You can play this online!
Age: 5 to adult
Time: 10-30 minutes
Skills: Speaking and Listening, Mime and Movement
Bring texts to sparkling life through images and movement
This activity is based on an approach developed by the Royal Shakespeare Company and can be applied to play scripts, story books or literature. It works particularly well for poetry, Shakespeare or other imagery-rich text. You can use it with a text that you are studying with the class, or use it as an introduction to a new play or speech.
Divide the text into sections, four to six lines for each group (roughly one per person in each group).
- Start by demonstrating with a few students to show how they can make a still image or movement for a single phrase or couplet
Encourage the group to come up with movements and images which can be literal or emotional responses to key words in the line.
Give out the text extracts, then ask the groups to:
- Choose a key word or short phrase in each line to interpret (you can ask them to underline these)
- Invent images and movements for key words, phrases or whole lines
- Find a way to perform the text as a group, speaking chorally or sharing the words between them as the students move through the images
- When you play back the whole speech start with the first line or couplet spoken by the group. Then go round the groups in order
The activity helps:
- To explore the meaning of the words with peers
- To connect the words to a physical memory, aiding recall
- To highlight the ideas and images in the text
- To highlight the repetition of strong ideas and images.
In a Zoom meeting this week we used this approach with a poem and groups went into the breakout rooms where they prepared a verse each. They also used props, toys and bits of material from around the house to add colour and sparkle to the presentation. It was amazingly effective.
- Want to try this game out? We play many games in our monthly Zoom Meetings which come as part of The Inspiring Drama Teacher course. We often come up with new ideas between us!