Three for the castles I built on the sand.Four for the seashells I held in my hand.
Five for the points on the starfish I saw.Six for the crabs that scuttled ashore.
Seven for the waves that I managed to beat.Eight for the pebbles I perched on my feet.
Nine for the boats that bobbed on the sea.Ten for my toes that were wiggling free.
Get your students to draw or paint flashcards of some of the following: sun, sailing ship, rowing boat, castle, sea shells, a starfish, crab, waves, toes..
A fun way to familiarise you and your child with the full story will be to sing the Danny Kaye song:
There once was an ugly duckling.
* an eiderdown is a bed cover stuffed with feathers. If the bed cover tears the feathers go everywhere
Get the students to write the numbers and words and then say aloud:
Table of Cardinal Numbers
Get your students to write the numbers (ending with st, nd and th) and words and say aloud the ordinal numbers.
Get them to make up other ordinal numbers.
A Simple version of the whole play.
An advanced version of the first part of the play.
You can choose between them depending on the ability of your students.
Or you could do both. This would be an excellent preparation for a production of the whole play
ACTORSNS = Non speaking
|COSTUMES||MUSIC, SOUND EFFECTS AND VOCALISATIONS|
|Narrator 1||Backdrop of countryside and water||All the ducks can have yellow beaks||Theme music|
|Narrator 2||A large nest||Perhaps ducks have wings||Perhaps Danny Kaye’s “there once was an ugly duckling”|
|Mother Duck||4 duck eggs (bigger than in real life)||An old fashioned hat for the old duck||Loud cracks of eggs breaking|
|Old Duck||One larger egg||2 geese costumes||Cheeps of the ducklings|
|Ugly Duckling||An area to signify water||3 hen costumes||A louder crack for the ugly duckling|
|Ducklings 1, 2 & 3||2 guns for hunters||1 turkey costume||A squawk for the ugly duckling|
|Old Duck||Cat costume||a big splash for mother duck jumping into water|
|2 geese||3 swan beautiful white costumes||4 smaller splashes for the ducklings|
|2 hens NS||Another louder one for the ugly duckling|
|Farm boy||Turkey gobbling|
|2 wild ducks||Bangs of guns|
|2 Hunters (NS)||Growl of dog|
|Big Dog||Hiss of cat|
|3 swans NS|
(25 characters, 7 non speaking)
Encourage the children to learn their parts but also to improvise and modify. This should give them confidence and spontaneity.
They can practise and try out characters by themselves or with their family. Later you can audition them. They may find it helpful to listen to the reading.
|THERE IS A BACKDROP OF GRASS AND TREES AND A POND.|
|MOTHER DUCK IS SITTING ON FIVE EGGS.|
|FOUR ARE QUITE SMALL AND WHITE AND THE SIXTH IS HUGE.|
|TWO NARRATORS STAND AT ONE SIDE OF THE STAGE.|
|MOTHER DUCK:||Look! I have five eggs. Four are smooth and small and white, but one is huge. I wonder why.|
|NARRATOR 1:||All Spring the Mother duck sat on her eggs, waiting for them to hatch.|
|NARRATOR 2:||She waited and waited and waited. And until at last|
|WE HEAR A CRACK AND ONE DUCKLING APPEARS. HE CHEEPS AND HIDES HIS EGG.|
|MOTHER DUCK:||Hurry! Come and See! My eggs are hatching.|
|AN UGLY OLD DUCK APPEARS. THEN WE HEAR THREE MORE CRACKS|
|MOTHER DUCK:||Come out! Come out!|
|THREE MORE DUCKLINGS APPEAR. THEY CHEEP AND HIDE THEIR EGGS.|
|JUST THE LARGE EGG REMAINS.|
|MOTHER DUCK:||Is everyone here?|
