8. Five plays for grades 2 – 4
by Elaine Gallagher Plays are organized in three-month periods during the school year. Among the five plays, there is a variety of difficulty. Choose the […]
Plays are organized in three-month periods during the school year.
Among the five plays, there is a variety of difficulty. Choose the plays that are best suited for your students’ English level, so they enjoy the activity.
FIVE PLAYS FOR BASIC ENGLISH LEARNERS: A-1 to A-2 (Grades 2 – 4)
1. August – September – October
PLAY TITLE: Frogs Need Love, Too
SPECIFIC VOCABULARY: under, behind, in, frog, frogs, in front of, children, playground, sandbox, dog, boy, grass, flowers, there is, there are, climbing, running, bugs, table, bench, love, need
SETTING: a park with a pond
- Fernando, King of the Frogs
- Jorge, a little boy
- Other students, as a chorus…OR form several groups of actors, all doing the same play, at the same time……and the Teacher circulates to listen to their English fluency.
NARRATOR: Fernando was King of the frogs in his pond. Frogs eat many bugs each day, especially flies and mosquitoes. The biggest problem that frogs have is that no one loves them. They are not a favorite pet of anyone. You cannot walk with them. They can not do tricks. You cannot take one to bed with you, to sleep near your bed, as a dog or a cat might do. That is why frogs are not popular pets.
One day, Fernando was in a park under a table. A boy came by and sat on the bench in front of the table.
FERNANDO: I hope the boy goes to play in the sandbox. I do not want to scare him. I do not want to hear him say that I am ugly and slimy.
NARRATOR:But the boy did not leave. He sat on the bench. Fernando heard the boy softly crying
FERNANDO:I wonder what is wrong? Don’t be afraid of me, little boy. I will not hurt you. I am Fernando, King of the frogs in the pond in this park. Who are you?
JORGE: I’m Jorge. I am six years old. I feel lonely. I have no friends, and no one loves me. Only my mother and my father love me, but I have no friends.
JORGE:We moved here from far away. I am home because it is summer vacation. I have not met any new children yet. I am all alone.
FERNANDO:You don’t have to be sad, Jorge. I will be your friend. I do not have children for friends because they think that I am slimy and icky. If I am your friend, Jorge, you will not be lonely. When school starts, you will make new friends. I will be a good friend to you.
JORGE:And I will be a good friend to you, too, because I know that even frogs need love.
NARRATOR:Now both Fernando and Jorge will be happy and be loved, because they are friends to each other.
2. November – December
PLAY TITLE: The Bells of Christmas
SPECIFIC VOCABULARY:love, rose, traveler (Amer. English), travel, traveller (Brit. English), servant, child, snow, spirit, heaven, message, fever, forehead, faith, endurance, weary, tired, exhausted
TIME / SETTING: Christmas night
CHARACTERS: See the list below. There are 16 parts, plus the rest of the students can be sitting around, with a small bell they will ring when directed to do so by the teacher.
They can have a sign hanging around their necks, so the audience will know who they represent.
- NARRATOR (The NARRATOR should be one of the best English students. (or 2 or 3 students can stand together and share the part.) The NARRATOR may READ his/her part as it is long.
- BELL (should have some bells around his/her neck)
- SERVANT #1
- SERVANT #2
- CHILD #1
- CHILD #2
- CHILD #3
- TRAVELLER #1
- TRAVELLER #2
- TRAVELLER #3
- TRAVELLER #4
NARRATOR : ( ENTERS RINGING A BELL) Ring out, ring out, oh Christmas Bells. Ring out your tale of joy and mirth. This night – the night of Jesus’ birth. This one night of the year, oh, world, oh world, give love from man to man. And with the bells, your love we’ll send!
( BELL MUSIC. ENTER THE SPIRIT OF THE BELLS, SPIRIT OF SNOW, SPIRIT OF THE CHRISTMAS ROSE, SPIRIT OF HOLLY, SPIRIT OF LOVE . THE SPIRIT OF THE BELLS STANDS IN THE CENTER WHILE THE OTHERS SIT AROUND HER. )
BELLS: Well my dear spirits. Tonight is our night. It is Christmas night. The night in which love comes down from heaven, hope is born on earth and peace reigns among all men. We all know that it is our labor….
