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 and Mime Activities 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

Meetings

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

Hijack

  • 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!

Other links:

Movement Story – The Magical Music Shop

Posted in Role playing stories

Storytelling with Early Years

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Storytelling with Early Years

The following are some pointers you should use when story telling to young children the first thing that a teacher/educator should do is identify the children’s interest. Identify the children’s interest. Examples of topics that children maybe interest are animals, stories where children their age are heroes’ stories about things children like to do, getting dirty, playing with an adult around, trying something new for the first time, etc.

Another question that often comes to light especially with new teachers is “where do I find good and appropriate stories for young children?” The stories can be from your head that you have remembered from childhood or have  made up. The stories can be from picture books particularly useful if trying to encouraging reading.  Libraries have many collections of folktales often compiled in easy format books, or adaptable to your needs. Stories that deal with families are also often very effective.

There are some key elements that you must engage with to make story time successful. You must know and like your story, know and like your audience and make sure the story and audience match each other. Another important point is that you must be flexible.

The next important step is you must learn to tell  a story. First you must learn the bare bones plot (3 pigs left home and each built a house: one of sticks, one of straw, one of bricks. A wolf came and blew down the straw and stick houses. He tried to get into the brick house but got boiled when he went down the chimney into a pot of water. The End; a fox made a crow drop some cheese by flattering her into opening her mouth to sing. The End. Etc.)  Practice it and tell it to yourself while driving. You should tape it and listen to it and if you want look at yourself in the mirror while practising so you can see your facial expression and body language.

You must make the stories  exciting and fun. The following are the tools of the teller:

Voice
A good voice exercise is to write some sentences on a blackboard, and have each person say them in different situations. For instance, say “I want a cup of coffee” as though you were tired, happy, angry, disgusted, humiliated, etc. Then change this to an entire situation: you are in your boss’s office and he has just fired you. Let them choose the emotion and the voice.

Body language
Have two people hold up a sheet, and two more stand behind it, the sheet covering their torsos and upper legs. Whisper an emotion into their ears, and then say “go.” Have the students point out what made them know which emotions they were imitating. This is called cultural knowledge. We know when people are angry, sad, excited, etc. We don’t always know why we know, but we do know. So do children in fact, they are sometimes quicker to pick this up because they need it for living by adult rules. So be careful with your face and body language; the children are reading it.

Imagination
There are many old theatre games that work well here. One I like is the Magic Box – an imaginary box that goes around the circle, each person pulling out and using an object until everyone has guessed what it is. This involves the next tool: cooperation. Someone will choose something complex , and no one will be able to guess. Then we have to cooperate with the audience, help them, give them clues. It is our responsibility, not theirs, to provide the communication needed to make the link to our thoughts.

Remember: you’re not just telling stories; you’re teaching them to be an audience

  • Intersperse with rhymes, fingerplays, prop stories
  • Sing
  • Keep stories short

Some examples of good storytelling activities are as follows:

Game: Pop-up Story Book

  • Age: 3 years +
  • Minimum number of participants: 2
  • Resources needed: Clear space, a story book.
  • Other Benefits: This is an excellent listening game that can be played with any number of children. It helps them to engage in the storytelling process.
  • Instructions: The teacher chooses a story to read that the children are familiar with. Each child is given a word. For example if the teacher was reading ‘Goldilocks and the Three Bears’, child A is given the word Goldilocks, child B, baby, child C, porridge, child D, bed and so on. When each child has been given a word the game can begin. All the children lie on the floor. When the child hears his/her word s/he must jump up. If they miss their turn they are out and can’t pop-up anymore.

