Improvisation

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Objective

SWBAT work collaboratively in a group to quickly organize their ideas about an assigned scenario and present it in a logical and creative manner.

Big Idea

How can I get my ideas together quickly to present?

Hints

5 minutes

I explained that improvisation is creating and performing an incident spontaneously without much preparation; it could be related to music, drama, poetry.  Students were going to be preparing and performing a scenario with a small group.

We then spoke about some hints to performing:

  1.  Be in character/don’t be shy  
  2.  Use actions that define a character, i.e. a teacher erasing the board
  3.  Get to the interesting part as soon as possible
  4.  When entering/exiting, have a reason for doing so.  Don’t just say “hi”/”bye”, say, “Hi, I’m  here to…”, or “See you, I’m going to…”.   This gives the audience purpose for your  movement.
  5.  Stay in character – don’t start laughing.
  6.  Use  your time to practice.

Students then glued a reference sheet in their notebook, “Performance Skills.”

Scenarios

35 minutes

Students were assigned a scenario to re-enact in a  small group.  I gave them 15 minutes to get their ideas together and to practice their improvisation.

 Some scenario suggestions included:

  • A check-up at the dentist
  • Boarding/riding a school bus
  • Taking your pet to the vets
  • Having your photo taken
  • Getting a parent signature for a poor grade
  • Making cookies/cake for a party
  • Finding a place to sit in the cafeteria on the first day of school
  • Ordering a meal at McDonald’s

 After presenting, the audience gave feedback about presentation techniques used and suggestions about how the group could improve.

Closure

10 minutes

In a few days, students will begin preparing their monologues.  Students wrote a self-reflection about their contribution to the improvisation.  They identified techniques that they did well, and areas that need improvement and definitely want to focus upon when they present their monologues.

They responded to these questions:

1.  Based upon your group's performance, what do you need to be aware of in preparation of your monologue?

2.  What elements of performance did you use effectively?

3.  What elements of performance did you not use effectively?

4.  What would you do differently to make the scenario more effective if you performed it again?