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Classroom Lesson Plans
Here are links to some lesson plans I've developed for use in my Creative
Drama Classroom (and a few games and lessons from others as well).
All of these lessons have been tested and proven successful in the classroom.
Let me know if they work for you. Have a great lesson plan you'd like
to share? Send it to me! I'll try it out and post it here.
I'm hoping eventually to have a large library of proven lesson plans here.
To help you find just what you need, I've sorted these lessons in a
few different ways:
Lesson Plans Sorted by Age Level
Most of these lesson plans work with a large age range (with appropriate
adjustments in level of sophistication), but I've listed them here in approximate
order, from youngest to oldest. These lessons are presented with fairly
specific instructions, for the most part, but should not be understood as
carved-in-stone methods. Every teacher will have her or his individual
slant on these activities.
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- DRAMA FROM PICTURE BOOKS:
A collection of ideas for using a picture book to start a Drama activity.
Listed first here because the ideas vary widely as to appropriate age level.
- HAND ANIMALS: A first character
game. For first-time drama students.
- NURSERY RHYME CHARADES: A pantomime
guessing game about nursery rhymes. For Pre-Kindergarten and up.
- A TREE GROWS: A narrative
pantomime about an apple tree growing from a seed. For Elementary and
- PAINTING THE BOX: A narrative
pantomime about personal space and visualizing colors.
- PAINTING THE MUSIC: A narrative
pantomime about emotion and drama in music and paint.
- RAINFOREST LESSONS: A small
collection of lessons and lesson variations about the rainforest. For Pre-Kindergarten
- NO, YOU CAN'T TAKE ME!: A fun
game that requires critical thinking skills. For Elementary students.
- THE LION KING'S COURT: A role-playing
game about friendship and animals. (Nothing to do with the Disney
film.) For Elementary students.
- SEASONS AND WEATHER: An activity
that teaches younger children about seasons and weather or that can be used
with older students as an improvisation game. For Elementary and older.
- COMING TOGETHER: A narrative
pantomime about space and visualizing space, and about community and friendships.
For Elementary and older.
- THANKSGIVING FEAST: A
narrative pantomime about using our senses and the First Thanksgiving.
For Kindergarten and up.
- SAINT GEORGE AND THE DRAGON:
A pantomime project based on the famous story. Teaches analytical
thinking skills and body awareness. For Kindergarten and up.
- RHYME CHARADES: A game of rhymes
and pantomime. For Kindergarten and up.
- AROUND THE WORLD IN THIRTY MINUTES:
An imaginary journey that teaches geography and cultures. For
- BEN FRANKLIN'S INVENTIONS: A
physical creativity game. For Elementary students.
- SCULPTURE GALLERY: A game of
posing and creating, which allows students to see the creative process from
the inside and the outside. For Elementary and older.
- MIRROR MIRROR: A collection
of mirroring exercises. For all ages.
- PUPPETS IN THE DRAMA CLASSROOM:
A collection of puppet-making and puppetry projects.
- GUIDED IMAGERY: Sensory awareness,
imagination, story-making and concentration all are enhanced by this meditation-like
activity. For around 3d grade to adult.
- EMOTION WALK: A big lesson
about movement, body language, and the ability to consciously control our
movements and the impressions we make with them. For older Elementary
- THREE LESSONS ABOUT ENERGY:
Three lessons designed around a third-grade science unit on energy and the
three states of matter. For Elementary students.
- THE JEFFREY GAME: A movement
game of building on one anothers' ideas. For older Elementary through
- MUSICAL FREEZE IMPROVS: An
improvisation game of creative movement. For all students.
- GROUP STORY PROJECT: A big
project. Guides a class to cooperatively write their own original story.
Can be used to generate a story for the Group Playwriting Project. For
- GROUP PLAYWRITING PROJECT:
Another big project. Guides a class to cooperatively write their own
play from an existing story. For older Elementary students.
- NEWS PLAYS: Supports Social
Studies, History, or Current Events curricula. Involves improvisation,
group planning, and performance. For older Elementary students.