LOVE: (INTERRUPTING) A delightful labor!
BELLS: To spread this message to all! Tonight is and has always been the most special night of the year. And it is our duty to let everyone know…
ROSE: (INTERRUPTING ) Through our music….
BELLS: That Christ has been born! So fly my friends….over the corners of the earth, each to her place where her music is needed!
(BELL MUSIC GETS LOUDER. THE SPIRITS EXIT. )
(MUSIC CHANGES SUDDENLY TO A MORE SOLEMN TUNE. ENTER RICH MOTHER WITH 2 SERVANTS AND HER SICK CHILD)
MOTHER: (FEELING THE SICK CHILD’S FOREHEAD) Oh….. Emily. You’re so hot! Your fever just won’t go down.
(SHE SITS AND CRIES SOFTLY INTO HER HANDS)
SERVANT 1: ( COMFORTING MOTHER) Don’t cry Lady Anne. We’re here to help you. Maybe if we washed her down with some cold water….
SERVANT 2: No! No! What she needs is more heat. Maybe if we covered her with more blankets…
EMILY: I don’t need anything! I just need to hear the Christmas Bells and then I know I will get better.
MOTHER: What bells are you talking about Emily? Do you want me to buy you bells? Is that what you want to make you feel better?
EMILY: No mother. Not just any bells but Christmas Bells. You can’t buy them, they come to you! When they sound, they speak of the birth of Christ! When I hear this music mother, I know I shall be well.
(MOTHER AND SERVANTS PACE AWHILE, THEN SIT AND SLEEP. RISE BELL MUSIC AND ENTER SPIRIT OF SNOW WITH HER HELPERS. )
SNOW: Hello Emily. I know that you have been waiting for me. I haven’t forgotten you or the special gift that has been sent for you! Listen.
NOW: A GROUP OF STUDENTS CAN SING A CHRISTMAS SONG.
(THEN EXIT HELPERS AND SPIRIT. EMILY STANDS UP AND BEGINS TO WAKE EVERYONE UP.)
EMILY: Wake up! Wake up! It’s Christmas Day!
MOTHER: Emily! You’re well! You have no fever!
SERVANT 1: It’s a miracle!
EMILY: (SMILING) It’s the Christmas Bells and their music; their music which tells of Christ’s birth and God’s love for us all.
(MUSIC GETS LOUDER.. ALL EXIT.)
(CHANGE OF MUSIC TO A SADDER TUNE. ENTER POOR MOTHER AND HER THREE CHILDREN. SHE SITS IN A CHAIR CRYING SOFTLY INTO HER HANDS WHILE HER CHILDREN STAND AROUND HER)
CHILD 1: Please don’t cry mother.
CHILD 2: Don’t be so sad.
MOTHER: But what are we going to do? Tomorrow is Christmas and we don’t have any food.
CHILD 3: Do not worry, Mother! Bread and a little wine will be enough.
MOTHER: But don’t you understand that we may not even have a place to sleep. If the landlord comes for his rent and I don’t have any money to pay him, he will throw us out! (SOBS)
CHILD 1: Don’t worry, mother. At least we have the bells.
CHILD 2: Yes! That’s true. The bells belong to everybody.
MOTHER: Bells? What bells are you talking about?
CHILD 3: Listen! I can hear them now! Christ has been born!
(BELL MUSIC. ENTER SPIRIT OF THE CHRISTMAS ROSE AND HER HELPERS. THEY STAND BLOCKING THE POOR FAMILY)
ROSE:The legend of the Christmas Rose is old,but always worthy of being told!At the very first Christmas a little beggar girlWanted to enter but did not dare.She had no gift to offer the BabeUntil the arch- angel Gabriel appeared.(«arch» is pronounced ARK-ANGEL)He showed her a great bank of white flowersThat were the first of the Christmas Roses to follow.Take them to him he bade,For they are God’s gift to you today!
(THE SPIRIT AND HELPERS SWING BACK TO STAND ON EACH SIDE OF THE POOR FAMILY. A MIRACLE HAS HAPPENED.
THE POOR FAMILY IS NOW WARMLY DRESSED WITH FOOD ON THE TABLE AND A CHRISTMAS TREE.)
