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  • Writer's pictureLaurie Swigart


The Theatre Lesson Plan Exchange

Educational objective: The students will demonstrate their ability to use their imagination and maintain a character by performing a fantastic and far-fetched 5 minute improv.

Materials Needed: A small simple object (like a plastic tube), activity worksheet

Hook: Have all the students sit in a big circle. Pull out the simple object and explain that it is a transformer, which mean that it may transform into any shape and size. However, it

may not transform into the same thing twice. Each student must decide what it is and then use it in that manner while the rest of the class guesses what it is. (for example, one student might pretend to light it with a match and then throw it - everyone would guess a stick of

dynamite). Go around the circle 3 or 4 times.

Step 1: Ask what the purpose of the exercise was. Why is imagination important in theater? Talk about how theater is imagination. It is not real. It's all in the imagination.

Step 2: Ask the students to get into groups of three but they must work with two others that they have not yet worked with. Make sure everyone has partners that they have not worked with before.

Step 3: Write down the names of those in each group on a piece of paper. Also assign a number to each group (ex. group 1, group 2, etc.)

Step 4: Explain the assignment. Tell them that here is a chance to let their imagination flow freely. Each group is to improvise a scene about five minutes long around 3 unrelated words. Explain that you will give each group their own words and then each group will incorporate those words into an incredible, fantastic, and far-fetched scene which eventually they will act out. They must write out and out line but not a script. As they improvise their imagination will supply the dialogue. Explain that they will be graded on how uniquely they worked the words into the scene and how fantastic the situation is and how well they maintained their character during the improv.

Step 5: Hand each group the activity worksheet and let them fill it out. Give each group 3 unrelated words from the list below. Groups that are finished may practice until all other groups are done.

a. toothbrush, horse, earring

b. paper clip, telephone, baked potato

c. pizza, Duke, typewriter

d. lamp, rifle, zipper

e. paintbrush, catacomb, dishwasher

f. rug, zebra, rosebush

g. trumpet, sea shell, tractor

h. aspirin, diamonds, cactus

i. cookie jar, snowshovel, swimming suit

j. doorknob, newspaper, monkey

k. spoon, dice, bathtowel

l. patio, haystack, elevator

m. worm, boxing gloves, postage stamp

n. mink coat, shovel, toaster

An alternative to these words is to give group three slips of paper and have them come up with three words. Put them in a container and have each group draw three.

Step 6: Have each group perform their improv.

Step 7: Discuss the imagination of each group and which group came up with the most outrageous situation. How could they have been more cleaver in using the words?

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