|NARRATOR 1:||But the big egg still hadn’t hatched.|
|OLD DUCK:||Looks like a turkey egg to me. I think you should leave it.|
|MOTHER DUCK:||I’ll just wait a little bit longer.|
|A VERY LOUD CRACK.|
|NARRATOR 2:||At last the great egg burst open|
|AND THEN A LARGE, UGLY DUCKLING APPEARS. HE TOO HIDES HIS EGG|
|UGLY DUCKLING:||Cheep! Cheep!|
|OLD DUCK:||It is a turkey chick. Take it swimming. Then you’ll see.|
|MOTHER DUCK AND THE DUCKLINGS WALK AROUND THE STAGE TOWARDS THE BACKDROP WHERE THE POND IS.|
|NARRATOR 1:||So Mother Duck took her ducklings down to the pond and one by one they all jumped in.|
|THEY MIME JUMPING IN. WE HEAR SPLASHES.|
|THEY ALL PUT THEIR HEADS DOWN|
|NARRATOR 2:||The dark water closed over their heads.|
|THEN THEY POP THEIR HEADS UP AGAIN.|
|The next moment they all popped up again.|
|MOTHER DUCK:||(TO THE UGLY DUCKLING) You can swim! You’re not a turkey chick.|
|You’re just a very ugly duckling. Come on. I’ll show you the farmyard.|
|THE DUCKLINGS FOLLOW MOTHER DUCK AROUND THE STAGE TO THE FARMYARD. TWO GEESE, TWO HENS, A TURKEY AND FARMBOY APPEAR.|
|TWO GEESE:||TWO GEESE LAUGH AND HISS AT THE UGLY DUCKLING.|
|NARRATOR 1:||The geese laughed at the Ugly Duckling and the hens pecked him.|
|TWO HENS:||TWO HENS PECK THE UGLY DUCKLING.|
|NARRATOR 2:||And the turkey puffed himself up and gobbled at him.|
|THE TURKEY:||THE TURKEY PUFFS HIMSELF UP AND MAKES A GOBBLE GOBLE GOBBLE NOISE AT THE THE UGLY DUCKLING.|
|FARM BOY||SHOOS THE UGLY DUCKLING AWAY|
|Out of my way!|
|THE UGLY DUCKLING FLIES AWAY AND ALL THE OTHER CHARACTERS DISAPPEAR, LEAVING HIM ALONE ON THE STAGE.|
|UGLY DUCKLING:||Nobody wants me. I’m too ugly.|
|NARRATOR 1:||He ran and ran all night and at last he came to where the wild ducks lived.|
|TWO WILD DUCKS WALK ON AND LOOK AT HIM|
|TWO WILDDUCKS:||You’re too ugly|
|THEN WE HEAR “BANG” ‘BANG”|
|Watch out! It’s the hunters.|
|TWO HUNTERS AND A BIG DOG:||THEY FLY AWAY. TWO HUNTERS AND A BIG DOG APPEAR. THE HUNTERS HAVE GUNS. THEY SHOOT “BANG” ‘BANG” TOWARDS THE UGLY DUCKLING AND MISS. THE HUNTERS LEAVE. THE BIG DOG BOUNDS UP TO THE UGLY DUCKLING,|
|WHO TRIES TO HIDE?|
|BIG DOG:||(GROWLS AND SNIFFS) You’re too ugly to eat.|
|THE UGLY DUCKLING RUNS AROUND THE STAGE. THE DOG DISAPPEARS.|
|NARRATOR 2:||At last the Ugly Duckling reached a house and crept inside.|
|A CAT AND A HEN APPEAR|
|UGLY DUCKLING:||Can I stay here?|
|HEN:||Can you lay eggs?|
|CAT:||(HISSSES) Can you purr?|
|UGLY DUCKLING:||I don’t think so.|
|CAT:||Then get out.|
|THE UGLY DUCKLING GOES ON RUNNING AND THE HEN AND CAT DISAPPEAR. THE UGLY DUCKLING STOPS RUNNING AND BEGINS TO SHIVER.|
|NARRATOR 1:||The weather grew colder|
|NARRATOR 2:||The leaves grew yellow and brown and danced in the wind|
|NARRATOR 1:||One evening, just as the sun was setting, a flock of birds flew across the sky.|
|NARRATOR 2:||The Ugly Duckling had never seen anything so beautiful.|
|NARRATOR 1:||The birds were shining white, with long smooth necks.|
|NARRATOR 2:||They were swans.|
|NARRATOR 1:||The weather grew colder and colder|
|THE UGLY DUCKLING SHIVERS EVEN MORE AND SITS DOWN|
|NARRATOR 2:||The Ugly Duckling almost froze in the ice.|
|HE STRUGGLES TO PUSH HIMSELF UP, AS IF HE IS STUCK IN THE ICE|
|NARRATOR 1:||But when Spring came he was still alive.|
|NARRATOR 2:||He lay in the reeds and listened to the birds sing.|
