Drama Activities for All Ages

 

 

 

 

 

Sign Language Activity

In a circle, create a movement to your name, just like in sign language.  You might want to introduce a few real signs to do before doing this.  Go around the group and have each student present his/her name in “sign language.”  The rest of the group will copy.  Go around the group to test the group’s memory.

Cultural Mapping

You give a grouping and have groups discuss the topic of the grouping.  For example, form groups according to being the youngest, in the middle, or the oldest in their family.  Have them discuss for 5 minutes and give a short summary to the rest of the groups on what they realized or learned.  Other examples for groupings are culture, religion, marriage status, interests, sports,

Change Something About Yourself

With a partner, change 5-10 things about yourself, without your partner looking.  See if he/she can name all of them.  Take turns.  (ring on another finger or in your pocket, pant leg up, etc…)

Blind Partner

Lead partner around the room/giving directions  Builds trust and empathy.

Pantomiming To Music

With a group or partner, pantomime to music.  Keep your eyes on each other and use peripheral vision.

Dominoes

In a circle, one person leads the rest of the circle with a motion.  The rest of the circle follows like a wave.  Example:  First person claps and the person on right or left continues pattern and so on and so on.

Who started the motion?

Group is in a circle.  One person leaves-someone is the leader in the circle and starts a motion.  The rest of the group copies this motion.  It is important to look ahead at a person directly straight across from you in the circle.  Don’t move your head.  The leader continues to change the motion and the rest continue to follow or copy.  The person who left is brought back in and tries to guess who started the motion.

Group Walk/hand on Shoulders in front of you

One person finds a rhythm and the others in line behind the leader copies.

Blinded 

Do something, usually routine or natural, with your eyes closed.  For example, get ready for bed with your eyes closed.

Bouncing Warm-ups

Music:  When I Woke, by Rusted Root . Bounce with the group, pairs, and groups of four

Create a Theme Dance

Choose a theme and create a dance…examples include musical instruments, jobs, school subjects. Food, Adolescence…Create a dance, create a song, a commercial, a poem, and sign language.  Do some of the play/dance in slow motion to music.  

Pantomime Magic Box/Toy Shop

Students go into a toyshop and find a magic box. This box can contain anything a person decides to pull out.  Pantomime the shape and see if others can guess.  Pass “the box” around the room.

Create Story Theatre

Create a play with bodies only for props…Mother Goose Rhymes work well with this.  Create caves, mountains, trees losing leaves, bridges, windows, doors, machines, etc… without talking.  You can later add sounds.

Magical Object

Pass an object around and make it into something else.  Example:  a rain stick could be made into a walking cane or a guitar!  Change a chair into something else.

Adjectives

Write an adjective and move that way. 

Gestures

Pass a gesture around making it bigger and bigger 

Partner Play

Argue with a partner over something/anything.  Or… try to sell something to your partner.  Examples:  You are the parent or teenager.  The teenager wants the car for the evening.  Or you are a salesman selling magazines to a person.  Take turns playing each role. 

Popcorn

Students start as a kernel, get hot, and pop like popcorn

Marionette

With a partner, the partner leads the other person like a puppet with string.

Human Sculpture:

Sculpt partner in position and name it.

Candle

Pretend you a candle that is burning down slowly

Radar Walk

Stretch and freeze at the sound of a drum or another instrument…

Pantomime Spelling

Put words in box and have students pick word and try to get others to guess the letter of the word by pantomiming that thing (like charades).  For example, to get students to guess the letter “D,” one might act like a dog.

People on the Bus/Elevator:

Emotions/Personalities of the people on the bus, including the bus driver, change when a person with a specific emotion gets on…someone who is sad gets on the bus, the rest of the crew gets sad and starts to cry or look sad.

 

Freeze Frame Fairy Tales

4-6 frames tell the fairy tale.  All bodies participate whether being a prop or character.  Know the sequence, rehearse, and know your positions when transitioning to the next frame.

Listen/Identify  Sounds

This is a great activity to do after recess.  Teacher does a repetition of 5-6 sounds. Have students remember them in sequence.  Try it backwards.  Examples include, clinking of coins, dropping a book, coughing, etc…

Gestures for Representing Numbers

Small group creates gestures for 0-9.  The group performs their 0-9 in sequence in front of the class...play to music and it creates a dance to music.  The gestures do not need to reflect the number necessarily.  Be creative.  Try doing this next to their phone numbers at the same time.  It is a great creative dance to be seen!  They can do this also to their timetables, factors, or multiples!

Sound Stories

Choose a story and add sounds in appropriate places

Hot Seat

One person takes the hot seat and the others can ask 20 appropriate questions.  This is a good way to get to know your teacher or other peers.  OR…the student or person is a character out of a story, a famous inventor, a president, etc…  You can eventually set this up like a wax museum.  When the person is touched or a button is pushed, the wax person gives interesting biographical information.

Dramatizing Stories

Read A Piece of Straw or any book this will work well with. Then have students get a part and reenact the story as the teacher reads the story again.

Circle Stories

Class sits in a circle and each person gives a little part to a story.

Slap/Clap Stories

Hands hit lap, clap once, and then snap fingers twice.  You can tell the story, any story, and it gives it a nice rhythm.  Make up your own like in the circle story described above.

Pass Object Around the Circle

Pass an object around the circle.  For example, a fragile bird, hot food, a block of ice, sticky taffy, a lit match, etc…

Costumes from Newspapers

Using newspapers, find ways to create costumes to fairy tales, mother goose rhymes, fables, etc…

These activities were adapted from Kathleen Collins.

 

 

 

 

   

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Making an effort to increase student learning by integrating  drama will help children gain meaningful context throughout their lives.