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

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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!


Posted in Group activities for low self esteem

Group Session for children dealing with low self esteem

The following six weeks programme is designed for clients aged 7 to 9 with low self esteem. The group compromises of 2 boys and 2 girls. The sessions take place weekly and last for 50 minutes. The programme is based on the premise the clients in the group have the following difficulties:

  • They have unrealistic expectations of themselves.
  • They find creativity difficult.
  • They have feelings of incompetence and worthlessness.
  • They have poor social skills.
  • They suffer from feelings of being frightened, scared, anxious or ambivalent.
  • They have difficulty making friends.
  • They have difficulty conceiving and reaching goals.

The overall aim of the sessions is to enable the clients to become more confident, more self assured and to have a more positive image about themselves.

Session 1:

Aim of session: Introduce the group to the process and help them operate as a group with the support of the therapist.

  1. Contract – As a group get the clients to come up with the boundaries for their group. This will help them feel part of the process and encourage them to operate more effectively as a group. There should not be more than five boundaries but they should include respect for themselves and others, confidentiality and punctuality. Put the rules on poster paper and get each one of the clients to sign it. If they wish the therapist can type them out and give each member of the group a copy the following week.
  1. Tell them why they are there. Invite the clients to talk about “what is self esteem?” Write the ideas on the poster paper. Things that could be included are:
    • knowing who you are,
    • What can you do?
    • What can’t you do?
    • Feeling good about yourself,
    • Being a good friend.
  1. Invite discussion about the things that contribute to low self esteem such as:
    • Listening,
    • Communicating,
    • Receiving positive messages,
    • Understanding that differences happen,
    • Accepting yourself,
    • Accepting others,
    • Learning about others.
  1. Get the clients to decide on the name for the group.
  1. Machines: The entire group works together. The therapist calls out the name of a machine and the group have to use their bodies to create that machine. Each person is a different part of the machine. Examples: photocopier, dishwasher, computer, bicycle, fridge, plane, coffee machine etc.., This will encourage co-operation, communication and help the group form.
  1. If I was…. In a circle get them to close their eyes and imagine they were a tree or flower.  Which one would they choose? What would they look like? How would they move? How would they feel?
  1. The clients draw a picture of how they would look as a flower or a tree.
  1. Ending RoutineRelaxation exercise – Be a STAR!The clients lie down on their backs and spread their arms and legs as far as they can go. They feel like they are making a four pointed star. They stretch as hard as they can and suddenly the star collapses.

Session 2:

Aim of session: Accepting difference within themselves, looking at expectations and accepting limitations.

  1. Starting routine: Weather chart- a large sheet is divided into four. Each section has a picture of a different weather situation such as the sun, rain, wind and a tranquil lake. An arrow is in the middle of the sheet. The clients point the arrow to the weather picture that best represents their feelings at that moment. (Other clients in the group could guess why a certain client is feeling that way).
  1. Guide dogs: Divide the group into pairs. One person in the pair closes their eyes and the other person who is their guide dog guides them around the room making sure she doesn’t bump into anything. They do not talk during this game. Reverse the process. This is a very useful trust exercise.
  1. Polarities – Give them a sheet of paper and on the paper are the following statements:

I am friendly

I am a bully

I am loveable

I am dull

I am lonely

I am wanted

I am hated

I am a failure

I am fun

I am winner

I am not ok

I am lively

I am successful

I have good ideas

I can make good decisions

I can solve problems

I can ask questions

I am not a good listener.

Each client has to underline the statements that applies to him/her.

  1. Dragon Hunt; Tell them they are going on a dragon hunt. Get a picture of a dragon a divide it into 8 pieces. Hide the pieces around the room. A leader is chosen randomly. In order to find the dragon they have to go on an adventure through a river, mud, long tall grass. They have to go up a mountain. Masking tape or chairs can be used to define the areas for the river, mud etc..,. The leader must work with the others to come up with solutions of how they will overcome the obstacles in their way. They will need to help each other. When they eventually get to the Dragon’s cave they may need to split into 2 groups in order to find the dragon. This is a good exercise to do in terms of giving and accepting instructions and encouraging and supporting others.
  1. When all the pieces of the puzzle are found they work in a group to put it together.
  1. Ending routine – relaxation exercise – candles – everyone is a candle standing up straight. The candle has been lit and the candle slowly melts to the ground.

Session 3:

Aim of this session: to help with creativity and feelings of competence and self worth.

  1. Starting routine: Pick a Pillow: Have a selection of pillows of all shapes, sizes and colours. Once they have chosen their pillow they can say how they are feeling.
  1. In pairs get them to represent how they feel about themselves in the sand tray. Do not partition the sand tray as “this creates paradox and contraindicated in joint sand play: it is like saying play together but do not play together.” (the handbook of group play therapy P.227). After they have done the sand tray allow the members of the group to quietly sit before the sand tray created by the other pair. Invite each pair to share a story or an association to their own sand tray. Give time for asking questions and initiating sharing about the group process, the impact the sand tray has on individual group members, the relationships of the issues raised in the sand trays ad how they correspond and represent the clients’ feelings.
  1. Ending routine – smoke in a chimney – stand comfortably and start to undulate the whole body starting with the feet (allow the heels to be raised from the floor) Imagine ripples moving up the body and flowing out of the top of the  head. These ripples are making you move forward and backwards. Now change and undulate from side to side. Imagine you are some smoke meandering up a chimney.


Session 4:

Aim of this session: To work closely and co-operatively with each other to help minimise anxious, frightened or ambivalent feelings.


  1. Starting routine – get each individual to draw a line or shape of how they feel at that particular moment.
  1. Give them the handout of the magic forest and get them as a group to fill in the gaps.
  2. Get them to paint a group picture of their magic forest.
  1. Sardines; (depends on the size of the room) One client hides and the others look for her. When they find her they join her and eventually all four clients will be hiding in the same spot – this is good for finding a safe spot in the magic forest – it helps with fears and anxieties and it shows the usefulness of support..
  1. They create a group story using the sand tray about what happened in the forest.
  1. Ending routine: relaxation exercise – rubber puppet – The clients imagine they are a rubber puppet. They are being pulled from above. They are pulled up and their limbs fly about in all direction. Their feet are being pulled off the ground. Finally the strings are cut and they relax.

Session 5:

Aim of session: To help children to focus on their personal attributes and be aware of their strengths and limitations.


  1. Starting routine: Pass the cushion – the clients sit in the circle and pass the cushion to one another. When a client has the cushion in their hands they must say their and adjectives to describe how they are feeling.
  1. Simon says: – encourage turn taking, listening and communication.
  1. Body image – divide the group into pairs. One person stands with his/her back against a sheet of paper on the wall while the other draws around their partner’s body. Each client takes their body image and fills it in with a self portrait.
  1. When everybody is finished they reflect on their own portrait and the other clients’ portraits. They are invited to share their thoughts and feelings in the group.
  1. Ending routine: relaxation exercise – candles see session 2.

Session 6


Aim of this session: To experience the feelings of being supported in a  successful group and bring the sessions to a close.

  1. Starting routine: Each client makes a movement of how they feel to-day.


  1. Each client chooses a musical instrument and one by one everyone joins in until everyone is playing their instrument together.
  1. Get the group to think of a nursery rhyme and use the musical instrument to represent the nursery rhyme. This can be done in pairs or as a whole group.
  1. Make a clay shape about how they feel about the group coming to an end. Each client can join their shape with another client if they both wish. Some clients may wish to stay alone with their shape and feeling. The clients can also change their shapes if they wish.
  1. Ending routine: Each client choose a small world symbol to represent how they felt being part of the group for six weeks.