A Wild
Jungle Experience

Let’s embark on an immersive journey through the depths of the jungle, where jaguars hide in the shadows, scarlet macaws soar above the treetops, and iguanas scale the sides of the trees. It is the world of Jungle Animals.

The Jungle Animals workshop is a child-centered, and child-focused drama incursion for preschool children, and aligns seamlessly with the Early Years Learning Framework (EYLF) Outcomes.

As children explore the jungle terrain, they not only foster a strong sense of identity through collaborative and shared learning, but also develop an appreciation for the interconnectedness of the natural world, nurturing empathy, and respect for living things. Through physical movement and storytelling, children build confidence and resilience while engaging in imaginative play. This workshop aims to spark curiosity and imagination in our young learners as theyventure into the jungle landscape.

Outcome 1: Children have a strong sense of identity.

Our young learners are eager to explore what lies below the treetops, as we begin a journey of exploration and discovery through the jungle. The Jungle Animals drama workshop is an immersive drama experience where imagination meets collaboration and exploration
intertwines with empathy.

The workshop serves as a platform for children, not only to role play as different jungle animals such as Jaguars and Tarantulas, but also to explore interpersonal relationships and build skills of social competence. Children’s relationships are the foundation for their self-identity, and as our little adventurers embark on their jungle journey, we invite collaborative learning, teamwork and embed an understanding of empathy, throughout this drama experience.

From the sharing party where children joyfully exchange gifts, to the laughter shared over the ticklish tarantula puppet, every moment is powerful in cultivating relationships, shared memories and strengthening friendships between peers. Children can witness the power of collaboration and teamwork in the jungle when the Scarlet Macaws shake the trees releasing fruit for the monkeys on the forest floor, and how this reciprocal relationship between the animals can be translated to their own friendships and social interactions with peers.

Outcome 2: Children are connected with and contribute to their wider world.

Our Jungle Animals workshop becomes a gateway for children to connect and contribute to their wider world, fostering a profound appreciation for the natural world. Our young learners are invited to broaden their understanding of nature through a drama journey which explores the rich and interconnectedness of the jungle and its inhabitants. Through the power of role play, costumes, and performance, we explore how the jungle ecosystem and the interdependence between plants and animals is created. For instance, monkeys rely on trees for transportation and safety as they swing through the vines and branches. The forest floor and fallen leaves provide shelter for the tarantulas from the hungry scarlet macaws. This lesson extends far beyond the classroom and provides children with an insight into the natural world, fostering environmental appreciation and respect for living things.

The workshop provides children with many opportunities to navigate different social dynamics in a safe and nurturing setting; from turn-taking, patience, and respect for peer performers, children continue to develop their social competency. Through these shared experiences, children not only cultivate a deeper understanding of the world around them, but also lay the foundations for a lifetime of curiosity and engagement with the natural world.

Outcome 3: Children have a strong sense of wellbeing.

As our young explorers traverse through the jungle terrain, they begin to explore how their body movements can portray a wide variety of different jungle animals. Through drama and role play, children are embodying the physical movements of jaguars, tarantulas, scarlet macaws, iguanas, and monkeys. From the strength needed to prowl and sneak on the ground like a jaguar, to the agility needed to soar like a scarlet macaw, and the spatial awareness to crawl through the space like an iguana, children develop a new appreciation and awareness of how to move their bodies, and how their bodies interact with the space.

Throughout the workshop, there is an emphasis on building mental wellbeing by encouraging children to take on new challenges and engage in new experiences. We aim to celebrate children’s successes and their individual efforts as they explore the jungle environment.

Outcome 4: Children are confident and involved learners.

Our Jungle Animals workshop offers children a dynamic and holistic learning experience where children’s curiosity and creativity are nurtured. Through a drama approach that engages children’s sensory perceptions, body movements, critical thinking and emotions, children embark on a journey of discovery which sparks their imagination and ignites a passion for learning. From the moment they put on their vibrant, hand-made costumes and step into the lush jungle, they are encouraged to explore their own ideas and experiment with different roles. Each moment is an opportunity for creative expression and critical thinking, whether that be children swinging through the vines as cheeky monkeys or scaling the side of a tree like an iguana, the experience fosters a sense of confidence and hands-on involvement that fuels a passion for learning. Through our child-centered and child-focused approach, children are empowered to take an active role in their own learning, participating in meaningful experiences.

Outcome 5: Children are effective communicators.

The Jungle Animals workshop not only allows young children to continue to develop their verbal and nonverbal communication skills, but also explore a variety of ways in which language, movement and storytelling convey thoughts, feelings, and ideas. Through shared discussions, teacher modelling and narrating, children are equipped with the verbal vocabulary to express their curiosity and excitement about jungle animals, fostering a shared interest and collaborative exploration of the jungle environment.

Our workshop recognizes that communication extends far beyond just words and encompasses the rich language of body and movement to express ideas and emotions. Through drama, children adopt the roles of jungle animals and explore how subtle movements convey emotion. For instance, a hungry monkey rapidly swinging through the trees looking for fruit moves differently to a scared tarantula hiding from the birds in the tops of the trees. Each movement is an opportunity for creative expression and visual storytelling, and children can take an active role in this learning process. Our drama teachers strive to model storytelling and how narratives capture young imagination and inspire them to create their own stories
and adventures.

In the heart of the jungle, amidst the laughter and excitement of their fellow explorers, our young adventurers discover not only the wonders of the natural world, but also the limitless potential of their own minds, laying the foundation for a lifetime of learning. As the children emerge from the jungle experience, they carry with them the memories of laughter and shared experiences, as well as a deeper connection with the natural world around them, and a boundless curiosity that will guide their own learning journey.

Bella Calavassy, Drama Teacher

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