Thursday, July 15, 2010
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.
1. READ THE STORY
2. TRACE THE MAZE
[Note: If you would like a larger version of the maze, please email me]
. . . . . . .Guide the princess through the maze to find Prince Alan
3. PUT THESE IN THE RIGHT ORDER
(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.
4. ACT OUT THE STORY
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