Saturday, October 25, 2014

Improv theatre games for subjects like math, science and geography lesson plans (free classroom games for teachers and their students)

Here are some free classroom games you can play with your students.  Thank you to my students in my Drama Games course at hol.edu (Denise and Allison) for your excellent ideas!


Money math is taught early in the 2nd grade year and with the current curriculum being used they haven't had much exposure to money, let alone money math.  In this particular school district the math curriculum touches on money some in kindergarten and first but they really do not dive into all of the specifics until 2nd grade.  What I noticed was the students have problems learning that 4 quarters equals 1 dollar or 100 pennies equals 1 dollar, etc.  They have a hard time visualizing and figuring out that you can use pennies, nickels, dimes, quarters, fifty cent pieces as well as there is a dollar coin to equal a paper dollar bill, let alone the multiple variations that can occur as well.  Theatre games could help the students to learn this concept.  A theatre game that could be played is the 'Cooperative Ball Toss'.  The students could use counting by 1's, 5's, 10's, 25's and 50's to 100 when they toss the ball to one another.  Any student who does not correctly say the next number has to sit out, the last student standing is deemed the winner.  This game would help them to recall the multiples of coins.  Another theatre game that could be played is the 'Letter Number Game'.  The students sit in a large circle and the teacher starts off a concept (in this case money multiples 1's, 5's, 10's, 25's and 50's).  When first playing this I would probably start off with 1's every time as a warm up.  Once counting by 1's get around the circle a few people 5's would be start and so on and so forth.  This will have the students thinking quickly because counting by 1's will go around the circle several times whereas 5's once.  I feel that this theatre game would be beneficial to help the students to learn and retain counting by multiples.        


While looking for topics for my Masters Degree I sat in on several 2nd grade level classes and I found that this particular class had trouble when it came to learning lists of concepts/definitions for any subject.  In particular, during a science class learning about animals and their habitats the students were struggling with the terminology.  A theatre game that could be played is 'Word Ball'.  This game is played by having the students stand in a circle or oval and one student has a ball and looks across the room to make eye contact with another student and tosses the ball and says a word such as squirrel, the student receiving the ball then has to say the correct habitat that a squirrel lives in and promptly makes eye contact with another student and says a different animal, and so on.  Any student who takes too long, fails to answer the question correctly or drops the ball has to sit out. This theatre game would help the students remember at a quick pace animals as well as their habitat.  I feel that this game could be used with a number of different subjects as well as subject matter so it is a very versatile one.  

And classroom lesson ideas from the book "175 Theater Games by Nancy Hurley" 
> Circle Crescendo-The players stand in a circle. Moving around the circle, the students progressively escalate their volume from lowest to loudest while they count. I may have my students listen to classical musical first to identify the crescendo in the music before playing this game. Additionally, rather than simply counting, I may have students count in counting patterns, such as counting by 2's or 5's while using crescendo to reinforce another concept. Having students take turns being the scribe and writing the counting pattern on the board, while it's spoken, would help give visual learners another reinforcement for the concept. 
> Clap Out-The players stand in a circle. The first person says "one." The next person says, "two". The third person CLAPS instead of saying "three." The next person says, "four." The next says, "five" and the following person CLAPS instead of saying "six". In this way, they are practicing the three counting pattern. The game is written such that a person who says the wrong number or claps at the wrong time is out. I would vary this game by having the person who makes a mistake, not be "out", I would just start over the counting pattern with that person. I believe children are most likely to learn when they are engaged. I could see using this activity to teach counting any multiples, for example counting by 5's or even 10's.  I would choose one student to be the scribe and write the clapped number on the board for all to see, review and repeat at the end of the game.

> Jumpers-In this game, all players face the front of the room. On cue, everyone jumps up and down four times facing the front of the room, four times facing the right side of the room, four times facing the back, and four times facing the left. Then they jump three times in each of the directions. Then the students jump two times in each direction and finally they finish with one time in the four directions. To facilitate jumping together, everyone calls out the numbers aloud. I love the perfect cure for lethargy that this game offers. I often have the North, East, South, West coordinates labeled in my room. This would make it easier to call out which direction the students should be facing while reinforcing a critical geographical concept.

