What Are You Doing? | Silly Drama Improvisation Game
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What are you doing is a great introduction to improvisation and not blocking your cast mates. It can safely be played while social distancing or teaching virtually.

COVID-19 Update!
Try to ensure your students are spaced two metres apart. If you don’t have enough space to have them in a circle, you can have the students stand randomly around the room without affecting the game.

Instructions

  • Have the students stand in a circle.
  • Invite one student into the centre of the circle and give them an action to mime, e.g. ballet dancing.
  • The next student in the circle then asks, ‘What are you doing?’
  • The central student replies with a new activity, e.g. ‘Playing tennis.’
  • The student who asked must come into the centre and mime the directed action until they are asked, ‘What are you doing?’ in turn.
  • Continue until all students have had a moment in the centre.

Teacher tip: Encourage the students to think outside the box and take risks in their portrayal of the action. This can yield some hilarious results!

In my experience

I have always found What are you Doing? to be an excellent ESL resource. It helps the students to practise asking questions and using verbs. By completing an action each time the question is answered, students are more quickly able to remember what each verb means. I tend to play this game where all players must complete the selected action, similar to in Yes, Let’s. This takes the pressure off individuals to remember the meaning of all verbs and the limelight away from shier students while outside the drama classroom. It’s a real winner!

Need help keeping your students socially distant? Try marking a space using the following:

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Rebecca is the founder and chief executive officer of Silly Fish Learning Ltd. She is a children's playwright with a vast and varied career in education, primarily teaching drama and English.

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