it is cut, the resulting design is the same on both sides. Simple kirigami projects may consist of four-fold symmetry created by folding the paper in half horizontally, then folding it in half vertically. At the other end of the spectrum, 12-fold symmetry can be created by folding the paper in half, then folding it into thirds, and then folding it in half again.

Kirigami is a great craft project for students.
Kirigami is part of Origami. A Thousand Cranes Art Project Sadako kirigami for the play A Thousand Cranes
Kirigami projects by Herberger Young Scholars Academy ASU, AZ, A Thousand Cranes production

Most kirigami patterns have solid lines to indicate where to cut and shaded areas to show what portion of the paper will be removed when you are done. Dashed lines normally indicate mountain folds or valley folds.

Kirigami can technically be done with any type of paper, although the thinner paper is a must for projects that involve lots of folding. For pop-up cards, several crafters recommend using watercolor paper because the subtle texture adds interest to the design.

For some people, a craft knife is easier to use than scissors when working on a kirigami project. Use a knife with a sharp blade and invest in a self-healing mat to avoid damaging your work surface.

Kirigami for Children: Learning how to use scissors correctly helps develop a child's fine motor skills. Completing simple kirigami projects is a good way for kids to practice cutting. Scissor Craft has several printable kirigami projects for young children. Making paper doll chains or paper snowflakes is also a form of kirigami. Check out for a selection of unique snowflake cutting patterns.

Kirigami Projects: One very popular example of kirigami is the pop-up greeting card. By artfully folding and cutting the paper before gluing it to a colored background, you can make an image such as a teddy bear or a bouquet of flowers appear to pop-up from the page when the card is opened.

Classroom Activities Page 5: < Prev | 1 | 2 | 3 | 4 | 5 | 6 | 7 | 8 | 9 | Next >
All Free Resources


Teacher Reviews