Drama Lessons for Substitutes

A whole day of teaching drama – this should be easy! Or not. (If you are me, it is decidedly not – I’d rather teach music.) If you are teaching drama all day and the teacher did not leave any day plans, here are a couple of ideas …

1. Tableaus – you tell or read an interesting story. At any point, say, “tableau” then the students make a motionless picture of that scene. They are like statues that were carved (by amateurs) and arranged to show that scene. They can do this individually showing one character or in groups, showing all the characters. I say, “tableau” anytime they are becoming restless!

2. Play back game – show a short clip of a scene – students have to act it out as closely as possible to the clip. Show the clip again and students can see what they missed and have them act it out again. Slapstick comedy scenes can be hilarious – the kind with falling down, not the kind with pies in the face!

3. Emotions game – I use this one for French, ESL, drama – it fits so well anywhere! Write a short dialogue on the board or use a scene the students know. Have students practice the same scene over and over being happy, sad, angry etc. Modify this to include cowboy style, Barbie style, opera style. My young students always ask me to demonstrate Barbie style, flipping my hair and putting my hands on my hips etc.


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