Age: 10 to adult
Players: Small Groups
Time: 10-20 minutes
Skills: Improvisation, Movement
How often do you meet someone who reminds you of an animal? In this game, animal traits are used as a basis for developing bold and funny characters.
Give each group a setting for an improvisation but ask each player to choose an animal on which to base the personality of their character. The character must be human, but will be affected by the movement, sounds and behaviour of the selected animal.
Encourage the actors to begin subtly and allow the animal traits to get more obvious as the scene progresses. A mundane setting is best, such as a doctor’s waiting room, a job interview or a bus stop where we can see the characters slowly developing. The type of animal the characters are based on will affect their status within the group and this will become more apparent as the improvisation progresses.
After watching a few of these it will become clear that a lot of people we see around us may well have animal characteristics without knowing it.
- You can write the names of animals on cards and hand these to the actors just before they rehearse the scene
- The characters in a scene could all be the same type of animal
- As a warm up you can ask everyone to choose an animal and explore its movement
Play the game using Zoom or a similar video-conferencing platform. Ask for two volunteers. Send a message to each player, allocating a different animal to each of them. Give them a situation to improvise using that animal character. Give them a minute or two with everyone else watching, then invite people to put their hand up to guess the animals. If you use breakout rooms then you can divide the class into pairs or groups to improvise as different animals.
Ant, Camel, Cat, Crocodile, Dog, Elephant, Flamingo, Fox, Frog, Giraffe, Grizzly Bear, Gruffalo, Hippopotamus, Kangaroo, Koala, Leopard, Lion, Llama, Meerkat, Monkey, Octopus, Ostrich, Otter, Owl, Panda, Penguin, Rabbit, Seal, Sloth, Snake, Spider, Springbok, Tortoise, Tyrannosaurus Rex, Whale, Wolf
Art gallery, amusement park, beach, bus stop, cafe, cinema, classroom, courtroom, dentist’s surgery, doctor’s waiting room, deep sea diving, disco, garage, gym, hairdresser’s, heaven, International Space Station, launderette, library, market place, museum, pirate ship, playground, railway station, restaurant, shopping mall, supermarket, swimming pool, village square, zoo
COMING ON JANUARY 21!
Drop of a Hat: Drama Lessons, Games and Activities is for any teacher who wants to bring the curriculum to life through drama and creativity. Each lesson is based on a story, poem or theme and divided into bite-sized sections. If you’re looking for a quick fix, just choose a couple of activities. If you’re new to drama, there’s a section at the back describing the games and strategies in detail.
You’ll find approaches for using drama to raise standards in literacy and to explore stories, characters and themes. Topics covered include global warming, looking after pets, dealing with bullying and exploring issues around refugees. There are over a dozen activities for using Drama in Science as well as a lively introduction to Shakespeare’s A Midsummer Night’s Dream. There are activity sheets and cards to accompany many of the activities.
DROP OF A HAT by David Farmer will be published on 21 January 2021