I went to a one-day conference in Chicago called Arts Alive
sponsored by the Illinois Alliance for Arts Education. This conference was for all arts educators by arts educators. One of the sessions I was most looking forward to was on using theater games in the classroom. The presenter, Aimee-Lynn Newlan
, had us actively learning the games for the entire hour. It was so much fun that I (literally) laughed until I cried!
If I'm having this much fun with all my grown up inhibitions, then my fun-loving freely expressive little students will have the time of their life as we learn about art with these games. To make sure I didn't lose my ideas and to better communicate them to my students, I put this little video together with the ideas we developed during the session.
Hey You and You Two
One student takes the lead and points to one person in the circle and calls out an artist composition. That person and the two on either side of him/her have to use their bodies to become this composition.
Symmetrical, Asymmetrical, Landscape, still life, abstract, cityscape, seascape, etc.
Compliments and Complementaries
For this game students are thinking about saying nice words (compliments) and opposite colors (complementaries). This forces all students to listen and be ready with an answer and a kind word.
One student is the "clay" and two students work as "sculptors" to create whatever the leader calls out. You can have students sculpt action poses (run, slouch, ponder), emotions (fear, hurt, sad), or pieces of art (The Thinker, The Scream, The Mona Lisa).
The No Talking What-so-ever Quiet Game
My students have trouble doing anything quietly. So this game is a great way for them to use their bodies to make collaborative art without words. The leader calls out something like "Become a winter scene". Students join in as they catch on to each other's non-verbal cues.
Pass on the Name
This game is derived from "The Name Game". Instead of using our real names we would take on an artist name to begin with and pass it on to each classmate we meet and greet while taking on their name for our own. It requires good memory and concentration.
Sit out if you forget or meet "yourself" again.Print out these artist greeting cards
This was the game that made me laugh until I cried. A group was formed and told we are one person and must speak as one. Then we were asked a question like "What is your favorite color?" We had to look at each other and start to speak, follow, blend our syllables until we were really saying the same thing.
Students were lined up and told they could only contribute one word when it was their turn to speak. This word was to help make one collaborative statement that answered my question. This game forces you try to adjust to other people's thoughts and contribute a word that fit grammarically.