Copied over from the new member forum... Are you teaching high school or middle school? Oh so many things to say. I'll give you the rough outline now and we can discuss details later. I taught High School Drama for 5 years. My introductory class followed the following outline... -Introductory games, get to know each other, learn names -Basic theater vocabulary lesson -Group games and circle games stressing comfort working together and doing things as a group. (no one is put up on stage in groups less than half the class the first week). We are trying to build confidence and comfort. -First small group work was acting out a nursery rhyme -Transition into a unit with standard fairy tales. Students act out traditional fairy tales and modern reinterpretations. We did this exercise several times and I put different restrictions and twists on them each time. -Conclusion with "where the wild things are" Split class into 3 groups. One group fully acts out the whole story. One group acts it out with no sounds. One group goes behind the stage curtain and tries to perform the story with sounds only, no words or visible action. -Animal Character project begins... this will take up a LARGE portion of the quarter. I assign an animal to students. Students research the "personality" of that animal. They turn the animal into a Human with the animal's personality traits. We start with a scene where students are fully the animal but they can talk. Then we do a scene where students are cartoon half human/half animals. Next the animal becomes a human. I do a "job interview" this is the only time in my class a student is required to be alone on stage. In the interview their animal turned human sits on stage and answers questions about their life. What they reveal will be backstory for the class but not known to any other characters in future scenes. Every character must have some sort of hidden secret that drives them... hopefully related to the animal. Then we have a "party" all characters are invited to attend a party. I'm the host. For 20 minutes or so students improv as a group what their animal/human would do at a party. It's a lot of fun and we find out which characters may be interesting in scenes together. Finally we begin a long series of improved scenes sometimes in large groups, sometimes in groups of 2 or 3. Sometimes I choose the group, sometimes they choose the group. When we begin, these scenes have specific restrictions placed on them by me (i.e. in this scene your group of characters must work together to overcome a common obstacle... draw from the hat... you are trapped in an elevator), In these scenes the animal nature and secret is the driving force for the character. Over time students develop story lines about their character and I allow them to choose where they stories go. At the end of the project, every character will die on stage. If the student "gets it" they death of the character will some how be ironicly connected to the way the original animal lives. -From here we start working with scripts. We start with short generic scenes about nothing. All students must memorize the same set of words about nothing and create meaning by their actions. -Finally they are assigned a short scene from a play and a small group to act it out. They have a couple weeks to create a ground plan, block it, memorize lines, plan props and costumes, all on their own in class. I float from group to group helping keep them on track. At the conclusion of the class they perform their scenes. Glad to share more details and I'll try to dig up some copies of paperwork I have... it's been 6 years so finding them may be tricky. Along the way we play lots of improv games chosen to make specific points. I love this book. Pick one up today for about $5 including shipping! It's got lots of lists of situations. You assign students to a group. Have them choose a number between one and a hundred check the list and they find out that they are on a farm. Then you ask them to choose another number and they find out that they are preparing for the prom. They then have to work out a scene that puts these situations together. A great tool for helping assign characters to awkward situations to do prepared improvs from. Also fun with more advanced students to do instant improv games too.