MORE Time for ACTion
by Kathryn Doncaster, UK Territory with the Republic of Ireland
Here is another warm-up exercise, some imagination and creativity exercises and a warm-down exercise to try with your drama group:
- Ask everyone to think about how they feel.
- The theme of drama is ‘Don’t just tell me, show me’, so think of an action that shows how you feel – remember to use as much of your body as possible. For example, if you are tired you can stand with the arms hung low, bending the trunk of the body over with the knees bent and head bowed.
- Give the children a few minutes to think of an emotion and an action. As they do, check that the children are using as much of their body as they can and that the action matches the emotion.
- Go round the circle and have each person say his/her name at the same time as performing the emotion. Everyone will copy this (action and name) in a unison response.
Imagination and creativity exercises
- Everyone walks round the room normally.
- Announce a body part. Each child should imagine a piece of string is attached to one of his/her body parts and let the body part be led by the string around the room (eyelashes, knees, elbow or belly button).
- Divide everyone into groups of five or six children.
- Ask everyone to find one thing they have in common.
- Give five minutes to work out a way of showing what they have in common.
- Bring everyone together again and allow each group to perform. Have the other groups try to guess what the group has in common.
Creating a Tableau
- Keep one large group or divide into smaller groups of five or six.
- Give each group a scene they have to create (school, picnic, park or circus).
- Allow each group a chance to decide how they will create the scene in a ‘still’ picture.
- Split the hall into a performance area and an audience area. Choose the order in which the groups will show their ‘still’ picture. Ask everyone to close their eyes as the groups get ready. When the groups are frozen in position ask everyone to open their eyes.
- Let the audience try to guess the scene.
Creating a picture of emotion
- Keep a large group or divide into smaller groups.
- Assign each group an emotion starting with some easier ones, such as happiness or anger.
- Ask them to stand with their eyes closed and imagine a time where they might have felt this emotion or ask them to imagine what it might be like to feel this. Where are they? What are they doing? Who are they with? What do they see, hear, smell, taste? What does their body do? What do their faces do?
- Ask them to use their bodies and faces to create a picture of what this might look like.
- If you have the equipment, you could take a picture of this on a digital camera and put it onto a screen so they may see what they look like.
- Encourage each child to critique their action – finding something good and something to be improved.
- Use the warm-up exercise ‘Introduce yourself now’ again for a warm-down. Ask the children to come up with a different emotion than the one used in the warm-up.