'Jack and the Beanstalk' Play
works best with at least three students)
and the Beanstalk' storybook
pouch with real bean seeds
stretch of 3" or 4" green ribbon
narrow 3" or 4" strip of lightweight green fabric
gun | scissors | Velcro fastener tape
(A simpler version is found in Preschool 08 -
'Jack and the Beanstalk' Week)
Bring this classic fairy tale to
life with a magical stage presentation to show the growth of the magical beans!
First, read the story aloud to the
students so they can review this classic favorite and its signature line: "FEE
FIE FO FUM! I SMELL THE BLOOD OF AN ENGLISHMAN!!!"
a set, you will need back curtains on a stage, or perhaps a room divider -
something to hide the props person who is going to make the beanstalk "grow"
using the fishing pole and invisible line!
Unless you have time, you can do
this play without elaborate scenery or costumes, so just find a place that can
work as a stage and set up chairs for your audience.
a student to play-act the part of Jack, another to be the giant, and another to
run the fishing pole "prop" - see below.
your students are old enough to read well, you could also select a narrator to
read the story aloud, or use a series of narrators. If the children are too
young, then have an adult, such as a parent or grandparent, read the story and
have the kids act out the parts.
you have more students, you could add parts such as Jack's mother, the family's
cow, the con artists who traded Jack the beans, and the giant's wife. All other
students can be in the audience, and maybe they can have parts in your next
play, or do this same one over again.
main prop besides the bag of bean seeds is going to be the "beanstalk" of green
ribbon or fabric that you will make magically "grow" with the fishing line.
adult supervision, run the fishing line with the hook CAREFULLY over a pipe,
part of a ceiling grid, or over a room divider, and onto the floor in front.
NEVER swing the hook around in such a way that it could get into anybody's eye
or hurt anyone. Safety FIRST, in drama as in any other pursuit in life!
hook the fishing pole's hook CAREFULLY into one end of the green ribbon or green
fabric. Leave the hooked ribbon or fabric on the floor.
a props master. That person or student should now go "backstage," whether it is
behind a curtain or a room divider or whatever you have rigged up, and practice
reeling in the fishing line so that the "beanstalk" rises up into the air.
you can see why it was important to get LIGHTWEIGHT green fabric, or ribbon, so
that it rises easily without having to tug too hard on the fishing line!
you see that it is going to work, you can cut out green leaves from the
cardstock or bits of extra green ribbon and hot-glue them at various intervals
along the ribbon or fabric "beanstalk."
again so that you know the beanstalk will "grow."
have either a student or an adult read the story again, and this time, the
students can act out the parts. The giant should have the only line: FEE FI FO
last touch: if you're really organized, you can pre-cut the beanstalk a few
feet above ground when fully "grown," and reconnect with a Velcro fastener on
in the climactic scene of the play, when Jack "cuts" down the beanstalk, you
can have the actor playing Jack's part disconnect the Velcro fasteners.
"props master" behind the scenes can unhook the rest of the beanstalk and let
it fall to the floor. Voila! The giant loses again . . . as he does each time
this story is presented . . . but the kids will WIN with this rather wacky but
fun after-school play.
a charming touch to send home a few pole bean seeds in a muslin pouch for each
growing instructions from the back of the seed packet, which are usually to:
§ Plant outside in mid-May;
§ Dig and loosen the soil about one foot
§ Put the seeds about 1" under the soil
§ Place seeds about 3 inches apart;
§ Cover with fine dirt;
§ Pat down gently;
§ Water in
§ Keep moist
§ Wait 7 to 10 days for green seedlings
are very fun for children to watch because they grow so fast. You can place a
beanpole next to each seed and watch the beanstalk grow like in the story!
Water once or twice a week, and within two months, you should have beans to
pick . . . and better yet, to eat!
if they would only create a seed to grow your own Goose That Will Lay Golden
Eggs. . . .