School Workshops: Education programme from The Lion King

Date Posted: 06/11/2013

Long-running West End show, The Lion King, is known for its solid education programme. The musical’s central themes of community and citizenship, alongside curriculum links to other subjects, offer a good basis for a school trip. We look at the details of its new autumn/winter programme for Key Stage 2 and 3 pupils.

Combining a live performance of Disney’s The Lion King with curriculum-linked activities before and after the show, the show’s education programme is an innovative way to inspire pupils, and has been designed by teachers for teachers.

The Spirit of The Lion King is a web-based class project for Key Stage 2 and Key Stage 3. Focusing on the central themes of the importance of community and responsibility in The Lion King, the project aims to help pupils understand what defines a community and explore the roles and responsibilities they have within their own communities.

It is designed to work with the show’s existing education programme to enhance the experience of pupils who have been on a school trip to see the musical.

The project should have enough material for two lessons, and offers a spread of cross-curricular work in English and Drama, in addition to its key topic of citizenship.

Lesson 1: Exploring Communities

The first lesson is designed to help pupils understand what a community is, what roles make up a community and how members contribute towards their community.

Lesson 2: Our Community’s Spirit

This session explores how the spirit of The Lion King has been created and how active citizens can create the spirit in other communities.

School groups then discover how members of their school community can create and demonstrate its own spirit to help others, leading to some optional project work.

So, what else do you get with the pack?

The Spirit of The Lion King is an extension to the current materials of Disney’s The Lion King Education Programme.

The materials include downloadable teachers’ notes, online lesson presentations (suitable for whiteboard), downloadable pupil worksheets and curriculum links. All education materials are complimentary when a school trip organiser purchases tickets for the show.

Behind the scenes – an educational DVD

Included within the teacher’s resource pack is a DVD which takes your class on a virtual backstage tour of the production.

Hosted by TV presenter Matt Baker, the DVD comprises ten episodes exploring different aspects of the show including costumes, masks, puppets, staging, choreography and music.

Episodes include:

  • Behind the story: Learn about themes and messages within the show.
  • Mask and Puppets: Meet the team who look after the masks and puppets.
  • Making Music: Visit one of the show’s percussionists and learn how rhythm helps tell the story.
  • Dance and Movement: Watch a rehearsal and see how the movement helps to set the scene.

Taking a school trip to see The Lion King

The Lion King has now entered its 15th year at London’s Lyceum Theatre.

A special education group rate is available for Tuesday to Thursday performances at 7.30pm and the Wednesday matinee at 2.30pm during term time. One complimentary ticket for a teacher is available per ten paid tickets.

For further school trip information visit www.spiritofthelionking.co.uk or www.thelionking.co.uk.

Pictured: Gugwana Dlamini as RAFIKI in Disney's The Lion King (Photo credit: Deen Van Meer).

School Travel Organiser's Guide