Kindergarten Drama Activities: Guided Role Play

Drama lesson plans for Kindergarten to Grade 2

Teaching drama to very young children can be a huge challenge, especially if you don’t have prior drama experience.

Students in Kindergarten and grade 1 generally aren’t able to read well enough to follow a script. Some teachers try to use reader’s theatre at this age, but in order to keep the vocabulary simple enough for children to read, the text is dull and the focus ends up being on reading, not creativity.

In these situations, guided role play can be a perfect way to provide a creative environment for children to explore drama skills without overwhelming them.

What is guided role play?

Guided role play is a drama activity in which the teacher or facilitator describes a scenario, and then provides opportunity for the students to act it out in small, manageable pieces.

Since the teacher is telling the story out loud, students are not limited by their ability to read and instead are free to explore their own physical and verbal creativity, guided by the prompts provided in the story.

Guided role play also provides a structured way for students to begin interacting with each other in role. As the students progress through the scripts there are more opportunities for students to interact directly.

How many students can participate in guided role play?

Despite the skits only having 2-4 characters, one of the great things about guided role play is how flexible it is. You could work with these in small groups, but you can also have the entire class participate at once. By placing students in groups (and providing headbands, if you wish, so they remember their characters) each set of students can work through the story at the same time as the teacher reads.

kindergarten drama activities - guided role play
Guided role play scripts are easy kindergarten drama activities that focus on physical expression and creativity while introducing theme-specific vocabulary.

How is guided role play different from dramatic play?

Typically dramatic play is a center set up in Kindergarten classrooms that are used for self-directed play. With guided role play, it is more of a scripted improvisation – the teacher reads a skit-story, pausing to allow students time to improvise their movements and dialogue to act it out.

Guided role play is an excellent addition to dramatic play, as it provides the opportunity to introduce new skills, vocabulary, characters, and movement that can then be incorporated into students’ self-directed play.

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Kindergarten Drama Activity Extensions – Soundscape

Soundscape activities are so much fun for kindergarten drama!

A soundscape is a series of sounds created by a group in order to form a “sound backdrop” for a scene. It is an excellent way to help students learn to explore the range of sounds they can make with their own voice.

For primary students, using sound cards makes it easy to assign different sounds and gives students a visual reference. It also keeps variety in your soundscape so you don’t have a farm scene that consists only of goats. 😂

Kindergarten Drama Activity Extensions – Movement Cards

drama activities examples
Kindergarten Drama Activities: Guided Role Play 10

Movement activities are a great extension to your guided role play. These cards use the same theme to prompt students to explore a range of creative movement.

Use them as a separate center activity or as prompts in your existing creative play centers. They can also be used as a warm up activity before completing a guided script.

Guided Role Play Drama Lesson Plans

A standalone role play activity is great, but when you also use a series of guided role play scenarios that share the same setting and/or characters, then students have the opportunity to explore specific roles in more detail. This also creates an excellent opportunity to introduce specific vocabulary for students to learn and use through their role play.

These low prep, made for you drama activities for primary school include three different role play scripts, backdrops to use with your projector and smartboard, movement cards for warm-ups or centers, and images to use for headbands or puppets.

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