Drama: 'The soft shoe shuffle' and 'A human storyboard'
Two different drama activities, bringing to life the Emmaus Road story.
The soft shoe shuffle
Act the story out using just footstep sounds. If your room is carpeted, you may need to import a piece of lino. The footstep sound effects should accompany the narrative below.
The children make the noises by walking or running on the spot or by using shoes on their hands to create the different sounds. With younger children, practise the footsteps beforehand and perform the story to them.
Start with two sets of feet walking slowly and heavily.
Cleopas and his friend were walking the seven miles from Jerusalem to their home. They were really sad because Jesus had been crucified.
A third pair of feet joins in.
As they walked along, Jesus joined them, but they didn't recognise him.
The footsteps slow down to a standstill.
Jesus asked them why they were sad. They told him the very sad story of Jesus dying on the cross. They also told him how that morning some women had spoken some nonsense about seeing an empty tomb and angels.
The footsteps start again at a normal pace.
As they walked along, Jesus explained to them all the Bible stories that told about Jesus coming, dying and rising again.
Now the original two pairs of feet stop but the third pair goes on walking.
Cleopas and his friend arrived at their home but Jesus kept on walking. Cleopas invited him in for a meal.
The third pair of feet pauses then 'walks back' again. All the feet shuffle back and forth, dragging heels and stubbing toes.
They set the table and prepared a meal.
All the feet are still.
At the meal Jesus said grace and then broke the bread. The two disciples suddenly realised who he was.
The third pair of feet disappears. The other feet run around with excitement.
They were so excited to recognise Jesus. Somehow they had known there was something special about the stranger.
The feet now run very fast.
That very evening they ran back to Jerusalem to tell the others what had happened. They weren't surprised. They too had seen Jesus. He really was alive.
A human storyboard
This story moves through a wide range of emotions: grief, hearts burning within, joy, celebration. Make a living storyboard of what happened, with groups of two or three doing each freeze photo:
- Two grief-stricken friends on the road.
- Two puzzled friends listening to a stranger telling the Bible's story.
- Two curious friends inviting the stranger to stay.
- Two surprised friends at grace, sitting at the meal table.
- Two excited friends running to tell others what has happened.
Once the scenes are sorted, use them as a framework to retell the story. If possible, take photos for a future display.
You could also appoint one child as a reporter from the Emmaus Advertiser. This reporter should go to each still-life scene, which should briefly unfreeze, and interview the people involved. What are they feeling? What were they thinking? What has just happened? Children usually come up with some very interesting insights 'in character'.