DRAMA FROM PICTURE BOOKS:  A collection of ideas for using a picture book to start a Drama activity.  Listed first here because the ideas vary widely as to appropriate age level.

 

HAND ANIMALS:  A first character game.  For first-time drama students.

 

NURSERY RHYME CHARADES:  A pantomime guessing game about nursery rhymes.  For Pre-Kindergarten and up.

 

A TREE GROWS:  A narrative pantomime about an apple tree growing from a seed.  For Elementary and younger.

 

PAINTING THE BOX:  A narrative pantomime about personal space and visualizing colors.

 

PAINTING THE MUSIC:  A narrative pantomime about emotion and drama in music and paint.

 

RAINFOREST LESSONS: A small collection of lessons and lesson variations about the rainforest. For Pre-Kindergarten and up.

 

NO, YOU CAN'T TAKE ME!:  A fun game that requires critical thinking skills.  For Elementary students.

 

THE LION KING'S COURT:  A role-playing game about friendship and animals.  (Nothing to do with the Disney film.)  For Elementary students.

 

SEASONS AND WEATHER:  An activity that teaches younger children about seasons and weather or that can be used with older students as an improvisation game.  For Elementary and older.

 

COMING TOGETHER:  A narrative pantomime about space and visualizing space, and about community and friendships.  For Elementary and older.

 

THANKSGIVING FEAST:  A narrative pantomime about using our senses and the First Thanksgiving.  For Kindergarten and up.

 

SAINT GEORGE AND THE DRAGON:  A pantomime project based on the famous story.  Teaches analytical thinking skills and body awareness.  For Kindergarten and up.

 

RHYME CHARADES:  A game of rhymes and pantomime.  For Kindergarten and up.

 

AROUND THE WORLD IN THIRTY MINUTES: An imaginary journey that teaches geography and cultures.  For Elementary students.

 

BEN FRANKLIN'S INVENTIONS:  A physical creativity game.  For Elementary students.

 

SCULPTURE GALLERY:  A game of posing and creating, which allows students to see the creative process from the inside and the outside.  For Elementary and older.

 

MIRROR MIRROR:  A collection of mirroring exercises.  For all ages.

 

PUPPETS IN THE DRAMA CLASSROOM:  A collection of puppet-making and puppetry projects.

 

GUIDED IMAGERY:  Sensory awareness, imagination, story-making and concentration all are enhanced by this meditation-like activity.  For around 3d grade to adult.

 

EMOTION WALK:  A big lesson about movement, body language, and the ability to consciously control our movements and the impressions we make with them.  For older Elementary through adult.

 

THREE LESSONS ABOUT ENERGY:  Three lessons designed around a third-grade science unit on energy and the three states of matter.  For Elementary students.

 

THE JEFFREY GAME: A movement game of building on one another's ideas.  For older Elementary through adult.

 

MUSICAL FREEZE IMPROVS:  An improvisation game of creative movement.  For all students.

 

GROUP STORY PROJECT:  A big project.  Guides a class to cooperatively write their own original story.  Can be used to generate a story for the Group Playwriting Project.  For Elementary students.

 

GROUP PLAYWRITING PROJECT:  Another big project.  Guides a class to cooperatively write their own play from an existing story.  For older Elementary students.

 

NEWS PLAYS:  Supports Social Studies, History, or Current Events curricula.  Involves improvisation, group planning, and performance.  For older Elementary students.

 

OREGON TRAIL PROPAGANDA:  Supports a Social Studies unit about the Oregon Trail.  Examines the nature of propaganda, as well as the nature of advertising in today's world.  For older Elementary students.

 

SOCIAL ROLES:  A pantomime guessing game that teaches the idea of social roles within any society, and supports a Social Studies curriculum in world cultures.  For older Elementary students.

 

GIBBERISH SENTENCES:  A pantomime game that explores ways to communicate without words.  Can be used as a primer to more elaborate Theatre Games, or to support a Social Studies curriculum about immigrants.  For older Elementary and up.

 

THE DISCOVERY OF FIRE:  An improvised scene about early humans.  For older Elementary and up.

 

RITUALS: Students create their own magical rituals while exploring the importance of ritual to early (and modern) cultures.  For older Elementary and up.

 

PAPER MASKS: A lesson using masks to teach body language.  Can be related to a Social Studies unit on Greek Theatre.  For older Elementary and up.

 

EDWENA'S GAMES: A collection of concentration, warm-up and improvisation games from a friend.

 

THREE WORDS:  A pantomime and improvisation exercise.  For older Theatre students.

 

MAKE YOUR OWN GREEK PLAY:  An exercise designed to teach concepts about Classical Greek drama in a hands-on way.  For older Middle School and up.

 

STORY STORY:  A fun improvisation, storytelling and pantomime game.  For Middle School and up.

 

I AM WALKING:  A game of cooperation and communication.  For Middle School and up.

 

JOB INTERVIEW: A wacky concentration game that makes you think on your feet.  For older Theatre students.

 

CIRCLE OF CHARACTERS: A complex and challenging game of characters and observation.  For older Theatre students.

 

HANGMAN CHARADES:   Just for fun.  For Middle School and up.

 

CONCEPT CHARADES:   A challenging game of improvisation and creativity .  For Advanced Middle School and up.

 

WHAT WOULD YOU DO?:   An exercise for helping young actors more fully inhabit their characters.  For Middle School and up.

 

SLOW MOTION WALK:  A writing exercise, really.  Great for getting over writer's block.  For Middle School and up.

 

IMPROVS AND WARMUPS:  A collection of warmup exercises and improvisation games collected from various places.  For older Theatre students.

Lesson Plans

Sorted by Age Level

 

Most of these lesson plans work with a large age range (with appropriate adjustments in level of sophistication), but I've listed them here in approximate order, from youngest to oldest.  These lessons are presented with fairly specific instructions, for the most part, but should not be understood as carved-in-stone methods.  Every teacher will have her or his individual slant on these activities.