I am a huge fan of tongue twisters in the theatre classroom. They have so many uses. They get a group focused & relaxed, they help warm up the voice, they get the lips and tongue limber and ready to enunciate, they get the brain fired up, they get a class working as a team. And they’re also a whole lot of fun.
We asked our Facebook fans for their favourite tongue twister and, judging by the number of responses we got, it seems that theatre teachers love tongue twisters too! Thanks to them (and mostly to Douglas Fox) this document has over 600 awesome tongue twisters.
Learn your favourites as a group and use them as vocal warm-ups.
Here are some other activities that use tongue twisters.
- Have the class sit in circle. Choose one of the tongue twisters and teach it to the class. Choose one person to start. They say the first word of the tongue twister, the person to their right says the next word, and so on. Start slowly then gradually increase speed.
- Choose a tongue twister. Write a monologue or scene that begins with it. Write a monologue or scene that ends with it. Aim to make the words of the tongue twister organically fit the scene or monologue.
- Choose one of the nonsensical tongue twisters. Write a scene around it that gives it meaning.
- Match a singing warm-up with a tongue twister that has the same number of syllables.
- Choose one of the longer story-oriented tongue twisters and design a set for it.
- If you’re working on a play, speak the tongue twisters like your character would speak them.
- If you’re not working on a play, write a Character Profile for someone who would say this tongue twister as part of their normal speech pattern.
- Do an improv where the tongue twister is the first line of a scene.
- Do an improv where the tongue twister is the last line of a scene.
- Play Sentences. This is a two person improv game. Write several tongue twisters on strips of paper. Each player puts half the strips of paper in their pocket. The players improvise a scene and every so often they pull out strips of paper and inject the tongue twister into the scene.