Unscripted Learning: Using Improv Activities Across the K-8 Curriculum

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"Lobman and Lundquist have written an easy-to-read, practical handbook for teachers.... At the same time, this biik is grounded in solid, up-to-the-minute research and theory." Improvisation is recognized internationally as an exciting tool to jumpstart learning. In this practical book, teachers will discover how to use improv throughout the K-8 curriculum to boost creativity and to develop a class into a finely tuned learning ensemble. Readers will learn how to use this revolutionary tool to teach literacy, math, social studies, and science...and have fun doing it!

Taking group work in the classroom to the next level, this book features: Over 100 activities with step-by-step instructions appropriate for those with no prior experience as well as for seasoned performers. An index to help choose improv games according to age group, subject area, and level of difficulty. A framework for understanding the skills that are developed when children learn particular improv activities. Tips for how to extend the activities to acquire additional skills.

About the Author:
Carrie Lobman, Ed.D., is Assistant Professor of Education at the Graduate School of Education, Rutgers University

About the Author:
Matthew Lundquist, MSSW, MSEd, is a former special education teacher and school social worker, and is the Director of the Manhattan Social Therapy Group

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780807747971
  • Publisher: Teachers College Press
  • Publication date: 7/1/2007
  • Edition description: New Edition
  • Pages: 208
  • Sales rank: 1,007,079
  • Product dimensions: 7.00 (w) x 10.00 (h) x 0.52 (d)

Table of Contents

Foreword   R. Keith Sawyer     xi
Preface     xv
Acknowledgments     xvii
Improvisation and Learning: Why Do Improv in the Classroom?     1
Human Beings Are Improvisers     2
What Is Improv?     3
Doing What You Don't Know How to Do     4
Vygotsky and the Zone of Proximal Development     6
Learning and Improvisation     6
We Are All Performers     7
What Is an Environment?     8
What Is a Group?     9
Teachers as Improvisers     11
What Is Improv? How Do You Do It?     13
The Basic Principles of Improv     13
Improvising a Stage and Props     17
Choosing the Activities     19
The Audience Performance     20
Who's in Charge of Safety?     21
Introducing the Activities     21
Bringing the Skills and Language of Improv into (the Rest of) the Classroom     22
Assessment     23
Including Everyone in Improv     24
Glossary of Improvisational Terms     25
Creating the Ensemble     28
Developing Group-Building Skills     29
Developing Emotionally     30
Setup of the Chapter     31
Activities on Working in Unison     32
Sound Ball     33
Zip! Zap! Zop!     34
Woosh!     35
Pass the Pulse     37
Synchronized Clapping     38
Mirrors     39
Maah     40
Counting, How High?     41
My Song, Our Song     42
Group Freeze     43
Yes, Let's     44
What Are You Doing?     45
Group Sculpture     46
Make a Machine     47
Still Life     48
Remote Control     49
Activities on Emotions     50
Shout It Out     51
Gestures     52
Emotions/Motions     53
Pass the Face     54
Emotional Journey     55
Emotional Coach     56
Emotional Melange     57
Emotional Bus     58
Emotional Orchestra     59
The Nuisance Game     60
Optimist/Pessimist     61
Improvising Language and Literacy     62
Language Learning     62
Performing as Readers and Writers      63
Reading and Writing as Ensemble Activities     64
Reading, Writing, Speaking, and Listening Relationally     66
Creating Language     66
Improvising Literacy All the Time     67
"Yes, and" Collective Story and other "Yes, and" Extensions     68
Once Upon a Time...The End     72
I'm Sorry, Did You Say...?     73
Live Action Illustration     74
Fairy Tale in a Minute     75
The Author Comes to Life     76
Blah, Blah, Blah     77
Boppity, Bop, Bop, Bop     78
Gibberish Poem     79
What's the Meaning of This?     80
Alliteration     81
Hyperbole     82
Read It Again, Sam     83
Fake It     84
Construct-o-Sentence     85
Syllable Bingo     86
Collective Spelling     87
Preposition Gymnastics     88
This Is a What?     89
Hot Seat (Literacy Version)     90
Giving Direction     91
Silly Debate     92
Information Booth     93
Improvising Mathematics     94
Math as Play     94
The Language of Mathematics     95
Creating Math Performances     96
Improvising Mathematical Conversations     97
Compulsive Math Gal/Guy     99
Captain Precision     100
Emotional Math Class     101
"I'm Sorry, Can You Explain That Another Way?"     102
Jargon     103
Mathematical "Yes, and"     104
Word Problems Come to Life (and Get Out of Control)     105
Improvisational Word Problem     106
We Are a Square     107
Shape Sculpting     108
Human Balance     109
Expanding Cast     110
Half the Time     111
Time of Your Life     112
Attributes     113
Group Juggle     114
Huggy Bear/Buddy Up!     115
Mingle     116
Pattern Dance     117
Upset     118
Place Value Game     119
Odds or Evens     120
Math-a-Thon     121
Math-Off     122
Zip! Zap! Zop! (Math Version)     123
Improv in the Content Areas     124
The Performance of Science and Social Studies     124
Performing Ahead of Yourself     125
Performing as Meaning-Makers     126
Improvising and Information     127
Setup of the Chapter     128
General Content Area Activities     129
We Are All...     130
Sentence Shuffle     131
Fish Bowl     132
One-Track Mind     133
Persuasion     134
Hot Seat (Content Area Version)     135
Collective Tour Guide     136
Three-Headed Expert     137
We Can Sell Anything     138
Social Studies Activities     139
I Love My Neighbor     140
Occupation     141
Time Warp     142
What If? (History Version)     143
Correspondence     144
Rant or Rave     145
Tableau     146
Party Game     147
History Bus     148
Visitor from the Past     149
Talk Show     150
Helping Hands     151
Science Activities     152
Three Changes     153
Ecosystem     154
Boundaries     155
Rain Noises     156
Heartbeat      157
I Am a Tree     158
Grab Bag     159
Metamorphosis     160
French Telephone     161
Rain or Shine     162
Slide Show     153
More Advanced Scene Work     164
Putting on a Show!     165
What Could Possibly Go Wrong?     167
What If? (Scene Work Version)     168
Freeze     169
Options     170
Secret     171
Sitting, Standing, Kneeling     172
Slow-Motion Olympics     173
Invisible Kickball     174
Index of Improv Activities Listed by Level of Difficulty     175
Index of Improv Activities Listed by Appropriate Age     177
Index of Improv Activities Listed by Other Relevant Subject Areas     179
Resources     181
About the Authors     185
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  • Anonymous

    Posted January 11, 2008

    A reviewer

    Unscripted Learning opens up the possibilities for teachers and students in the classroom. This 'easy to use' guide provides classroom teachers with performance and improv games that can be integrated into classroom life. The authors also provide practitioners with a well established theoretical grounding that supports development of teaching practice and learning activity. This book is a 'must have' for educators who are interested in supporting collaborative learning in the 21st century.

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