Posted in Drama for children, English as a second language, English teaching games, Esl, Esl Drama, Plays for Children, Role playing stories, Storytelling, Voice Production

Some Improvisation Activities for ESL Students.

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Improvisation is an effective way for ESL students to develop language skills that they can use outside of the classroom. Improvisation develops skills such as confidence and empathy. The following activities give students an outlet to express a range of emotions. A variety of tenses, vocabulary, question forms, idioms and proverbs are the focus of this section.

Game: Forwards/Backwards
Level: Elementary+
Other benefits: The main language is to practice target language and the present tense.
Minimum number of participants: 2
Resources needed: Clear space and copies of simple dialogues; see below for examples. Any of the dialogues from the teaching language books can be used.
Instructions: Divide the group into pairs and give each pair a copy of a simple dialogue. Give each pair time to practice their dialogues. When they have memorised the dialogues, get them to perform them in front of the class. Get the group to repeat it in slow motion, fast forwards, hopping on one leg, replacing the words with numbers or the alphabet, backwards, or jumping up and down.

Dialogue 1: Introductions
Adam: Good morning. What’s your name? Where are you from?
Anna: My name is Anna. I’m from America.
Adam: My name is Adam and I’m from Alaska.
Anna: Pleased to meet you. (They shake hands.)
Anna: Goodbye. (Waves and walks off.)
Adam: See you soon.

Dialogue 2: Giving directions
Betty: Hello, you look lost. Can I help you?
Brian: Yes, please. I’m looking for the football stadium. Do you know where it is?
Betty: Of course. Go straight (points straight), turn left and it is next to the big shopping centre.
Brian: Thank you very much.
Betty: You are welcome.
Brain: Goodbye. (They wave goodbye.)

Dialogue 3: Greetings
Carl: Hello, how are you?
Cathy: Not so good.
Carl: What’s the matter?
Cathy: I’ve a headache.
Carl: I hope you feel better soon.
Cathy: Thank you.

Extension: If the students are comfortable, get them to continue the dialogue until it comes to a natural conclusion. This is a good introduction to improvised work.

Game: TV Channels
Level: Elementary+
Other benefits: The focus is to listen and be observant as well as to react quickly.
Minimum number of participants: 4
Resources needed: Clear space.
Instructions: A volunteer sits in the centre of the circle. The rest of the students are the TV channels. The student in the centre of the circle is watching the television. He/she is channel surfing. When they point to someone in the circle, they have turned on the channel. The person must speak; they can be a news channel, weather, sports, documentary comedy, drama, or a soap opera.
The channel surfer stays on the channel for about 30 seconds and then moves on. They can always come back to the same channel. Everyone should have a chance at being a TV station.

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Posted in Aesop's fabes, creative arts, Drama, Drama Activities for children, Drama for children, drama for kids, Drama strategies, Elements of Drama, Esl, Esl Drama, expressive arts, fables, Fairy Tales, Freeze Frame, Hot seating, Mime, Panchatantra plays, Role playing stories, Still image, Storytelling, teacher in role, Voice Production

Drama Lesson based on “The Lion and The Clever Rabbit”

The following is a Drama workshop to do with children in primary or elementary school. It is a useful workshop if you want to focus on the issue of Bully and isolation. It is based on the fable from the Panchatantra called “The Lion and the Clever Rabbit”. Here is a link to a version on you tube.

Once the teacher has told the story or watched the video ask the children to get into groups of four.

Physical warm up: In each group there is a monkey, an elephant, a snake and a rabbit. Get the children to move around the room and sound like their different animals. Get them to find the animal that is like them from the other groups and interact and play with them. The teacher gives a loud roar and the animals are frightened.

Teacher in role: The teacher in role as the Lion roars at them. She says “I’m very hungry and I’m going to eat all the animals in the jungle one by one.”

Still Image: In their animal groups the children make a still image of how they feel when they think the Lion is coming to get catch them and eat them.

Thought tracking: Once all groups are in the still image then the teacher out of role goes and touches them on the shoulder. Each animal has to say how they feel at that moment.

Conscience alley: Once the children are out of their still image they make two lines facing each other. The teacher in role as the the Lion walks in between the line as the children speak out as his conscience. The children in the line on the left hand should speak out that it is wrong to scare and eat the other animals and the children on the right hand side should speak out saying that he is right to scare and the eat the animals.
Examples: The left side could say “the animals are scared”, “what about their families?”,
“they want to stay in the jungle and play with their friends”.
The right side could say: “none of the other animals like you”, “you are hungry and you need to eat”, “you have no friends so you don’t care what they think of you”.