> Leading-This is a fun activity that allows kids the opportunity to be appropriately active and silly. The teacher calls out a body part with which students can lead the body. I love the idea of making it as educational as possible, by calling out bones or muscles in the human body and having students lead with those. "Everyone move around as if your cranium is leading you." This would be a wonderful addition to an anatomy unit.
> Man Overboard-This game offers students another opportunity to move about while listening and having fun. The teacher pretends to be the captain of a ship and calls out commands. The teacher establishes what side of the room is the bow, stern, starboard and port.  Before beginning the game, the group practices the actions that go with each command. Bow-run to front, Stern-run to back, Starboard-run to the right, Port-run to the left, Hit the deck-lie down, Captain is coming-stand at attention and salute, Man overboard- grab a partner, Man the lifeboats-get into a group of two pairs and start rowing,  Sharks-get of the ground. After each command, a player who responds too slowly or does the wrong action sits out. The last player to remain in the game is the winner. I will definitely use this game as I teach P.E. to my elementary students. This activity could also be taught in conjunction with a science unit on the Ocean or Rivers. 

> Clocks-Each student draws a clock with numbers on a sheet of paper. The students move around the room making appointments with one another, "Do you have an appointment available at 6:00? Oh then how about meeting with me at 10:00. Does that work?" Students fill each of their appointment times with a different student in the room. When everyone has filled their clock faces, the teacher has students discuss a particular subject with their assigned appointments. After 30 seconds, the teacher cues the student with their next appointment time and what they are to discuss. I love this activity for having students review together or make observations about something they have learned. It is also a great review for students learning the concept of time-telling.

For more free improv drama games (and classroom lesson ideas), go to http://www.freedrama.net/improv.html

Wednesday, October 22, 2014

NO DELIVERANCE FROM THIS EVIL Holy Ground prologue - duologue for 2 actors (1 man and 1 woman) from a stage play script

Scene from the stage play script Holy Ground for two actors (1 male 1 female).  For permission to use this scene contact doug@freedrama.net and include the title "No Deliverance from this Evil" in your request.

From a published play "Holy Ground":


NO DELIVERANCE FROM THIS EVIL

In near darkness, Molly approaches Turk who is on the floor in pain.  Molly wants to help him but is afraid.

MOLLY
Turk, what's wrong?

TURK
Don't get any closer. I don't want to hurt you.

MOLLY
Why would you hurt me?

TURK
I've been trying to hide them. I wanted to protect you. I hid the truth from you. I wanted to keep you safe.

MOLLY
Safe? Safe from what?

TURK
Look in to my eyes. Can you see them? Can you see them looking out at you? Can you see the darkness in me? I want them out of me. I want to rip them out of my soul. But they cling to me. Holding on so tight... so tight that I can't breathe.

Turk grabs her. She is scared but doesn't pull away.

TURK
Can you show me how to get rid of them? Can you help me?

MOLLY
I want to help. What can I do?

Turk pushes her away.

TURK
You're getting too close. I don't want them to hurt you.

Turk pleads with something invisible that Molly can't see.

TURK (CONT.)
Please don't hurt her too. Please leave her alone. You have me... you don't need her too.

Molly grabs Turk and shakes him.

MOLLY
Who are you talking to? Turk, there's nothing there.

TURK
See what you've done. You've made them angry. They are punishing me. They always punish me. They want to punish you too.

Turk turns to Molly with an angry look in his eye and moves toward her with his fists clenched.

MOLLY
Stop. You're scaring me. What are you doing?!

TURK
I can't let you! No! But I have to... it's the only way to make the pain inside me go away.

Turk moves to attack her and Molly screams. Turk falls to the floor before he can touch her and lays still a moment.

MOLLY
What happened to you? What's going on?

TURK
Lift me up... I feel like I am falling... I'm drowning inside. You feel so far away. I feel like nothing can reach me. I'm lost. I'm so weak. Please... I can't take this much longer. I can't do this anymore. How can I live with this pain inside me?

