Portable Plays


Students create plays around a theme or topic, creating in-depth stories with backdrops and characters. A great way to introduce perseverance. Create a play about a character or characters that succeed with determination.

Project Idea

Perseverance, theater, body kinesthetic

Fishtown Class 2014

Recommended Ages

Preschool to early elementary

Historical Art Examples or References

Show students a clip of a character that perseveres and ultimately overcomes a tough obstacle.
Storyline – children’s books read by famous individuals
Acting Exercises – acting exercises for kids


Characters: people in a story

Plot: main events 

Set: props and scenery to set the place where the story is taking place

Script: written text of the story including dialogue and actions

Stage: place where actors perform

Dialogue: conversation between two or more people

Back drop: a painted cloth at the back of the theatre to set the scene 

Scenery: features of a landscape



Colored construction paper

White printer paper

Cardboard sets




Colored pencils

Popsicle stick


Anticipatory Set

Discuss the theme of perseverance in relation to the video clip. Did the character succeed in the end? how many obstacles did the character overcome?


(Roughly plan amount of time it takes to do each procedure)

1. Anticipatory set. (10 minutes)

2. Have students write a story. Make sure they include imaginative scenery and a character. (10 minutes)

3. Have students draw, color, cut out, and glue character onto a popsicle stick. (10 to 15 minutes)

4.* Students can also create a few lines of dialogue for their characters. (5 minutes) (optional)

5. Next, have students create a backdrop for their cardboard stage. back drops can be changed by applying a strip of tape at the top of the page (5 to 10 minutes)

6. Have students present their plays to each other in small groups. (10 minutes)
*Students may need more time in creating backdrops and characters. Step 4 can be an  optional step for students who finish other steps early.


Life applications; how the lesson might apply to non-art related experiences or other types of knowledge.

1. Is it important to address scenery when writing a story?

2. What elements are important in making a good story?


Which instructional tools or strategies interested or helped these students learn most? What additional techniques tools or materials could be used to better support student learning? What adaptions could be made to this lesson for students with different needs levels or skill sets?

1.Depending on age level, creating dialogue may not work with pre-school students.

2. If students are having a hard time creating their own play have them make a play about a book, movie, or story they know.

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