Posted in creative arts, Drama Activities for children, Drama for children, drama for kids, Drama strategies, Elements of Drama, English as a second language, English teaching games, Esl, Esl Drama, expressive arts, Mime, Mime for all ages, Mime for children, Mime for kids, Movement activities, Movement stories for children, Role playing stories, Still image, Storytelling, Storytelling in the Early years, Storytelling techniques

Mime Workshop for all ages

Mime theme image 2

Main objective of workshop: Mime encourages confidence and awareness of self and of others. It encourages physical control, simplicity of thought and movement and more importantly it stimulates the imagination.

Sub aims:

  • To introduce relaxation exercises and understand their role in a drama class.
  • To promote group work and co-operation.

Relaxation exercises

Be a star: Lie sown on your back and spread your arms, palms up to the side and open your legs. Stretch the limbs all together. Feel you are making a four pointed star. Suddenly the star collapses. Feel the tension disappear.

Be Hercules: In the same position, imagine that the body is being pushed down by a heavy weight so that all parts of the body are being pressed into the ground suddenly the weight is removed. Feel yourself float on the ground.

Shake off the ants:  In the same position, imagine you are tied to the ground but you can wiggle. A colony of ants finds and begins to crawl over you. Commence to wiggle the body until the last ant leaves you. Then collapse.

Be a rubber puppet: Imagine you are made of rubber and there are strings attached to your shoulders which someone can pull from above. You are being pulled up and you find your limbs fly out in all directions. Even the feet can be pulled off the ground at times, finally the strings are cut and the body relaxes.

Mime Activities:

What’s in the Box: All the students sit in a large circle. The teacher asks them to imagine there is a magic box in the centre of the circle. The teacher can ask what size is it? What colour is it? Ask can everyone see it. This is a fun mime game. Everyone sits in a circle. Ask the children if they can see the box in the centre of the circle. Ask them what colour it is? What shape it is? Tell them it can be a different shape and colour, depending on where you are sitting in the circle. This is because it is a magic box.  The teacher goes into the centre of the circle first and mimes opening the box and taking out an object. She then mimes holding the object and the class must guess what it is. When the children guess correctly the teacher mimes putting it back in the box and closing it. The child who guessed correctly takes a turn at taking an object out of the box.

Pass the object: This is a follow on from the Magic Box game. The teacher mimes taking an object out of the box, for example a mouse, a rotten egg, a cream cake, chewing gum, lipstick or a puppy, and the children guess what it is. When they have guessed she passes the object around the circle. The children should react as if they were holding the actual object in their hands. Eventually the last child in the circle gets rid of the object and the teacher goes to the box and takes out a new.

Locomotion: Get the students consider the ways that people walk. The teacher gets the children to walk around the room. Then call out different ways of walking

Walk like  a …..

•           Toddler

•           child in high heels

•           child wearing heavy wellington boots

•           child splashing in a puddles

•           child stuck in mud

•           child walking on stony beach

•           child walking on hot sand

•           someone walking on fire

•           someone walking wearily

•           an old frail person.

Chain Mime: Divide the class into 2 or 3 groups. Have at least 6 in each group. Number the students from one to six. Get each member of the group to leave the room except for number one. The other groups stay in the room. You then give number one an action to mime. You then call number 2 into the room and number one mimes to number 2. They do not talk. Number 2 can not say anything and she has to do mime exactly what she saw to number 3, then number 3 comes into the room and watches number 2 very carefully. Number 3 does the mime for number four and so on. When number 6 comes into the room she has to guess what the original mime was. This is like broken telephone but it is done through mime. Here are some suggestions for mimes:

•           Riding a horse

•           Skiing

•           Washing dishes

•           Eating hot food

•           Counting money

•           Telling someone you love them

•           Eating spaghetti

•           Singing

•           Playing tug of war

•           Washing your dog

•           Ballet dancing

•           Moon walk

•           Playing basketball

•           Singing opera

•           Walking in the desert

•           Playing tennis

•           Making pancakes

•           Opening a present that you do not like

The other groups watch how the mime changes with each person. This is a fun game and helps with observation skills.

