English in Theatre for Children- Italy

For the Summer of 2013, I thought it would be perfect for me to plan, execute, teach, and direct an English Theatre!  “English in  Theatre?”  you may ask what does this mean? 

Thinking about the “Camp Estivo” I planned, and directed last summer, I wanted to do something similar, but this time incorporating Theatre and the English language.  It was perfect for me!  I have a Master’s of Arts in Costume Technology, my professional experience has been in theater and costume for over 20 years, and English is my mother-tongue.  Therefore I knew it was a perfect plan! 

For months I researched this idea, trying to figure out if such a thing existed in Italy.  I was really happy to find some information!  Here are my top three finds:

1.  Teatro Inglese Per Bambini, Florence, Italy. 

Which contains some helpful information from a native of the United Kingdom, who is an actress and an instructor of the English language. 

2.  Super Simple Learning, Seattle, Washington (U.S.A).

I found some very helpful songs, and flashcards from this site!

3. Polly the Collie.  (Which I now see is a part of Helen Doron education system-“Didi and Polly.) The original site no longer exists, but some of the information can be accessed via the site, Didi and Polly.

I used the above sites and a few others as a starting point for writing my lesson plans.  As a part in my program I also wanted to utilize our amazing local historical theatre.  Image

After completing my bilingual script of the Wizard of Oz.  I had a meeting with our mayor to present my project.  I was given free use of a room in our church for the first month and the theatre for the second month.  I was so very excited! 

So I set a sign-up deadline, spoke with local parents and waited.  A few days before the deadline I was getting concerned, only three children had signed up! 


The weekend before we were to begin, I was contacted by other parents letting me know they were planning to bring their children.  On our first day, we had 19 children!  Which was wonderful.  But as our days continued so did our enrollment.  By our second week, we had 30 plus enrollment from the age range of 3 to 10 years old. 

It was wonderful but I had to revise my lesson plans, and I had to change the Wizard of Oz, (not many children in Italy are familiar with it) I had to change it to a story every Italian child would be familiar with, so for our show we would be doing Little Red Riding Hood! 

My favourite part of starting on a new project is the beginning research part!  For this reason I have fallen in love with Pinterest, it is great for gathering visual from around the web!  I began a Wizard of Oz board, then later, Little Red Riding Hood.  Click on each to take a look at my images!

My adventure and story continues…..








Camp Estivo!!!

I hold a Master’s of Fine Arts, previously I have taught in a University level (draping class in the Fashion Department).  As an American girl growing up in a small Texas town,  I grew-up with Girl Scout Camp.  Now looking at the town in which my our two boys are growing-up I see it  is completely different.  All we have is a park with a slide, some swings, and a see-saw.  For some reason this park always seems to be dirty with trash, or dead birds (as my oldest found twice last year)!

At the beginning of the school year I began researching lesson plans, and reading as many books on education and homeschooling.  I felt my oldest was lagging a bit, so I began to have mini classes with him in the weekends.  Before I knew it , I now have files on lesson plans, activities, etc. on every subject.

With the summer break arriving soon, I wanted to make sure my boys had an exciting, educative summer (the oldest is not six and the youngest two and a half.)  Taking into consideration all we have available in our town is the ‘Park’.  I took it into my own hands to plan a ‘Camp Estivo’ a summer camp for the children of our community!  I thought it would be something nice for the parents as well as the children of our town!

It took some time being that I was doing it all on my own, and all the expenses were out of my pocket.  I also struggle with the issue of the language.  It was sometimes frustrating talking and doing things with the children when on the spot I wanted to say it in English.  All my lesson plans and activities were first drafted in English, I then translated it into Italian. But in the end all my work, and all my expenses were definitely worth it  for the children of our community to learn something, enjoy time together, and enjoy their summer break!

Here is my program or syllabus:

Camp Estivo 2012

LUGLIO 4 – AGOSTO 22 (9:30 – 11:30am)

Prima Settimana- Luglio 4 Mercoled


L’oceano/mare e gli animali

Dove ci incontriamo: Parco

Seconda Settimana- Luglio 11 Mercoled

Tour- Museo di Storia del Calcolo “Mateureka”


Dove ci incontriamo: Museo di Storia del Calcolo

 Terza Settimana- Luglio 18 Mercoled


Leggo un libro -Usando le parole in inglese e italiano . Lavorare con le parole.

Dove ci incontriamo: Caffe’ Della Nina

Quarta Settimana- Luglio 28 Sabato

Tour- Parco Naturale Sasso Simone e Simoncello

Animali- Creazione di animali con articoli trovati

Dove ci incontriamo : Parco Naturale Sasso Simone….

Quinta Settimana- Luglio 31 Marted

Tour- Church

Costruire una chiesa miniture, o disegnare e dipingere.

Dove ci incontriamo: La Cattedrale di Pennabilli

Sesta Settimana- Agosto 8 Mercoled


La lettera e colori.

Dove ci incontriamo : Parco

Settima Settimana- Agosto 15 Mercoled

Tour- Il Teatro Vittoria

Maschere italiane- conoscere melio il Carnevale.

(Ariecchino,Pucinella….) Fai la tua propria maschera.

Dove ci incontriamo: Teatro Vittoria

Ottava Settimana- Agosto 22 Mercoled

All’aperto- Parco

Costruire e progettare un aquilone.

Dove ci incontriamo: Parco

Partire da un anno e mezzo fino a cinque anni

I fornire gli elementi da utilizzare se non notificate prima sessione.

Io sarò lì ogni incontro seconda del numero di bambini che frequenta

e si sono certamente i benvenuti con il vostro bambino, o se ho un’altra madre per aiutare i bambini possono essere

lasciati con noi ad ascoltare, creare e giocare!

Orario- 9:30- 11:30

Per favore fatemi sapere entro il 25 Giugno se il vostro bambino sarà presente e che settimana saranno presenti. Si prega di notare, ogni bambino è invitato a partecipare ad uno o alcuni degli settimana avrei solo bisogno di sapere che per avere i materiali pronti per ogni bambino.

Tutti incontro sono ad ingresso libero.


Now, since at the time I was also working on my own projects, I could only allow myself to conduct the meetings  once a week in the morning.  Each meeting focused on a different subject each session would begin with a presentation of the subject followed by a hands own activity.  I utilized local locations in our community!  I was surprised that many of the children who have grown-up here had not visited some of the museums in town.

First Meeting Focused on Art and the Ocean/Sea animals Collage. It was held in the park each child created their own collage using plates as the canvas!

My son's collage.

My son’s collage.

I was so very happy with the outcome and to see the enjoyment of my boys and their friends!

The Four Seasons- Le Quattro Stagioni

Our walk to my son’s school in the morning is a pleasant ten minute walk!  On the way we love to look at the trees and the leaves that have fallen.  My five and a half-year old continues to ask me when summer arrives, or what season are we in.  I decided to have a day lesson of the Four Seasons!

Le Quattro Stagioni

We then spoke of the cycle of the seasons.  I first speak in English, then say the same thing in Italian.  My son is at school most of the day, so at this point when he learns something new, such as the seasons, he is more comfortable speaking about it in Italian.  When I speak to him about the same topic I speak to him in English first then reiterate it in Italian.

We then spoke of each of the seasons as in “The Seasons” PDF:

The Seasons

Identifying items in Italian and English.  We then drew the items or visuals and attached them on our board in the appropriate season!

Here is our board:

I made sure to also include my two year old!

Hope you have as much fun with the seasons as we did!!

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I am a Texas Gal who lives in the country-side of Italy.

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