Whether you are new to teaching drama, or simply want to add some fun to your class, these activities will help set the tone for a building a strong classroom community. If you have been teaching for years, these activities can help you feel inspired by trying something new!
On a typical first day of drama, you’ll want to:
Introduce yourself and create a sense of excitement/magic
Start to establish trust within the group
Introduce an easy performance activity
For each of the above-stated goals, Drama Notebook contains a wealth of ideas and games ranging from classic to new and inventive. The activities in this lesson are organized into categories according to the goals stated above and include suggestions for when/how to use them.
Here is an example of a performance game for the first day:
World’s Worst Auditions
This original Drama Notebook game is an excellent first-day-drama activity if you have time for all of your students to have a turn. In this game, students will be performing, but they will be doing so without feeling pressure to be a ‘good actor,’ and the point of this game is really to give students a positive experience of performing on their first day of drama. It should result in a lot of laughter and ease any tension that the more reluctant students in your group will be feeling.
This game in its entirety (including two scripts) is available in the 75 No-prep Drama Lessons section of Drama Notebook.
How to play:
Tell students that the name of the game is ‘World’s Worst Auditions,’ and that in a moment, each student will receive sides (which are short scripts used for auditions).
Distribute sides to all students. In pairs, ask students to take the stage. One person is the reader. That person merely reads the line without a lot of emotion or inflection—there is no pressure to perform. The other person’s job is to act his/her part badly. It’s up to each student as to how he/she accomplishes this. The student may elect to be extremely quiet. He/she may cough throughout the audition. He/she may continually apologize or fidget, etc. Tell students to try not to repeat what has already been done…to come up with something new.
Allow students to self-select when playing this game and announce that everyone will have a chance to play the reader and the actor who is auditioning. After a student plays the actor auditioning, he/she becomes the new reader, and so on.