Here are a couple
of exercises to further stretch the expressiveness of your body and voice.
Do these in a group or individually. There are many other games that you
can play to exercise your imaginations. You can look in the library for
a book of theater games.
to be an animal in the jungle. Think about how it moves fast and
sneaky, or slowly and majestically, with heavy footsteps or on dainty
tippy toes, slithering, hopping, swinging, or creeping? Every animal moves
differently. Use your whole body, not just your arms and legs. How does
the animal move its head? Its chest? Its tail? How does it stand when
it listens to a faraway sound? How does it grow sad or angry or happy?
Now, make sounds to accompany the animal's movements. Finally, move across
the room to the watering hole and take a drink. On the way, get scared,
get angry, make a warning sound, or stop and listen if an enemy is near.
Your journey to the watering hole is like a story told, not with words,
but by your body and voice.
With masking tape,
make four squares big enough to stand in. Label them Fear Pain
Love Anger. Try telling "Monkey Steals the Drum"
and move from square to square, matching the feelings to the labels as
the feelings change. Remember, there are many levels of feelings. Fear
can be hearing the monster coming near, or being shy on the first day
of school. Pain can be cutting your finger, or getting your feelings hurt,
or being disappointed. Love can be kissey face, or kindness, or caring
for a pet, or feeling proud of yourself. Anger can be revenge, jealousy,
meanness, teasing, or the feeling of determination that we have when nothing
can stop us. And there are many, many more. There is no right or wrong.
Don't worry if you end up jumping from box to box. This is a stretching
The imagination is
like a muscle. The more we use it the quicker and stronger it gets. Don't
be discouraged if at first you feel awkward. Keep trying and soon you'll
be leaping and roaring. Just like roller blading, bike riding, gymnastics,
basketball, or any other skill, the more you do it, the better you get
at doing it. Practice playing, and soon you'll see your storytelling skills