Article Using fairytale plays in the EFL classroom


A while back I introduced a fairytale play in my classroom. It is called "The Magic Sieve" and is based on a Japanese folktale. It came from the book Just a minute: Ten Short Plays & Activities For Your Classroom by Irene N. Watts.

I'm really glad I picked this book up when I did at the Theatre Bookstore in Toronto a while back. It came in handy at a time when I wanted to change the class routine and spice things up a bit. I worried that my students wouldn't like it and would find it a little too challenging but it went over well. They really enjoyed it.

Even though it was a new experience for them, a lively discussion ensued. We discussed popular Japanese fairytales like Momotaro, The Peach Boy. Several of my students commented that it jogged their childhood memories. Memories they had forgotten.

They quizzed me about the fairytales I had learned growing up in Canada. I told them they were tales from Brothers Grimm and Hans Christen Anderson.

We had read the play several times changing roles and stopped along the way to check for understanding and pronunication of new words. We discussed the meaning of this particular fairytale and others and noted that many fairytales have recently undergone revision and have a more positive spin on them. It was a wonderful classroom activity that sparked active classroom participation.

Perhapsy, you might give it a try and use fairytale plays in your EFL classroom.

Copyright (c) 2005 Stefan Chiarantano- All rights reserved

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