Hot seating: The teacher in role as the Lion sits in the hot seat. The children who are being themselves ask the Lion why he is behaving this way. Why does he want to eat all the animals in the jungle? Why is he horrible and mean to the other animals?

Group discussion: Get the children to get into role as their original animals. Tell them that they are going to change the ending of the story because the way the Clever Rabbit treated the Lion was as bad as how the Lion treated the other animals. They must come up with a more positive ending.

Group improvisation: The groups all improvise their endings in front of the other groups. The teacher takes on the role as the Lion in each group.

Role on the wall: Put two outlines of a Lion on the wall. Let the children choose words that describes the Lion before he got stuck in the well and one for after he was rescued from the well.

Closure|relaxation activity: Sleeping Lions – get the children to lie still on the floor and pretend to be a sleep. If they move then they are out and have to wake up with aloud roar.

Posted in Animal Stories, Christmas plays, Drama, Drama Activities for children, Drama for children, drama for kids, Drama games for 3 year olds, Drama games for 4 year olds, Drama strategies, Drama workshop for childre, Elements of Drama, Endings, English as a second language, English teaching games, Esl, Esl Drama, fables, Fairy Tales, Hot seating, Mime for children, Role playing stories, Story sacks, Storytelling, Storytelling in the Early years, Storytelling techniques, teacher in role, The Gruffalo, The Gruffalo drama workshop, Voice Production

The Gruffalo – Drama Workshop

Posted in Voice Production

Tongue Twisters Part 2

imageTongue Twisters

  • I like New York, unique New York, I like unique New York
  • Peggy Babcock loves Tubby Gigwhip.
  • Two toads totally tired, tried to trot to Tewkesbury
  • She stood upon the balcony, inimitably mimicking him hiccupping and amicably welcoming him in.
  • The sixth sick sheik’s sixth sheep’s sick

But she said, “This butter’s bitter.

But a bit of better butter

Better than the bitter butter,

That would make my batter better.”

So she bought some better butter

Better than the bitter butter

And it made her batter better.

So ’twas better Betty Botter

Bought a bit of better butter.

  • The skunk sat on the stump. The stump thunk the skunk stunk. The skunk thunk the stump stunk. What stunk – the skunk or the stump?
Posted in Voice Production

Practice the R sound

The Letter/Sound of R

The letter-sound association is “R r” as in “red robin” or “Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer.”
1. Play a listening game.
Which words in the sentence begin like “red robin?”

a. The rabbit ran down the road.
b. The rosebush has deep roots.
c. The rain will ruin my picnic.
d. The baby reached for the rattle.
e. Remember the rules of the game.

2. Which two words in each group begin with the “R r” sound?

row, run, dream quack, rough, river
read, throw, roar right, really, pickle
more, rose, ride raspberries, sing, ripe
rest, pilot, room rock, referee, walrus

3. Play a Word Guessing game.
All words your child guesses should begin with “R r.”
a. I see dark clouds in the sky. I think it’s going to ________. (rain)
b. A little animal with a cotton tail and long ears is called a ____. (rabbit)
c. The colors in the flag are blue, white and _______. (red)
d. A square and triangle have sharp corners, but a circle is ________. (round)

4. Rhyme Time: I will tell you about some words I am thinking of.
Each word will begin with the same sound as “radio.”

a. This is one of your hands. Its name rhymes with light. What is it? (right)
b. This is what people drive on. Its name rhymes with toad. What is it? (road)
c. This is a beautiful flower. Its name rhymes with nose. What is it? (rose)
d. This is something we eat. It rhymes with nice. What is it? (rice)
e. This gets shot into space. It rhymes with pocket. What is it? (rocket)

Posted in Voice Production

Tongue Twisters

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Tongue Twisters

  1. A skunk sat on a stump. The stump thought the skunk stunk. the skunk thought the stump stunk . What stunk the skunk or the stump?
  2. A tutor who tooted the flute, tried to tutor two tooters to toot. Said the two to the tutor, ‘Is it harder to toot or to tutor two tooters to toot?’
  3. If Freaky Fred Found Fifty Feet of Fruit and Fed Forty Feet to his Friend Frank how many Feet of Fruit did Freaky Fred Find?
  4. Pepperoni pizza on a pink pattern plate with parley on the side to your pleasure.
  5. 5. Peter Piper picked a peck of pickled peppers,
    if Peter Piper picked a peck of pickled peppers,
    wheres the peck of pickled peppers Peter Piper picked?
  6. Red Leather Yellow Leather Red Leather Yellow Leather Red Leather Yellow Leather….
  7. She shuts the Shop Shutters So the Shopping Shoppers can’t Shop.
  8. Unique New York….Unique New York…..Unique New York…..
  9. Which wrist watch is a swiss wrist watch?