We are truthful and helpful and loving in trust
For our heart's inner sun glows brightly in us
We will open our hearts to the sunbeams so bright
And we'll fill all the world with our heart's inner light
Theatre Games from Drama Notebook
- This is a great bonding activity, both for new classes and for students who already know one another.
One at a time, players say two things that are true about themselves and one thing that is a lie-in any order. The goal is to trick the other players into believing the lie or thinking that the truth is a lie.
Begin by going first and stating two brief truths and one lie–keeping to about one sentence each. Point out directly that their statements should be about the same length. Modeling brevity will help prevent students from telling lengthy elaborate tales. –If a student can’t help himself and goes into a long story, simply ‘pause’ him and ask him to try make his statement in one sentence.
Go around the circle one person at a time. After each person’s turn, the group then guesses which one is the lie by a show of hands.
If students succeed in fooling the whole group, they receive a round of ‘Woop..woop…holla!’ (Do it just like it sounds.) Or if you are in a quiet space, students may silently applaud with ‘twinkle hands.’ (Students hold hands up and wiggle their fingers.)
- Players in a circle. Toss a bean bag or easy-to-catch ball back and forth around the circle. Let players know that it is the thrower’s responsibility to allow the catcher to catch it! Once a rhythm is established, introduce a “clap” every time the ball is in the air. All other players must clap in unison while the ball is in the air. Play until there is a nice rhythm and flow! For more advanced drama groups, introduce another ball into play.
- In a circle, introduce an object such as a pool noodle. Declare that it can be many things. An ‘elephant’s trunk’ for example.
Pass the object around the circle with each player turning it into something new (no repeats) and saying one line of dialogue such as “My elephant trunk is feeling stuffy today.”
Give reluctant participants two options. They may say “Pass,” if they do not think they can come up with anything, or “Come back to me,” if they think they will have an idea later. If you find that players are nervous, play a few rounds with the same object until all actors have gone at least once. This is a great little drama teaching trick designed to bring out the more reserved members of your group and this game offers a perfect way to do it.
In addition to secretly encouraging reluctant students, playing several rounds with one object allows students to realize just how endless creativity can be. Just when they think they will run out of ideas, more ideas, and more outrageous ideas begin to flow.
Normal class rules apply: something that isn’t gross or violent, for example. Repeat with other objects.
- Have all players sit in a circle with their eyes closed. Choose one person to be the Murderer by tapping him lightly on the head as you go around the circle.
Next, announce that the space has been transformed into a ballroom and everyone is at a big party. Tell everyone that there is a killer in their midst!
Tell players that they should mingle and make small-talk, but if the killer winks at them, they are to die. However, they must wait ten seconds before dying a very dramatic death.
If someone thinks they know who the murderer is, they may raise their hand and make a guess. If they are wrong, they are out of the game. If they are right, they get to choose the next murderer and the theme of the party!
Variation: instead of winking, the murderer can shake hands with a person and tickle the inside of their palm. In this version of the game, all of the party guests move about shaking hands with each other.
Music Box - a theatre game my daughter taught me - variation of Machines
- This is a classic theatre game. Tell everyone that they are going to be building a ‘machine,’ and announce what kind of machine it is, such as a ‘bubble gum making machine.’ One player enters the playing area and creates a simple sound and motion that starts to build the machine.
As soon as another player has an idea of how to add to the machine, he/she joins the first person, forming a connection and relation to the first sound/movement. Players must physically connect with some part of the machine, but they needn’t be in order. Coach kids that they can join anytime, as long as it’s one player at a time. If two people rush in, gently remind them that it is one at a time, and to sense when it’s their turn.
In the Music Box variation, you build a music box each time. The first person stands up and starts off with a slow clap. As people add to the music box, they add other noises of their choosing. Each person must listen to the rhythm of the clap. As the clap speeds up, the sound each person is adding to the music must speed up as well; as the clap slows down, the sound each person is adding must slow down accordingly.
Whole Group - Morning
"The North Wind and the Sun"
we used the version from Borrowed Feathers and Other Fables
acting out story in groups of three children (one traveler with a cloak, the north wind, the sun) - dyeing play silks - giving each child a plain white hemmed 100% silk piece from Dharma Trading Company and letting them each choose a color of iDye for natural fibers - dyeing the silks one at a time in my dye pot on the stove with 1/2 of the powder - saving the extra powder in baby food jars and labeling the jar lids - rinsing the silks in my art sink and hanging them on the clothesline in the backyard to dry in the sun
Older Group - Morning
"The Bear and the Bees"
the (longer) version from Teaching with the Fables: A Holistic Approach
lesson on needle felting vs. wet felting -
needle felting a bear and a swarm of bees - attaching them to a branch to make a mobile - using bear patterns in Little Felted Animals and/or
Wild and Tame Needlefelt Animals - using tissue paper and the bee wing pattern in The Nature Corner: Celebrating the Year's Cycle with Seasonal Tableaux
Read Aloud Story
chapter two of The Fox that Wanted Nine Golden Tails by Mary Knight
Whole Group - Afternoon
"The Fox and the Grapes"
we used the version from Aesop's Fables by Ann McGovern
acting out the story by jumping for the Spiel und Holz Rainbow Grasper Toy - using the wolf pattern in Suzanne Down's Around the World with Finger Puppet Animals to sew fox finger puppets out of pure wool felt from the Magic Cabin 56 piece color set - tracing the pattern on tracing paper and pinning it to the felt - cutting it out with my sharp Cutter Bees - acting out the fable as a lap puppetry with silks to cover our laps and make the set
lunch, snacks, outdoor play, indoor play with the dog and the rabbit (not together) and the sensory bins and Labyrinth, weaving on the tapestry loom
This post contains affiliate links to the materials I actually use for homeschooling. I hope you find them helpful. Thank you for your support!