MOLLY
Then let me help you. Let me share the pain. Open up to me. Let me inside and I will fight this with you.

Turk jumps up and looks for a way out of the room.

TURK
There's no place we can hide. We'll never escape them. Run! Run before they find you! I am hell bound. They are burned in my soul. They are a part of me. But there is still hope for you.

MOLLY
I'm not leaving you. I'm here to stay. I will stay by your side and we can stop this together. Let me give you strength. Let me give you hope.

TURK
Hope... there's no hope anymore... I'm too far gone... buried... buried deep inside this tomb... lost and undone. My kingdom has come, his will was done... I am beyond heaven and earth... there is no deliverance from this evil.

Turk turns on her again. He is crying now. She tries to touch him but he pushes her away and falls to his knees

TURK (CONT.)
Why are you still here? Save yourself. Please... you can't. You're not strong enough. You can't stop them.

He hisses his last line quietly like he is possessed.

TURK (CONT.)
You can never take them from me.

END OF PROLOGUE



Read the entire stage play script of Holy Ground at http://www.freedrama.net/holygrnd.html

Read more scenes for two actors at http://www.freedrama.net/small2.html

Wayfaring Stranger scene for 2 actors with music (musical scene) from stage play script Holy Ground

Scene 4 from the stage play script "Holy Ground" for 1 male and 1 female.  Please contact doug@freedrama.net for permission to use this scene (include the name "Wayfaring Stranger" in your request).


From a published play "Holy Ground":


This is a flashback.  The lights are dim except for one spot where Molly stands.  Molly is in the church singing "Wayfarin Stranger."  Turk walks in unnoticed during the song.

WAYFARING STRANGER

MOLLY
"I'm just a poor wayfaring stranger
I'm traveling through this world of woe
Yet there's no sickness, toil nor danger
In that bright land to which I go
I'm going there to see my mother/father
I'm going there no more to roam
I'm only going over Jordan
I'm only going over home

I know dark clouds will gather 'round me
I know my way is rough and steep
Yet golden fields lie just before me
Where God's redeemed shall ever sleep
I'm going there to see my father/mother
S/he said he'd/she'd meet me when I come
I'm only going over Jordan
I'm only going over home

I want to wear a crown of glory
When I get home to that good land
I want to shout salvation's story
In concert with the blood-washed band
I'm going there to meet my Saviour
To sing his praise forever more
I'm just a-going over Jordan
I'm just a-going over home"

Turk listens and then claps when she is done.  Molly is startled.

MOLLY
I didn't know anyone was here.  I never sing in front of anyone.

Turk
Why?  You're amazing.

MOLLY
No... I'm not.

TURK
I've never heard such an incredible voice.  I listen and it does something to me.  Something I've never felt before.  It sends shivers down my spine.  And then I feel this peace wash over me.  I've never felt so peaceful.  I felt drawn here by your song.  I almost never set foot inside a church... but your song... your song brought me here... brought me to you.

MOLLY
I know you, don't I?

TURK
You do.

MOLLY
You look so familiar.

TURK
I was one of your students.  Community service orientation.  Don't worry.  I wasn't one the ones required to be there.  I volunteered.

MOLLY
I remember now.  We even did the roadside cleanup together.

TURK
It's interesting what you find along a roadside.

MOLLY
What was the most interesting thing you found that day?

Turk
You.

Molly gets nervous.

MOLLY
Stop.

Turk changes the subject a bit.

TURK
I remember we found a music box.

MOLLY
That's right.

TURK
I couldn't believe it still worked.  What was the song?

Molly sings.

MOLLY
"Oh, come, all ye faithful,
Joyful and triumphant!
Oh, come ye, oh, come ye to Bethlehem;
Come and behold him
Born the king of angels:
Oh, come, let us adore him,
Oh, come, let us adore him,
Oh, come, let us adore him,
Christ the Lord."

TURK
That's right.  I like your version better.

MOLLY
I still have it.

