Activity And Project

Acting Out with Mother Goose

K - 2
Activity Time
One to two hours
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Activity Description

Listening to a story is fun, especially a Mother Goose story like “The Farmer in the Dell” and “Little Miss Muffet”. Add even more fun by acting out the story after reading it. Work together to create a script and make costumes and props. Then invite others to watch and hear your story!

Why This Is Helpful

When children participate in storybook readings, they increase their comprehension and the sense of story structure. This helps them to more thoroughly integrate the information. Readers Theatre, role playing, or acting out a story, will fully immerse the child in the story and help with their understanding of that story and make connections to other stories.


This activity was modified from the ReadWriteThink lesson plan "Growing Readers and Writers with Help from Mother Goose."

What You Need

  • Copies of Mother Goose stories, print or online
  • Paper and general art supplies (pencils, pens, markers)
  • Craft supplies if costumes or props are desired (paper plates, paper sacks, yarn, colored file folder stickers [for eyes], markers, crayons, glitter, colored feathers, straws, colored chalk, paint, glue, construction paper, felt, tissue paper, and crepe paper)
  • I'm a Reading Star Chart

Here's What To Do

  1. Gather a selection of Mother Goose stories.
  2. Select several to read aloud or with a child, taking turns, reading in unison, etc.
  3. As you are reading together, talk about the characters involved, where the story takes place, and what is happening.  Also share with the child that after the story, you will work together to act out the story.
  4. After reading several Mother Goose stories and marking it on an I'm a Reading Star Chart, ask the child if there is one of the stories they would like to act out.
  5. Review the characters involved, where the story takes place, and what is happening.  Talk about the beginning, middle, and end of the story.
  6. Working together, decide how to act out the story.
    • Who will play each part?  Will you have to act as more than one character?
    • Do you want to ask friends for help?
    • Should you make costumes or masks?  What about making a puppet?
    • Would you like to make a set to show where the story takes place?
  7. Share with the child that not each and every part and detail of the story needs to be part of the act.  They should choose the major sections to act out.
  8. Next, talk about if you need a script or if you will memorize what you are going to say.  If you are going to write a script, visit PBS ZOOM Playhouse "Jack and The Beanstalk" to see examples.
  9. If using a script, highlight the part each person is going to read. Use a different color highlighter for each person. Also, mark the actions taking place: Is someone walking? Are there lines said in unison?
  10. Have a supply of art materials ready to create masks, puppets, or costumes.
  11. Practice your retelling and acting out of the story a few times.
  12. Invite an audience to come see the act. This can include family, friends, and neighbors.
  13. Have fun acting out your Mother Goose story!

More Ideas To Try

  • Create invitations or hang up signs announcing the performance!
  • Listen to some Mother Goose stories as they are read aloud.  You can also read along with them.
  • Play with the rhyming words found in the Mother Goose stories.
  • Choose other stories to act out like fairy tales, your favorite picture book, etc.
  • After writing a story together, act it out as well!

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