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KS1-2: Visit a pantomime or get a theatre group in. Ask pupils to write about and draw favourite bits. Then, in pairs, make up and practise a slapstick routine using paper plates and shaving foam. Read some traditional "panto" fairy stories to the class. Make a hanging timeline of key events (a washing line with prominent dates and supporting pictures and writing). Use playmobile figures or puppets to act out a fairy story. Make a cardboard theatre (like the old penny theatres). Make a list of favourite TVpopstars and the panto characters they might play. See how many words can be made from the letters of "pantomime". Write an acrostic for a panto character, eg DAME, VILLAIN, BUTTONS.

KS2: Experiment with materials to find the best waterproof for "funnel down trousers" gag . Make a video of the "ghost" gag. Write a class book of question-and-answer jokes. Internet research: www.thisistheatre.companto.html

PETER GORDON

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