When Emily and Charley recruit the dogs to help them with a show, Cleo is surprised to discover that she has stage fright. Cleo learns that the support of good friends can help a person work through a problem.

Clifford's Big Idea: Believe in YourselfClifford's Big Idea: Believe in Yourself

Having children create a work of art together over the course of a couple of weeks encourages their growth in:

  • art appreciation and performance
  • life skills and social literacy

In the SpotlightIn the Spotlight

With a Group:
As Cleo learns, being an actor or actress can be both exciting and nerve-wracking! Use this variation of charades to give each of the children an opportunity to be on center stage.

Start by collecting pictures of animals, storybook characters, or favorite Clifford characters. Put the pictures into a basket. Each child takes a turn selecting a picture without showing it to anyone and then acting as—or pretending to be—the animal, character, or person. The rest of the group tries to guess who the child is pretending to be. Continue until each child has had a turn.

Encourage the children to use their best acting skills, and model a good performance for them by playing the part of a storybook character yourself.

Memory MuralMemory Mural

With a Group:
Invite the children to create a group picture that depicts one month in the life of the group.

Tape or tack a long roll of paper to a wall where the children can have easy access to it. (If wall space isn't available, you can unroll the paper on the floor for each drawing session.) Starting at the left end of the paper and working toward the right, have the children draw or paint pictures that show what they have done or learned each day. They may want to include collage, and they may also want to depict events that occur outside the group. Encourage your children to share their ideas with each other.

Work on the group picture every day for a month. At the end of the month, the class will have a colorful mural chronicling the things they did and learned, and the fun they had.

For Older ChildrenFor Older Children

Have the children think about favorite books they've read. Many stories are readily adaptable as short plays and can be acted out. Select stories that involve several colorful characters, humorous plot lines, and plenty of opportunities for props. Here are some story suggestions:

Cloudy with a Chance of Meatballs by Judi Barrett
Caps for Sale by Esphyr Slobodkina
Amelia's Nine Lives by Lorna Balian

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