|NARRATOR 1:||He raised his wings.|
|NARRATOR 2:||They beat more strongly than before.|
|HE RUNS AROUND THE STAGE AND AS HE RUNS HE PUTS ON A SWAN FACE AND BIGGER WINGS.|
|NARRATOR 1:||He flew and flew until he came to a garden with a pond and three glorious swans.|
|THE SWANS COME CLOSER FLAPPING THEIR WINGS|
|NARRATOR 2:||The swans came closer flapping their wings.|
|NARRATOR 1:||Perhaps they’ll peck me and bite me.|
|HE BENDS HIS HEAD TO THE GROUND.|
|NARRATOR 2:||He bent his head to the water and saw that he was no longer an ugly duckling.|
|NARRATOR 1:||He was a swan|
|THE SWANS SWIM AROUND HIM AND STROKE HIM.|
|NARRATOR 2:||The swans swam around him and stroked him with their wings.|
|THEN MOTHER DUCK AND THE OLD DUCK COME ON STAGE|
|MOTHER DUCK:||Look a new one’s arrived.|
|OLD DUCK:||And he’s the most beautiful one of all.|
|ALL THE CAST COME ON STAGE AND BOW TO THE AUDIENCE.|
Ask your students what they would like to prepare for the production of ‘The Ugly Duckling’.
What parts would they like to play?
Or will you need to decide for them?
Encourage a team mentality in which they support each other.
Encourage Help your students to draw or paint flash cards with pictures and words: describing actions or duck eggs, a swan’ egg, a stork, big leaves, father duck, etc.
Help your child to mime some of these flashcards using movement and sound for example, strutting like a stork then standing on one leg, for laying a duck egg sitting and quacking and pointing, pacing up and down like an anxious father duck, quarrelling between father and mother duck see the disney cartoon for inspiration, make the pretty new born “peep, peep” sound of a baby duckling, make the ugly squawk of the ugly duckling, try waddling like the old duck, take a running jump and time them with “splash” sound effects.
In the advanced version, there only 7 speaking parts in this first part of the play. And 3 ducklings to make peeping sounds. However a large group of students can be involved as there are many other jobs involved in the production of a play.
It would be good if the actors – and understudies – could learn their parts, as this helps not look down at scripts and to be prepared for their cues. the speeches just before theirs. In both versions it is important that students think ahead and pass the microphone in time to the to the next speaker, unless of course they learn to project their voices and don’t need a microphone.
Which of the students want to be one of the storytellers? This is an important function. They could also be assistant directors.
Ask the students to ask their families and friends to help with: backdrops, props, costumes, etc, see below. For example let them think of how to create the nest area, make the larger than life eggs – big enough to be climbed out of?
Ask families and friends to help with costumes. You do not have to have costumes exactly as in the pictures. Let you and your children use your imaginations.
Listen to the reading then cast the play and read aloud with your students. Do the actions and learn from each other. Drama has rehearsal and performance and is a good way for the children to cooperate, become confident have fun and learn English.
“Practice makes perfect” is an English saying. Rehearse the lines and listen to the pronunciation as much as you can with your students.
