Objective: Students will be able to listen and respond to their scene partner by doing their scene without breaking eye contact.
Starter: Write on the board, “What are things that you do verbally and non-verbally when listening to someone?”
Hook: Ships and Sailors
Step 1: Introduce the game in an awesome sailor’s accent. Explain to them that they are now all sailors on a pirate ship and will be doing the various jobs and duties of sailors. I (the teacher) will be the captain. It’s extremely important that you listen to the captain or else she’ll throw you overboard!
Here’s how the game works. If I say:
“Captain’s Coming!” you must all stand at attention. Anyone who moves will be thrown overboard. You may not move until the Captain says, “At ease.”
“Ship!” You must all run to the ship, which is to your left.
“Sailors!” You must all run to the rest of the sailors, which are to your right.
Let’s practice these, then we’ll give you more!
(Run through each of the commands.)
Step 2: Now, let’s add a few more!
“Hit the deck.” You must fall on your belly onto the deck.
“Swab the deck!” You must begin mopping the deck.
“Titanic!” You fall in love with another crew member and do the titanic thing on the edge of the ship.
“Rowboat!” You must get in a vertical line consisting of three people and row like your life depends on it!
“Grub!” In groups of 4, you gather at a small table and eat your grub!
“Navigators!” In groups of 5, you all point to the North star to direct our ship.
Let’s do a practice round!
Step 3: Now, let’s play!
How was listening involved in this activity?
What was hard about listening to the captain?
Now that we’re warmed up to listen, I want each of you to get with your scene partners and find a place on the floor. If you are not memorized, you may go get your script, but I’d like to challenge each of you to try doing this activity without your scripts, even if that means paraphrasing some lines. You’ll get so much more out of this!
Activity 1: Listening
Step 1: Explain that the students are going to do a listening activity I often do when I am directing a show. Make sure you are sitting directly across from your partner. If you have two partners, sit in a close triangle. Make sure you are so close that your knees are touching.
Step 2: Now, each of you must keep eye contact with each other at all times. For those who are in groups of three, always be looking towards the person who is leading the scene. You are going to act out your entire script from this position. The point of this activity is to always be touching and looking at one another. DO NOT break eye contact. DO NOT stop touching. Those are crucial parts of this exercise. Do your best to look at them and really listen to everything they are saying.
Note: This may be uncomfortable for some. Explain that sometimes theatre requires you to step out of your comfort zone, to break your bubble. If students are feeling particularly claustrophobic, allow them not to touch each other.
Did you learn anything from this activity? If so, what?
How was your responding different since you had to keep looking at them?
Activity 4: Rehearsal and listening activity.
Step 1: Now, the rest of the class period is for you to rehearse. However, I want to be able to gage how well you all are really listening to each other in your scenes. So, at some point during class, I want you and your partner(s) to come do this activity that we just did for me. If you are able to complete it, you will get some candy. If you’re not, keep practicing and come back!
Conclusion/ Exit Card: Have the students answer the following question on a piece of paper in the last few minutes of class:
I am completely memorized. TRUE FALSE
I am coming to class prepared (have my script, a pencil, ready to work) TRUE FALSE