Welcome to Theatre Exploring Characters

Mo Willems has created some lovely characters in his many books. Read one or more of his books and guide your students to imagine themselves as those characters using a little dramatic play.
Procedure
• With students seated on the floor or in their desks, read students an Elephant and Piggie story or stories of your choice. Focus on how the faces of the characters look and talk about the feelings the characters experience in the story.
• Take a moment to explore a variety of emotions using facial expressions.
• Next have them incorporate arms/head/ hands motion to show the emotion (no talking, just movement).
• Finally, standing up and in their space (designate how much room they have), explore full body movement and facial expressions that reflect those of the characters from the book.
• After exploring movement, ask students to decide on one movement and one facial expression that are their favorites.
• One at a time, have student come to the front of the classroom or to the middle if seated in a circle and share their movement and facial expression.
• Talk about how the shape of the body and face help tell a story without using voices.
• What does the way a person moves tell us? Why is that important?

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To download a PDF of this activity click here.