The Ugly Duckling Guided Reading Script or Readers Theater for Group of six speakers
The Ugly Duckling play is one of a collection of Hans Christian Andersen stories and includes Teaching Input, Discussion and Suggestions for Further Activities - i.e. ample content for a lesson. It can equally be used as a literary or PSHE resource.
It could also be used as a small play, for performance, with a few ‘tweaks’ and the addition of the music suggestions below.
1. ‘There once was an ugly duckling’ song
2. Swan Lake – Tchaikovsky
3. You’re so Vain – Carly Simon
Cast of 6:
The Ugly Duckling
Swan 1, 2 & 3
Duration: Around 10 minutes reading time
Sample Text 1
Ugly Duckling: ‘Oh dear!’
Narrator: (Puzzled) Pardon?
Ugly Duckling: ‘Oh dear!’ I mean, that was the first thing I heard when I emerged into this world.
Swan 1: Oh, you poor, dear sweetheart!
Farmyard Turkey: (Mimicking Swan 1) Ah bless! You little darling!
Swan 2: (To Turkey) What is your problem? Did nobody ever show you any love?
Farmyard Turkey: Well, now you come to mention it, no!
Swan 3: Oh dear! That would explain a lot!
Farmyard Turkey: (Angrily) I beg your pardon? Heh, I’ve survived, haven’t I? And not, may I add, done so very badly for myself! Think farmyard status again!
Narrator: Oh, you and your farmyard status! I wonder how you’d have fared outside that yard, in the bigger world?
Farmyard Turkey: (Anxiously) Ooh, you wouldn’t get me going beyond the farmyard gate!
Ugly Duckling: And that’s exactly to and beyond where I was chased!
Narrator: But, hold on a minute. What about those other ducklings?
Swan 1: Yeah. Those first brothers and sisters of yours?
Swan 2: Didn’t they stand by you?
Swan 3: Didn’t they stick up for you?
Ugly Duckling: You are joking? From the minute they saw me they made fun of me!
Sample Text 2 (Demonstrating PHSE link)
Narrator: That what is ugly and unattractive to one person, is totally beautiful to another!
Ugly Duckling: A shame my brothers and sisters didn’t see that!
Narrator: Because you were different from them. And sometimes being different is quite scary to others. They feel threatened.
Ugly Duckling: They feel threatened? They want to feel what it’s like to be on the receiving end!
Narrator: Which is why we should always treat others as we’d like to be treated ourselves.