Drama Activities

Learning Level I: Foundations for Drama

Drama activities make up this foundational level to introduce a skill or concept needed to do dramatic work.  These are “pre-drama” activities.  There is no story involved.

Participants focus on developing skills needed to participate in drama.  You can read a more in-depth description of the level along with a chart showing the skills mastered, a planning checklist, and strategies for using this drama form.

Find original drama activities below that you can use to practice the 3 drama tools (body, mind, voice).  Use the search bar to find specific topics, skills or concepts.

Abstract Story Shape

Abstract Story Shape

Abstract Story Shape activity  This activity involves abstract shapes for participants to create a story and requires no other materials.  Abstract shapes are provided as a guide to the types of design–feel free to use them or create your own …
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Action and Dialogue

Action and Dialogue

Action and Dialogue  This activity works with imagination and action to create a scene enhancing the participants skills in the Language Arts.  Two follow-on activities are Changing Action and Dialogue and Help and Hinder
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advanced patty cake

Advanced Patty Cake

Advanced Patty Cake activity  In this activity, the participants work in pairs or small groups on a complex sequence of patty cake that gets reflected back for their partner …
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Antonyms in Motion

Antonyms in Motion

Antonyms in Motion activity  This activity requires a list of antonyms.  Participants work in pairs demonstrating the words …
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Articulating Movement

Articulating Movement

Articulating Movement activity This activity is a good warm-up exercise and focuses on vocal skills …
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Articulating Pantomime

Articulating Pantomime

Articulating Pantomime activity This activity introduces pantomime as a skill and works in conjunction with voice development.  Participants will develop diction and articulation in the vocal realm along with gestures and movement to develop the body (part of the actor’s tools).  This activity uses the included …
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Back to Back

Back to Back

Back to Back (PDF)  This activity develops concentration and teamwork as a group.  During the motion, the participants will need to focus (concentration skill) and problem solve as a group.  It requires a signaling device (i.e. tambourine) or just a voice signal …
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Bag of Smells

Bag of Smells

Bag of Smells (PDF)  Participants work alone or in groups using their sense of smell.  They will expand on the emotions or feelings the smells evoke to create a story.  The activity requires a bag filled with aromatic items (examples suggested in document) …
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Basic Mirror

Basic Mirror activity Use this activity with your group to practice body-work with a focus on the skills of communication and collaboration.  This will also increase their concentration.  This activity works in conjunction with the Caveman story (suggested). This is part of a group of …
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Bean Bag Hot Potato

Bean Bag Hot Potato activity Use this as a warm-up activity or improve the concentration and believability of the group.  Three to four bean bags are needed …
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Before I Couldn’t, but Now I Can

Before I Couldn’t, but Now I Can activity The kids share stories of skills they have learned without words.  The group or teacher would guess the skill.  This can be done either with the whole class or in smaller groups.  It would also be useful …
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Big, Bigger, Biggest

Big, Bigger, Biggest activity This activity is designed to get participants comfortable with using their bodies in a wide range of expression.  Body is one of the primary tools in drama and proficiency is necessary for advanced work …
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drama activity

Body Objects – a drama activity

Body Objects – a FREE Drama activityOverview: this foundational activity starts building skills in groups new to drama work.In this activity, students use their bodies to create setting and props. This activity will increase the concentration, imagination, and teamwork of your group. They will also …
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Body Sound Effects-Making Rain

Body Sound Effects-Making Rain This is a simple group activity with everyone in a circle.  This does not require additional materials …
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Bop

Bop activity This activity requires  basic math and counting (only could be an issue with younger students).  It is a good mental warm-up and improves the concentration of the group …
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Bounce the Ball

Bounce the Ball activity No actual ball is used in this activity.  The primary purpose is to give the group practice with these drama skills and to train working as a group …
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Changing Action and Dialogue

Changing Action and Dialogue

Changing Action and Dialogue activity  This activity works with imagination and action to create a scene enhancing the participants skills in the Language Arts.  Two related activities are the preceding Changing Action and Dialogue and the advanced Help and Hinder …
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Character Interviews

Character Interviews activity This activity has participants working in pairs or groups and requires a set of Stories, Poetry, or Nonfiction Text to hand out to each group …
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Circle Claps

Circle Claps activity  This activity came from a Russian arts education specialist.  Russians use a great deal of sound and rhythm in their work.  It makes a great warm-up.  You can have the group create their own variation to this game …
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Circle Game

Circle Game activity  This game is designed to improve the group teamwork and problem solving to achieve a goal.  We found that classes improve each subsequent time they play the activity …
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Class Sculpture

Class Sculpture (PDF)  This activity is designed to encourage cooperation and collaboration.  It requires no additional materials …
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Down, Down, Down

Down, Down, Down activity  Use this activity to work on increasing the concentration of the group.  This is adapted from an Australian game and requires a ball or bean bag …
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Emotion Bubble Activity

