Participants use improvisation to act out new stories and practice thinking on the spot while storytelling.
- No materials are need for this activity, though props could be useful.
Begin talking about situations. Ask the group to name a few situations (ie. getting a puppy, going to the dentist, writing a test). Tell them that every day we find ourselves in new situations and today we are going to practice being in new situations.
- Have the participants sit on the floor as the audience with one child on a chair in front of the other participants as an actor. Instruct the one child to pretend they are sitting on a bench in the park enjoying a nice summer day.
- Have another child enter the scenario and interact with the child on the park bench. Now the two of them are in the park and they will begin acting out a scenario appropriate to the park environment.
- After a few moments, call “freeze” and the two participants in the park will stop talking and freeze in position. Enter the scene and replace one of the two participants in the park, taking on their frozen position and sending the replaced child to join the audience on the floor.
- Resume the scene by initiating dialogue, but changing the theme of the scene (something other than two people talking in the park, ie. Doctor’s office). Whatever the new scene is, once it resumes, the other child must follow along.
- Continue the scene until someone else in the audience calls “freeze”, replaces one of the two actors, and changes the scene. Keep playing for as long as you see fit.
- aIf the participants are struggling with inventing new scenarios, suggest one or write down a few ahead of time and pull them out of a hat.
- Try replacing both participants or adding participants to the scenarios instead of replacing them.
- Each time you do this activity, start with a scenario other than a park bench, like a bus stop, the principal’s office, or the dinner table.
- If your group is comfortable participating in this activity, allow the participants to decide when to call “freeze” when they want to volunteer to start a new scenario.
- Try sending in participants into the scene with a unique trait (ie. really sleepy, quiet, fast-speaking, etc.).
- If there are particularly introverted participants, encourage their participation by allowing them to not speak and act and instead personify inanimate objects (statue, tree, floor lamp, etc.)
- Encourage positivity as the participants get up in front of their peers to act.
Compliment the participants on being brave enough to get up and act in front of their peers and let them know that they did a great job. For those that didn’t, let them know that it’s okay and that now that they’ve seen how to participate, hopefully next time they’ll give it a try. Close with a few, quick reflection questions:
- How did it feel to be a part of the scenarios? Dis some of you shy away or enjoy it?
- How did it feel to watch the scenarios? Did some people go up more than others? Why?
- Was it easy to think of a new scenario? Why or why not?
- Was it easy to adapt to a new scenario?
- Why is it important to be able to adapt to new situations?