New ideas for plays, skits or theatre for teens.

New ideas for plays, skits or theatre for teens.
10 Oct Shelley Vernon No Comments

 Since teens are often preoccupied with being cool in front of their peers it can be tricky presenting them with ready-made theatre skits. It can be more productive and creative to have your teen students make up their own short skit or play to keep them interested. At least that way if it is uncool and boring they only have themselves to blame ! Few students are natural play-wrights, especially in a foreign language, so give guidelines or a framework where pupils can easily fill in the blanks. Here are two light-hearted ways of producing short plays or skits.

Students work in groups of three or four. Spread better students about rather than having them work together since this helps weaker students. It also means the more advanced pupils will be group leaders and take bigger roles in the skit they create together.

Skit creation option one:

Provide a short opening dialogue. Think of something dramatic and ambiguous for the opening dialogue that stimulates the imagination and will be more likely to give rise to varied outcomes, for example: « Listen, what’s that ? » « Wow, what is it ? » « It sounds like… » then pupils decide how the dialogue will continue. The whole skit, including opening dialogue, must take between 60 and 90 seconds to perform. This forces students to come up with at least a minute of content. Allow five minutes for students to work in groups while you circulate, listening in and ensuring groups are on target with the task. After three minutes tell the class they have two more minutes to prepare. Let them know when they have one minute left.

Watch the skits.

teens using theatre to learn English

Skit creation option two:

Tell students that their skit can be about anything, but it has to be one minute long minimum and has to contain these words: rhinocerous, pasta, phone, message and sock. (Change the words as you like).

Alternatively say the skit must contain a certain sentence, such as « Johnny Depp (insert person’s name) would never have done that. »

Allow five minutes. Circulate and observe. Warn students at each minute how much time they have left. This type of activity gets better as students practise it. They gradually get more creative and less inhibited.

See my book ESL Classroom Activities for Teens and Adults here for more great ideas like these.

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