STUPID HUMAN TRICKS
AIM: To practice ensemble building with young students by sharing and teaching unique talents/quirks.
OBJECTIVE: To share and learn to celebrate their unusual tricks and then teach them to their classmates. Every student has an unusual trick they can do! It’s a unique little quirk, which makes them special.
- Share their unique tricks in a goofy talent show setting.
- Learn how to be a patient teacher
- Be open minded to learning something that seems impossible
- Have pride in their unique “quirks”
- Learn to look vulnerable in front of their peers when performing a new skill/trick that is difficult/hard to master.
- Be a supportive audience for each other during a vulnerable presentation.
- Approach a “silly” activity with seriousness.
Explain to students, “This activity is called, “Stupid Human Tricks”.
- We explain what a ‘stupid human trick’ is: “Everyone has an unusual trick they can do! It’s a unique little quirk, which makes you…you! There are no excuses! Everyone has something!”
- Give students some examples:
- Body Tricks: double jointed body parts, wiggling your ears, touching your tongue to your nose
- Athletic Tricks: splits, flips, handsprings, stand on your head,
- Knowledge Tricks: say the 50 president’s names in less than a minute, sing the alphabet backwards, recite the “I had a Dream Speech”
- Misc: Shakespeare Sonnet in another language, drinking water from a straw up their nose, etc..
- Explain the rules:
- The trick has to be performed in ONE MINUTE or less.
- Have 2 – 3 kids show examples.
- They will pair up with someone they have NOT worked with yet.
- They will practice together for 5 – 7 minutes.
- They have to teach their partner their “trick”.
- This is the key lesson: Even if it is a body trick that would be impossible to teach…they must commit, modify and work together to teach each other the trick to the best of their ability.
- They must practice presenting their trick as an “act”. Beginning, middle and end. (Intro, Trick, and Bow)
- Group comes together as a whole and we present as many partners as possible.
- Remind students that they are on stage and they must commit to presenting their tricks as a full scale scene.
FOLLOW-UP:Discus why this activity is relevant to our work in the theatre: (Working together, patience while learning something difficult, being vulnerable on stage, presenting the trick as a finished scene).
Ask the students: “Was it harder being the teacher or the student? Why?”
“How did it feel to present a trick that you haven’t mastered yet?”