Type of lesson: Story telling/arts and crafts

Level:  children 11/12+ at B1 level ( or can be adapted for younger children)

Note:  The student I created this lesson for has a good B1 level, but this lesson could easily be adapted to a lower level student/ class by choosing a simpler story with easier vocabulary.

Lesson aim: For students to practise the past simple retelling a story written in present simple.

Arts and crafts aim: To make a papier-mâché dragon.


Warm-up: Play hangman with the word dragon or jumbled letters to form the word dragon.

Pre-teach vocabulary: to flip over/ off, a pack of wolves, a lumberjack, to stumble (around), a roadblock, to perch, a ravine, scrupulous, to spot, to chop down, to settle in.

Reading and speaking: Give the student/s a copy of the plot. Ask the student/s to read one  paragraph at a time, then turn over the paper and retell the paragraph using past simple. (If the student or class struggles forming the past simple, you could create an additional worksheet to practise the past forms of the verbs in the text or elicit them on the whiteboard and drill). If the student is telling the story doesn’t get it quite right, elicit corrections where necessary or have students re-read the paragraph to check afterwards.

Follow- up: Ask the student/s what they thought of the story. Did they like the ending? Would they like a different ending? Would they like to meet a dragon? Etc

If you are doing this activity just before or on the day of Sant Jordi, you could get students to tell you the story of Sant Jordi and the dragon, and explain how people celebrate this day in Catalonia.

Make a papier-mâché dragon:

Use Google Images or pictures for students to choose a dragon they would like to make. Students draw an outline of a dragon on the cardboard as seen from the side.  Depending on the age of the students you may need to help them draw it. Once they have cut it out, they will need to trace round it to produce a copy.

When they have the two sides of the dragon cut out, get them to fill the space in between the two sides with some screwed up newspaper to give the dragon volume using the flower and water as paste. Then get them to cut out strips of newspaper and wind the strips round the body, legs, tail, etc.

Once this has been completed, it’s nice to add a final layer of strips of kitchen roll or serviettes. It gives a nice texture and is easier to cover with paint when dry. The wings may be left as they are without covering them in strips of paper.

Students can paint the dragon when it’s dry.

As this can take up more than one class, you can spread the activity over several classes and start each class with a new dragon story. For example, https://freestoriesforkids.com/children/stories-and-tales/edward-and-dragon, or here is a list of films with dragons in them that you could use:  https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_dragons_in_film_and_television