ALL EXIT TO BELL MUSIC.
A SONG: A GROUP OF STUDENTS CAN SING A CHRISTMAS SONG AT THIS POINT.
(SLOW, SOLEMN MUSIC. ENTER A GROUP OF TRAVELERS)
TRAVELER 1: Oh how much further do we have to travel to find a good enough place to rest?
TRAVELER 2: We have been walking without stop for an entire day, and the cold bitter wind is biting through my very bones!
TRAVELER 3: It’s not the cold that bothers me so much. It is that I’m hungry and tired and not sure how much further I’ll be able to walk.
TRAVELER 4: Don’t worry. Don’t complain. We’ll know when it’s time to stop. When the Christmas bells sound, that will be our sign that Christ has been born and then it will be our time to rest.
TRAVELER 1: Stop! Listen! Do you hear that? Or is it just my imagination?
(BELL MUSIC. ENTER THE SPIRIT OF HOLLY. )
HOLLY: Oh tired and weary travelers, lay your burden down here and rest for the night. Your faith and endurance will be well rewarded. For tonight Baby Jesus has been born and sleeps sweetly until morn.
EVERYONE IN THE PLAY COMES TO THE FRONT , AND SAYS:
«HAPPY CHRISTMAS …AND PEACE ON EARTH TO EVERYONE.»
( ENTER HER HELPERS WITH BLANKETS AND TWIGS FOR A FIRE , THAT THEY GIVE TO THE TRAVELERS.
MUSIC IS PLAYING.
(ANOTHER GROUP OF STUDENTS CAN SING A SONG.)
(ALL EXIT TO BELL MUSIC.)
3. January – February
PLAY TITLE Louie, The Lonely Polar Bear
SPECIFIC VOCABULARY: can, can’t, sing, polar bear, fly, birds, bears, tails, big, little, their, long, short, ice, snow, iceberg, wild animals, seal, cold, igloo
NOTE: CORRECTED BY Pablo Sánchez – NO POLAR BEARS LIVE IN ANTARCTICA (The original version).
SETTING: near the North Pole, on a glacier or iceberg
- Narrators 1 and 2
- Louie, a baby polar bear
- La Verne, his mother
- Marie, another mother polar bear
- Chinook, a baby polar bear, Chinook’s daughter
- Father Polar Bear, Louie’s father
- some baby seals
NARRATOR 1: Louie is a baby polar bear who lives with his mother on one of the coldest places in the world, the North Pole. Polar bears are big, with long white fur to match the snow. They have a little, short tail, and can swim very fast in the cold ocean water.
NARRATOR 2: Louie has no brothers. He had no sisters. He had no friends because no other bears live near Louie’s family. His father had gone to hunt food. Maybe he would come home with a seal or a big fish. Louie had no one but his mother. He was alone when his father went to hunt for food. Louie was sad.
LOUIE: I am not big. I am not strong. I do not eat much. I wish the other animal babies would play with me. They are all afraid because polar bears grow to be VERY big, and kill other animals to eat.
NARRATOR: One day, Louie saw a large group of baby seals.
LOUIE: Wow! Maybe one of those baby seals can be my friend!
GROUP OF BABY SEALS: Run! Run! There’s a polar bear. He may try to kill and eat us! RUN!
NARRATOR: Louie was sad. he went home to see his mother.
LOUIE: Mama…the baby seals ran away from me. I will never have any friends.
LA VERNE: Someday, Louie, you will have a chance to have a good friend. Be patient.
NARRATOR: Two days later, Louie’s mother was all excited, and called him.
LA VERNE: Louie, Louie. Guess what?
LOUIE: What, Mother?
LA VERNE: A new polar bear family has moved to our part of the iceberg…… a mother polar bear and her baby.
NARRATOR: Louie and his mother began to walk to the other side of the iceberg. They saw a mother polar bear with a small cub. They did not see the father bear, so they carefully and slowly went towards the mother and her baby.
LA VERNE: Hello………
MARIE: Hello. Who are you?
LA VERNE: This is my son, Louie, and I am La Verne, his mother. We live near here. Who are you?
