Since I've been teaching acting to kids for the last twelve years, I thought over the next month or so that I would share some acting exercises and improv games that I've found exceptionally useful with kids. A lot of these would even be great in a school classroom environment! This first game was originally an improv game intended to be played with 4-8 players. Over the years, I changed the format and the rules to work better in the acting classroom. Here's how I play it!
Story, Story, Die -
Have your students sit in a circle, with you (the teacher) in the middle. You will need a title for the story and a genre (if they are old enough to know what a genre is), the kids may provide this or you can. The teacher starts by pointing to one of the students who begins the story. At any point, you (the teacher) can switch to another student. The next student should pick up the story seamlessly. If at any point one of the students hesitates, says umm...., or otherwise stalls, they are out. At this point I usually make them act out an elaborate and funny death, (but maybe not for little, little guys or at a school), hence the title, "Story, Story, Die". The last player left ends the story. This helps them to learn that all important rule of improv - "always say yes," by forcing them to continue a story that didn't ever go the way they intended it to. It's also great for little ones who have trouble with text and reading as it requires neither of those and is a great tool for teaching about storytelling.
Have you played this game before? Do you have any variations to share? Write it in the comments section below!