Children love to pretend. Participating in drama allows children to become a completely different person from themselves because a dramatic character can have different emotions and can be from another time or place. Using drama allows children to express emotions and helps to process emotions. Consider using this artform to learn Bible stories as well as talk about feelings.
An easy place to start using drama is pantomime or play acting without words. Pantomime helps to remove inhibitions, free body movement, and the imagination. Right click and save the to download a FREE PFD resource of A Thanksgiving Story Dramatic Pantomime.
FREE PFD version of A Thanksgiving Story Dramatic Pantomime below
To prepare, select eleven children to participate. One student will be Jesus, another will be a thankful leper and the remaining nine will be lepers who ask Jesus for help. Simply read the story and as it is read, ask the children to act out the words, thinking of facial expressions to reflect the emotion, possible gestures as they lepers are pleading and then healed, positions on the “stage” and different levels that might be used. Costumes could be added; bells and staves might be additional props because lepers often rang bells and cried out, “Unclean” to let people know they were approaching and they may have leaned on a staff to steady their walk.
After the children have participated in the pantomime remind them of the importance of being thankful. When someone has done something kind, thank them. Be certain to show gratitude when you’ve asked for something and someone helped you. The one thankful leper is the person we should all strive to be like as we all work to “give thanks in every situation.” 1 Thessalonians 5:18