MARIE: I am Marie, and this is my daughter, Chinook. We moved here because hunters were bothering us. They shot Chinook’s father for his beautiful fur skin. So we had to move far away be safe. Are there hunters near here?
LA VERNE: No…only once or twice have we seen bear hunters. It is safer here for us. But, it is very lonely. Louie, this is Marie and her baby, Chinook. Maybe the two of you can become friends.
NARRATOR: Later that day, Louie’s Father arrived home after having been away for four days, hunting. He was swimming towards them in the open ocean. He had a huge fish he was carrying in his mouth.
LOUIE: Daddy, Daddy! You’re home! I missed you!
FATHER POLAR BEAR: Hello, Louie. I am happy to be home. I brought you and your mother a big fish to eat so you will not be hungry.
LOUIE: Thank you, Daddy. Guess what, Daddy?
FATHER POLAR BEAR: What, son?
LOUIE: We have new neighbors, Marie and Chinook. They do not have a Father bear to help them. Can we give them some of our fish?
FATHER POLAR BEAR: Of course. We will all be neighbors now and we will help each other.
CHINOOK: Can we play, Louie? Can we slide on the ice together?
LOUIE: Oh yes. Yes! Yes! Yes! Mom! I have a friend! I won’t be lonely any more!
NARRATOR: Louie and Chinook went to slide on the ice. They became great friends, running, sliding, playing, and swimming! Louie was not lonely any more.
4. March – April
PLAY TITLE: The Ugly Duckling
SPECIFIC VOCABULARY: barn, country, farm, fence, field, grass, elegant, pond, swan, duck, beautiful, have to, has to, in, on, under, in front of, behind, reflection.
SETTING: a farm with a pond
- Narrators: 1, and 2, and 3, and 4
NARRATOR 1:Once upon a time, there was an egg that cracked open in a barn, on a farm in the country, far from town. Out popped an ugly duckling. He was odd-looking. The farm was big and beautiful, except for the ugly duckling.
NARRATOR 2: The ugly duckling was different. Everyone laughed at him. He walked funny. He could not swim as fast as the other baby ducks. When he was next to the other ducks, it was easy to see that he was different. He would hide so they could not see him.
FARMER: Don’t worry duckling. You will not always be ugly. When you grow up, you will be handsome and elegant.
NARRATOR 3: After three months passed by, the ugly duckling saw the farmer coming with food and water. He shyly moved towards the farmer who was now his friend.
FARMER: Wow, Duckling! Look at you! Look at you!
DUCKLING: WHAT??? Look at me…..WHY?
FARMER: Go look at your reflection in the pond.
(The duckling walks to the «pond» to see himself… You can use a mirror to represent the pond.)
DUCKLING: What is wrong, Farmer? I am not here. I do not see myself. I see another beautiful bird in my place. What has happened?
FARMER: You have grown up. You are not an ugly duckling anymore. You never were a duck. Your egg got mixed in with duck eggs. You are a swan. A swan is the most handsome and most elegant bird on my farm. You are not the ugly duckling anymore.. You have changed into a beautiful, graceful swan. You are the most beautiful bird on my farm.
DUCKLING: Thank you, Farmer, for being my friend all this time. I have learned a good lesson. I will never make fun of anyone. I will be fair and kind to everyone so no one will feel sad as I did.
NARRATOR 4: The ugly duckling was not ugly any more. He walked to the pond and began to swim, proudly and smoothly. The ducks said they were sorry for saying he was ugly. They told the swan that he was gorgeous. They promised that they would be kind. The ugly duckling, now a beautiful swan, slowly swam away. He was happy and he was proud.
5. May – June – July
PLAY TITLE: Pauline, The ParrotWho Talked Too Much
SPECIFIC VOCABULARY: forest, jungle, river, parrot, sleeping, flying, monkey, do, don’t, elephant, parrot.
TEACHERS: from cardboard, or other material, have students prepare some sort of gazebo, because it will be needed in the final scenes. Here is a picture of a gazebo…also called a «kiosk».
- Narrators 1, 2, 3, and 4.
