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Applying Improv Skills (Summative Assessment)

Lesson 9 - Applying Improv Skills (Summative Assessment)

Objective: Students will demonstrate their understanding of the skills of improvisation by participating in activities from previous lessons and completing a written assessment.

Essential Questions

  • Why is improvisation an important skill to develop as an actor?
  • How can improv skills help us in life?
  • Why is it important to reflect on growth as actors?


  • Written Assessment
  • “Improvisation for the Theatre” by Viola Spolin


Review the 5 Skills of Improv with the students

  • Establish a Specific Situation
    • Review W’s: Who, What, Where, When
  • Add Conflict/Further the Conflict
  • Listen
  • Plan less, listen more
  • Yes, and

Discussion (have students discuss these with a partner first, then share with class)

  • How do these skills improve improvised scenes?
  • How can learning improvisation help you as an actor?
  • How can improv skills help you in real life?


Ask students to recall the first lesson of the unit when they played different improv games. Inform them that today they will play games from that first lesson and from other lessons as a way to analyze how much progress they’ve made as actors during this unit.

Tug-Of-War - Spolin pg. 63

  • Players must play tug-of-war with a space rope. The ‘rope’ in the connection between them. Players should choose partners of equal strength.
    • Side-coaching: Pull! Pull! Stay in the same space! Engage your whole body. Use as much energy as you would with a real rope.
  • Discussion
    • How did you apply the skills of improv?
    • How was this experience different from the first time you played tug-of-war in lesson 1?

Where Game pg. 98

  • The students focus on showing Where they are by creating a Who (Character) and What (Action) in that setting.
    • When one of the students has decided on a Where, invite them to become a character in that Where. They have to show non-verbally where they are with improvisation. 
    • This is non-verbal
    • When other students understand the Where, they create their own Who and What and enter the performance space. Invite students to think of who else is there and how the different characters would interact.
  • Discussion after each round of the game
    • How successful were you in applying the skills of improv?
    • How can we be more successful during the next round?
  • Play this game for a few rounds encouraging students to make more specific choices, listen to each other, add conflict, and say yes,and.

Add dialogue to Where Game

  • Continue playing the Where Game. Inform students they can now add dialogue to the scenes.
  • Discussion after each round
    • Is it easier or harder to apply skills with words?
    • How can we be more successful during the next round?

Discussion after game

  • What did you observe about this activity?
  • How are we growing as actors?


  • Two students are told to create a scene, with specific circumstances and clear conflict
  • When the characters are in an interesting position, one student yells “freeze!” The two performers do so. The student who yelled freeze then taps one of the performers on the shoulder and takes their place, assuming the position they froze in. 
  • The instructor yells, “Go!” and a completely new scene with new characters and plot begins, based off of the frozen position that the actors started in.
  • Discussion
    • As an audience member, what did you observe? Were the performers listening to each other? Did they add conflict? What other skills were they successful in? What skills do we still need to work on?

Discussion - SO WHY IMPROV?

  • What did you learn in this unit? 
  • How did you grow as performers?
  • What do you want to continue working on?

Summative Assessment

(This assessment was originally posted online as a Canvas assessment. It can be formatted to be a physical written test)

Reflect on this Unit and answer the questions below. This is the Final Assessment for this Unit, so it is worth 20 points. Answer all questions thoughtfully.

  1. What are the 5 skills of Improvisation we have been practicing (From What? Improv takes Skill)? (5 points)
  2. What are the 4 W's of given circumstances? (4 points)
  3. What was the most important skill you developed in this unit? (3 point)
  4. How did you grow as an actor? (3 points)
  5. Why is it important to learn improvisation as an actor? (5 points)