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IMPROV EXERCISES FOR THE CLASSROOM
~ Creative Collaboration ~

CONDUCTED STORY

Need: They can play from their desks but it's a great opportunity to foster confidence if they get up to the front of the class to play (whole class or smaller groups/pairs)

Time: 5-30 minutes (depends if you do this whole class or in groups)

Play:  You point to one of them at a time (conduct) and when you're pointing at someone, it's their turn to carry forward the story, they must make connections to what's already happened.   Since they don't know when it's going to be their turn they practice listening to everyone, and instead of planning, they learn to trust and listen (so this is collaborative and not controlled).  Once they become more familiar with the exercise you can add more challenges like they have to finish each others' sentences or words, etc.  

Tie In:  Reinforces listening skills, collaborative abilities, and their understanding of what is needed in a story.  This helps them to feel confident and supported when they connect with one another and work with each others' ideas as shared ideas.  A great way to approach the unknown is to connect and collaborate with supportive peers, and to remind each other that they're in this together.  

BUILD A CHARACTER

Need: nothing - you can do this as a whole class or organize them into teams, seated together

Time: could be a warm-up exercise to generate ideas or a full lesson

Play:  Invite one of them (at a time) to volunteer - this is the character canvas.  Then they take turns endowing this character (it helps if you direct them with structure, for example, "let's give them an emotion" and "let's give them a want", etc).  Try for 3-4 traits and then invite the volunteer to recite a line of dialogue/statement from this character.  It is super important to emphasize peer support - however the volunteer applies the traits, they all cheer! Then as a whole class or in groups, they can have fun putting this character into different settings and situations and exploring how they would react (this can be a written or oral/performance exercise).  A new round would allow for a new volunteer.

Tie In:  This reminds them that they are working together, cooperating in order to create and discover.  It can take the pressure off of students when they share in the same creative process.  They are learning to jump in and support each other when needed, and to trust that it's OK if they don't have all the answers all at once - they are encouraged to discover together and to lean on/help each other in the process.  

MORE Improv Exercises for the Classroom

 

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