TURK
Why did you keep it?

MOLLY
I keep lots of weird little things.  I know it was probably important to someone.  And sometimes those things make me happy and bring me new memories.

TURK
You have a beautiful way of looking at things.  Anyone ever told you that?

MOLLY
No.  Probably because I don't usually share this much of myself with anyone.  It's like my singing.  I keep my feelings to myself.

TURK
It's nice having someone to talk to.

MOLLY
I know what you mean. Everyone in this world seems so isolated.

TURK
You can have a million online friends but never really talk to anyone.  Technology brought the world closer together and but made individuals grow farther apart.

MOLLY
You're a pretty smart guy.

TURK
I don't hear that very often.

MOLLY
I like how you think.

TURK
I like everything about you.

MOLLY
Stop it.

TURK
Why?

MOLLY
I don't know.

TURK
I don't mean to be so forward.  I'll walk on out of here if you want.  I just know that I've never been around someone so special before.

MOLLY
I'm not that special.

TURK
To me you are.  I've never felt this way around anyone else.  I've never talked this much... I've never felt as good as I feel when I hear you sing.  And to know that you've only sung for me... makes it even more special.

MOLLY
I didn't sing for you.

Turk laughs.

TURK
Okay, I can take a hint.  It was wonderful listening to you.  And talking.  Take care.

MOLLY
I... I can sing something for you if you want.

TURK
Really?

MOLLY
Sure.

TURK
I'm honored.

MOLLY
Anything in particular?

TURK
Know any Duran Duran?

Molly laughs.

MOLLY
No.

TURK
You have a nice laugh too.

MOLLY
Stop with the compliments!

TURK
Fine.  Sing me something and I promise to hate it.

MOLLY
Hey!

TURK
Just kidding... please sing.  I'd love to hear anything you want to sing.  And I'll try my best not to hit on you after.

MOLLY
It's not that I don't like it... I mean... I don't... but it's okay... I mean... you know that we're in church and... well... and we just met... well, not really... but we...

TURK
You're too cute.

MOLLY
Stop!

TURK
Okay... okay... I'm stopping.

MOLLY
No more hitting on me.

TURK
You mean today or forever.

Molly smiles shyly.

MOLLY
Just today.

Turk
It's a deal.  Sing for me?

MOLLY
I'll sing... but for God.  I'll sing for you another day.

TURK
Deal.

Molly sings "It Is Well With My Soul."

MOLLY
"When peace like a river attendeth my way,
When sorrows like sea billows roll,
Whatever my lot, Thou hast taught me to say,
'It is well, it is well with my soul.'

Though Satan should buffet, though trials should come,
Let this blest assurance control:
That Christ hath regarded my helpless estate,
And has shed His own blood for my soul.

And Lord, haste the day when my faith shall be sight,
The clouds be rolled back as a scroll,
The trump shall resound and the Lord shall descend,
Even so, it is well with my soul."

END OF SCENE

Read the entire stage play script of Holy Ground at http://www.freedrama.net/holygrnd.html

Read more scenes for two actors at http://www.freedrama.net/small2.html

Wednesday, October 15, 2014

"Hungry for Death" male solo stage script - Turk's monologue from play Holy Ground

This monologue is adapted from the published play "Holy Ground" by D. M. Larson 



For permission to use the monologue for the classroom, workshop, audition or competition contact doug@freedrama.net (please include the title "Hungry for Death" in your request).


*****


TURK
They are hungry for death.  And not the kind of death we normally think of but a walking death where they rip our souls from us.  But they couldn't take mine... not without you. You are my anchor, the anchor that held me to this world... There is a bond between us that protected my soul.

That made them so angry.  They didn't think anything was that strong.  They wanted you so badly.  But not just because of the bond... something more is inside you. Something they feared.  A purity.  A simple purity, uncorrupted by the world.  


I never could get too far from you. Even when the creatures found shelter in the darkness, I couldn't stay away.  Even though the sun burned me like the fires of Hell, I needed to be close to you.  No matter what evil they were saying... no matter what messages were in my head... somehow I couldn't be apart from you.  Our souls are connected... they couldn't break that bond.


