Discovery: It is really challenging to write Teach it Tuesday posts when one is not teaching. That said, it’s only the second week of school in our corner and I feel like a few drama games might be of benefit this week! So here you go, folks – drama, drama, drama.
Props: I have tried and failed multiple times to find a hilarious and school appropriate YouTube clip of Whose Line is it Anyway’s props game. I love this game – the skits and stills the comedians come up with is genius, alas, definitely not school appropriate. A few years ago I created my own bag of props to use and let me tell you, some of the things my students come up with is even better than Whose Line. When we play this game I lay down a few simple boundaries: keep it classy and respectful, no noises to assist the prop and share with everyone! Allow students a prop of their choice, or not. If your students feel comfortable performing solo in front of the class, let them! If they feel more comfortable being in small groups, do that (and offer a few props per group). Allow a few minutes for the student(s) to come up with their prop’s use, and off you go. This game gets noisy and funny very fast, which makes it even better.
Step Up to the Line: This game is interesting because it requires absolutely no materials or props, unless you wish to create an actual line with tape on the floor. This game can be played across all curricular subjects and it can be light hearted or quite serious. In the past I’ve played a silly and serious version with students; however, while you and your students are still getting to know one another, I would recommend keeping this game on the lighter side. You can watch a clip of a serious version from the Freedom Writers movie below (it always brings me to tears, but accurately displays the power behind connection among people). You are free to create your own list of questions/phrases to ask you students, but some examples for a light hearted version might include:
Step up to the line if…
-you have siblings
-you have a pet
-you’ve traveled outside of the province/country
-you can cook
Act it Out: This one is not so much a game as it is a gentle reminder to get your students out of their desks to enhance and differentiate their learning. If you are crafty about this, you can likely act out any piece of a curricular topic. The last time I taught grade 8 science I brought in an acting piece to our digestion unit. I managed to wrangle a vacuum “hose hugger” (which happened to be the exact length of an adult’s small and large intestine combined – convenient!) and a small ball. My students and I stretched out in the hall and squeezed the ball along the inside of the hose hugger until it popped out at the opposite end (so much
inappropriate fun, even for grade 8s…shall I say especially for grade 8s?!) This little acting session brought to life the real length of a small and large intestine and gave a slight indication at how far our food has to go in order to properly digest. Be creative!