Thursday, July 15, 2010

BLOG TOUR (13) Princess Clown Workshop Ideas

Princess Clown
written by Sheryl Gwyther
illustrated by Sian Naylor
Blake Education Pty Ltd Australia (2010)
Gigglers Blue Set 2

Princess Clown is a chapter book for 7-8 year olds. It's the story of Belle, a princess who wants more than anything to be a clown. But the trouble is, she's supposed to act like a real princess. When her mother, the queen, frowns at Belle for wearing a red nose, Belle observes, 'Nobody is ever any fun around this castle.'
And it's true, it seems poor Princess Belle can never do anything right. Then, Belle does the one thing that no one else could do. She makes Prince Alan laugh.

This delightful story lends itself to a variety of workshopping possibilities: (1) following a maze (In a full sized version you may like to include more guiding illustrations!); (2) various sequencing tasks; and (3) an opportunity to act out the story. I have chosen the first two to help children internalise the sequence of the story before venturing into acting it out.
...Princess Clown is perfectly suited to being acted out as a classroom play. For example, apart from the main characters, there could be an endless number of courtiers and maids with non-speaking parts who might imitate the stance or facial expressions of the other characters.


[Note: If you would like a larger version of the maze, please email me]
  .   .   .   .   .   .   .Guide the princess through the maze to find Prince Alan

(1).  Prince Alan laughed and laughed.
(2).  Forgetting she still wore the clown trick ring, Belle shook his hand
(3).  Royal princesses don't wear yellow and red shoes with fake flowers
(4).  A royal princess should never wear a frizzy orange wig under her circlet
(5).  A royal princess should never juggle peaches
(6).  'No,' said the King, 'I think you could be both a royal princess and a royal clown.'
(7).  Then, in a perfect somersault and stretch, she caught the crown.
(8).  A royal princess should never pull coins from people's ears.

Let the class take as much responsibility as possible.
Go through the characters (in order of appearance) Princess Belle; the Queen; Master Brown; the Royal Cook; the King; the King and Queen of Danzania, and Prince Alan.
Talk about what kind of person each character is: kind, gentle, mean, short-tempered, prim and proper etc.
Add extras (courtiers, maids, gardeners etc) so that anyone wishing to be in the play has a part.
Remind children the importance of the audience. They are the ones who will see the play as a whole. Their responses give the players that extra energy that lifts any performance.

5.  JUST FOR FUN: For brave teachers (and children!)
Take  the clown face below apart and rebuild for a 'tell and draw' version of the story

Thank you Sheryl, for letting me play with your charming story: Princess Clown

To purchase a copy of Princess Clown:

Sheryl's Writing blog
Sheryl's Kids' blog

Tomorrow Sheryl has her official book launch in Brisbane. Congratulations, Sheryl and all good wishes for a spectacular day! I'm sure Sheryl will be sharing the highlights with us via her blog in the next day or two, so don't forget to check it out at

To review the entire blog tour
06 July Tuesday Dee White – Tips on writing chapter books
07 July Wednesday Rebecca Newman (Alphabet Soup magazine)
08 July Thursday Robyn Opie
09 July Friday Catriona Hoy
10 July Saturday Kat Apel
11 July Sunday Sheryl Gwyther 4 kids
12 July Monday Sandy Fussell
13 July Tuesday Sally Murphy
14 July Wednesday Claire Saxby
15 July Thursday Mabel Kaplan HERE

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