Theatre Game of the Week #5

Hong Kong kids in local schools have it bad... They're shoved into one classroom for an 8 hour period and put into a tiny desk. The teachers that teach the different subjects come in and out, preach to the kids for an hour on a microphone, and the kids are trapped inside this classroom with bars on the windows. I thought my high school sucked... And then I started teaching in Band 3 schools over here where they can't even leave their classroom for lunch! Active learning is really important as a tool in Hong Kong schools as it gives kids an opportunity to move around.

Game Name: Walking through Space

Tools needed: Imagination and some space to move around

Students needed: 5+

Time needed: 10-20 minutes

Special Note: Tell kids this game is 100% no talking. If they break the rule, start over from the beginning.

Have the students move around and then stop them. Explain how in theatre we move big so that people can understand our actions. This will get kids out of the mould of walking around like little lumps. Repeat the first command, start and stop until you get big freezes that satisfy you as an instructor. Then start adding adjectives to their movement: walk big, walk small, walk fast, etc. This will allow you to test their English levels on adjectives. After each stop point out people who have done a good job and tell someone when they need to improve. Then move onto emotions: walk happy, walk sad, walk excited. Again, repeat the praise and criticism with each stop. They'll get used to the pattern. Now, you can start adding characters. Walk like... a superhero, a policeman, a principal, an alien. For every stop, repeat praise and criticism. Make sure their character choices are clear and only delivered through action. (100% no talking...) Now, you can start making it a guessing game. Walk like your favourite animal.... and you as the teacher guess. Walk like another person in the classroom.... and you as the teacher guess. Walk like your favorite movie character... and guess.

At the end of the game round them up into a circle and talk about what they've done well and what they need to work on.

In the End: Students should be able to start/stop on command, create a character/emotion with actions only and make clear character distinctions with actions only. This is a great warm up game to move into miming activities.


  • Rufus
    04 November 2012

    Came on the site because of the article in SCMP. Love what you're doing!

Post New Comment