'Jack and the Beanstalk' Play
Snack: For each
student, take a handful of fresh, young, whole green beans, and steam in a
steam rack over boiling water for 4 or 5 minutes, or until crisp-tender. Plunge
into ice water to stop the cooking process, or they'll be mushy. Drain. Cover
and chill until ready to serve with dip. For dip: mix to your taste a little
sour cream, mayonnaise, grated lemon rind, and chopped fresh basil. Stir, with
a little salt to taste. Yum! Also good: mustard-sour cream mix, or horseradish
This Treat works best
with at least three students
'Jack and the
Cloth pouch with real
Long stretch of 3" or
4" green ribbon
or narrow 3" or 4"
strip of lightweight green fabric
Hot-glue gun |
scissors | Velcro fastener tape
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!!!"
For a set, you will need a set of 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
Unless you have time, you can do
this play without elaborate scenery, so just find a place that can work as a
stage and set up chairs for your audience.
Select a student to play-act the part of
Jack, another to be the giant, and another to run the fishing pole "prop" - see
If 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.
Your 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.
With 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!
Now 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.
Appoint 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.
Now 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!
Once 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."
Practice again so that you know the
beanstalk will "grow."
Now 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 FUM!
One 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 both ends.
Then, 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.
The "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.
It's a charming touch to send home a few
pole bean seeds in a muslin pouch for each student. Include growing
instructions from the back of the seed packet, which are usually to wait 'til
mid-May, put the seeds about 1" under the soil surface, cover with fine dirt,
pat down, water in, keep moist, and wait 7 to 10 days for green seedlings to
appear. 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!