Educational Objective:Students will demonstrate the different capabilities of their voices (while using them safely) by experimenting with vowel sounds, noisemaking, and using voice to tell a story.
Materials: “Going on a Bear Hunt” story or script to read from
Do the same warm-up we have been using to start every class, but this time, add vowel sounds to it. When the students are stretching, have them practice the five vowel sounds- a, e, i, o, u. Do it in a way where the vowels are extended, almost slightly sung (ex: aaaaaaa).
Practice “throwing” your voices. Explain that this is not screaming or shouting, and if we’re doing that, then we’re going to hurt our voices. We want to speak loudly and clearly, but we don’t want to hurt our voices. Have them practice saying a tongue twister such as “Many mumbling mice.”
Stand on the other side of the room. Tell the students to, one at a time, stand and face you and say the tongue twister, and sit down again. Explain that I need to be able to hear their voices but don’t want them to scream or shout.
Express praise when they are able to do it well. Take note of the students who might need to better control their voices or be quieter. Make sure to remind them to keep their voices at an inside level.
Discuss: How did it feel to be making sounds you don’t normally make? What kinds of sounds do you make every day? Why do we need our voices? What kinds of things can your voices do?
Step 2:Bear Hunt
Explain that we are going to explore more about what our voices can do.
Have all students sit on the floor. Explain we are going to go on a bear hunt. We need to use our imaginations to make the sounds that we will hear when we go on a bear hunt.
Model for students the ways to make some basic sounds. (e.g., pat legs for light and heavy rain, stomp feet to show running or walking)
Ask, “What does a car sound like? What does a siren sound like? What does a gentle breeze sound like? A strong wind?”
Ask, “How can you make the pitch of your voice go up? Can you make your voice very low? Can you growl? What do you sound like when you are scared?” Add more of your own.
Read “Going on a Bear Hunt” to students. The students will mimic by repeating lines using appropriate voice and volume.
Vary the pitch and volume of your voice and how you speak the words (stylize by either stretching them out or speaking them short and punctuated) to get students to explore vocal range.
When an action occurs in the story, stop and ask students what the action might sound like.
Discuss: Did you do anything with your voice that you didn’t know you could do? How were we able to make the world feel real with our voices?
Why is voice important? How can we use our voices for good? What do we use our voices for?
Explain that learning to use our voices is a great way to be real theater masters and is an important step to creating characters. Have the students repeat the building block exercise from before, demonstrating that they are learning a lot!