Theatre Game of the Week #52

This game is called The Nutcracker and is a perfectly themed game for Christmas time in the classroom. First you're gonna need some sweet tunes from The Nutcracker so get them on your MP3 player stat! Explain the concept of a Nutcracker to your kids. It's made of wood and has very stiff joints. Basically the class is going to be a pile of Nutcrackers and slowly come to life with magic.

Game Name: The Nutcracker

Materials Needed: Music, Open Space

Kids Needed: 5+

Time Needed: 10+

Step 1) The students are made completely of wood. They can't move any part of their bodies. The music plays and now the magic spell has begun.  It begins at the top of their head.  The spell moves down to their head.They now can move their face.

Step 2) The spell gets to their mouth.  They can smile.  They can make noises but say no words. It feels strange at first, and probably looks pretty strange too, but slowly the kids grow more comfortable with it.  Try some other facial expressions as well. Now the kids can turn their heads. They can look up and down. What do they see?

Step 3) The spell reaches their shoulders.  But remember, the arms and hands are still attached to the torso, since Nutcrackers are carved from a single piece of wood, so they can move ONLY their shoulders.  Try some circles.

Step 4) The elbows can move now, but still not the hands.  As the spell goes lower, see if the kids can pull their left hands away from the body.

Step 5) The spell has reaches the student's waists.  Carefully bend forward, to the side.  See if the Nutcrackers can bend backwards.  Now the spell reaches the hips, but the knees are still locked together and the feet are glued to the floor. The spell now gets to the knees.

Step 6) Reach down and see if the kids can pull their foot off the floor. Point the toes.  Flex the foot.  Make little circles. Now see if the kids can get the right foot free. The kids are all real now!  See how they can move.  Careful at first--these are the Nutcracker's first steps!  Let's find all the ways the student's new bodies move!

Step 7) Continue to play the music and have them free style dance.


In the end: Kids have worked on body isolation, warmed up and connected with classical music.

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