Friday, 12 June 2015

The Little Red Riding Hood

Dramatizations are always fun and useful activities for ESL learners. Almost all traditional children’s stories can be easily adapted to be used with different language content. Furthermore, dramatization helps kids use their bodies to express meaning – being happy, sad, angry, bored isn’t just something they feel inside.

Traditional teacher-led activities for English learners are most of the times boring: not dynamic enough, they don’t engage the learners, and the focus is on acquiring vocabulary through repetition. Through drama and storytelling, the focus shifts towards a more subconscious level. Kids learn how to express ideas in words, but helped by mime and gestures.

The Little Red Riding Hood is a great story to read to the kids, but there are some children who are afraid of wolves. That’s why I feel that the version from British Council Kids is great – it changes the ending, making it funny and enjoyable even for very young children. The twist is that the big bad wolf gets hit in the head by the woodcutter when trying to eat the Little Red Riding Hood, then when he falls down grandma pops out of his tummy. All of my kids had a blast when watching the scene.

After reading the short version from the British Council Kids website, we retold the story, then acted it out. The props are easy to find around the house: a basket, a small cake, a red cape, an axe, a bed, and a blanket. I simplified the lines, because my kids are still beginners.

You can check the video from British Council Kids here:

This is our adapted play of The Little Red Riding Hood.

Age group: 2-4 y.o. (ESOL)

Time: 15 minutes (the actual dramatization)


Language: body parts (nose, ears, eyes, teeth), smell, hear, see, eat, greetings, mother, grandmother, the verb to have;

Other: gross motor skills, paying compliments, working in small teams.

Preparation: Read and watch the story a couple of times, preferably at the beginning of the week. When the kids have understood most of the words, have them retell the story based on some main images, then without using any images. Talk about the characters in the story. At the end of the week present the screenplay.

Characters: The Little Red Riding Hood, her mother, her grandmother, the wolf, the woodcutter.


Mother: Bye, Little Red Riding Hood! See you later!

The Little Red Riding Hood: Bye, mother!

(The Little Red Riding Hood is walking through the forest, with her basket in her hand)

The Wolf: Hello! Where are you going?

The Little Red Riding Hood: Hello! To my grandma! She lives in that house. I have some cake for her.

(Meanwhile, the grandmother is in her bed, under a blanket. The wolf runs quickly to her house, eats her up and gets into her bed – What we did was have the grandmother stay under the blanket while the wolf is next to her, so it seems as though she is in the wolf’s tummy. Then the Little Red Riding Hood gets to the house, opens the door and sees the wolf in grandma’s bed.)

The Little Red Riding Hood: Grandma, what big eyes you have!

The wolf: To see you better!

The Little Red Riding Hood: Grandma, what big ears you have!

The wolf: To hear you better!

The Little Red Riding Hood: Grandma, what a big nose you have!

The wolf: To smell you better!

The Little Red Riding Hood: Grandma, what big teeth you have!

The wolf: To eat you better!

(The Little Red Riding Hood shouts in panic. A woodcutter is cutting a tree at this time and he hears her cry for help. He comes running to the scene. The woodcutter hits the wolf on the head, then grandma pops out. The wolf runs away, never to come back again.)

The Little Red Riding Hood: Thank you, woodcutter!

The woodcutter: Welcome!

The End

I hope that your kids will have fun with this activity!

Have a great weekend!


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