Kids pantomiming
K-12EducatorsEnglish Language Arts and LiteracyThe Arts

Pantomime – Lesson Plan

Students pantomime a scene from Pinocchio.

  • Length: 1 30-minute lesson
  • Grades: K-4

Concepts/Objectives:

  • Students recognize the elements of performance in their own and others’ performances.
  • Students apply the elements of performance to their own characters.

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Resource Used:
Pinocchio
Found On: Performance Excerpts

Vocabulary and Materials

Vocabulary
elements of performance: character; movement, pantomime, plot
Materials
Computer and projector to view video

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Instructional Strategies and Activities

  1. Discuss pantomime as a form of drama in which actors perform without speaking. Pantomime an activity for students, such as riding a motorcycle or baking bread, and ask them to guess what you’re doing. Discuss how they knew what you were portraying and how movement of the hands as well as facial expressions are part of pantomime.
  2. TV Viewing Tip
    Young children learn through doing and repetition. Unfortunately, home use of television is often passive. Many children need to learn how to use television as a learning tool. You model the effective use of television when you replay videos several times to focus on learning goals and structure activities to accompany the viewings.

  3. Discuss plot as “what happens” in the story. Tell students to consider the plot of the Pinocchio excerpt.
  4. View the Pinocchio excerpt. (Caution: The very last part with the villain may be too scary for some children. If you think so, you could stop the video before the villain’s speech.) Discuss the main ideas:
    • What did the children in the video excerpt like about this place?
    • How did eating too many hot dogs and riding roller coasters all the time make Pinocchio feel?
    • How could you tell that the characters were turning into donkeys?
  5. Ask students to watch the video without the sound and think of ways the actors used their bodies to tell the story. As they watch the video, ask them to mimic the actions of Pinocchio and his friend.
  6. Have students brainstorm things Pinocchio could do to change back into a boy.
  7. Ask students to rehearse and then perform a pantomime of the story in groups of two or three. Tell them to show Pinocchio and his friend breaking all the rules of good behavior, feeling sad, and then turning into donkeys. Have each group think of something Pinocchio could do to change back into a boy and add that to the pantomime.

If you put students in groups of three, one of the three could be a narrator, sound effects creator, and/or musician for the group.

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Applications Across the Curriculum

Language Arts

  • Find a version of the Pinocchio story to read to the class. Select possible scenes for students to pantomime.

Cross-Disciplinary

  • Have students create simple paper-plate masks to show a variety of emotions.

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Performance Assessment

Performance Event: In groups of two or three, students pantomime part of the story of Pinocchio.

Directions: In groups of two or three, pantomime part of the story of Pinocchio. Show Pinocchio breaking all the rules for good behavior, feeling sad about his actions, and then turning into a donkey. Think of something Pinocchio could do to change into a boy and add that to the pantomime. One of the three people may be the narrator, sound effects creator, or musician.

Performance Scoring Guide

4 3 2 1 0
The group uses effective and appropriate facial expressions and body movements to pantomime the story of Pinocchio. The group is on task during rehearsal. The story told through the pantomime is comprehensible to the class. The addition to the story of Pinocchio’s transformation from a donkey back to a boy shows creativity. The group uses appropriate facial expressions and body movements to pantomime the story of Pinocchio. The group is generally on task during rehearsal. The addition to the story of Pinocchio’s transformation from a donkey back to a boy is present in the story. The group uses some facial expressions and body movements to pantomime the story of Pinocchio. The addition to the story of Pinocchio’s transformation from a donkey back to a boy is present in the story. The group uses few expressions and body movements to pantomime the story of Pinocchio. The group does not add to, or ineffectively adds to, the story. Group does not participate.

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