From: 101 MORE Drama Games and Activities

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 Online

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.

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

Scene Locations

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

Your work is phenomenal and your website offers so many inspiring ideas to use in the different teaching areas in my life!
Laura Giosh-Markov 
Laura Giosh-Markov

Thank you for an absolutely brilliant session today! The audience was in awe and we topped the attendance limit so that we had to increase the size of the room to let more attendees in 😄huge success, thank you for your great contribution from everyone here. All best wishes, and thanks a million again, it was a joy to work with you!

Federica Fiorillo and Mike Riley 
Federica Fiorillo and Mike Riley

Thank you for sharing your gifts and wisdom with us in such an effortless way.

Jeff Schmidt, Deputy Head,  
Jeff Schmidt, Deputy Head,

Thank you so much for delivering an exciting, productive and valuable series of workshops.

Michael Clack, Headmaster 
Michael Clack, Headmaster

David spent the day at our school with a focus on Drama across the Curriculum within the EYFS and Key Stage 1. The day was filled with practical activities. We hardly sat down! David ensured we had the theory to back up the practical by providing appropriate links. My staff left with an abundance of activities to draw upon and had a renewed energy to take back into their classroom. I would highly recommend a day with David!

Geraldine Dunkerley, Headteacher 
Geraldine Dunkerley, Headteacher

Thanks so much for giving us a real lift of energy and excitement about teaching on a cold and dreary January evening! I am so excited to try out Whoosh! today and 1,2,3 and am already planning next week’s lessons with the Imaginarium and many others!

Ellen Savill, Assistant Head of Pre-Prep 
Ellen Savill, Assistant Head of Pre-Prep

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