Discuss with your students: Who might tread on the ducklings? Why is the cat dangerous? What happens to the ugly duckling in the end? Think up as many ideas as you can as to how the play might continue. The song might help to give you both ideas.
After that let your school or drama club consider a full production of the script that you will discover at the end of this page
|COSTUMES||MUSIC AND SOUND EFFECTS|
|Storyteller 1||Backdrop of countryside and water||All the ducks can have yellow beaks||Theme music|
|Storyteller 2||A large nest||Perhaps ducks have wings||Perhaps Danny Kaye’s “there once was an ugly duckling”|
|Stork||4 duck eggs (bigger than in real life)||A stork costume with long beak||Loud cracks of eggs breaking|
|Mother Duck||One larger egg||An old fashioned hat for the old duck||Cheeps of the ducklings|
|Ugly Duckling||Perhaps some tall plants with large leaves (see burdock leaves) to shelter under||A louder one for the ugly duckling|
|Ducklings 1, 2 & 3||An area to signify water.||a big splash for mother duck jumping into water|
|Father Duck||4 smaller splashes for the ducklings|
|Old Duck||Another louder one for the ugly duckling|
|DEPENDING UPON TIME AND BUDGET THE STAGE MAY BE DECORATED WITH TREES AND LIGHTED WITH RIPPLING WATER EFFECTS. OR THEIR MIGHT BE A BACKDROP LIKE THIS PICTURE. UPSTAGE RIGHT IS A NEST LARGE ENOUGH FOR AN ACTOR TO SIT ON. IT HAS FOUR LARGE DUCK EGGS AND ONE LARGER SWAN’S EGG|
|DOWNSTAGE LEFT TWO STORYTELLERS APPEAR. UNLIKE THE OTHER ACTORS THEY MAY HAVE SCRIPTS TO READ FROM).|
|STORYTELLER 1:||It was lovely summer weather in the country,|
|STORYTELLER 2:||and the golden corn,|
|STORYTELLER 1||the green oats,|
|STORYTELLER 2:||And the haystacks in the meadows were beautiful.|
|(THE STORK STRUTS ONTO THE STAGE)|
|STORTELLER 1:||The stork walked about on his long red legs.|
|STORTELLER 2:||He chattered in the Egyptian language,|
|STORTELLER 1:||Which he had learnt from his mother.|
|THE STORK:||Hop bulat sula…..|
|STORYTELLER 2||(INTERRUPTING) Please speak in English|
|THE STORK:||Sorry…… (HE CLEARS HIS THROAT AND STANDS ON ONE FOOT) The corn-fields and meadows are surrounded by large forests, in the midst of which are deep pools. It is delightful to walk about in the country.|
|STORYTELLER 2:||Thank you, Stork. You speak good English.|
|THE STORK:||Thank you.|
|(THE STORK CONTINUES STRUTTING ABOUT.|
|by a deep river,|
|STORYTELLER 2:||and from the house down to the water side grew great burdock leaves,|
|STORK:||So high, that under the tallest of them a little child could stand upright.|
|STORYTELLER 2 :||Thank you Stork!|
|STORYTELLER 1:||In a snug spot by the river sat a duck on her nest, waiting for her young brood to hatch.|
|STORYTELLER 2:||She was getting tired,|
|STORYTELLER 1:||for the little ones were a long time coming out of their shells,|
|STORYTELLER 2:||And she seldom had any visitors.|
|(FATHER DUCK APPEARS NERVOUSLY PACING UP AND DOWN)|
|STORYTELLER 1:||Except for her husband, who was anxious and impatient|
|STORYTELLER 2:||He was very much in love with his wife.|
|STORYTELLER 1:||But he was also very jealous.|
|(THERE ARE SOME LOUD CRACKS; AND FOUR DUCKLINGS APPEAR.)|
|DUCKLING 1:||Peep, peep.|
|MOHTER DUCK:||Quack, quack|
|STORYTELLER 2:||Said the mother.|
|MANY DUCKLINGS:||Peep. Peep. Peep. Peep. Peep. Peep. Peep. Peep. Peep. Peep. Peep. Peep. Peep. Peep. Peep. Peep. Peep. Peep. Peep. Peep. Peep. Peep.|
|FATHER:||How wonderful. They are beautiful, like you my darling.|