I have to protect you now. They are after you now. They want the power inside you. I can hear them chanting over and over again... 


She is the one.  She is the reason.  She is the beginning and the end.  Alpha and Omega.  Yin and Yang.  She will bring balance.



END OF MONOLOGUE

*****

Read the entire play of "Holy Ground" at http://www.freedrama.net/holygrnd.html


Find more monologues at http://www.freedrama.net/small1.html


Find more dramatic monologues at http://www.freedrama.net/small1d.html


Find more male monologues at http://www.freedrama.net/small1m.html


"Hungry for Death" male solo stage script - Turk's monologue from play Holy Ground

"I WAS NEVER IMPORTANT" female solo stage script - Molly's monologue from play Holy Ground

This monologue is adapted from the play "Holy Ground" by D. M. Larson 


For permission to use the monologue for the classroom, workshop, audition or competition contact doug@freedrama.net (please include the title "I WAS NEVER IMPORTANT" in your request).


*****

MOLLY
I wish I knew what that was all about...  What does this all have to do with me?  I never was important before.  I never was special. I'm not the most religious person.  I was in the church choir because I loved to sing.  I didn't really do much else.  I've lived a good enough life but nothing unique... nothing miraculous.  I don't know what to do.  I have no direction. How can I do something important when I don't even feel important. I didn't chose this mission... I didn't ask God to make me a vessel or some tool.  I didn't chose this, God. I didn't ask for this.

I'm not strong enough.  I'll fail.


But if there is some way to help Turk... If I have the power to do that. I want to save him. 


He protected me... but he knew something was different... something was very wrong.  We tried to keep away from others... we didn't want anyone else to get hurt.  But he was injured... and I had to find help.


I have to do something... I can't stand by and let this happen to him... It was so horrible what happened to the others... I can't watch that happen to him too. I have to fight back.



END OF MONOLOGUE

*****

Read the entire play of "Holy Ground" at http://www.freedrama.net/holygrnd.html


Find more monologues at http://www.freedrama.net/small1.html


Find more dramatic monologues at http://www.freedrama.net/small1d.html


Find more female monologues at http://www.freedrama.net/small1f.html


"I WAS NEVER IMPORTANT" female solo stage script - Molly's monologue from play Holy Ground

"Free of the Evil" dramatic male solo stage script - Art's monologue from play Holy Ground

This monologue is adapted from the published play "Holy Ground" by D. M. Larson

For permission to use the monologue for the classroom, workshop, audition or competition contact doug@freedrama.net (please include the title "Free of the Evil" in your request).

*****

ART

We all have in our own ways to survive. That's why we're all still free. Free of the evil that consumed the others.  Free of the swarm.

We've spent so much time hiding in churches and gathering supplies... Always running... With the those creatures always finding us... Never being able to settle in one place for long... 


We just wanted to be in one place long enough to feel normal again... Alone in our own little world... Turn the nightmare in to a dream, find some calm in the storm, a moment of peace... even for a short time... But everywhere we went went, it was always the same.  They would find us.


This is the first time something different has happened.  This is new.  We've never found so many others like us... and never had so many of them after us.


It's time to take a stand ... If it's the end, may it be the end of evil... The end of those creatures ... And the beginning of a new life for us all.



END OF MONOLOGUE

*****

Read the entire play of "Holy Ground" at http://www.freedrama.net/holygrnd.html


Find more monologues at http://www.freedrama.net/small1.html


Find more dramatic monologues at http://www.freedrama.net/small1d.html


Find more male monologues at http://www.freedrama.net/small1m.html


"Free of the Evil" dramatic male solo stage script - Art's monologue from play Holy Ground

Tuesday, October 14, 2014

Great ideas for using improv drama games in the classroom (activities from a teacher for English, novels, literature, books)

One of my Drama Games students at Heritage Online (hol.edu) has some excellent ways to use improv theatre games in the classroom.  Thanks Madeleine!

