Students sharpen their listening and reaction skills through improv games, exercises, and scenes. They will learn 5 specific guidelines to apply to their improvisation: accept the offer, bring information to the scene, make active choices, make your partner look good, and don’t force the humour.

There are so many different ways to approach a unit on improvisation. Keep in mind that you will have students who are really excited about this unit and some students who dread it. It’s best to start with low risk games and exercises and then build up to higher risk ones. Low risk games in this situation mean partnered interactions that aren’t shared with the whole class. Teachers can also refer to the Pacing Guide for more details and ways to supplement with other DTA materials.

The unit culminates in a short improv performance. A rubric is included for the performance as long as journal prompts and exit slips.

Unit Overview

Students sharpen their listening and reaction skills through improv games, exercises, and scenes. They will learn 5 specific guidelines to apply to their improvisation: accept the offer,
bring information to the scene, make active choices, make your partner look good, and don’t force the humour.

Additional Attachments
1: Accept the Offer

Students apply this guidelines through the games “Yes and…” “Yes Let’s,” and Low Risk Experts.

2: Make Choices/Bring Information

Students learn the word “endow” and apply the concept through the exercise Low Risk Endowment.

3: Take the Active Choice

Students discuss what it means to take the active choice and apply the concept in Quiet Scenes.

4: Make Your Partner Look Good

Students apply this guideline through the games Cars, Vans, Buses, Blocking on Purpose, Questions Only and Here Comes Charley.

5: Relax, Have Fun and Don’t Force the Humour

Students discuss what it means to not “force” the humour. They play all the games from the unit in a high risk setting, as volunteers in front of the class.


Attachments
6: Unit Project

The final project will allow the students to demonstrate their improv skills in a 2-person scene. A rubric and final reflection is included.

Standards Addressed

National Core Arts Standards


Select, analyze, and interpret artistic work for presentation - Grade 6

TH:Pr4.1.6.b - Experiment with various physical choices to communicate character in a drama/theatre work.

Develop and refine artistic techniques and work for presentation - Grade 6

TH:Pr5.1.6.a - Recognize how acting exercises and techniques can be applied to a drama/theatre work.

Organize and develop artistic ideas and work - Grade HS Accomplished

TH:Cr2.1.HSII.b - Cooperate as a creative team to make interpretive choices for a drama/theatre work.

Refine new work through play, drama processes and theatre experiences using critical analysis and experimentation - Grade 6

TH:Cr3.1.6.b - Identify effective physical and vocal traits of characters in an improvised or scripted drama/theatre work.

Apply criteria to evaluate artistic work - Grade 6

TH:Re9.1.6.a - Use supporting evidence and criteria to evaluate

Refine new work through play, drama processes and theatre experiences using critical analysis and experimentation - Grade 7

TH:Cr3.1.7.b - Develop effective physical and vocal traits of characters in an improvised or scripted drama/theatre work

Refine new work through play, drama processes and theatre experiences using critical analysis and experimentation - Grade 8

TH:Cr3.1.8.b - Refine effective physical, vocal, and physiological traits of characters in an improvised or scripted drama/ theatre work.

Apply criteria to evaluate artistic work - Grade HS Accomplished

TH:Re9.1.HSII.c - Verify how a drama/theatre work communicates for a specific purpose and audience.

Common Core


California VAPA Standards (2019)


6.TH:Pr4 Select, analyze, and interpret artistic work for presentation.

6.TH:Pr4.b - Experiment with various physical choices to communicate character in a drama/theatre work.

6.TH:Pr5 Develop and refine artistic techniques and work for presentation.

6.TH:Pr5.a - Recognize how acting exercises and techniques can be applied to a drama/theatre work.

Florida Sunshine State Standards


Texas Essential Knowledge and Skills for Theatre Arts


MS 117.211 LI - Creative Expression: performance

C.2.A - demonstrate safe use of the voice and body.

MS 117.211 LI - Creative Expression: production

C.3.B - create suitable environments for dramatizations.

MS 117.211 LI - Critical evaluation and response

C.5.A - identify and apply audience etiquette at all performances.

HS 117.318 LIV - Foundations: Inquiry and Understanding

C.1.B - devise and model stage movement.

Alberta, Canada


Improvisation/Acting Level III - Advanced

26 - pick up cues effectively

Theatre Studies Level 1 - Beginning (performance analysis)

2 - identity specific criteria to assess a presentation

British Columbia (2018)


GRADE 8 - ARTS - Communicating and documenting

Take creative risks to express feelings, ideas, and experiences

GRADE 10 - DRAMA - Reason and reflect

Apply feedback to develop and refine ideas

GRADE 10 - DRAMA - Connect and expand

Demonstrate respect for self, others, and the audience

GRADE 11 - DRAMA - Connect and expand

Demonstrate awareness of self, others, and audience

GRADE 12 - DRAMA - Connect and expand

Demonstrate respect for self, others, and audience

Ontario, Canada