- Emily, the elephant
- Thomas, the turtle
- Pauline, the parrot
NARRATOR 1: Pauline was a beautiful parrot with long, smooth, feathers of red, and yellow, blue, and green. All the animals in the pet shop where Pauline lived in her huge cage, said that Pauline was the most gorgeous parrot they had ever seen. The monkey, the puppies, and the pet rabbits admired Pauline because she was so beautiful.
NARRATOR 2: You may know that parrots can live to be 100 years old, so they can be pets for a very long time. Pauline was 35 years old, young for a parrot. She was so pretty. People who came into Timothy’s Exotic Pet Shop loved to look at her.
NARRATOR 3: Pauline’s best friends were Emily, the elephant, who lived in the field behind the pet shop, and Thomas, the turtle. Thomas had a very large area outside, with water from a small river. It was almost like a jungle. Pauline, Emily, and Tomas were friends for 30 years. Parrots and elephants and some types of turtles live a very long time, many, many years.
Pauline, Emily, and Tomas had met at Timothy’s Exotic Pet Shop when they were young, and they stayed friends all these years.
NARRATOR 4: If Pauline is beautiful, doesn’t bite people, is clean, eats only a little food each day, why don’t people want to keep Pauline? (PAUSE about 10 SECONDS.) Why? Sad to say…Pauline talks too much. She only is quiet when she is sleeping. During the day and night, she never shuts up. If a phone rings, she’ll yell over and over again:
PAULINE: Pick it up! Pick it up! Pick it up!
NARRATOR 1:If someone rings the doorbell, she’ll shout,
PAULINE: Come in! Come in Come in! Come in!
NARRATOR 2: If a woman walks by, Pauline will whistle at her, and say,
PAULINE: Hi beautiful! Hi beautiful! Hi beautiful!.
NARRATOR 3: When a man walks by, Pauline will call out,
PAULINE: Hello handsome…hello handsome…hello handsome!
NARRATOR 4: If an animal walks by, Pauline says,
PAULINE: You are ugly. You are ugly. You are ugly!
NARRATOR 4: (LOOKING AT THE AUDIENCE…) Do you know why Pauline talks so much? (PAUSE.) Pauline is sad that she is not with her friends outside. She wants to be with Emily and Thomas. She only sees them when her cage is outside on nice, sunny days. When she is with Emily and Thomas, she is quiet, because she is happy to be near them. But when she not with them, she says the same thing five or ten times, over and over. Now you know why no one wanted to keep Pauline. She talks too much!
EMILY: Pauline needs to be outside with us.
THOMAS: No, Emily….Pauline could fly away……or a cat could catch her and eat her.
EMILY: Poor Pauline…..I know she is sadder and sadder, every day because she is friendly and needs to be with us….not in her cage.
THOMAS: You’re right, Emily. I wish we could help Pauline.
NARRATOR 1: Mr. Timothy, the Exotic Pet Shop owner, heard Emily and Thomas, but he didn’t know what to do to help her. Finally, he had a wonderful idea to help Pauline! What do you think Mr. Timothy is going to do?
NARRATOR 2: First, he built a round gazebo for Pauline in his big back yard where Emily and Tomas are most of the time. He put plants, food trays, and water dishes in the gazebo. He put screening on the gazebo so Pauline could not fly away, and so other birds would not bother her.
NARRATOR 3: He added a big mirror so that Pauline could see herself and talk to herself without bothering the humans. When Mr. Timothy finished making the gazebo, he brought Pauline there in her cage. He opened the cage, and let her fly freely into the huge gazebo. Pauline never had had so much space!
NARRATOR 4: Now, inside the gazebo, she could fly and be safe. Pauline was so very happy! She had a new home! She could see Emily and Tomas every day! Pauline felt safe and comfortable, and not alone. She didn’t talk too much anymore…just enough so people would say, “Let’s see if we can get that parrot to talk!”
PAULINE: I am so happy!!!!! Thank you so much for my new home,
EMILY: This is so wonderful!
THOMAS: Now Pauline can be outside with us.
EMILY: Yes. Let’s celebrate!
NARRATOR 1: Pauline, and Emily, and Tomas all looked at each other and smiled! They were all so very happy!
(PAULINE, EMILY, AND THOMAS ALL HUG EACH OTHER.)
Next: Part 9 – Plays for grades 5 and 6