Age: 6 to adult
Players: Small Groups
Time: 10-20 minutes
Skills: Mime and movement, Co-operation
Small groups make the shape of an object using their bodies – in only ten seconds!
This is a very popular drama game and a useful technique which can be developed easily towards improvisation or physical theatre. It’s also highly accessible and great fun!
Divide everyone into small groups (4-6). Call out the name of an object and all the groups have to make the shape of that object out of their own bodies, joining together in different ways while you count down slowly from ten to zero. Usually every group will find a different way of forming the object. These ones are good to try: a car, a clock, a washing machine, a volcano, a fire.
- Encourage groups to think about using different levels with their body shapes, eg high, medium and low
- Choose objects from a play you are rehearsing or a theme you are exploring
- Groups can be given a couple of minutes to devise an object of their own which the rest of the class try to guess
- It can be fun to make objects that involve movement (and sound)
- You can use the shapes as a quick way to create ideas for physical theatre
You can play this game online if you are using Zoom or a similar app where students can see and hear each other. Students will be making the shape on their own. If they need to give a hint, they can add sound and movement. Here are some possibilities:
- Choose a theme, for example the fairground. Each student has to think of an object that could be found at a fairground. Count down from ten, then they have to make the shape of the object they have thought of. Other students have to guess what they are. They get a bonus point if they have thought of an object that no-one else has thought of
- Call out a letter of the alphabet and they have to make the shape of an object beginning with that letter
- Objects/characters from a selected story, movie or TV programme
- Location (e.g. objects in an airport)
- An item of food
- Secretly choose an object from the room they are in
- Modes of transport, famous buildings, furniture, animals…
- If you have a large group, mute students’ microphones until it is their turn.
- Find fun ways to use Ten Second Objects in these downloadable lesson plans: