Aim: To introduce Young People to mime and drama. 14 simple drama items lasting 10 mins each. Taken from the BB Anchors Pro Pack Creativity CR-7
• Skipping ropes
• Chalk board
• Hand puppets
Start with something real – a hand puppet.
If possible have one for each member or one between two.
A hand puppet can be a great introductory part of mime. Although you may not be able to do it expertly, the boys will not notice. The puppets should be of a good size but could be handmade and should have expressive faces. Do some miming with a puppet and then get the boys to do something. No talking allowed at this point, only actions. After some actions, see if any of the boys want to include talking. You will find some of them have vivid imaginations and in the beginning you may have to curb their enthusiasm, but not too much or you may put them off. A story of a trip to the park is a good one to start with. Why not ask the boys to suggest a story. Let them work in groups of four.
Form a circle and with you in the middle, throw the ball back and forward to the boys around the circle. Now put the ball down and do it in mime. Some of the boys will already start to improvise, so if someone in a real game drops it, they will too, or they will throw it high so that you find it difficult to catch. You could also change direction or throw it to different boys around the circle instead of consecutively.
Doing it with a large ball is much more difficult for small hands. By demonstration, show very clearly with your hands the shape and size of this very large ‘mime’ ball. The way you throw small balls and large balls is totally different. By using good hand gestures, the boys will follow your meaning and then when you do the mime they will also copy you. Often small boys are not good at catching balls but they will quickly notice if you make a mistake. Try giving them a large mime ball to play with on their own and see what they can do.
Younger members may not have the coordination to skip; some will not even have tried it. This is a good way to start young people skipping by miming. They have to get the jumping rhythm with their feet before they get it right. Try skipping with a long ‘mime’ rope, 2 members turning at two ends and everyone having a go in the middle. Demonstrations first are really funny as the young people will laugh, but wait until they try it, they will really enjoy it.
Using a long rope, tie one end round the waist of a member. With the other end of the rope, gently pull him to you. Take off the rope and mime it. Many of the members will get it straight away, others will just keep coming whether you are pulling the rope or not!
Take your ‘mime’ ropes a little further by having young people and horses, with the young people trying with their miming rope to lasso the horses as they gallop around the room. Tell the young people that horses are just like children, they do not always do as they are told and they might try and pull away from the person trying to lasso him. You should respond to all of these mimes by the members. You could also try feeding or grooming the horses. A quiet young person will really enjoy this, as it is a piece of individual work that he can do by himself, particularly if he is not competitive.
Hoops are great for games both real and imagined. Try with real hoops first, jumping in them, over them, lifting them over your head and doing the hoola-hoop around their waists. Then put the hoops down and mime the actions.
Swimming Only do this if you have a clean floor. Ask the boys who can swim to show the others how it is done. Then all have a go. Try different strokes. Using chalk, draw a life belt on the floor and get someone to be rescued. Just put the idea there and they will do the rest.
Plants and Flowers Young people can be plants and flowers waking up in the garden as spring approaches. Demonstrate first, sometimes music is very good to do this to. Holtz Planet music is excellent and very dramatic as the flower unfolds and stretches to its full height. Then it droops and someone comes along with a watering can and the flower straightens again. Finally it is night and the flower’s head droops as it goes to sleep. This is a nice quiet drama, which will appeal to most boys, particularly if you use the music. They should learn to do the mime slowly so that it lasts rather than rushing through it.
Goldfish Many young people have at one time had a goldfish in a bowl or gone to a pond or stream with their fishing nets to catch a fish. Get the young people to pretend they are fish; they usually do this very well with mouth opening, fins moving by their sides and eyes wide open. Try feeding them with imaginary crumbs, throwing the food into the water and see what happens.
Some of the young people are ‘fishermen’ and try to catch the fish with their fishing rods. They get a bite – see what they do. Some will pull it straight out, others will struggle and pull very hard and some of them might just get away or the ‘fisherman’ might get pulled into the water. Be prepared for lots of hilarity on this one.