1. CIRCLE CRESCENDO
Players stand in a circle. The first person whispers “one, the second whispers “two” a little louder and so on around the circle growing progressively louder.

I like this because I have used a similar technique in trying to get students to use “inside voices” in working in small groups in my class. I have one student begin reciting the Pledge of Allegiance repeatedly in normal voice. A second person joins him and so on around the room with each person continuing to recite in a normal voice. By the time the last student begins “the pledge” the room is at a dull roar! It makes a pretty convincing argument for monitoring our voices.

I will also use this game in my Leadership class to encourage quieter students to speak up loudly enough for the entire class to hear when they are doing a presentation or teaching a lesson.

2. COOPERATIVE BALL TOSS
Players stand in a circle. The teacher begins by making eye contact with a student and then tossing the ball to him. That player makes eye contact with another student and tosses the ball to her and so on until a pattern is established. Once everyone has received the ball in the circle, more balls are introduced. Sort of a group juggle!

I like this activity and have used a similar model in learning names at the beginning of the school year. It’s a great way to get students to work together. Each player introduces him or herself around the circle first. Then, instead of merely making eye contact and throwing the ball, a student must call out that student’s name before tossing it. That student calls out the name of another student and tosses it, etc., and the pattern is established. I also usually throw around stuffed animals and something like a rubber chicken rather than mere balls . Lots of laughs!

I have taught this activity to the students in my Leadership class (mentors) to use when they complete a lesson early and have extra time to spend with their mentees. They can use this as simply a fun activity, but it also helps them continue to try to learn everyone’s name in the clas.

3. LIVING CLAY
The class is divided into groups of five or six. One person is the sculpture who works with the bodies in his group to form a sculpture such as a sunken ship, table and chairs, etc. At the end, it might be possible to include all groups to create a final scene.

I like this because I can use it in an ESL class to teach vocabulary using TPR (Total Physical Response). I also often have small groups of students create “tableaus” from the short stories that we read such as Rikki Tikki Tavi The living clay/sculpture would be a variation of this tableau idea. Kids love it!I am using this “living clay”/tableau idea in my Creative Thinkers class as we study A 

Midsummer Night’s Dream. Sometimes the students don’t entirely understand what they have read, but once they create the tableau, the scene makes sense!

4. IT’S A WHAT???
The class sits in a circle. The GIVER starts off by handing an object (a pen) to the person sitting on his right (THE RECEIVER) and says “This is a pen.” The RECEIVER says, “It’s a WHAT?” GIVER: “A pen.” RECEIVER takes the pen and says, “Oh, it’s a pen.” She turns to the person on her right and they repeat the same conversation ending with “It’s a WHAT?” Then, the new GIVER turns to the original GIVER and says, “It’s a WHAT?” The GIVER says, “It’s a pen.” This continues back down to the new RECEIVER who then becomes the GIVER by handing the pen to the person on his left.

This exercise sounds confusing but it is very fun. I like it and use it often in my classes as an icebreaker because it helps us focus on whole group cooperation. Instead of saying, “It’s a pen” and then handing a pen to someone, I choose something completely different -- perhaps a stuffed animal -- and then I call it A SHOE. This makes the activity even more fun because the students really mean it when they ask, “It’s a WHAT???”

I just taught It’s a What?? to my Leadership students. They will use it as a fun activity after they complete teaching the week’s lesson to their mentees. As it starts to get colder and they are unable to go outside, this will be an entertaining activity to use inside the classroom.

5. THE MINISTER’S CAT
The group sits in a circle. One person begins by describing the minister’s cat with the letter A. The next person must use the next consecutive letter B to describe the minister’s cat. For example, “The minister’s cat is a BASHFUL cat”, and so on.

I like this game because I think it could be easily adapted in my language arts class to review parts of speech and literary elements. (The minister’s cat sits in a spooky spot, etc.)

I will use this game specifically to teach adverbs: The minister’s cat meows awkwardly, the minister’s cat sleeps blissfully, etc.