Emotion Bubble Activity With this activity, participants use their imaginations and demonstrate with the use of their body and mind (primary drama tools).  They will practice expressing different emotions while keeping their own personal space.  The emotions chosen should be appropriate for their age group …
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Emotional Responses Activity

Emotional Responses Activity Using a list of emotions with some examples provided, participants will demonstrate these emotions with the use of their body and mind (primary drama tools).  Of course, the emotions chosen should be appropriate for their age group.  There is also an opportunity to …
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Equidistant

Equidistant

Equidistant Activity activity  Equidistance is fun in any size space.  All participants are active at the same time.  No materials are needed.  The focus is on sharing space with a large number of people.  It works with the skills of Body, Space, Problem Solving, Observation, Collaboration, …
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Everybody Counts

Everybody Counts activity  This is a group activity in which participants figure out how to work together without typical verbal or expressive cues.  The successful group will have learned how to revise and adapt to achieve their goal …
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Exchange Places Relay

Exchange Places Relay

Exchange Places Relay activity  Exchange Places Relay is a preparation for theatrical presentations, requires no materials, and the space is divided into performance area and audience area.  It utilizes the freeze technique and fosters abstract thinking …
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Fabrics

Fabrics activity  In this activity, the kids choose from a variety of fabrics to transform one chosen “actor” into different personas.  Each child should also have the opportunity to be the “actor.”    Successful groups will treat each other’s ideas with respect …
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Feather Activity

Feather Activity  We designed this activity for partner work to focus on building teamwork and concentration.  No actual feathers are needed.  The partners do not touch each other but work on action & reaction to develop the ability to collaborate …
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Gibberish Interview

Gibberish Interviews activity This activity has participants working in pairs or groups communicating in Gibberish and requires no other materials.  An activity called Introducing Gibberish is also available for introducing the concept …
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Gotcha!

Gotcha! activity  This activity is done with the group in a circle and can be used to review names.  This activity also serves to increase the energy and focus of the group …
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Hat Pile

Hat Pile activity  In this activity, the participants act out different characters based on the hat on their head.  Each person gets the chance with a different hat to transform into different roles.  This activity requires an assortment of hats to indicate character …
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Heigh Ho

Heigh Ho

Heigh Ho activity  Based on the well-known song (or others can be used as well) to make it easier for students, the activity encourages group cooperation.  A catchy beat will make it easier to follow along.  The participants will focus on the skills of teamwork, keeping the …
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Help and Hinder

Help and Hinder  This activity is related to “Action and Dialogue” along with “Changing Action and Dialogue” for dealing with Language Arts and imagination.  This activity adds conflict as a new skill …
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Hey Everybody!

Hey Everybody! (PDF)  This activity helps with imitation, imagination and improvisation.  It requires no additional materials …
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Hot Potato

Hot Potato

Hot Potato activity  We have adapted this familiar activity to incorporate Language Arts as an integrated subject …
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Human Jigsaw Sculpture

Human Jigsaw Sculpture (PDF)  This activity is designed to encourage cooperation and problem solving while working with Space.  It requires no additional materials …
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I Spy

I Spy

I Spy (PDF)  A simple game of I Spy that does not require any additional materials.  You can use this activity to develop the participant’s five senses and observation skills …
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Imitation Relays

Imitation Relays activity  This activity is a variation on hot potato with participants cooperatively interacting.  Instead of passing a “potato”, they pass and adapt different types of activities (suggestions included) …
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Improvisation: Saying “Yes"

Improvisation: Saying “Yes”

Improvisation: Saying “Yes” activity  This activity has participants working in pairs and emphasizes social/emotional learning and the impact of using both yes and no in conversations …
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Introducing Gibberish

Introducing Gibberish (PDF)  This introductory activity has participants working in pairs or groups communicating in Gibberish and requires no other materials.  An advanced Gibberish Interviews is also available …
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Introducing Pantomime

Introducing Pantomime (PDF)  This is a group activity that works with Movement and Imagination.  It requires a list of objects that is provided or you can generate your own …
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Knots

Knots activity (PDF)  This activity is designed to encourage problem solving and cooperation while working in groups.  It requires no additional materials …
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Lifting and Passing Objects

Lifting and Passing Objects activity  This activity works with the imagination to imitate the actions of lifting and passing.   Using this activity will improve the group’s focus and concentration …
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Listening Mirror

Listening Mirror activity  This activity expands on previous mirror activities to include language arts skills.  Participants will develop better focus and listening skills with this …
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Lumi Sticks

Lumi Sticks activity  This activity has participants working in pairs creating rhythms with a set of sticks or rods.  Ideas are rhythms are provided and you will need to find a pair of sticks per person in the group …
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Making Objects Move

