ESL Story Activities: The Town Mouse and the Country Mouse

The Town Mouse and the Country Mouse story can be helpful in teaching native English or English as a foreign language.

Aesop's story

In the Town Mouse and the Country Mouse story, a proud town mouse visits his cousin in the country. The country mouse offers the town mouse a meal of simple country foods, at which the visitor scoffs. He takes the country mouse back to the town to show him the "fine life". But their city meal of cakes and jellies was interrupted by a couple of dogs, which forced the mice to abandon their feast and scurry to safety. After this, the country mouse promptly returns to the country, and says:

"Better beans and bacon in peace than cakes and ale in fear"

There are many versions of the story written by different authors. The story is very convenient for storytelling with children. The following text is the adaptation of Vox Vocis for primary teachers with comments and activity suggestions.

The Town Mouse and the Country Mouse by Vox Vocis


This is a Country Mouse. His name is Skinny.

And this is his friend Fatty. He is a Town Mouse.

Skinny and Fatty have two best friends.


Scraper is tall. (Children stand on their toes to look taller)

Chunky is short. (Children slightly crouch to look shorter)

Scraper is thin. (Children suck in their cheeks making a ''fish face'' to look thinner)

Chunky is fat. (Children blow their cheeks and spread their arms around their body to show they look fatter)

Scraper is young. (Children extortionately straighten their back and put their hands up showing their muscles, proudness and youth)

Chunky is old. (Children bend down and pretend to be walking with a stick in the hand like old people)

Scraper is dirty. (Children make motions on their clothes as if they were cleaning them)

Chunky is clean. (Children make movements with their hands showing the cleanness of their clothes)

Scraper is poor. (Children outstrech their hand as if they were poor beggars) Chunky is rich. (Children make a hand movement touching the tip of their thumb and forefinger which means money in body language)


One day Fatty telephones Skinny. He says, …


''Come to town!''


''It's my birthday tomorrow and…


I have a birthday party!''


Skinny says, …


''Thanky you! See you tomorrow!''


Skinny crosses…


(the teller pointing at pictures) …a valley, a hill, a river…


…and comes to…


(the teller pointing at a picture) …town…


(demonstrating with two fingers the action of walking on a bridge picture)…and walks…


…over the bridge…


…goes down the street and sees…


(the teller pointing at pictures) …a plane, bus, motor bike, bicycle, taxi, truck, cars.


He thinks to himself …


''What a lot of traffic!''


Finally Skinny arrives to Fatty's house. He says, …


''Oooh, what a lovely house!''


Fatty says, …


''Thank you Skinny! Welcome to my home!''


Then Fatty says, ''I have a surprise for you! Look at this…


(the teller pointing at pictures) …kitchen! What do you see?''


(the teller pointing at a picture)

''Ooooh, table, chairs, food, cups and glasses, plates, spoon, forks, knives, bottle…''


Fatty then asks: '' Are you hungry?'' and Skinny says, …


Yeeees, let's eat!


They begin to eat but all of a sudden … the door opens and…Fatty shouts, …


''A cat!!! Come on Skinny! Run! Run and hide!!!''


So the two mouse hide … (pointing at pictures)


under the cup…

next to the bottle…

in the glass…

on the light…

behind the armchair…


And in front of the mouse hole they shout: ''We're saved!''

''Oh, we are in danger! Life is difficult in town!'' says Skinny. And Fatty says, …


''Yes, Skinny!''


''Life is difficult in town!'' Then Skinny says, ''Next week Fatty, come and visit me in the country.''

After Sunday, Fatty comes to the country and the two mice have a picnic. They eat … but all of a sudden… both of them shout:


''Heeelp! A cat! A cat! Run! Run and hide!!!''


Use puppets, pictures, costumes, books to tell the Town Mouse and the Country Mouse story.

Practice through a longer period of time!

Once children get used to the story and learn their part you can use the story for a theater play!

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Comments 6 comments

vox vocis profile image

vox vocis 4 years ago Author

I taught ESL to all age groups including very young learners aged 3-6. Hopefully, I'll start again here in Germany very soon. It's surprising how much little kids can learn while playing. Of course, it's not just free play, but carefully structured and educationally oriented play and that's why it gives such great results. Thanks for your support!

Peggy W profile image

Peggy W 4 years ago from Houston, Texas

What a cute way to have the children learn English as a second language. The play acting while learning the new words and practicing them by speaking aloud is ingenious! I am assuming that you teach ESL or have experienced others teaching it? Up votes and will share.

tonymac04 profile image

tonymac04 6 years ago from South Africa

This is very interesting and a great way to teach children. The pix are wonderful.

Love and peace


Rose Kolowinski profile image

Rose Kolowinski 6 years ago

Love your adaptation of the famous story! Fun for the kids and they are learning at the same time.

Justine76 6 years ago

Town Mouse Country Mouse was one of my favourite books when I was little. This is a fun idea.

gnrao profile image

gnrao 6 years ago from 37,west periasamy road,r.s.puram coimbatore 641002 tamil nadu india

good one.nice it is. nicely presented

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