Participation/movement stories

Game: The Hungry Tree

  • Age: 5+
  • Minimum number of participants: 3
  • Resources needed: Clear space.
  • Other Benefits: This is an excellent introduction to improvisation as the children are free to explore their imaginations. It also helps with their co-ordination skills.
  • Instructions: The teacher tells the children the following story and they have to improvise the movements in the story. The teacher gets the children to imagine they are an adventurer who wants to go on an adventure. They have to pack up their bags. The teacher asks what they need in the bags. Children’s answers are usually for example water, sandwiches, sun cream, and sunglasses and so on. The children mime putting all these essentials into their bag and then mime all the actions in the adventure below. The teacher says imagine you are walking quickly because you are so happy to be on your adventure. You see a mountain and decide you should climb it. The sun is getting hotter and hotter and you are getting tired. You get very, very tired. You wipe your brow to show how tired you are. You begin to climb slower and slower. You are very thirsty. You take out your water and take a drink. You put it back in your bag and climb the rest of the way up  the mountain. Eventually you get to the top. You are exhausted, very hot and very hungry. You decide it is time for your picnic. You see a lovely tree and you go and sit under its shade. You eat your picnic and go for a nap. Then suddenly you wake up and see the tree moving towards you. The tree grabs you and you realise it is a very hungry tree and wants to eat you. You scream. You struggle. You fight the branches but you are getting weaker and weaker. Then suddenly the tree stops fighting for a moment. You get your chance to escape. You quickly grab your bag, and run back down the mountain. You get to the end and you don’t stop in case the hungry tree is running after you. You run all the way home, lock all the doors and hide under the table.

 

Some advice on how to keep the children focused while storytelling.

Magic Glue  This is a basic scenario: “Okay, now everybody is standing up, right? Here we go. Pick your right leg up with your hands. Now stick it to the floor with the magic (or imaginary) glue. Push it down hard. Wiggle it around. Is it stuck? Oops, that one’s not stuck; better try again. Everybody stuck? Good, now the left leg. Okay, can you move your feet off the floor? Try.” All sorts of contortions as you show them your feet are stuck. “Okay, now let’s run with our feet stuck to the floor!” If you do it, they will do it.

If you wish to read more ideas about the different dram games that can be used with young children in early years settings and primary school, please go to Drama Start  and enter the coupon REW50 and you will receive a copy of the book for  a special price of  €2-00. Alternatively you can buy the kindle version of the book form amazon.co.uk or amazon.com

Posted in Drama Activities for children, Drama for children, drama for kids, Movement stories for children

Drama movement games – Part 2

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Name: Cat and mouse.

Age: 4 years +.

Required number: 10+.

Requirements: Clear space.

Procedure: All children are in pairs. One child is cat, one other child is mouse, and all others stay in pairs, arms hooked together. Cat chases mouse; when mouse is caught then mouse becomes cat and vice versa. However, mouse can escape chase by hooking into any pair of other players. At that point the player at the other end of the pair becomes cat and the cat becomes mouse.

Name: Magic Box.

Age: 3 years +.

Required number:  2+.

Requirements: Clear space.

Procedure: This is a fun mime game. Everyone sits in a circle. Ask the students can they see the box in the centre of the circle. Ask them what colour is it?. What shape is it? 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 in first and opens the box and takes out an object. She then mimes the object and the class must get what object it is. When the students guess what object it is the teacher puts the object in the box and closes it. Whoever guessed correctly takes a turn at taking something out of the box.

Name: Captain’s coming.

Age: 4 years +.

Minimum number of participants:  3+.

Resources: Clear space

Procedure: The teacher can be the captain or one child is chosen to be the captain. The captain calls out orders to the rest of the children who are the crew. If a child does not follow an order correctly s/he is out. !

Orders                                     Action

Bow                                          run to the left side of the space

Stern                                        run to the right side of the space

Port                                          run to the left.

Starboard                              run to the right

Man overboard                   lie on back and swim

Submarines                           lie on back and stick one leg straight up.

Man the Lifeboats               find a partner, sit together, and row!

scrub the Decks                   children crouch down and pretend to clean the floor with their hands.

Climb the Rigging                 children pretend to climb a rope ladder.

Captain’s coming                  children salute and shout out “Aye Aye Captain”

Man Overboard                     children on their backs waving legs and arms in air as they drown.

Walk the Plank                       children have to walk in a perfect straight line one foot exactly in front of the other with arms outstretched to the sides.

Captain’s daughter is coming.     everyone curtseys

Hit the Deck                             children lie down on their stomachs.

For more movement games and activities, click here.