Improvisation Games – Part 2

What’s Just Happened?

An improvisation game. One SS walks into a room in a particular state and the others have to guess what has happened, e.g. they have won the lottery, damaged T’s car, fallen in love, been in a fight, etc. (present perfect focus). SS could be given their situation by T (pp.126-127) or another SS, or, preferably, think of it themselves. The other SS ask yes/no questions to find out the details of what has happened. The SS who walked in has to improvise the backstory and say what happened, while the other SS react. Variation: a SS walks into the room and says, “I’ve
just made an important decision to…” e.g. quit my job, get married, become a monk, etc. Other SS have to guess the decision, then ask questions, and generally react t

o the situation. Variation: T challenges SS to turn a positive situation into a negative one, and vice versa. For example, if the situation is “I’ve just won the lottery”, SS could have to say why this is negative for them, while the others try to congratulate them.

SS could also use the cards to discuss life experience with present perfect, e.g. with the question “Have you ever?” followed by each situation. To make it more improvisational, SS could imagine a character (or famous/fictional person) and answer as that character or person.

I’ve Got a Secret:

One SS leaves the room, and the other SS think of a secret for them; when the SS returns, he or she has to guess it by asking questions; the others give clues. The others may only be allowed to answer yes or no, or may prefer to give cryptic answers to make it harder for the SS to guess.

Describe then Accept Changes:

One SS describes the appearance of something in detail from memory, e.g. a room in their house, their car, a person, etc.; then others can ask questions and introduce fictional details, which the first SS has to accept and incorporate into the description, e.g.

Student A:  “In my bedroom there’s a table next to the door.”
Student B:  [Making it up] “There’s a green lamp on the table, isn’t there?”
Student A:  “Er, yes, there is! I bought it when I went travelling in Italy…”

…and so on.

Straight Face:

Tell a joke or a funny story while keeping a straight face. If you laugh, it is somebody else’s turn.

Feelings and Emotions Picture Cards:

Use the Feelings and Emotions Picture Cards and activities (from p.132) to improvise dialogues, stories, and situations. Or, do the same activities with pictures of people that you have collected from newspapers, magazines, and catalogues – or from SS’s photographs of their friends and family.

Mood and/or Character Dialogue

Practise reading a dialogue in different moods, e.g. happy, sad, angry, surprised, and so on, then continue the conversation. SS could use the Mood Cards on p.128 for inspiration, and combine them with the Character Cards on p.129.

Good News and Bad News

SS work in pairs. One is the optimist and the other the pessimist. The optimist states: “The good news is…” along with some good news, while the pessimist thinks of something negative to say which is related to the good news: “But the bad news is…” and so on. For example:

Student A:  The good news is that I’m going on holiday tomorrow.
Student B:  The bad news is that it is going to rain tomorrow.
Student A:  The good news is that I’ve just bought a new umbrella…

…and so on.

SS continue for as long as they can, then change roles. The news could be related to a topic or to their lives, or to random topics.

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