Lesson Plan for an Improv Class

Hey there, 

I had so much fun on Wednesday testing out my Improv game and thought I would post my lesson plan up here for your viewing pleasure and maybe if you want to teach some Improv this could be your first step! 

 

Teacher Guide

 

Objectives

(Specify skills/information that will be learned.)

The students will learn the concept of advancing (advancing the idea, action and ultimately the scene.)

They will also learn the basics of CROW (Character, Relationship, Objective and Where) to help them in their scene work.

Materials Needed

  • Improv Character Worksheet (attached)
  • Pencil

 

Activity

(Describe the independent activity to reinforce this lesson)

 

 

Activity 1: The Interpreter

In a group of three, assign one person to be the “TV Host”, one person to be the “Alien” and the final person to be the “Interpreter”. The TV host can decide what show they are hosting, and need to ask the Alien questions pertaining to the show. The Alien responds in their language (this can be anything and left up to the Alien to decide, specifically gibberish) and then the Interpreter, interprets what the Alien has said. The goal for the exercise is for the host/alien and interpreter to start thinking on their feet. This exercise will also prepare the students for the next activity.

Activity 2: Improv Character Worksheet

In this activity, the students will work individually on a character worksheet. This worksheet is designed to make the students think deeply about a character of their choice and will be used throughout the rest of the year. The more specific the responses, the better.

Activity 3: Advancing the Scene (Read hand out)

(After reading the handout) In this final activity, the students will work in groups of four. Together they will discuss their characters, agree on a blanket location where all of their characters can be and they will also come up with a general situation. Once all of these aspects have been established, the students will decide individually what their emotion will be during the scene, as well as a personal character trait that they could possibly use bring up. Then they will re-group, and try out their scene. The main objective for this activity is for the students to be aware of when the scene needs to be advanced.

Verification

(Steps to check for student understanding)

 

After the first activity, have a quick general discussion of what worked and what didn’t. Then commence with the rest of the activities. Be open to answering questions that people may have. Once the third activity has started, again, ask if anyone has questions. To verify that the students have understood the scene, their scenes should show that they were able to be their characters, while being in a scene with other characters and advancing the scene until there is a clear ending.

Other Resources

Storytelling: Advancing the Scene Article (attached)

Summary

This lesson is created to help students feel more comfortable with themselves and with partners. The overall objective for the students is to make their partner look good. In doing so, the students can stop worrying about what they need to do and instead focus on giving and taking. This should ultimately advance the scene, and help the students feel more confident in their improv skills.

Additional Notes

 

 

 This is the Improv Character Worksheet:

Improv Character Worksheet

Actor’s Name ____________________________

Character’s Name & Age ____________________________________________________

I. Internal aspects:

                A. Background:

Family________________________________________

Education_____________________________________

Occupation____________________________________

Hobbies_______________________________________

B. Spiritual:

                Values________________________________________

                Beliefs________________________________________

                Ethics_________________________________________

C. Emotional:

                Personality traits, temper, etc…____________________________________

                Likes/dislikes___________________________________________________

                Strengths______________________________________________________

                Weakness’s____________________________________________________

II. External aspects:

                A. Posture____________________________________________________________

                B. Movements and gestures______________________________________________

                C. Mannerisms________________________________________________________

                D. Voice________________________________________________________

 

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One thought on “Lesson Plan for an Improv Class

  1. adrey1 says:

    Hey Margot,

    I thought your game was entertaining and insightful! The way it forces students to see things from another point of view is awesome, as well as, causing them to think on their toes. I think this could be an awesome way to get kids interested in your class and to participate! As you said in class, it is also something that you can easily be creative with and change according to your needs and subject area.

    One thing that could be a downside to this game is the lack of ‘control’ so to speak on the students. We want our students to participate and also make the class their own. However, if the “interpreting” student decides to say something completely inappropriate, it could lead your class down the wrong path quickly! Also, a student may be extremely sensitive and/or get embarrassed really easily. If this is the case, this game may draw them into deeper self-consciousness.

    On the other hand, as teachers we need to know our students well enough to be able to predict this, as well as, have strong enough classroom management to avoid inappropriate comments. Overall, I think your game is awesome and entertaining!

    Alex Reynolds

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