Making Objects Move activity  In this activity, kids use their bodies to transform into objects that move and make sound.  You can use settings and objects from books or subjects currently being studied in class …
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Man Made Rhythm

Man Made Rhythm activity  In this activity, each participant thinks of a particular man-made object to act out with a concentration on movement.  This activity focuses on the body of the 3 drama skills (body, mind, voice) …
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Nature Rhythm

Nature Rhythm activity  In this activity, the participants need to imagine a nature item that the group or teacher tries to guess.  No other materials are needed …
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Noiseless Sounds

Noiseless Sounds activity  This activity focuses on working with the body aspect of drama skills (body, mind, voice).  This activity does not require any other materials …
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One Word Story - Advanced

One Word Story – Advanced

One Word Story – Advanced activity  This activity builds on the beginner activity of One Word Story.  It has participants in partners and works with the skills of Listening, Story Elements and Speaking …
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Pantomime-Creating a Room in Space

Pantomime: Creating a Room in Space (PDF)  This activity is designed to encourage cooperation and collaboration while working with the imagination.  It requires no additional materials …
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Pass the Emotion

Pass the Emotion activity Use this activity as practice identifying simple emotions with your group.  They will learn skills an actor uses that helps him/her communicate an emotion believably.  This foundation builds toward using the body and voice to communicate a story.  No additional materials are needed …
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Pass the Face

Pass the Face activity This game is similar to the telephone game and is good for focusing on imitation and communication.  It requires no additional materials …
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Pass the Imaginary Object I

Pass the Imaginary Object I activity  This is a good beginning activity to prepare for pantomime.  It also helps to demonstrate how actors communicate.  For more advanced work, go on to the Pass the Imaginary Object II activity …
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Pass the Imaginary Object II

Pass the Imaginary Object II activity  This build on the Pass the Imaginary Object I activity and works more in-depth with concentration and imagination skills.  It requires no additional materials …
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Pass The Object

Pass The Object (PDF)  This activity has participants working as a group and requires various objects …
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Pass The Story

Pass The Story activity This activity has participants working as a group and requires various stories, poetry or text.  Example stories are provided, but feel free to adapt your own …
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Pass the Word

Pass the Word activity In this activity, each participant is assigned a character to mimic as the group works together to pass around a word or phrase.  Word suggestions and character ideas are provided and no other materials are needed …
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Peanut Butter and Jelly for Early Childhood

Peanut Butter and Jelly for Early Childhood (PDF) This activity is good for Pre-Kindergardeners up to 1st Grade.  It requires a list of words (nouns) …
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Pencil Sharpener

Pencil Sharpener

Pencil Sharpener activity  In this activity, all participants are in a circle and they signal each other using their “sign.”  This activity does not require any other materials …
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Photographs

Photographs (PDF)  This activity is designed to encourage concentration and imagination.  It requires no additional materials …
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Reaching and Stretching

Reaching and Stretching activity  This activity is as a warm-up and helps with concentration.  It requires no additional materials …
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Sensory Observation and Recall

Sensory Observation and Recall activity  This activity is designed to encourage observation and communication.  It requires participants or instructor to bring in objects that can fit in a box …
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Size, Shape, Weight

Size, Shape, Weight

Size, Shape, Weight activity  In this activity, participants pass imaginary objects around and use their imagination to build on the idea …
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Sound Story

Sound Story

Sound Story activity This activity works with sounds representing objects from around the room.  The participants then create a story with those sounds …
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Sound Story #1

Sound Story #1

Sound Story #1 activity This activity has participants working in groups of ~5 using human-based sounds.  It requires a signaling device and works with the skills of Improvisation, Voice, Story Elements, Imagination, and Brainstorming. For an activity that works with object-based sounds (non-human), see Sound Story …
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Sound Story #2

Sound Story #2

Sound Story #2 activity This activity has participants working in groups of ~5 using object-based sounds (could be any object in the room).  It requires a signaling device along with a sound-making object and works with the skills of Improvisation, Voice, Story Elements, Imagination, and Brainstorming …
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Sound Symphony

Sound Symphony

Sound Symphony activity In this activity, participants work in small groups and each finds something in the room that produces sound.  As a group, they work to reproduce a song.  This is related to the Vocal Symphony activity
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Sport Pantomime

Sport Pantomime activity  This is a group activity that works with Movement and Imagination.  It requires a list of sports that is provided but likely the participants will be able to generate their own.  See Introducing Pantomime as an introduction to Pantomime …
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Stand Up for Teamwork

Stand Up for Teamwork activity  This activity is designed to encourage cooperation and collaboration.  It requires no additional materials …
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Stop and Go

Stop and Go activity  This activity is designed to encourage cooperation.  It requires no additional materials …
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Team Object Vehicles

Team Object Vehicles activity  In this activity, kids create imaginary vehicles from body objects (see the Body Objects activity for more focus on this skill).  This activity is designed for group work of 4-5 people …
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Team Pantomime

