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Unlocking Your Imagination


Students will demonstrate an ability to unlock their imaginations by participating in some beginning exercises for imagination.


Materials Needed

Butcher paper/large post-its, markers


Lesson Directions

The teacher comes up with a real or invented machine (later on in the game you can get suggestions from the students). A student goes into the middle and imagines that he is a moving part in a complex machine. He starts doing a movement with his body, a mechanical, rhythmic movement, and vocalizing a sound to go with it. Everyone else watches and listens, in a circle around the machine. Another person goes up and adds another part (their own body) to the machine, with another movement and another sound, and so on until everyone is part of the machine. At the end of this exercise tell the students that the machine goes into overdrive, until it explodes. Or tell the students the power`s out, and the machine slowly grinds to a halt.


Step 1(Discussion/Transition): Discuss how they felt working together to create a machine of love, freedom, etc. (whatever suggestions you gave them). Ask if this activity helped them imagine themselves as a machine and helped them unlock their imaginations a bit more.

Step 2 (Transition): If necessary, finish the introductions that were started in the lesson before this.

Step 3 (Guided/Group Practice): Have the students mill about the room, give them suggestions of how they should walk/move (galloping, skipping, hopping, moving in slow motion, etc.) After this start to give suggestions such as “You are walking on soft green grass: How does it feel to you? Your feet are tired think what is like to put them down on soft, cool grass. Take your shoes off. Walk on it, feel it.” Another suggestion could be that there is ice underfoot: “It is hard, slippery, difficult to walk on, dangerous.” Acknowledge their efforts and offer encouragement to stimulate further invention. Other suggestions might include running across hot sand, stepping over puddles, crossing a creek, wading through snow.

Step 4 (Discussion): When this exercise is over, ask how the students felt in the beginning (stiff, self-conscious), and if they felt more comfortable as the exercise went on. Express that it is okay to imagine and pretend, especially in theatre. Then ask if they had any experiences with the exercise that they would like to share.

Step 5 (Guided/Group Practice): Next have the students imagine familiar games such as; tossing a ball. Suggest different types of balls they can toss (tennis ball, basketball, beach ball, ping-pong ball, bowling ball, etc.). The students should have little difficulty shifting from one ball to another and have fun showing its size and weight as they throw and catch it. Some may drop the ball, run for it, lose it, etc. Encourage this kind of imagination. Other favorite activities might include, flying kites, jumping rope, playing hopscotch, etc. Have the students share any feelings or breakthroughs in imagination they had.

Step 6 (Guided/Group Practice): Have the students gather together for another activity. Split them into groups and give each group 2 markers of different color, and a large piece of paper (oversized post-its, butcher paper). One student after another goes to the paper and puts a mark or drawing on it. When everyone has had a turn, second turns are taken (depending on time). The murals created by each group are then described and interpreted by everyone in the class. Explain that the more abstract the murals the more imaginative the interpretations may be.


Instruct the students to reflect on the day in their drama journals or on a piece of paper to hand in. They can write how it felt to imagine, how they felt they used their imaginations most, which activities they liked the most, and what they imagined during the activities.