Bad Wolf Plays for English Language Learners

Yes, your English Language Learners CAN put on a musical play! Kids all over the world are using Bad Wolf plays as a tool to help them master the English language.

Here's why Bad Wolf plays work so well for English Language Learners:

  • Develops incredible confidence. The practice that goes into putting on a play helps students embrace the language like never before. Learning to understand and speak their lines gives them a confidence and poise that is beautiful to see.
  • Increases comprehension. Because there is a visual aspect to theater, students can "see" the words in action.
  • Boosts classroom camaraderie and crosses language barriers. Plays bring classrooms together! All students must come together to achieve a common goal. Teamwork, cooperation, and friendships blossom.
  • Perfect medium for understanding vocabulary and wordplay. All of our plays feature humor, challenging vocabulary, and (what we like to think is) clever wordplay. The dialogue and songs can be parsed out and studied for even more learning.


Reviews from Teachers of English Language Learners:

"ALL students regardless of their ethnicity, background, ability or academics can participate 100% in a program like this. I am moved to tears each year as I see my non-verbal English language learners standing next to my GATE students equally proud of the program they have presented to their audiences. It is a beautiful gift given to the students as well at to their teachers and their families. I'll keep doing this as long as administrators provide my kids with a stage to sing, dance and act upon."

---Kimberly Sowvlen, Teacher (3rd grade), San Miguel Elementary School, Lemon Grove, CA

"I'm finding that the experience is totally GREAT for all aspects of speech practice for English language learners! The fun and performance aspects really get them engaged and enthusiastic. There's something tangible to work towards -- a very REAL reason to enunciate clearly. We're all having a great time with the play, and I overheard one of the students the other day saying, 'The songs are so catchy, it's easy to learn them.' (Who knew they understood 'catchy'!)"

---Belinda Maso, Teacher (5th grade), Yanbu International School, Yanbu, Saudi Arabia

"I just got done doing 'Vacation on Mars' with my kids and it never ceases to amaze me how much they love it, how much they need it! Almost all my kids are second language speakers, and they were the best at this play that I have ever had."

---Deborah Gomes, Teacher (3rd grade), Lincoln School, Santa Rosa, CA

"We have a large population of ELL students, as well as students who are not designated ELL but who speak a language other than English at home. Hearing the same lines over and over helps them hear language patterns. Getting to say the same lines over and over gives them confidence speaking! Planning (and laughing) with people in the same section of the play they are in allows them to practice conversational English in a low stress, high interest way! Plays also aid in comprehension because they can also 'see' what they are hearing."

---Karen O'Hara Green, Teacher (4th grade), Lynwood Elementary School, Novato, CA

"The children I taught had very little experience with live theater, could not afford private music or dance lessons, and many were second language learners. I realized how important it was to introduce performing arts into the classroom and into their lives. I have to tell you my 'star' was a very shy third grader who spoke very little English. He stumbled by eventually learned how to read very difficult words, memorized his lines, and delivered them like a real pro. I watched how he blossomed with new confidence and learned quite a few new words during those few months of rehearsal."

---Lynn Shaw, Teacher, Hueneme School District, Port Hueneme, CA

"I've been teaching for 24 years--- most of the time with below level readers and/or children whose first language isn't English. Their confidence is critical to successful reading and language. Too many years I was the only teacher doing class plays with these students and usually having to write my own. For the past three years we've done yours. I love them---my kids love them and they're simple and wonderful to do. Now I'll even buy them for my co-workers to try with their classes. I've never been disappointed and other classes beg to sign up for a time to see my annual May production. We can travel from class to class--- no elaborate staging or fancy costumes are required. We usually just put characters on visors we wear and hand carry a few props. My kids even stay in at recess to help choreograph."

---Susan Salisbury, Teacher, (3rd grade), Jowell Elementary, Katy, TX

"We have an ESL program at our school and many of our students were new to English. My goodness they were great."

---Betty Carlson, Teacher (5th grade), Westview Elementary, Champaign, IL

Are you a teacher of English Language Learners who has used a Bad Wolf play? We would love to hear from you! Please email us your story.