- OREGON TRAIL PROPAGANDA: Supports
a Social Studies unit about the Oregon Trail. Examines the nature
of propaganda, as well as the nature of advertising in today's world.
For older Elementary students.
- FOURTH-GRADE PLAY: This is not
really a lesson plan. It is a narrative description of the entire project,
which took several months, by which my fourth-graders and I wrote and produced
a play about the Oregon Trail. For older Elementary and up.
- SOCIAL ROLES: A pantomime guessing
game that teaches the idea of social roles within any society, and supports
a Social Studies curriculum in world cultures. For older Elementary
- GIBBERISH SENTENCES: A pantomime
game that explores ways to communicate without words. Can be used
as a primer to more elaborate Theatre Games, or to support a Social Studies
curriculum about immigrants. For older Elementary and up.
- THE DISCOVERY OF FIRE: An improvised
scene about early humans. For older Elementary and up.
- RITUALS: Students create their
own magical rituals while exploring the importance of ritual to early (and
modern) cultures. For older Elementary and up.
- PAPER MASKS: A lesson using
masks to teach body language. Can be related to a Social Studies unit
on Greek Theatre. For older Elementary and up.
- EDWENA'S GAMES: The first of
what I hope will be many pages of games and lessons from other teachers.
A collection of concentration, warm-up and improvisation games from a friend.
- THREE WORDS: A pantomime and
improvisation exercise. For older Theatre students
- MAKE YOUR OWN GREEK PLAY: An
exercise designed to teach concepts about Classical Greek drama in a hands-on
way. For older Middle School and up.
- INSTANT JOURNEYS: A fun and
fast-paced improvisation and teamwork game. For Middle School and up.
- STORY STORY: A fun improvisation,
storytelling and pantomime game. For Middle School and up.
- I AM WALKING--INSTANT VERSION:
A game of cooperation and communication. For Middle School
- JOB INTERVIEW: A wacky
concentration game that makes you think on your feet. For older Theatre
- CIRCLE OF CHARACTERS:
A complex and challenging game of characters and observation. For
older Theatre students.
- HANGMAN CHARADES: Just for
fun. For Middle School and up.
- CONCEPT CHARADES: A challenging game of improvisation and creativity
. For Advanced Middle School and up.
- WHAT WOULD YOU DO?: An exercise for helping young
actors more fully inhabit their characters. For Middle School and up.
- SLOW MOTION WALK: A writing exercise, really. Great for
getting over writer's block. For Middle School and up.
- IMPROVS AND WARMUPS: A collection
of warmup exercises and improvisation games collected from various places.
For older Theatre students.
Narrative Pantomime /
Physical & Pantomime / Improvisation /
Role Drama / Writing / Collections
Lesson Plans Sorted by Type
These lesson plans are divided into the following categories (Since
many of these lessons do several things at once, they may appear in several
lists.) See above for descriptions.
Back to top of Plans Sorted by Type.
- Narrative Pantomime Stories:
These are lessons that involve Narrative Pantomime--a technique in which
the teacher or leader tells a story and each student, usually working independently,
"acts out" the story.
- Physical and Pantomime Activities:
These activities all teach physical control and pantomime communication.
- Improvisation Activities:
Virtually all Creative Drama involves improvisation,
but these plans focus in part on building improvisation skills.
- Role Drama Activities:
These lessons use the technique known as Role Drama, in which students are
in role and must make choices and relate to each other in role.
- Writing Activities:
These lessons focus on the writing process.
- Lesson Collections:
Though listed normally on other lists, these are actually collections of
related lessons, rather than individual lessons.
Back to top of page.
Social Studies & History (Including
Geography) / Science / Friendship
and Community / Language Arts (Including Writing)
/ Visual Arts
Lesson Plans Sorted by Cross-Curricular
In addition to the Drama and Creativity skills taught in my lessons, most
also teach concepts or skills from other disciplines--or general life skills.
In fact, many of them have been specifically designed to support my students'
curriculum in other areas. Below is a list of extra-dramatic skills
and concepts, with those lessons that touch on them. (Sometimes you'll
have to look at the "Variations" section at the end of a lesson to find