|(HE KISSES HER)|
|MANY DUCKLINGS||(THE DUCKLINGS PEEP SOME MORE)|
|STORYTELLER 2:||They all quacked as well as loud as they could,|
|STORYTELLER 1:||And looked about them on every side at the large green leaves.|
|STORYTELLER 2:||Their mother allowed them to look as much as they liked,|
|STORYTELLER 1:||Because green is good for the eyes.|
|STORYTELLER 2:||They found how much more room they now had,|
|STORYTELLER 1||Than while they were inside the egg-shell.|
|DUCKLING 1:||How large the world is!|
|MOTHER:||Do you imagine this is the whole world? Wait till you have seen the garden; it stretches far beyond that to the parson’s field, but I have never ventured to such a distance.|
|Are you all out?|
|MOTHER:||No, I declare, the largest egg lies there still. How long will it take!? I’m quite tired of it.|
|But just look at all the others, are they not the prettiest little ducklings you ever saw?|
|I quacked and clucked, but all to no purpose.|
|I could not get them to venture in.|
|I have sat so long already, a few more days will be nothing.|
|OLD DUCK:||Please yourself.|
|(SHE WADDLES AWAY. MOTHER DUCK SIGHS AND CONTINUES TO SIT ON THE LARGE EGG))|
|STORYTELLER 1:||The Mother Duck sat on the large egg for another five days!|
|THERE IS A VERY LOUD CRACK AND THE UGLY DUCKLING APPEARS. HE HAS SLEEVES THAT WILL DOUBLE AS WINGS)|
|At long last it broke, and a young one crept forth crying|
|(A MUCH LOUDER AND UGLIER SOUND THAN THE OTHERS|
|UGLY DUCKLING:||Peep! Peep!|
|STORYTELLER 2:||It was very large and ugly. The Mother and father stared at it.|
|MOTHER DUCK:||It is not at all like the others.|
|FATHER DUCK:||My God! It seems you really have been unfaithful.|
|Who is the Father?|
|MOTHER DUCK:||You of course. Who else?|
|FATHER DUCK:||I would never father such an ugly child.|
|He must go in, if I have to push him myself.|
|STORYTELLER 1:||On the next day the weather was delightful,|
|STORYTELLER 2:||And the sun shone brightly on the green burdock leaves.|
|(THE MOTHER DUCK LEADS THE DUCKLINGS TO THE WATER)|
|STORYTELLER 1:||So the mother duck took her young brood down to the water,|
|STORYTELLER 2:||And jumped in with a splash.|
|MOTHER DUCK:||(BIG SPLASH)|
|(FOLLOWED BY FOUR SMALLER SPLASHES)|
|STORYTELLER 1:||One after another the little ducklings jumped in.|
|STORYTELLER 2:||The water closed over their heads,|
|STORYTELLER 1:||but they came up again in an instant, and swam about quite prettily|
|STORYTELLER 2:||With their legs paddling under them, as easily as possible.|
|ANOTHER BIG SPLASH|
|STORYTELLER 1:||And the ugly duckling was also in the water swimming with them.|
|MOTHER DUCK:||That’s not a turkey. How well he uses his legs, and how upright he holds himself! He is my own child, and he is not so very ugly after all, if you look at him properly.|
|Quack, quack! Come with me now, I will take you into grand society, and introduce you to the farmyard.|
|But keep close to me or you may be trodden upon; and, above all, beware of the cat.|
You can access the completed play at The Ugly Duckling. You can organise a school or drama club production for families and friends to enjoy.You can submit your students’ pictures to the English through Drama website. The best pictures will go on the website. If they wish we shall add their name, school and / or country.
We have advice on the use of music in plays and particularly the music of the great classical composers and of film music. Have a listen !