Basic Situation: Divide the class into small groups and they must use body language and facial expression to 5 ways of showing that their are

•           Cold

•           Hot

•           Surprised,

•           Frightened


The class gets into pairs. Each pair stands back to back. When the teacher calls out go they must turn around and pass their partner if

•           They were strangers

•           They were a casual acquaintance

•           Meeting some one they haven’t seen for 10 years

•           Meeting someone that owes them money.

Group Mime: Divide the class into groups and give each group one of the following outlines for a group mime. Allow the class 10 to15 minutes to prepare

The Concert   

  • Audience arrive for outdoor concert
  • Band enters with different instruments
  • Audience is very enthusiastic, claps, jumps up and down and waves hands in the air.
  • One person faints
  • Security arrives and removes him and her
  • No one takes any notice
  • Band plays on
  • Girl gets up on the stage and tries to touch members of the group
  • Security removes them
  • It starts to rain and after awhile everyone goes away disappointed


  • Passengers board the plane
  • Welcomed by the air hostess
  • The plane takes off
  • One hijacker takes over the plane and an other one holds up the passengers
  • One passenger faints
  • This distracts the hijacker for a second
  • Pilot overcomes him
  • Airhostess holds him and the handcuff are put on him
  • Pilot overcomes the second hijacker and handcuffs him to hijacker 1
  • All the passengers have a strong drink and cheer the pilot as he brings the plane to land.

The Bank Robbery

  • Cashiers arrive bored and yawning they open up their desks and talk to each other
  • People come in and walk up to the cashiers and put in and withdraw money
  • Suddenly two robbers come in wearing masks
  • They make everyone lie on the floor and they hold up the bank clerks and make them hand over the money
  • Little old lady trips up robber and he falls and spills the money
  • Security guard then holds up robbers and takes off their masks.

Other ideas/themes for group mimes: Camping, The Circus, Christmas morning, The big mistake.

Starting  to use mime in a Drama session;

Start beginner groups on occupational mimes and later move to emotional mimes. Mime starts within and is then portrayed by the body. Never forget that through mime is that art of movement it is also the art of stillness.

Occupational Mimes: lift a bucket, box, brush. Place the same objects on a shelf or table, place them, carefully on top of each other. Use scissors, shears, pickaxes, fishing rod. Use activities such as sewing buttons, cooking, putting on clothes, painting, cleaning windows.

Character Mimes: Portray different types of character, the young girl, the old woman, the rich lady, beggar, clown. Watch people around you.

Emotional Mimes: These are the hardest to portray. Feel, understand, convey happiness at receiving a gift. Sadness at hearing bad news, shock, horror, love etc..,

More mime games

What’s the Chair?

Place a chair in the centre of the circle and particiapnts take turns to mime what they imagine it to be:, for example:  a post box, a kitchen sink, a dog, a naughty schoolboy, a new car.

The person who guesses correctly takes their place in the middle.

Take over

•           in a circle, walking on the spot

•           leader makes a gesture, in time, that the everyone else imitates

•           continue for 8 beats or so, then shout the name of a particiapnt and they must change or add to the action

•           this can continue until the group have warmed up

What’s my job?

All sit in a circle.  Give everyone an occupation (e.g. policeman, astronaut, postman, teacher).  Use each occupation twice, and make sure the occupations are kept secret.

Students use the space to mime their own occupation.  Their task is to spot the person with the same occupation as them.  When they have done this they should approach their partner, and without speaking, check that they are both miming the same job.

They should sit down in their pair when they think they have found them.

The game continues until everybody is sitting down.  The teacher should check they are all correct at the end of the game!

For more Mime and Movement ideas buy Drama Start Two Drama Activities and Plays for Children (ages 9 to 12) at or or if you can buy the kindle version from or



Posted in Drama, Drama Activities for children, expressive arts, Role playing stories

Acting out some emotions:

Emotions emoticons

  • try to maintain each expression for 10 seconds, even if other people lose it!
  • try to challenge yourself further, you can try to manage links between each emotion convincingly!

