Blogger Layouts
We are a group of friends/parents that run a not-for-profit cultural association in Spain.
This is our (bilingual!) blog about our theatre workshops for kids...

lunes, 2 de enero de 2012

Starting from Scratch VII: Exploring Bugs...

In recent weeks, I've been looking at how you might adapt the children's song "The Ugly Bug Ball" into a stage production for kids. This week, I've been thinking about the type of activities that could be used to explore the "bug" theme in a theatre workshop.

So, a few ideas to get started (feel free to chip in with more!):
  • Eric Carle's 'The Hungry Caterpillar'
Base a lesson on the story of The Hungry Caterpillar. When I did this, I cut the fingers off cheap gloves so everyone had a caterpillar to wiggle and handed out food and flashcards to be waved at the right moment. Get kids to do different actions (stand up, sit down, wave one arm etc) when they hear certain words.
As a follow on, get kids to act out a short sketch based on the cycle of life of a butterfly or do this as a puppet show, with quick cutout drawings as puppets or socks and coffee filter butterflies (see below)
  • To make coffee filter butterflies: 
  1. Cut a coffee filter along the 2 sloping edges and open up to make wings
  2. Clip a clothes peg along the centre as a body 
  3. Decorate the wings with felt tip pens
  4. Use a plant spray bottle to spray lightly with water. leave to dry before clipping onto curtains, lamp cables etc.
  • Make an egg box caterpillar by cutting an egg carton in half along the length to leave a string of 3 egg cups still joined together (the caterpillar's body). Decorate and add pipe cleaner antenas.
  •  Make pebble 'bug' pets by painting stones (or combinations of stones) and sticking on googly eyes, pipe cleaner antenas etc
  • Explore Traditional Songs: 
    • There Was An Old Woman Who Swallowed A Fly: Get them to act out the song - draw a circle on the floor (or make one out of chairs or rope) as the old woman's stomach and get the kids to squeeze in (and wriggle and jiggle) at the right time
    •  Nobody Likes Me Everybody Hates Me (Going Down The Garden To Eat Worms): have fun with this traditional playground song (could be combined with the Icky Textures activity below!)
    • The Ants Go Marching
  • Play Musical Bug Statues: a twist on the traditional party game - get the kids moving like a spider... an ant... a butterfly.... in time to music. When the music stops, they freeze and you choose a new insect. (This would be good preparation for the "Ugly Bug Ball" as kids could experiment with dancing like a given insect and explore how different ones would move (a worm would wiggle, for example, and a grasshopper might dance a jig?!)
  • Play a variation of Hunt The Thimble with plastic bugs hidden around the room. Kids 'become' any bugs that are found for a couple of minutes and then the hunt resumes. This can be combined with the tradional game "Warmer/Colder" - one student goes out and the rest decide where to hide a particular bug. They "guide" the first student to the hiding place by calling out 'warmer' and 'colder' when they are closer or further away. This works well with foreign language students as you can substitute the name of the particular bug being hidden and shout or whisper to guide the searcher (lots of vocab practice).
  • Play 'Be A Bug': In small groups, get the kids to work together to represent different insects: use their arms and legs to be a centipede, lie head to foot to be a worm, use a bit of imagination (!) to make a grasshopper, a spider, a beetle...
  • Experiment with music: find a selection of different styles of music (some faster, some slower) andplay them one by one to the students. Get them to listen with their eyes closed and then discuss which music might 'fit' which insects. Opinions may vary but the important thing is to get them thinking...
  • Talk about phobias: find out who likes bugs... and who doesn't! Why do insects produce this reaction? Show flashcards of different animals (kittens, horses, lions as well as different insects) and discuss the differing reactions.
  • Take this further by playing a Halloween favourite, "Icky Textures": prepare several tupperwares filled with a variety of textures (spaghetti, grapes, honey, sand paper.....) and cover them with a cloth so the kids don't know what they are. One by one, get kids to put their hands in the different tubs and describe what they feel. As an extension (as a way of exploring the role of our expections when it comes to the things we are afraid of) send some students out of the room while you do the first activity. Then get them in, one by one, and tell them what they are going to feel (eyeballs, slugs, worms etc). Get help from the rest of the students to build the tension! Later discuss the difference in reaction between the two groups of students.
  • Talk about life from an insect's perspective....
  • Go outside and spot bugs, watch ants 'at work', hunt for butterflies, find a spider in a web. This can be extended into a bug treasure hunt by giving the kids a list of bugs they must try and find.

For more ideas, check out:
Bug-related Activities  
Ideas for story books about insects and songs that can be sung to traditional tunes
Great ideas for exploiting the Aesop's fable, 'The Ant and The Grasshopper'

5 comentarios:

  1. Congratulations on your blog!

  2. i think there's a hungry caterpillar coloring book that might be useful for follow up activities? you color in the drawings to make your own version of the book

  3. Thanks! You can find it here:

  4. Nice blog, Anna! Nathan keeps asking when theatre's going to start... So roll on the summer!

  5. Thanks, Joy! Tell Nathan he'll have to wait a little longer... but we're gearing up!


Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...