Adapted by Gayle Cornelison


A Synopsis of


Once upon a time, a handsome and arrogant young prince ventured into an Enchanted Forest in search of a fabled palace full of gold and riches.While traveling with his court “Fool,” he is observed by several forest spirits, who find him to be surly and rude.They decide the Prince should be punished for his behavior and cast a spell that transforms him into a hideous beast to suit his manners.To teach him a lesson, the spirits decree that the spell shall not be broken and he shall remain frozen in time in the Enchanted Palace until the cruel Prince’s heart is softened enough to win the love and marriage of a maiden.

Many years pass, and the heart of the Beast has indeed softened somewhat when a business man finds himself lost in the forest and is guided by the spirits to the Enchanted Palace.He stops to pick a rose to take home to his daughter, Beauty, but is discovered by the Beast who becomes angry and threatens to kill him.The Beast decides to spare the man’s life, but requests that he return home and send Beauty back to the Enchanted Palace.The man refuses to endanger his daughter, but against her Father’s will, she goes to meet the Beast to save her Father’s life.

Beauty is brave and demands courtesy and kindness from the Beast, who finds even more success in taming his temper with Beauty’s help.It isn’t until the Beast releases Beauty to go care for her now ailing Father that she realizes she does truly love the Beast.She returns to the Palace just in time to profess her love, accept his marriage proposal, and break the beastly spell.In a magical moment, the Beast is returned to his Princely appearance and explains to Beauty the transformation and the spirit’s curse.The Prince, Beauty, her Father and sisters, and the “Fool” are now free to dance and rejoice in their good fortune!


Before the Play

ØRead an original version of the fairytale.The earliest truly similar version to the one we know today was written by Madame Jeanne-Marie Le Prince de Beaumont in 1756.Talk about how this is different from the Disney movie version (to help students know what to expect).

General Use

I.Central Issues

ØWhy did the spirits want to punish the Prince by turning him into a beast?What were they trying to teach him?

ØHow is Beauty different from her sisters, Faith and Hope?

ØWhy do Beauty’s sisters dislike the beast and not want her to go back to him?

ØWhat does the Beast learn about friendship?Describe what you think a friend should be like.


ØDraw a picture of Beauty’s family, including Beauty, Faith, Hope, and their Father.

ØImagine what the Enchanted Palace looks like.Draw or paint a picture of it, and make roses out of tissue paper to glue to the drawing.

ØUsing aluminum foil, pipe cleaners, or other material available, have children make their own version of the “magic ring” the Beast gave Beauty’s father.

ØPre-cut or have students cut out the shape of a hand-mirror from cardboard.Cut pieces of aluminum foil to fit on the inside and tape the edges on the dull-side of the foil to the cardboard on one side.Now the other side is a mirror.Students can also color the cardboard “frame” or glue glitter or pipe cleaners to decorate it.

ØDraw the scenes where the Fool interacts with each of the three spirits.

·Grades 2+ can write captions describing what was going on.

ØCargo is a word for the goods or merchandise conveyed in a ship, airplane, or vehicle.What kind of cargo do you imagine Beauty’s father was shipping?Draw a picture of the ship and its cargo.

ØOn the maze below, help get Beauty’s Father’s ship safely through the storm to land in Amsterdam.Then help get him safely back to his daughters at home.



ØWhat is the definition of a Fool? What do they mean in this play by “Fool?”What did a fool do in that time period?

ØWhen we meet Beauty and her family, they are taking turns telling riddles.A riddle is a mystifying, misleading, or puzzling question posed as a problem to be solved or guessed. 

·Younger children can answer simple riddles posed to the group (i.e. Who has brown hair and is wearing a red shirt today?) or play riddlee-riddlee-ree (I see something you don’t see, and the color is...).

·Older children can choose from a book of riddles or write riddles for the class to answer.

IV.Introduction to Literature

ØDiscuss story-telling.The earliest collection of the tale dates back to Italy in the mid 1500s.The earliest French version is an ancient Basque tale that was later popularized by Charles Perrault in 1697.Re-read 1756 version of Beauty and the Beast.Why would there have been so many variations on a story? What might happen to a story when it gets translated from one language to another? What about before before stories were printed into books?

ØPlay “Telephone” to demonstrate what happens to information overtime as it is handed from one person or generation to the next.

