Students will demonstrate their understanding of nonverbal storytelling by performing a short scene.
Hook: Without speaking motion to the students to come and sit in a circle on the floor. Pull out premade cards with the following phrases on them “Welcome to the circle” “Today we are going to play a game” “It is a silent game” “Here I have a magic box” “This box can grow, shrink, etc.” “It can hold anything (as long as it’s appropriate)” “Like a Mary Poppins Bag” “Rules” “No Talking” “One at a time take an object out of the box” “Show everyone the object” “Put the object back in the Box” “Pass the Box to the next person in the circle” “Make Sense?” “I’ll Go First”. Proceed to demonstrate by pulling an object out of the box, pantomime what the object is, put it back in the box, and pass the box to the next student in the circle.
Step 1: Transition/Discussion– Once everyone has pulled out an object from the box, pantomime shrinking the box and putting it back in your pocket and break the silence. Ask the students first for observations. What did you observe? What objects did we see? How could you tell what objects they were? If there was any confusion ask how the object could have been made more clear?
Step 2: Practice– Instruct the students that we are going to play the game again, but this time they get to interact with the person next to them. As we once again pass the box around silently, this time the first person in the team will pull out their object again and as they interact with the object, the person to their right will pull out their object and find a way to interact with each other without talking until their scene reaches an end and they put both objects away. The box is then passed to the next group and the process is repeated until you once again put the box away. Call for no talking and begin the game.
Step 3: Discussion – Talk with the students about their experience performing a scene through improv without talking. Discuss why movement/gesture is so important and how it can enhance a scene. What were some successes from the scenes, and why were they successes?
Step 4: Assessment – Divide the students into groups of four and instruct them that they are now going to tell a story without using words but incorporating the four objects from their stories (This time they can discuss what they want to do beforehand).
Give the students time to plan and rehearse and then perform for the class. At the end of each performance discuss the basic storyline and ask students to share moments that they enjoyed from the scenes and why. Focus on the benefits of exaggerating and making distinct movements and which gestures helped them to understand the story better.