ME: We're going to play a game where we tell a story all together. When I point at you, you tell the next part of the story.
K: I'M THE PRINCESS
ME: Okay, but that's not the game. First we're going to TELL the story, and then LATER we can ACT OUT the story. ONCE UPON A TIME...in a land far far away there was a...
L: EVIL DRAGON.
ME: Who loved to...
S: EAT UNICORNS
ME: So one day, the evil dragon came out of his cave and first he sniffed all around, trying to smell a good unicorn to eat. And then he found one and then...
K: THE UNICORN FOUGHT HIM BECAUSE IT WAS MAGIC. THE END
Later, I tried to get them to act out the Shel Silverstein poem "Little Abigail and the Beautiful Pony," which is about a girl who dies because her parents won't buy her a pony. I had traumatized another class of four-year-olds with this idea, so this time I tried to prevent the panic by saying, "Is this a real story? Do you think that could happen in real life?"
L: THE ONLY WAY YOU CAN DIE IS IF YOU GET SHOT BY A BOW AND ARROW.
ME: K, do you want to be Abgail?
K: I don't want to die.
ME: It's just like "Jack and the Beanstalk," remember? When the giant dies? It's just pretend.
K: I don't want to die, I just want to sleep.