Team Pantomime activity  This is a group activity that works with Movement and Imagination and focuses more on Collaboration.  It requires a list of complex objects that is provided.  See Introducing Pantomime as an introduction to Pantomime …
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Texture Characters

Texture Characters

Texture Characters activity This activity requires bags of items (i.e. textured cloth or other material).  This can be done individually or in groups …
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The Chair

The Chair

The Chair activity  Use this activity to focus on concentration and the ability to continue amidst distraction.  This requires a short passage to read aloud that is not too challenging …
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the freeze drama activity

The Freeze Drama Activity

The Freeze – a Drama activity Overview: this important activity sets a classroom management signal useful in future lessons. Members can use this FREE activity to introduce and practice foundational drama skills and routines.  This is also an important activity as it sets a classroom …
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The Journey

The Journey activity  In this activity, the kids take a guided journey through different settings.  The settings can be related to some of your current teaching topics.  It may be useful to begin with a locomotor, controlling personal space, warmup activity …
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The Liars’ Club

The Liars’ Club

The Liars’ Club activity This activity has a smaller group of participants try to fool the larger audience with a personal story.  This practices strategies for good storytelling (i.e. eye contact, vocal variety, etc) …
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Three Beanbag Toss

Three Beanbag Toss activity  This activity helps with concentration and collaboration.  It requires 3 beanbags or rolled-up socks …
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Tongue Twisters

Tongue Twisters activity This activity has participants working in small groups or as a whole group.  Tongue Twisters are provided to get things started, but you can provide your own …
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Train Station

Train Station

Train Station activity  This activity is good for concentration and teamwork with everyone working together as a group.  It requires a room arrangement of chairs in a circle …
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Transforming Sound and Movement

Transforming Sound and Movement activity  This is a group activity that works on Movement and Locomotor skills.  It requires no additional materials …
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Traveling Through a Setting

Traveling Through a Setting

Traveling Through a Setting activity  Traveling through a Setting uses locomotor movement and enough space so students can travel as a group of 7-10 people.  This is a great application of sense memory and collaboration.  No materials needed, just open space …
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Tray of Objects

Tray of Objects

Tray of Objects activity  This activity works with participant’s memory and recall and requires a tray of various objects be prepared in advance …
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Vocal Character Responses Activity

Vocal Character Responses Activity Participants will enjoy stepping into different roles to act out in-character responses to common phrases.  They will exercise their imaginations and demonstrate with the use of their body, mind and voice (primary drama tools).  The skill here is in believability, convincing others of …
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Vocal Environment

Vocal Environment

Vocal Environment activity In this activity download, the participants work in both large and small groups mimicking a specific environment’s sounds …
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Vocal Symphony

Vocal Symphony

Vocal Symphony activity In this activity, each participant creates their own vocal sound and they work in groups to create a vocal symphony.  This is related to the Sound Symphony activity
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Voice Warm-up #1

Voice Warm-up #1

Voice Warm-up #1 activity This activity has a series of exercises to prepare their voice for theater presentations.  This can be used as part of a performer’s warm-up voice ritual. After they become proficient, they should move on to Voice Warm-up #2
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Voice Warm-up #2

Voice Warm-up #2

Voice Warm-up #2 activity This activity has a series of exercises to prepare their voice for theater presentations.  This can be used as part of a performer’s warm-up voice ritual.  This exercise works the vowel sounds and the articulators. You should start with Voice Warm-up #1 as a …
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Waiting for the Bus

Waiting for the Bus

Waiting for the Bus activity  This activity has participants working in groups of 4-5 both with and without speaking.  It works with the skills of Imitation, Body, Action/Reaction, Imagination, Collaboration, and Story Elements …
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Walking the Gauntlet

Walking the Gauntlet activity  This activity is designed to encourage cooperation and concentration.  It requires no additional materials …
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Wall Mirror

Wall Mirror activity  This activity is a partner-based exercise to increase the collaboration of the group.  This is part of a group of mirror activities …
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What Are You Doing?

What Are You Doing?

What Are You Doing? (activity)  This is an easy partner-based activity that works with imitation for social/emotional learning and action words …
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Word Pictures

Word Pictures

Word Pictures activity  This drama activity has participants working in 4 groups and requires a list of vocabulary words to create a tableaux.  This works with the skills of Movement, Body, Imagination, Aesthetics, Collaboration, Observation, and Communication …
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Word Rhythm Dance

Word Rhythm Dance activity In this activity, participants use body and voice together in rhythm that works to a internal beat.  In smaller groups of 4-5, they collaborate to create a dance with their movements …
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Words in Motion

Words in Motion

Words in Motion activity  This activity uses selected vocabulary words that each participant uses cooperatively, but sequentially in action.  This works with smaller groups or the whole group …
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