Sunday, May 24, 2015

This activity provides a useful technique for generating physical and aural ideas around a theme. Explain that the group is going to create a "machine" out of themselves. Name a topic and give the participants a few moments to think of a repeating sound and action linked to that theme. For example, if the theme was "shopping" a participant could mime taking money out of a purse to give to a shopkeeper, whilst saying "I'll have two of those, please."

As soon as someone has an idea, ask them to step into the centre of a circle to begin their repeating sound and movement. Ask if somebody else can think of a suitable way to add in their own idea. Gradually, more and more people join in the activity. Some may be linked to existing parts of the "machine", whilst others may be separate. To continue the example above, someone could join the action by becoming the shopkeeper and saying "Shall I wrap them for you?", whilst somebody else could be a cleaner in the shopping mall.

Essence Machines Illustration by David Hurtado

You may find that everybody wants to join in the activity, although be careful not to let it go on for too long or get too unwieldy. Once it is set up, the machine can be frozen, then played back at twice or half the "normal" speed. Themes could include: a football match, a meal in a restaurant, folk tales, Halloween. You could have a machine that actually makes something, like chocolate biscuits, school dinners or weather conditions.

  • If using this for language teaching, encourage the use of single words or short phrases instead of a sound

Learning Objectives:

To practise and perform a movement and sound
To work cooperatively with other members of the group
To develop creativity

Age Group: 8+
Participants: Whole Group
Recommended time for activity: 10-20 minutes

Primary Drama Across The Curriculum - June 2015

Wednesday 10th June 2015
10:30am - 4:30pm at Toynbee Studios, 28 Commercial Street, London E1
>> Book Now >>

peacock-sm

This one-day drama INSET course with David Farmer immerses you in activities and ideas which you can take back and use immediately in the primary school classroom or drama club. The drama strategies can be used across the curriculum and are designed to meet statutory drama and literacy objectives.

Developing Directing Skills (Sat 1 & Sun 2 August, London)

Saturday 1st and Sunday 2nd August 2015
10:30am - 4:30pm at Toynbee Studios, 28 Commercial Street, London E1
>> Book by June 30th and save 15% >>

dev-direct

This two-day lively and inspirational drama course with David Farmer gives participants the opportunity to examine the role of the director through practical games and exercises. 'A fun, challenging and informative introduction to the world of directing' - participant.

'Informal and inspiring course for all wanting to gain confidence in directing or get new ideas on different techniques.' - Review by Teaching Drama Magazine.

Primary Drama Across The Curriculum - September 2015

Wednesday 30th September 2015
10:30am - 4:30pm at Toynbee Studios, 28 Commercial Street, London E1
>> Book Now >>

peacock-sm

This one-day drama INSET course with David Farmer immerses you in activities and ideas which you can take back and use immediately in the primary school classroom or drama club. The drama strategies can be used across the curriculum and are designed to meet statutory drama and literacy objectives.

Primary Drama for Writing - October 2015

Thursday 1st October 2015
10:30am - 4:30pm at Toynbee Studios, 28 Commercial Street, London E1
>> Book Now >>

drama-for-writing-150

This one-day drama INSET course with David Farmer focuses on games and activities for improving writing, as well as speaking and listening skills. These lively and engaging activities involve every child in the creative process and aim to stimulate and excite pupils' imaginations.

Directing Plays with Children (Manchester)

Wednesday 14th October 2015
10:00am - 4:00pm at Contact Theatre, Oxford Road, Manchester M15 6JA
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playful-workshop-150

This one-day drama CPD course with David Farmer explores a playful approach to directing. The day shows how drama games can be used to develop characters, extend acting skills and create imaginative stagings of scenes.

Primary Drama for Writing - November 2015

Wednesday 4th November 2015
10:00am - 4:00pm at Contact Theatre, Oxford Road, Manchester M15 6JA
>> Book Now >>

drama-for-writing-150

This one-day drama INSET course with David Farmer focuses on games and activities for improving writing, as well as speaking and listening skills. These lively and engaging activities involve every child in the creative process and aim to stimulate and excite pupils' imaginations.

Mini-Downloads

mini-download-miniA range of short downloadable resources providing guidelines, tips and information about a particular area of drama. They are ideal for planning and inspiration and can be downloaded to your computer in just a few minutes.

Augusto Boal | Commedia dell'Arte | The Gruffalo | Evacuees

Drama Books by David Farmer

101-shad1

101 Drama Games and Activities is packed with tried and tested ideas for drama lessons, workshops or rehearsals. Sections include improvisation, mime, ice-breakers, group dynamics, rehearsal, storytelling, voice and warm-ups. 

“One of the handiest things to have around.” - Teaching Drama magazine

Published by Lulu (2007) ISBN 978-1-8475-3841-3
Buy now from Amazon.co.uk or Amazon.com

 

101-More-Drama-Games-138

101 MORE Drama Games and Activities contains inspirational and engaging games and exercises suitable for children, young people and adults. The activities can be used in drama lessons and workshops as well as during rehearsal and devising periods.

“...bubbles over with imaginative ideas which could be used to good effect by non-specialist as well as seasoned drama teachers.” - Teaching Drama Magazine

Published by Drama Resource (2012) ISBN 978-1-2910-2516-3
Buy now from Amazon.co.uk or Amazon.com

 

Learning-Through-Drama-shad1

Learning Through Drama in the Primary Years describes 36 drama strategies in full detail along with over 250 cross-curricular activities and three extended lesson plans.

“A must-have for those serious about the teaching of drama in primary school settings” - Teaching Drama magazine

Published by Drama Resource (2011) ISBN 978-1-4478-7732-5
Buy now from Amazon.co.uk or Amazon.com

Playful-Plays-shd

Playful Plays Volume 1 is a brand new collection of eight short plays for children and young people as well as inspirational drama games designed to bring creativity and fun to the rehearsal room!

Published by CreateSpace (2014) ISBN 978-1-5006-3061-4
Buy now from Amazon.co.uk or Amazon.com