Try out the following:

  • waiting for something
  • confusion
  • physical ache or pain
  • thinking about something deeply
  • bored
  • something’s caught my attention
  • quietly amused
  • trying to remember something, but failing
  • remembering something painful
  • remembering something happily
  • frustration
  • anger
  • elation
  • trying to hide your irritation
  • scheming, or devising a plan
  • despair
  • verge of tears
  • relief

Now let’s try some more complex techniques, still not involving words:

  • Guffaw (short laugh)
  • Sniff, perhaps to show awkwardness
  • Clearing throat, perhaps to show you’re trying to clear your thoughts or perhaps to get attention
  • Sigh, perhaps from tiredness or perhaps because you’re relieved or frustrated
  • Muttering in panic, irritation or disbelief
  • Mmmm, perhaps thinking, perhaps ‘agreeing with yourself’ or confirming your own thoughts
Posted in co-operation, creative arts, Drama, expressive arts, Fairy Tales, Role playing stories

The Magic Forest!

Fantasy Landscape. Mysterious Old Forest

This is an excellent activity to do with a variety of age groups. For younger children you can read out the story and get them to use their imaginations to fill in the gaps. For older children they could fill in the gaps in groups. At the end they could do a group picture/painting of their magic forest. They could also do a group improvisation based on their story.

The Magic Forest

Once upon a time there was a young child called Matilda. Matilda’s parents were the king and queen of the magic forest. The king, Matilda’s father was very ……………….. and the queen, Matilda’s mother was always ……………….. Matilda was the kind of child who never …………………… but always ………. Sometimes the king, the queen and Matilda would ………………… but they never ……………… All of them would sometimes go …………and Matilda would feel ……….. One day while walking in the magic forest, Matilda lost her way. She tried and tried to see if she could get back home to the castle. Matilda became ……….. After a while a wizard came hobbling along the path and told Matilda ………………… The wizard also gave …………. The first thing that Matilda did was ………. and she ……………


Finally, after wandering around for a long time, Matilda recognised the path back to the castle. She hurried towards it but suddenly she came across a …………… Now she felt ………… As the sun was setting Matilda trudged through the castle gates and into the castle where the king and queen were very, very, very, …………..  Her father the King told Matilda ………… Matilda felt …………. So told the king and queen……………… It had been a very tiring day for Matilda and she fell asleep. The king and queen watched Matilda as she slept and thought ……………

The next morning Matilda woke up and said to her self “……………………………………………………………………….”

Posted in expressive arts, Fairy Tales, Therapeutic Story

Constructing A therapeutic Story – The Ugly Duckling Example

Lots of children‘s stories can be used as therapeutic stories. They have the elements that is required for a story to be therapeutic. The ugly duckling ticks all the boxes.  See how it fulfills the criteria below:
image•Metaphorical Conflict                                           Birth of  funny looking duckling.
•Unconscious processes and potentials         Mother defends him, cites positive qualities, gets a first look at swans.
•Parallel learning situations                                 Learning to swim, take care of himself and fly.
•Metaphorical crisis                                                Attack in the marsh, cold winter in the pond
•New identification                                                  Beholds beautiful new image in the water.
•Celebration                                                                The old swans are in awe of him
Now construct your own therapeutic story! Use the boxes below.

Constructing a Therapeutic Story – Checklist

Identify the emotional problem or issue
Set a therapeutic objective – what would you like to change?  


Think of a strategy to achieve the change

Base the story on a metaphorical conflict in terms that the child can relate to – a character, a place, a plot – grappling with the same emotional problem as the child.

What similar stories or real life experiences could be used?



Start constructing the story by thinking out the ending in outline and then list the main stages on how to get there.  (Start establishing a similar situation, crisis, bridge to change, change, positive journey, positive outcome, celebration)situation


Write the start – set the scene  


Develop the plot by showing the main character using similar methods to deal with the problem as those used by the child – personify unconscious processes and potential
Reach a metaphorical crisis

Construct the shift, the change of direction, using parallel learning situations.  Use a bridge section to avoid moving too quickly


Show the journey from crisis to positive solution and a new sense of identification
End the story with a celebration and sense of community