6. DID YOU HEAR?
The players are divided into groups of 3. One member counts out loud by fours which the other two try to distract him by whispering fairy tales or nursery rhymes in his ear. After the counter reaches 100, he tries to recount what was being said to him.

I like this game because I think I could adapt it for my ELA classes and have the two disrupt the counter by whispering parts of the plot of the novel we are reading.

This is another great activity for my Leadership kids to use when they finish working with their mentors.

7. ONE, TWO, THREE, FOUR
The game repeats four basic movements: touch head with both hands, touch shoulders with both hands, touch hips with both hands, slap right foot with right hand. This is done in silence. To make things more interesting the tempo can be increased or variations may be introduced.

I like this because I think it would be a great warm-up exercise for my Leadership kids. It is an activity that they could easily use with the small groups that they mentor.

This is also a fun activity to do midday when kids are tired after lunch or at the end of the day to reinvigorate them. It really wakes them up!

8. SNAP CLAP
Players sit in a circle a rhythmic pattern is established like SNAP CLAP, then a category is chosen. The leader says the name of an item that fits into the category, the player next to her goes next ands says something else that fits into the category on the next snap. This continues all the way around the circle with an item contributed on each snap.

I like this because I think middle schoolers enjoy rhythmic games like they used to do in elementary school. We don’t have enough fun games in middle school! I could use it in my ELA class as a fun way to practice parts of speech.

I used snap-clap as the kids introduced themselves to each other so that we could learn their names. It was great fun!

9. ALIEN, TIGER, COW
Everyone sits in a big circle. Before the game, students learn about three creatures and the gesture and sound effects that go with each: alien, cow, tiger. At the signal, each player chooses one of the three creatures to portray. The idea is for everyone to be in sync and become the same creature without using any form of communication.

I like this because middle schoolers like to act goofy. It would get them up and moving. I could use it with modifications in my ELA classes to teach characterization.

I will use this activity when my 7th grade classes read Rikki Tikki Tavi. It is a great way to learn and characterize the many animal characters in the story.

10. A STORY TO TELL
Students get in a circle. The leader whispers the name of a person, place or thing to each player. At a signal, one play begins telling an original story and, within 10 seconds must mention the thing that was assigned to him. After ten seconds (set a timer) the player next to him continues to tell the story making sure to mention the thing that was assigned to her, etc.

I like this particularly because the 10 seconds will keep things moving. I think it would be a great way to review the plot of a story or brainstorm a new story for my ELA classes.
I am teaching my students about archetypes in literature This will be an outstanding way for students to talk about archetypes in the context of story.

11. CHARACTER WALKS
Players stand in a circle, then begin walking in one direction together in the circle. The leader calls out a command such as, “Walk as though you just found the winning lottery ticket!” The players all change the way they walk.

I like this because it gives everyone the chance to act a little silly, but even the shy kids will feel comfortable since they are acting as a whole group.
I will use this in my ELA classes to teach adverbs.

12. FREE ASSOCIATION
Players stand or sit in a circle. One person begins by calling out a word such as “snow”.

I like this because it encourages free association and creative thinking. I would use it in my Creative Thinkers Class.

This is a good activity to use in my Leadership class when talking about bullying and verbal put downs. Someone might call out a word like “stupid” and others could free-associate with it. The important part of this lesson will be the reflection questions afterwards. (Why did you immediately think of that word? How do you think it makes someone feel to be called stupid, etc. What could you say instead of “stupid” without being hurtful?)

13. THE STORY
Students sit in a circle. The teacher or leader hands each person a card with a word written on it. One student begins the story, each student has about ten second to think of another addition to the story until everyone has had a turn.

Like the A Story to Tell activity, I like this because there is a time limit on the thought process, so the group doesn’t have too much down time. I could use this in my ELA class when we are working on narrative writing. We can create narratives together through this game.

I will use this in my ELA classes. I will give students cards with literary elements on them and, in turn, they can create a story based on those elements. This is a great formative assessment for me. I can easily find the students who do not know or understand the literary element (internal conflict, climax, etc.) to which they are assigned.

