Here are a few activites that you can give to your class based around the following categories.
Ask the students to sit in a circle. One by one the students will explain what trust means to them and what can people do to earn their trust. Then, explore the ideas of which characters in the play, East of the Sun, West of the Moon, have trust between them. Has trust been earned through the play? Where? Has it been broken? Where? Who do they trust and why?
The words to a song sang by Frank Sinatra of the same name "East of the Sun and West of the Moon" go like this
East of the sun and west of the moon,
We'll build a dream house so lovely
Near to the sun in a day, near to the moon at night,
We'll live in a lovely way dear
Living our love in memory
Just you and i, forever and a day,
Love will not die, we'll keep it that way,
Up among the stars we'll find
A harmony of life, too lovely tune
East of the sun and west of the moon, dear,
East of the sun and west of the moon.
This is a simple song for lower and middle primary to learn. It paints a picturesque and trouble-free idea of life and reinforces that happiness is found everywhere, near the sun, near the moon and between the stars but primarily that happiness is at home with your family and friends. It makes no suggestion of what a normal family might look like and is inclusive of children who may not live with both mum and dad or in a nuclear family. By introducing this song into your class you may further develop a child's interest and intrigue in fairy tales. And, as a class, they will identify with a shared experience. This may stay with them throughout their primary school years.
Get the group to walk around in a circle, once they are moving comfortably tell them you are a world famous photographer sent to the zoo. The activity is that when the teacher says cheese the children must arrange themselves in a suitable pose as the animal you selected, for example if you said monkeys say cheese the students would have to pose as monkeys.
The idea is that you help the class to explore the various animals involved in east of the sun west of the moon.
End the game with a random animal that wasn't in the play to see if the children notice. Eg. Zebras
Get the group moving and decide on three animals from east of the sun west of the moon. Eg. Chicken, pig and cow.
Once they are moving around as the original animal, explain to them that they must find another of the same animal and play a game of Rock, Scissor Paper.
The winner is allowed to evolve into the next animal, and continue Eg. Evolving into a pig means you must walk around as a pig until you find another pig to play rock, paper, scissors with.
Once they have evolved through all the animals get them all to re-enact one of the human characters from the play, the aim being for them to remember the characters.
At the end there should be a whole lot of humans, 1 cow, 1 pig and one awfully lonely chicken.
The class is seated on the floor and are asked to draw a picture of one of the characters that are in the play that they would like to be. They are then asked to individually stand up and deliver a sentence or two why they liked this particular character and what made them like the character.
Pictures of the characters and their names are glue tacked to the walls of the classroom with a blank piece of paper hanging underneath. Each child gets the chance to write something under each character. Maybe one word that they felt described the character as a whole, or a sentence about the character. What they liked about the character what they didn't.
In groups by numbering off, the students are asked to re enact what would have happened. They may act out what happened in an improvisation or they may just tell the story of what would have happened. Some scenarios follow, or they could discover their own.
What would have happened if...?
Sophia let the frog sit on her windowsill?
The animals weren't there to show her the way to her destinations?
Sophia didn't drop the cup into the singing pool?
Sophia was scared to venture into the woods alone?
If the war didn't begin?
If there was no spell on Simon and he was a boy the whole time, would Sophia and Simon still have met?
Students stand in a large circle and hold hands and then, being very careful the students knot themselves up by stepping over and under other people's hands. Do not allow the students to release their hands at any time. Now, when they are as tangled as they can possibly be the students aim is then to untangle themselves without letting their hands go. This will teach them a lot about teamwork and learning to take directions from fellow students to help untangle themselves.
The whole class is asked to pick an animal from the play that Sophia met when she was on her journey to ‘the singing pool' or to East of the sun west of the moon (eg, Bear, Butterfly, Owl, She-Oak, Monkey etc). They are then asked to walk around the space as this character and meet other animals (students) in the space. As they meet someone as the same character as them, they then pair up and write down what they did the same and what they did not do the same as that character when walking around the space. When completed, they then as pairs, enter the stage and act out the character again combining all the attributes that they had written down that the two individuals had different.