Animating Your Lessons with Some Drama: 20+ Resources

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Every Friday I am presenting free webinars thanks to American TESOL! We have an incredible time. Recently, we shared ideas for integrating drama in the classroom. Teachers do not have to be skilled in acting. Instead, the webinar was away to introduce teachers to different games that get students to tap into their creative juices and get them moving! As Ken Wilson said in a recent interview with me, “Animate your classes!”

Classroom activities that include drama skills include:

  • role plays
  • puppets
  • pretend games
  • mime
  • pantomine
  • total physical response
  • dance
  • music
  • dress-up
  • improvisation games
  • puppetry
  • storytelling
  • digital storytelling

Find more activities by watching this webinar, Using Drama in the Classroom!


Drama Activities & Resources

Check out these resources to help you animate your classes!

Improv Games: Videos

  • Game 1: Yes And (click to watch a video example)
  • Instructions:
    • Put students into pairs
    • One student begins with a sentence and the other student says “Yes and” then adds more information.
    • Use a timer to get students speaking for 1 minute or longer.
  • Game 2: Rumors (click to watch a video example)
  • Instructions:
    • Put students into pairs
    • Student A makes up a rumor to tell student B.
    • Student B adds to the rumor then both students giggle.
    • Student B then makes up the rumor and student A adds to the rumor.
    • Use a timer to get students speaking for 1 minute or longer.
  • Game 3: Pass the Prop (click to watch a video example)
  • Instructions:
    • You will need an everyday object such as an eraser, a chair, a broom, or other object. You can choose to bring in as many as you want. We will use a broom as an example.
    • Place students in a circle.
    • Place 2 students in the center of the circle with the broom.
    • Student A decides what to pretend the broom is either than a broom. For example, student A may decide the broom is a spaceship.
    • Student A then demonstrates the broom is a spaceship through acting and using dialogue until student B figures this out.
    • Student B determines the broom is a spaceship and plays along matching the dialogue.
    • When a student in the circle imagines the object is something else that student taps student A or B and replaces that student in the skit.
  • Game 4: Jibberish to English (click to watch a video example)
  • Instructions:
    • You will need a bell or whistle.
    • Put students into pairs
    • Have the pairs make up a scene or give them one. They are choosing a scene they can easily talk about so they may want something simple like going shopping, playing a sport, etc. Or you could have the scene match your lesson topic.
    • Student A begins by speaking about the topic. Student B rings the bell every 10 seconds or so. When student B rings the bell, student A must speak in Jibberish (a made up language).
    • Use a timer to get students speaking for 1 minute or longer.

Resources for Using Drama With Young Learners

More Drama Resources

Recommended Reading

Challenge:

Try one of these ways to animate your lessons!

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Shelly Terrell

Shelly Sanchez Terrell (@ShellTerrell) is an award winning digital innovator, an international speaker/consultant, and the author of Hacking Digital Learning with EdTech Missions, The 30 Goals Challenge for Teachers, and Learning to Go. She has trained teachers and taught English language learners in over 20 countries as an invited guest expert by organizations, like the US Embassy, UNESCO Bangkok, Cultura Inglesa of Brazil, the British Council in Tel Aviv, IATEFL Slovenia, HUPE Croatia, ISTEK Turkey, and Venezuela TESOL. She has been recognized by several organizations and publications as a leader in the movement of teacher driven professional development as the founder and organizer of various online conferences, Twitter chats, and Massive Open Online Courses (MOOCs). Two of the projects she co-organized were shortlisted for ELTons, #ELTChat and the Virtual Round Table Language and Technology online conference. She was named Woman of the Year by the National Association of Professional Women, awarded a Bammy Award as a founder of #Edchat, and named as one of the 10 Most Influential People in EdTech by Tech & Learning. Her greatest joy is being the mother of baby Savannah and Rosco the pug. Shelly has an Honors BA in English with a Minor in Communication and a specialization in Electronic Media from UTSA, a Masters in Curriculum Instruction ESL from the University of Phoenix, and a CELTA from CELT Athens. She regularly shares her tips for effective technology integration via Twitter (@ShellTerrell), Facebook.com/ShellyTerrell, and on her blog, TeacherRebootCamp.com, which has won several awards and recognitions as one of the top ESL, Edtech and Elearning blogs. Find over 400 of her slide presentations at https://www.slideshare.net/ShellTerrell/presentations

13 comments

  1. This is outstanding! Love that you are doing this and even more, love that I get to enjoy it after the fact. Thanks so much for posting it here with all the great resources!

  2. I think learning another language is sort of stepping outside yourself, at least in the sense that you’re moving out of your comfort zone and having to put yourself on display doing something you don’t feel confident doing. Drama fits really well with that. Instead of being the kid who is too shy to speak English, why not pretend to be the kid who is bursting with confidence and communicates his point regardless of the situation? It gives people a chance to break their own habits of language learning.

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