14. STORY ORCHESTRA
The students face the teacher who pretends to be a conductor. As the teacher points the baton at a student, he or she begins a story. The “conductor” interrupts the story at any point and choose a new player to continue with the story.

I like this because the teacher gets to choose any child at random and everyone has to be on his or her toes. I think this would be a great way to review the plot of a story for students who were absent the previous day. It also serves as a great review when reading a class novel.

I will definitely use a variation of this in my ELA classes as a formative assessment. In addition, it is a great idea for reviewing parts of a novel.

15. WORD BALL
Students stand in a circle. The first student makes eye contact with another student across the circle and, while throwing the ball or small stuffed animal, the throwing student says a word such as “pirate”. The “catching” student makes eye contact with another student and says a word related to the previous word while throwing the ball to that student, etc.

I like this because it requires each student to make eye contact with another. It also allows for a lot of modifications. I think it would be a great way to review vocabulary in my ELA classes. It might also be a good way to practice Greek and Latin prefixes and suffixes. Perhaps the thrower says a prefix such as “anti” and the catcher must give the definition. In turn, he must think of another prefix or suffix and throw to another student who must define it, etc.

I will use a variation of this game for vocabulary review. One student throws the animal to another who must reply with a related word for a synonym of that vocabulary word.

16. KNOCKING
Players sit at their desks with their eyes closed. The teacher walks around the room and knows three times on any object in the room. After the teacher walks away, the students open their eyes and try to guess on which object she knocked. If no one guesses, the students close their eyes and the teacher repeats the activity.

I like this because it requires students to use another sense other than sight and it also requires them to be silent and still. I could use this activity in my Leadership class when we talk about listening skills.

I intend to teach this activity to my Leadership students to use as a fun classroom activity with their mentees.

17. BOB FROM BOSTON
Students stand in a circle. The first student says his first name and names a city that starts with the same first letter i.e, Hi, I’m Bob from Boston. The next student repeats “Bob’s” name and adds her name and a city to it. This continues around the entire circle.

I like this because it requires students to think of a city or country to attached to his or her name. This is a great mnemonic device! I will use this the first few days of school so that we can build community and become acquainted with each other.

I actually used Bob from Boston very successfully in my classroom to learn names. The kids had fun coming up with the names of foreign countries as well as cities, so we had a mini-geography lesson, as well.

18 THAT’S ME.
Students sit at their desks. The teacher calls out something from the list. Any student who relates to it can stand up and say, “That’s Me!”

This is a great activity to get to know each other at the beginning of the year. I will also use it in my ELA classes when studying about specific characters in a story. When I call out something that relates to a character, I will ask the students to call out “That’s Him!” or the name of the specific character.

19. ADVERB VERSATILITY
Students sit in a circle. The teacher passes around a bag of adverb cards. Each student chooses a card and then is given a sentence to say such as. “Today is Monday.” Each student must try to pitch his voice, use facial expressions or body language to convey the specific adverb he is trying to relate. After the other students guess the adverb, the next student is given a different sentence and the activity continues.

I like this game because it requires students to use a different way to communicate meaning. I might use this activity in my Leadership class when we discuss verbal and nonverbal communication. 

I plan to use this as we read A Midsummer Night’s Dream. It will be a great way for students to get accustomed to a little Elizabethan English. I will put a line from the play on each card.

20.
SHAKESPEAREAN INSULTS
Students are divided into small groups. Each group chooses an insult from a basket and is given 5 minutes to memorize and rehearse the insult. The groups take turn “hurling” the insults at the audience.

I like this because it is a great way to introduce Shakespeare as a “playwright and man of the people” and to help students become a little acquainted with Elizabethan English. I use a similar activity to introduce my class to Shakespeare.


I plan to use a variation of this while using a Shakespeare “insult generator”. (Three lists of common Elizabethan words used by Shakespeare. A and B are adjectives, C is a noun.) Students can choose one word from each of the three lists to create their own, original Shakespearean insults.

Great ideas for using improv drama games in the classroom activities from a teacher for English, novels, literature, books