Considering The Ugly Duckling is based on a target audience of two to five year old children, this activity will best be suited for early childhood educators who wish to reflect on the experience of the play and the characters involved in the show.
Teachers may choose to read to children a celebrated fairytale, Goldilocks and the Three Bears. Children may enjoy a themed morning tea and bring their favourite teddy bear in lieu of a classic teddy bears' picnic as an activity that may be participated in before seeing the show.
A game children could also play includes having pre-made animal cards, for example a bear, pig, duck and swan. With these cards the teacher can have the class standing and as each card is held up, the children are to act like this particular animal. This will introduce and reiterate the idea of different characteristics belonging to each animal. Every character which is created on the stage has a completely different way of acting; every animal also represents a different metaphor – see if your students can relate "personality traits" to the animals.
After the performance of The Ugly Duckling where the idea of characters has been introduced to your class, a way of furthering this development is to have music playing in your classroom, with a generic (non-lyrical) song, and play a game of statues. While the music is playing the teacher can call out a character from the play, for example the Big Bad Wolf Jamison, and the class are to dance and move around as that character. The music then stops and the class are to make a statue. When the music resumes they are to dance as a different character which the teacher will call out, for example Ugly.
Children can be asked to draw a picture of their favourite character of the show; regardless of whether or not this character is a lead role (for example, the image drawn may be of the Royal Surgeon or Goldilocks). Ask children to think about why they chose to draw this character and what they think the character is feeling.
For further information regarding the original fairytale The Ugly Duckling and other relevant and interesting websites, feel free to explore the links below: