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A Race in the Animal Kingdom

Engage creative thinking skills and spark the imagination with this idea for a classroom theater production!


Grade Level: 3-6 

Materials: Printable Student Handout Script

Story Preview: Animal teams compete in a race with an unexpected finish!

Additional Resources

What are the fastest animals in the world? the slowest? Students can find the answers to those questions, plus other fascinating facts about animals, from the sources below.
* World Almanac for Kids: Animals
* Speed of Animals from

Roles: Narrators 1-3, King Lawrence the Lion, Queen Lavinia the Lioness, Andrea Antelope, Charlie Cheetah, Sabrina Sloth, Ted Turtle, Patsy Parrot, Fredericka Falcon, Animals in Crowd

Setting: Present day in the Animal Kingdom

Theme: Native American tales; legends


  • antelope: fast-moving, hoofed animal with horns
  • cheetah: fast-moving animal in the cat family
  • competition: a contest
  • falcon: bird with long pointed wings
  • lioness: female lion
  • opponent: competitor; person on the opposite team in a contest
  • sloth: slow-moving animal with claws; hangs upside down in a tree
  • strategy: method or plan
  • victorious: achieving a win in a contest or challenge; triumphant

Props: (Optional) crowns for king and queen (paper, plastic, or made from other materials); cape for king and queen; student-made horns for the antelope; student-made signs for the checkpoints; toy telephone for the sloth and turtle; toy or student-made trophies and coins for prizes; toy or student-made microphone (paper, cardboard or other available materials)

Follow-Up Questions:

  • How many teams participate in the Incredible Animal Race? How many animals are on each team?
  • Who chooses the teams?
  • Why was everyone surprised by the teams chosen for this years contest?
  • What were the three checkpoints in the race?
  • Why didnt Team 1 think they needed a plan?
  • What was Team 2s plan?
  • Why did Fredericka Falcon help Team 2?
  • How did life change for the sloth and the turtle after the race?

Follow-Up Activity
Invite students to research information about the animals in the play. You also might arrange students into small groups to revise the play. Ask groups to change the teams, checkpoints, and prizes. Encourage groups to share their versions of the story.

Additional Notes: Many cultures have legends and tales involving animals. This play was inspired by a Native American story Turtles Race With Bear". Before reading the play, you might discuss with students folktales, legends, or other stories students theyve read that contain animal characters.


Article by Cara Bafile
Education World®
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