Ad Lib Fun is a great activity for any time, especially towards the end of the year when you need a break. This activity challenges students to think quickly while also allowing them to have fun. Students get into small groups and select a quote from an envelope. The quotes are included here, and they are from a wide variety of people including writers, athletes, musicians, etc. Students must speak for 60 seconds on the topic while someone in the group keeps time. If they speak for the time limit, they are still in the game. If students can't think of anything to say or can't hold out for the time limit, they are eliminated. There is an option for a whole-class competition and a differentiated option for struggling students.
My students enjoyed this so much that they wanted to do it again!
I have carefully selected quotes that will challenge high school students, but if you have struggling students, you may be more interested in the middle school version here:
Impromptu Speeches - Ad Lib Middle School Fun