Maria D. Arroyo
Grade Level: First Grade
Approximate Time: 30-40 minutes

The Little Red Hen

Drama Lesson: Acting out the story The little Red Hen

Creative Expression: The students will develop vocabulary words through dialogue. The students will use pantomime and verbal interaction while dramatizing a story.

Historical and Cultural Context: The students will reflect on and discuss the story, The Little Red Hen, and portray their understanding of "working /being lazy" through the actions of their character.

RATIONALE: According to the Visual and Performing Arts Framework for California Public Schools, "Theatre is a collaborative art that enhances communication." Through the use of legends and folktales from various cultures, drama can be used to educate understanding for other peoples feelings. By giving students the chance to participate in theatre, we allow them to explore their creative potentials. We also give them the opportunity "to define personal and cultural insights and historical understanding as well as develop knowledge and skills about theatre."

STRATEGY: A combination of direct instruction and guided discovery will be used.

VOCABULARY (Relating to drama):

Characters: the animals in a play or story. Actors: the children who portray the characters.
Setting: the time or place of a play.
Set: the arrangement of the characters on the stage.
Scene: a division of a play
Stage: the area or platform upon which plays are presented
Stage Presence: the way the actor comes across to the audience -- costume, voice, facial expressions, and body movement.
Script: the copy of the text of a play
Voice Projection: to throw one's voice out to the audience effectively
Pantomime: a drama without words, using actions and gestures only
Impersonating: to mimic; to assume the role of a character in a play.
Ad-lib: to use words and actions that aren't in the script. Verbal Interaction: acting out a play using words
Dramatize: to present a play.

VOCABULARY (Relating to the story):
Red Hen: the diligent worker of the story
Cat: the vain character
Goose: the chatter box
Dog: always lying around and snoozing.

Introduction: I will read the story The Little Red Hen to the students, pausing to discuss vocabulary words from the book that may be unfamiliar to them. Then I will pose the following questions: How did the little red hen feel about the animals not helping her in the beginning of the story ? How did the little red hen feel in the middle of the story? What one thing did the little red hen have in common with the other animals in the story? Why didn't the little red hen stop working on the(fruit or vegetable) ? Did you expect her to? Next, I will discuss the term "different kinds of work" What kind of work took place in this story? After a general discussion of student responses, I will tell the students that I have written this story into a script and I will walk them through it. Then they will choose their characters and act out the script in a group. Since there are lots of students for the same part they are encouraged to act it out in an evening performance for the parents.

Pupil Activity Sequence:
1. Put all the students of the same character Have the students take turns acting out a character, of their choice, from the story. Encourage them to use broad actions and facial gestures. Let them know this is called pantomime.
2. Have the rest of the class guess which character the student is impersonating.
3. Choose a scene from the script and ask the students for volunteers to take turns acting it out. Be supportive of their work by applauding and using "I-messages." Ask for more volunteers to act out the scene.
4. Have the students democratically vote for those who they felt best captured a character. These students will then lead their group in portraying that character in the evening play.
5. Give students the character identification signs/costumes to wear.
6. Explain to the class how to project their voices so that the audience can hear.
7. Explain how to read the portion of the script marked "Set" so that they know where to stand during the play.
8. Pass out the scripts with the appropriate character parts highlighted for each actor.
9. With your guidance, have the students act out the play.

CLOSURE: Once the play is over, ask the students if it was easier for them to use pantomime or verbal interactions to dramatize the story. Ask the students if they can think of anyone who works hard and received or will receive something in the end?

EVALUATION:The teacher will evaluate the students' understanding of the vocabulary words learned by their ability to use them correctly during the pantomime and verbal dramatizations of the story. The teacher will determine the students' understanding of "work and goals" by seeing how they portray it through the actions of their character and by listening to the group discussion on how it is used in today's society.

character identification cards and costumes/props
Copy of book The Little Red Hen
Scripts of The Little Red Hen for each group leader, with appropriate character parts highlighted for first graders; developed prior to presenting lesson

CLEAN-UP: Have the students return any desks and/or chairs that may have been moved to make room for the play. Also, have the students return their scripts and identification cards to the teacher. This lesson can be adapted for any vegetation that is grown in the area by having the class give input of their own fruit/vegetable background. It can be utilized in cross-curriculum lessons, such as language arts.