·For younger children, start with a simple sentence.

·Older students can try passing around a very simple fairytale (Once upon a time, there was a woman who went to the store to buy an apple.).

Give the statement only to the first student, and have them whisper it to the student next to them, who should in turn whisper it to the student next to them, until it has been passed around the room.Tell the students that the goal is to have the last student hear the same statement you started with (to try to control for students who might purposefully change the information as they pass it along).Have the last student repeat what they heard out loud to the class.

ØMake a book telling the story of Beauty and the Beast using pictures.

For K-2, use the following list of scenes to guide the students through, picture by picture, then you can staple the picture together into a book.Grades 3+ can write captions or narration to accompany the pictures.

1.Enchanted forest, Prince, Fool, Spirits
2.Beauty, Faith, Hope, and Father at home
3.Enchanted Palace, Beast, Fool, Father, roses
4.Father comes home with bad news
5.Beauty arrives at the Palace
6.Beauty sees sick father in magic mirror, asks to go home
7.Beauty at home w/family, sees dying Beast in mirror
8.Beauty returns to the Beast, professes love, spell is broken

ØInternet Research:Have students do an internet search for some examples of Victorian Era Poets (Anne, Charlotte, or Emily Bronte, Robert Browning, Thomas Hardy, Dante Gabriel Rosetti, Robert Louis Stevenson).
·Older children can choose a poem and practice to read it aloud.
ØCharles Dickens is another Victorian author.Read or watch A Christmas Carol.How are these two pieces similar and different?How does Beauty’s family compare to the families portrayed in Dickens’ story?



ØThis play takes place during the Victorian Era.Why is this period called “Victorian?”

ØResearch the styles of the Victorian Era.What style of clothing and decoration were they using?Write a description with photos or drawings of Victorian Style. 

ØFind out about what developments occurred in gardening in Victorian England.

ØResearch the role of women in the Victorian Era - What things were changing?What laws or acts were passed?


ØBeauty’s Father went to recover goods lost on ships from Amsterdam.In what country would you find Amsterdam?Locate the city and country on a map.

ØWhat distinctive features does the city of Amsterdam have?

ØWhat language(s) do they speak?

ØMusic:Play some music from the Victorian Era in the background while students work on study guide activities.Examples:Richard Strauss, Gilbert and Sullivan.

·K-2 can use this as a stretch break and dance as the Fool did to entertain Beauty and as they all did to celebrate the happy ending.


ØRoses were very important to both Beauty and the Beast in this story.Learn how to grow roses.What conditions do roses prefer to grow in (soil, sunlight, water, temperature)?If conditions and supplies allow, grow a rose bush as a class project.


ØThe spirits thought the Prince was nasty so they turned him into a beast.How would he have acted if the spirits had turned him into something else (a frog, bear, snake, rock)?Give students an example and have them act it out.

IX.Creative Writing

ØA journal or diary is often a daily record of personal activities, reflections, feelings, events, and/or observations.If Beauty or the Beast kept a journal, what do you think they might have written?Write journal entries for either Beauty or The Beast.

·For Beauty, what might she have been writing while her father was away? After she arrived at the Enchanted Palace and met the Beast? Back home caring for her father when he was ill?

·For the Beast, consider journal entries for the Prince before he was turned into a beast, the day the spirits turned him into a beast, when Beauty’s father arrives and then leaves with the ring, the day Beauty arrives, and the day Beauty leaves to tend to her father.

ØHave children work in groups of 3-5 to come up with an alternate ending for the play.For example:

·What if the Beast had not allowed Beauty to return to care for her sick Father?Would she have tried to escape?Would she still have fallen in love with him?

·What if Beauty’s Father had not been allowed to return home, but was allowed to write a letter to his daughters explaining where he was.Would Beauty have gone out to find him?Would she have gone alone? What if her sisters accompanied her and they all ended up at the Enchanted Palace?

·What might have happened if Faith or Hope had found the “magic ring” when her Father set it down and been transported to the Enchanted Palace instead of Beauty?

Grades 3+ can write their endings and/or act them out for the class.

X.Additional - Write to CTC

ØAfter watching the play, write about it.Tell what you liked or disliked about the story, the characters, costumes, or you thoughts with examples and reasons.Mail to:P.O.Box 2007, Sunnyvale, CA94087.Teacher’s comments are appreciated!