Drama Activities (Voice)

Name of the Activity:  Boom Chicka Boom

Type of Warmup/Activity: Voice (Vocal)

Reason For Choosing:  A follow the leader style vocal warmup. Students follow the same pattern with their voices and alter it to get a dynamic vocal warmup. Also helps the students with enunciation and pronunciation. It can also very effectively incorporate and explore accents and dialects.

Skills Used: Character, Spontaneity, Voice, Accent/ Dialect

Procedure: Students perform a call and response using the dialogue provided. The teacher calls out each line and then the students repeat back. The first time with a very even pitch or volume etc… and then it is open for working. The lead can then be handed over to the students (two or three different variations can be played with).

“I said a Boom”

“I said a Boom Chicka Boom”

“I said a Boom Chicka Rocka Chicka Rocka Chicka Boom”

“Uh huh”

“Oh yeah”

“One more time” (Repeat with different vocal textures- ex. High pitch, Low pitch, “Old Person” Voice, sad voice, etc…)

This activity is more about the participation/ attempt to do the vocal activity (ex. Character voice) as a way to “warm up” or “stretch” the individual’s voice. It is not about the success or failure to do the “voices” perfectly.

Variations:

  1. Students could have researched a particular accent or dialect and bring it to class to participate in this activity to show/ continue to work on their accent (Ex. Irish, Scottish, Russian etc…).
  2. Students could bring in their favorite character from a TV show etc… to use for this warmup (Ex. Elmo, Peter Griffin, Batman, etc…).

Components:

  1. Creative/ Productive- Active thinking in how to arrange vocal patterns, vocal ranges, and This activity “stretches” the voice like an athlete would his body.
  2. Cultural/ Historical- (variation) Students have to research a group of people and their “accent” in order to share a bit about the people behind the accent.
  3. Critical/ Responsive- Active participation requires students to be aware and attempt the call and response of the leader. If students are doing an accent, a reflection on the success could help prove feedback for that student to continue the creative productive process.

Cross Curricular Competencies (Or Common Essential Learnings):

Critical and Creative Thinking

-allowing for differing expression and interpretation of assignments, and encouraging imaginative responses

Personal and Social Values and Skills

-exploring the themes, characters and conflicts in improvisations, collective creations and plays to foster greater understanding of various cultures, to develop understanding of people and to develop an awareness of discrimination or bias when present

-providing opportunities for students to respond to and build upon the ideas of others

Outcomes:                                                                   Indicators:

Develop an understanding of the processes and elements involved in creating works of  dramatic art -offer ideas in spontaneous Improvisations (Vocal)
  – accept ideas in spontaneous Improvisations (Vocal)
Develop acting skills -begin to articulate clearly

 

– express themselves confidently

through speech

 

Acquire understandings and abilities

in group processes

– listen to the ideas of others
  -co-operate with others in groups of

various sizes to plan and participate in

drama experiences

 

 

 

Name of the Activity:  The Alphabet Game

Type of Warmup/Activity: Voice (Vocal)

Reason For Choosing:  I chose this activity because I believe this vocal improvisation tests students ability to focus and creatively come up with an answer on the spot. At first this activity is fairly difficult but, as time goes on, students gain more confidence in improv/ themselves and this makes this activity much easier. This activity can further be used to explore different accent and dialects in order to further character/ understanding of character.

Skills Used: Character, Spontaneity, Concentration (Focus), Accent/ Dialect, Teamwork

Procedure: Have a conversation where each sentence begins with the next letter of the alphabet. This may seem difficult at first, but improves with practice. If you get stuck, you can also use sounds to start a sentence, for example ‘Mmmm’ or ‘tut-tut’. Here is an example:

 A: Anyone seen my cat?

B: Black one, with funny eyes?

A: Can’t say I remember.

B: Don’t tell me you’ve forgotten what it looks like?

A: Every cat looks the same to me.

B: Fortunately, I found one yesterday

A: Gee, that’s great!

 

This can be done as a collective group or in smaller groups.

Variations:

  1. Alteration and Upping Difficulty- Students have to think of three words that start with the letter of the alphabet and make a sentence out of them (Alliteration style) (Ex. Alan ate an Aardvark and an ant. Or Australian Adam ate Apples. The more the better).
  2. Further- The students have to mime what the student said while trying to say it all together.
  3. If it is too easy because students are thinking ahead to their letter, a ball being passed/ rolled around the circle so that they do not know when they are up can help add a degree of difficulty.
  4. Further- Skipping a letter can really up the difficulty (especially if you give them a time limit or make the slowest team get eliminated). Ex. A, C, E, etc…

Components:

  1. Creative/ Productive- This activity fits under this category. Students are using exploration as well as development and expression of ideas. This is also a type of improvisation activity. Could create character monologues/ scenes using this format.
  2. Cultural/ Historical- Research into a culture/ group as part of an accent/ dialect for this activity can help fulfil this component.
  3. Critical/ Responsive- A response to the scenes and their effectiveness. Whether the student accurately stuck to the format or if they had to stretch it could be evaluated by their peers. Have students journal about their experiences with this activity.

