Can You Hear Me Now
Can You Hear Me Now?
- 2.1 Perform in group improvisational theatrical games that develop cooperative skills and concentration.
- 2.3 Use Improvisation to portray such concepts as friendship, hunger, or seasons.
- 4.1 Critique an actor’s performance as to the use of voice, gesture, facial expression, and movement to create character.
- How do I use theatre in daily life?
- How do I improvise to create theatre?
- How do I communicate ideas and moods when creating theatre?
- How do I reflect upon, describe and make meaning of theatre?
- How can I communicate my feelings through theatre?
- What is improvisation and why is it an important process?
OBJECTIVES & STUDENT OUTCOMES
- Students will improvise vocal techniques to effectively communicate character’s emotions, feelings, wants, needs, and universal character traits.
- Students will demonstrate appropriate use of volume and diction through theatrical activities.
- Students will demonstrate focus and concentration in theatrical activities.
- Bean Bag(s)
- Nursery Rhymes
Words to Know:
- improvisation: a spontaneous style in which scenes are created without advance rehearsing or scripting
- act: the action of carrying something out in a dramatic activity or presentation
- react: to respond to an action or stimulus by taking action
- projection: the placement and delivery of volume, clarity, and distinctness of voice for communicating to an audience
- diction: the clarity with which somebody pronounces words when speaking
- pronunciation: the way in which a sound, word, or language is articulated, usually conforming to an accepted standard
- volume: the degree of loudness or intensity of a voice
- pitch: the highness or lowness of the voice
- Bean bags may be available through the PE department or IMC.
- Selected Nursery Rhymes from your library
WARM UP (Engage students, access prior learning, review, hook or activity to focus the student for learning)
- Play the game “Sound Ball” as follows: Demonstrate how to pass a sound around the circle while tossing a bean bag to one another.
- To start the game, arrange students in a circle.
- Give a student a beanbag. The student holding the beanbag must create a sound, (e.g., oooo, ick,op, weeee, shhhh, zzzz, ummmm, pffft, ahhhh, wahhh) and toss the beanbag to another person.
- The person catching the beanbag repeats the same sound. The student now holding the beanbag creates a new sound and tosses the beanbag to another person.
- Students may not repeat a sound that has already been made.
- If students get stuck, allow them to create made up gibberish. (e.g., yop, gug, psssss, blup, ooops, etc.)
- Play the game several times trying to get faster and faster with each action and reaction and give and take response.
Note: This game can be played as a warm-up for each subsequent lesson.
Options: Play the same type of game using a body movement instead of a sound or, play “Pass the Clap”: a game where students stand in a circle and one at a time, toss or “shoot” (as in basketball) a clap to another student as quickly as they can. This game takes concentration and focus.
MODELING (Presentation of new material, demonstration of the process, direct instruction)
- Discuss the importance of projection for an actor.
- Ask the students the following questions:
- “When is it appropriate to use a loud voice?”
- “What is the difference between shouting or screaming and an appropriate loud voice for theatre?”
- If you understand how breathing and the diaphragm works, share with the children how air is pushed out and taken in and the amount of force used changes the volume from loud to soft.
- Discuss the difference between soft voice and whisper.
- Loud & Soft: working in partners, ask students count up to 32 alternating every four numbers with a loud or soft (not whisper) voice.
- Student 1 says 1, 2, 3, 4 in a loud voice.
- Student 2 responds 5, 6, 7, 8 in a soft voice.
- Repeat alternating loud and soft.
- Switch so that each student has a chance to do both loud and soft voice.
- For variety and to make the game more challenging trade off loud and soft voices every other number or letter.
- Note: This exercise can also be done using the letters of the alphabet. You can have students use any multiples of letters at a time, which could also reinforce math concepts such as counting by twos, fours, or fives.
- Diction: Discuss the importance of proper diction. (e.g., how the tongue, roof of the mouth, teeth and breath control speech)
- Practice saying vowel sounds, both long and short.
- Emphasize and over-exaggerate the use of the mouth.
- Practice consonant sounds. (e.g., tee tee tah tah, mee mee mah mah, dee dee dah dah, etc.)
- Lead students through the following tongue twisters:
- Billy Button Bought a Beautiful Bunch of Bananas
- Black Bugs Blood
- Unique New York
- She Sells Sea Shells
- Fresh Fried Fish
- Red Leather Yellow Leather
- Toy Boat
- Good Blood Bad Blood
- Slippery Southern Snakes
- Note: Practice tongue twisters on a regular basis in each lesson as part of the warm-up.
GUIDED PRACTICE (Application of knowledge, problem solving, corrective feedback)
- Explore emotional expression using the voice.
- Talk about how the voice changes when we are feeling certain external things: cold or hot, or internal:sleepy, hungry, illness, anger, happiness, sadness, etc. The voice will rise in volume or pitch.
- Color Your Words: Call out words in a neutral voice and ask students to repeat them as a chorus with exaggerated expression that reflects the actual meaning of the word. You may add to this list.
- Ask students to look at each other so that they can see as well as hear the words being said.
- Encourage the use of facial expression and body gesture and posture.
- Stop periodically and ask, “What happened to your voice, face and body when we said the word ”?
- Color Your Nursery Rhyme: write a nursery rhyme on the board such as “Little Jack Horner”, “Little Miss Muffett”, or “Jack and Jill”.
- Have students repeat the rhyme using a variety of vocal color. (e.g., angrily, scary, whiney, sadly, very loudly, very softly, happily, like a super hero, like a move star, like a rock or rap singer, sleepily, hurriedly, etc.)
- Stress proper diction.
- Assign a nursery rhyme to small groups of three or four students.
- Give the groups 5 minutes to create “color” for their rhyme.
- You may also assign “how” you want the students to say the rhyme to save time. (e.g., soft, loud, sad, scary, etc.)
- Perform for the class while the audience tries to guess what feeling is being used and/or who is saying the rhyme.
- Have students say a short word. (e.g., yes, no, oh, ah, etc.).
- Add emotions to it. (e.g., happy, scared, sad, questioning, silly, shy, afraid, etc.)
- Assign partners or small groups a rhyme or meaningless line of text. (e.g., “I want you to take this.” “Where are my keys?” “I don’t think so.”, etc.)
- Ask students to make meaning of the words by coloring them with expression. (e.g., Consider how the word “yes” changes its meaning when you add emotions to it.)
- Perform for the class and have the audience guess what feeling is being used and/or who is saying the rhyme or line.
DEBRIEF AND EVALUATE (Identify problems encountered, ask and answer questions, discuss solutions and learning that took place. Did students meet expected outcomes?)
- “What did you learn about your voice?”
- “How did your voice, body and face work together?”
- “What did you learn about language and speaking?”
- “Why is it important to use changes in volume and pitch?”
- “Why is voice important to creating characters?”
EXTENSION (Expectations created by the teacher that encourages students to participate in further research, make connections and apply understanding and skills previously learned to personal experiences.)
- Practice reading a favorite book aloud.
- Color the words and add facial expression to make the words come to life.
- Practice in a mirror and watch what you do as you say the words.
- Tape-record your voice.
- Share with the rest of the class.