Knowing what improv can do for the development of essential learning and workplace skills is exciting. Knowing how improv does it is critical for implementation. This series explores how improv develops the many essential and invaluable skills which have made it such a sought after instructional tool in schools, graduate schools, and businesses.
Improv to the Rescue
Busy? No time? Increased demand? Increasing soft skill deficits among students and employees? The economy is demanding that businesses consistently adapt, negotiate and innovate. To meet this demand, businesses expect their workforces to collaborate across departments and platforms. In response to this, the government is mandating that schools focus on the development of collaboration, communication, creativity, critical thinking, interpersonal and performance skills. All of this, while standards and outcomes must be satisfied and interpersonal conflicts at the workplace and in the classroom addressed.
What can be done? Introduce Improv. Yes, improv, those 3-5 minutes games you might have seen on stage or on the Television show, Whose Line Is It Anyway can address numerous skills needed for both the individual and the class or organization to succeed. (more…)
Ever wish there was a fun and fast activity you could do in 1-3 minutes that would help your students increase their focus, attention and essential communication skills, all while reinforcing class content? The theater game, Zip-Zap-Zop, does all of that for students of all ages.
Zip-Zap-Zop is one of my absolute favorite theater game structures to use in the classroom. It was designed to teach communication skills, increase focus and attention and help students respond quicker. It takes only 1-3 minutes to play, requires no free movement and can be integrated with curricular content from any subject. (more…)
Thank you to all those who participated in the Improv ‘n Ink session. Your energy and enthusiasm were wonderful. I had a great time and I hope you did too.
A quick tip to further help your students develop the social-emotional/collaborative skills that can impact their writing: When the audience thanks the players by applauding, encourage the players to simultaneously thank and applaud the audience.
As educational expectations and responsibilities continue to increase, finding classroom friendly and effective methods for inclusive and diverse classrooms is imperative. If you are looking for a no cost, quick and highly impactful means of increasing motivation, engagement, and essential skill development while teaching content and meeting standards, improv can help.
Fitting easily into the content packed classrooms of today, improv serves as an effective and efficient intervention that simultaneously develops social-emotional, interpersonal and performance skills essential to learning. It increases motivation and student engagement; and it can deepen learning. Many games invite curricular integration to introduce, practice or reinforce content and meet standards. (more…)
The avoidance of “play” does not make good instruction. Instead, good instruction embraces the power of play and directs it through deliberate and purposeful game structures.
It is not “play’s” fault if students do not learn what we need them to learn. We must be deliberate and purposeful in the games we choose, adapt or create so that the structure supports the development of what they are expected to learn in a specific class. People learn through play. The question needs to be, “What is the game structure teaching?” (more…)
Play is our brain’s favorite way of learning.
-Diane Ackerman, Contemporary American author