Cross Curricular Competencies (Or Common Essential Learnings):

Critical and Creative Thinking

-allowing for differing expression and interpretation of assignments, and encouraging imaginative responses

Personal and Social Values and Skills

-providing opportunities for students to respond to and build upon the ideas of others

-having students work co-operatively in paired or small group activities

Outcomes:                                                                    Indicators:

Acquire understandings and abilities

in group processes

– listen to the ideas of others
Develop an understanding of the

processes and elements involved in

creating works of dramatic art

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

-co-operate with others in groups of

various sizes to plan and participate in

drama experiences

 

-concentrate during drama experiences

 

 

-learn to maintain the focus of an improvisation

 

-work with others to structure prepared improvisations

 

 

 

Name of the Activity:  Soundscape

Type of Warmup/Activity: Voice (Vocal) (Some Movement)

Reason For Choosing: I like this activity because it makes the students think about the different sounds that they hear within an environment. Most people do not actively think about the sounds they hear within an environment because we do it naturally. Therefore, because it is habitually overlooked within our environment, recreating the sounds of a specific environment can be tough. I enjoy seeing the different sounds and ideas that the students generate and the creative uses of their bodies/ voices to bring these sounds to life.

Skills Used: Spontaneity, Voice, Concentration (Focus), Teamwork, Creativity

Procedure: Using their voices, and/or body percussion, the students create a soundscape of a particular theme, setting, or mood. Ex. A beach, a rainforest, a café, a storm, etc…

-In the storm example, students could slowly rub their hands together to create the sound of wind, and then snap their fingers lightly for rain.

-In the rainforest example, students could create many different animal noises or the wind rustling the tree leaves.

Students go around the circle adding to the growing soundscape. Once fully around the circle, the students go around again but this time stopping their sound. Students are encouraged to listen to the soundscape as they are waiting or finishing their sound.

 

Variations:

  1. Have a few students sit in the centre of the circle with their eyes closed and let them just listen to the soundscape. After everything is finished, ask the students to discuss what they heard within the circle.
  2. Have the students pick an animal/ person and both move and do the sound of that animal/ person in the soundscape setting.

Components:

  1. Creative/ Productive- This activity is an exploration and creation of environments based on what they sound like. Students have to recall all the aspects (things) that are included within the given soundscape and try and bring that to life with their voice and/or bodily percussion.
  2. Cultural/ Historical- Have students research animals from the rainforest to incorporate into the soundscape (each student does their own animal). Writing a paragraph or two about the animals sound and movements will help them bring the animal to life within the exercise.
  3. Critical/ Responsive- The response to the soundscape and the effectiveness/ realism fits under this category. Have students journal about their experiences with this activity.

Cross Curricular Competencies (Or Common Essential Learnings):

Critical and Creative Thinking

-allowing for differing expression and interpretation of assignments, and encouraging imaginative responses

Personal and Social Values and Skills

-providing opportunities for students to respond to and build upon the ideas of others

-having students work co-operatively in paired or small group activities

Communication

– organizing instruction which allows students to bring forward prior knowledge and/or to make connections with other school learning

Outcomes:                                                                    Indicators:

Acquire understandings and abilities

in group processes

– listen to the ideas of others
Develop an understanding of the

processes and elements involved in

creating works of dramatic art

 

 

 

 

-co-operate with others in groups of

various sizes to plan and participate in

drama experiences

 

-learn to maintain the focus of an improvisation

 

-work with others to structure prepared improvisations

 

 

Acquire increased knowledge of

others, themselves and the world

around them

-recall and respond to drama experiences

 

-share responses with other students

 

 

Name of the Activity:  Count to 10 (20)

Type of Warmup/Activity: Voice (Vocal)

Reason For Choosing: I like this activity because it makes the students more aware of one another (group awareness). It also allows them to get a feeling for the room and one another. It is also a good indicator of the commitment level and the focus that the students are coming into class with on that particular day. Some days, when they are in tune with one another, this will be very easy and other days it will be difficult.

Skills Used: Concentration (Focus/Listening), Awareness (Peer and Environment), Impulse, Teamwork

Procedure: Students stand/ sit in a circle (can be with eyes closed or open) and try to count to ten (or 20) without overlapping one another. Everyone can only say one number (and not in succession ex. couldn’t say one and two) and only one number can be called at a time before a different person has to call the next number (and so on and so forth). Anyone can start the count but if two or more people talk at the same time, counting must start from the beginning.

Ex.

Student A- One

Student B- Two

Student C and D- three

Student A- One

Etc…

This will warrant a few tries (almost always weak at the beginning and then stronger as the students start listening to one another).

Variations:

  1. If counting to 10 is too easy then increasing the number (or using the alphabet) will up the ante.
  2. Have everyone face outwards so that they cannot see the rest of the class (compared to facing inwards).

