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The lion and the rabbit


Tale typology
Intercultural traditions

Age Suitability
This video is suitable for 5 years old children

Tale summary
The animals of the forest made a bargain with a ferocious lion who killed for pleasure. It was agreed that one animal each day would willingly come to the ferocious lion's den to be his supper and, in turn, the lion would never hunt again. The first to go to the lion's den was a timid rabbit, who went slowly. The rabbit show that his wisdom can be more valuable than the strength of the lion and lure him into a trap. In the end, the animals in the forest manage to get rid f the lion with the help of the wise rabbit.
Educational potential / Learning Outcomes
The pupils understand that the wisdom is stronger than physical strength.
They learn how to find their courage and say no through a theatre performance to the lion.
Full Plot
Long time ago in the deep forest lived a cruel lion. It was a greedy lion and started killing all the animals in the forest. Seeing this, the animals gathered and decided to approach the lion with the offer of one animal of each species volunteering itself to be eaten by the lion every day. So every day it was the turn of one of the animals and in the end came the rabbits' turn. The rabbits chose an old rabbit among them. The old rabbit was wise. It decided to take its own sweet time to go to the Lion. The Lion was growing impatient of not seeing any animal come by and swore to kill all animals the next day.
The rabbit then went to the Lion at sunset. The Lion was mad at him. But the wise rabbit was calm and slowly told the Lion that it was not his fault. A group of rabbits were coming to him for the day but on the way, an angry Lion attacked them all and ate all rabbits but himself. Somehow he manage to escaped and reach safety. He said that the other Lion was challenging the supremacy of the Lion. The Lion was naturally very enraged and asked to be taken to the location of the other Lion.
The wise rabbit agreed and led the Lion towards a deep well filled with water. Then he showed the Lion his reflection in the water of the well. The Lion was furious and started growling and the other Lion, who was its image in the water, was equally angry. Then the Lion jumped into the water to attack the other Lion and kill it but, lost its life in the well. Thus the wise rabbit saved the forest and all the animals from the proud Lion.
One Lesson Plan
Suggested step by step how to address one of the learning outcome described above
Connecting the story with real physical places in which the story takes place and the reference to places (e.g. woods, caves, squares, streets, gardens etc.) and/or buildings (e.g. fountains, churches, palaces, bridges etc.) and/or masterpieces (e.g. paintings, statues etc.).
Introduction Activity: Play the video of The Lion and the rabbit and then create a theatre performance with the support of the children
Once the teacher has told the story or watched the video ask the children to get into groups of four.
Physical warm up: In each group there is a monkey, an elephant, a snake and a rabbit. Get the children to move around the room and sound like their different animals. Get them to find the animal that is like them from the other groups and interact and play with them. The teacher gives a loud roar and the animals are frightened.
Teacher in role: The teacher in role as the Lion roars at them. She says “I’m very hungry and I’m going to eat all the animals in the jungle one by one.”
Still Image: In their animal groups the children make a still image of how they feel when they think the Lion is coming to get catch them and eat them.
Thought tracking: Once all groups are in the still image then the teacher out of role goes and touches them on the shoulder. Each animal has to say how they feel at that moment.
Conscience alley: Once the children are out of their still image they make two lines facing each other. The teacher in role as the the Lion walks in between the line as the children speak out as his conscience. The children in the line on the left hand should speak out that it is wrong to scare and eat the other animals and the children on the right hand side should speak out saying that he is right to scare and the eat the animals.
Examples: The left side could say “the animals are scared”, “what about their families?”,
“they want to stay in the jungle and play with their friends”.
The right side could say: “none of the other animals like you”, “you are hungry and you need to eat”, “you have no friends so you don’t care what they think of you”.
Hot seating: The teacher in role as the Lion sits in the hot seat. The children who are being themselves ask the Lion why he is behaving this way. Why does he want to eat all the animals in the jungle? Why is he horrible and mean to the other animals?
Group discussion: Get the children to get into role as their original animals. Tell them that they are going to change the ending of the story because the way the Clever Rabbit treated the Lion was as bad as how the Lion treated the other animals. They must come up with a more positive ending.
Group improvisation: The groups all improvise their endings in front of the other groups. The teacher takes on the role as the Lion in each group.
Role on the wall: Put two outlines of a Lion on the wall. Let the children choose words that describes the Lion before he got stuck in the well and one for after he was rescued from the well.
Closure|relaxation activity: Sleeping Lions – get the children to lie still on the floor and pretend to be a sleep. If they move then they are out and have to wake up with aloud roar.
Debriefing: Share with the participants that being wise is different than being smart. A smart person knows a lot of facts, but a wise person is able to apply those facts to the situation at hand.


This project has been funded with support from the European Commission. This web site reflects the views only of the author, and the Commission cannot be held responsible for any use which may be made of the information contained therein.

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