Story Ball is a creative listening game using beginner improvisation.
Sit the participants in a circle. The game begins with one student holding the ball which makes them the “storyteller”. The student begins telling the story (a few words or sentences depending on the grade level) then tosses the ball to another student who continues the story in their own words. The ball is tossed from student to student in a random order so that the story continues to build. The teacher may end the story at any time.
The aim of this game is to build listening skills, imagination and the ability to follow a simple story concept.
Only the person holding the ball may speak. The ball can be tossed in the middle or at the end of a sentence. The teacher may select the theme for the story. You may substitute any object for the “story ball”.
You may have students act out the story using props for their classmates. You may use this game as a “jumping off” point for writing assignments.
The Machine is an ensemble building game.
Decide what kind of machine you would like to build and the number of parts (participants). One person starts the action by creating a movement and sound for a particular part of a machine. The next actor then creates a movement and sound connecting their movement and sound to the first actor. This process continues until all actors are participating in the game.
The aim of this theater game is to work together using voice and body, while employing listening skills (each actor must listen to the others so that they are in the same rhythm and at the same volume as the other actors.
- Washing Machine
- Can Opener
- Snow Blower
- Computer Camera
Zip Zap Zop
Zip Zap Zop combines quick thinking with fast movements and sharpens attention skills. This game is a great way to start a day.
None (can use a bean bag for younger players)
Have students stand in a circle. Designate one player as the “starter”. The starter points to someone else in the circle while saying “Zip”, that player then chooses another player from the circle and points to them while saying “Zap”, that player then chooses another player by pointing to them while saying “Zop”. A player is deemed “out” when they do not respond, say the wrong word or mispronounce the correct response. The game continues until there is only one player left.
You must follow the sequence of (1) Zip, (2) Zap, (3) Zop. You may not physically touch another player or call their name. You must make eye contact with and make a physical gesture toward only 1 other player at a time.
You may change the words used to keep the exercise fresh for students.
Suggested Word Substitutions
- Snap, Crackle, Pop
- Plip, Plap, Plop
- How, Now, Cow
Change 3 Things
Change 3 Things is an observation game to help with memorization.
To increase observation and memory skills
Divide class into 2 equal lines facing each other. Each person’s partner is the person standing directly across from them. Everyone plays the game at the same time. Give the participants 1 minute to look at their partner and memorize their appearance (ie: wearing a vest, color of socks, glasses, shoelaces tied, etc.) Then have players turn around so that they are facing away from each other. Each player then changes 3 things about themselves (they can remove a piece of clothing, take their hair out of a ponytail, untie shoelaces, etc.). Have the participants turn back around to face their partner and give them 1 minute to look them over and try to figure out what has changed. Go down the line and see if everyone can guess the 3 changes.
You may use props or costume pieces to make the game more interesting.