Components:

  1. Creative/ Productive- This is an exploration of reading the room and feeling your peers’ impulses. This takes a lot of concentration and the students “antenna” has to be alert and aware of everyone in the room.
  2. Cultural/ Historical- (Variation- Difficulty) Use another language to count to ten (A student in the class that speaks another language could possibly teach the group and, as they try this activity, they will collectively remember and help each other learn a little about another culture’s language).
  3. Critical/ Responsive- Discussion after on what made the group successful and what was making things difficult (possible journal entry). (If the CH variation occurs, a discussion about the language and the difficulty of learning a new language could transpire. Further reflection could help students become more culturally aware.

Cross Curricular Competencies (Or Common Essential Learnings):

Numeracy

 

-planning activities to help students learn spatial relationships (awareness and connectedness with others within space)

 

  -planning experiences which help students develop an intuitive sense of measurement (measuring impulses within the classroom as well as the general focus of the group).

 

Personal and Social Values and Skills -having students work co-operatively in paired or small group activities

 

  -providing opportunities for students to respond to and build upon the ideas of others

 

Technological Literacy -enhancing students’ perceptual abilities and awareness.

 

 

Outcomes:                                                                    Indicators:

Acquire understandings and abilities

in group processes

– listen to the ideas of others
 

 

 

 

Acquire understandings and abilities

in group processes

-co-operate with others in groups of

various sizes to plan and participate in

drama experiences

 

-begin to practice group decision-making

and problem-solving

 

Develop self-confidence self-discipline

and self-motivation

– feel secure in the class

 

– concentrate during drama experiences

 

– volunteer to start or join activities/ reach consensus

 

Name of the Activity:  One Word at a Time/ One Sentence at a Time

Type of Warmup/Activity: Voice (Vocal)

Reason For Choosing: This is a fun and often humorous activity that I believe students enjoy because they can creatively tell a story as a group. I find that this is a very easy group activity and everyone is willing to contribute at least a word (or sentence depending on variation). This is also a great way to explore other class material within the Drama classroom and allows them a safe space to explore these subjects in greater detail (more physical/ realistic than theoretical).

Skills Used: Concentration (Listening), Spontaneity, Creativity, Storytelling, Teamwork

Procedure: In a circle, students create a story with each person adding one word. This can be broken into a few small groups or even partners to create a faster paced dynamic.

Examples of a starting point are “Once – upon – a – time” or “On – Tuesday,”.

Ex.- On – Tuesday – I – bought – a – tiger – and – some – apples – then – I – ate – the – tiger – and – made – the – apples – my – pet. Etc…

Ex.2- A- On Tuesday, I bought a tiger.

  • I also bought apples.
  • I then decided I would eat the tiger.
  • After I ate the Tiger, I made the apples my pet. Etc…

It is important to stress that students should not try to block the story and keep ideas and options “free-flowing” (spontaneous) so that they do not force the story in any direction and instead try to build what their peers have set up.

 

Variations:

  1. Use a tennis ball (whatever works) to toss/ roll to the next person so it breaks the circle order and requires students to pay a little more attention.
  2. Instead of an “anything goes” type story, pick a theme and have the group try and fit within that theme. Ex. A really bad day, The world is being invaded by (Blank), Black Lives Matter (I understand this could be controversial but something along this line makes students aware of issues surrounding our world and makes them more “worldly”).

Components:

  1. Creative/ Productive- This activity is works on student’s participation in building a story as a group and working together. It fosters creative responses by requiring students to think on the spot and further the dialogue they are creating together.
  2. Cultural/ Historical- (See Variation 2) If the second variation is chosen, it is possible to incorporate a cultural theme into the story building exercise. For example, a story about the Holocaust could be created within this way (A day in the life of a person trapped in a concentration camp). Students could create a story based on prewritten characters from various mediums (television, memoirs, history textbooks, etc..), or they could create a character based on a story they create in class.
  3. Critical/ Responsive- A journal entry on the attempt of the group to create a cohesive story could be done. If Variation 2 is done, a response to the effectiveness, believability, and impact of the story could be done. I believe that this would be hugely beneficial to the students and would help solidify components of their other classes (ex. History, English, Social Studies, etc..). This reflection could then be used to supplement their other work and will help them better understand those subjects.

Cross Curricular Competencies (Or Common Essential Learnings):

Communication -organizing instruction which allows students to bring forward prior knowledge and/or to make connections with other school learning
  -creating opportunities for students to express their ideas in a variety of ways, allowing them to learn from other students’ thinking and to demonstrate their present understanding
  -providing opportunities for students to reflect through questioning, discussion and journal writing

 

Personal and Social Values and Skills -exploring varied cultural content
  -exploring the themes, characters and conflicts in improvisations, collective creations and plays to foster greater understanding of various cultures, to develop understanding of people and to develop an awareness of discrimination or bias when present

 

Independent Learning -planning experiences which lead to independent exploration or require students to go

beyond what the class lesson provides

Outcomes:                                                                    Indicators:

Acquire increased knowledge of others, themselves and the world around them -recall and respond to drama

experiences

 

Exercise critical thought and support opinions when responding to dramatic presentations

 

 

-understand the historical and cultural

influences on a play

Understand the role of drama in various cultures, past and present -understand that theatre, past and

present, can teach us about ourselves

-understand that theatre reflects the

society that creates it

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