A Quiet Game – “Please Do Not Touch – Paint is Wet” How many times have we seen that sort of notice and itched to touch it. Most young people would. Have a scene in the park and get two boys to pretend to be painting the park benches (use two chairs). The painters go away but forget to put the notice on. A boy comes along and sits on seat and reads his newspaper. The workman comes back and is very worried (in his actions with hands) about the wet paint on the seats. He tries to pull the boy off but he is stuck to the seat and cannot move. You can vary the scene enormously by improvising. The boy might have to take the seat away with him, or he might get away and someone else comes along, sits down and gets stuck and so the story continues.
Who wants to play Trains?
This is a good warm-up game on a cold evening after the boys arrive. A good way of letting off stream but having great fun as well. One boy will be the engine, others the carriages; you will need signals or a tunnel for the train to go through (two boys forming an arch) or open legs for the train to go through. If you are going through a station, you will have some passengers, a guard waving a flag, a ticket seller, ice-cream man, newspaper man, etc. The train in the beginning will go fast but as the boys get more expert, they should slow down on the bends, going very slowly as they go through the station and as they pull into the goods station at night they might get washed with a hosepipe. The young people will do all sorts of things you never thought of!
Using a Boat
Have you ever tried getting into a rowing boat? It’s very difficult to do and also very difficult to pretend as there is nothing there. You could draw a boat on the floor, which will help the younger members. You have to remember that water is not static and the boat will continually move as the water moves and when you move!!! Balance is everything – you might even fall in. Do not forget to get your oars once you are in and put them in the rowlocks. Once they have started rowing, leave them to it, perhaps they will go to sleep, or do some fishing or maybe they will get a leak and someone will have to throw them a lifebelt in case they cannot swim. You can have lots of fun getting a sunken boat back to dry land.
Playing Ball by the Pond
Draw the outline of a pond on the floor with chalk.
On a chalkboard draw a small tennis ball and a long stick. Then pick up a mime ball and throw it to the young people. Throw another, and another until each person has a mime ball. Ask the young people to stand at one side of the pond and you at the other side. Throw a mime ball across the pond. Do this a few times, then miss it; it falls into the water. How can you show that the water is dirty, slimy, smelly and also very deep? By using a stick, (drawn on the board), show how the water is too deep for you to get the ball out. Can you reach it with the stick? What can you do, the ball is lost.
Draw a frog on the blackboard, indicating that you need a volunteer to be a frog. He is going to help you get the ball back. How does a frog behave? They will tell you. He jumps in and everyone gets splashed, the frog jumps back, up he comes but doesn’t have the ball. The frog tries again, this time success. The ball is covered in smelly slime and we need to wash it before it can be played with again. Mime this.
There are lots of variations on this theme – there are other animals which live in and around the pond. The boys will help you think of similar activities.
The Play Park
Draw several shapes on the floor using chalk, marking them ‘swings’, ‘climbing frame’ etc, add a circle in which is a water fountain.
A visit to the play park might include playing on the swings, on the climbing frame, on a seesaw (this requires some co-ordination working in pairs) and on the slide. What other activities can your members think of?
Mice (you will need some extra supervision for this mime)
Using chalk draw some circles on the floor which are mouse holes, where the mice live.
Do the mime in several stages so that the young people get used to following the instructions
Prepare the young people for the mime by turning your back on them and getting them to tiptoe across the floor being as quiet as mice.
After doing this several times, use the previously drawn circles on the floor and ask the ‘mice’ to get into the circles whilst your back is turned. Again, they must be quiet as mice or you will hear them. They must not move once you turn around. Now make a great show of taking some cakes out of a pretend oven whilst the mice are watching. They will start to act here, rubbing their tummies and looking longingly at the cakes as you burn your fingers and drop the cakes. You pick them up and sit down on the chair and go to sleep. The mice scamper out of their holes trying to get a cake and back to their hole before you wake up. If you do then you have to try and catch them before they get back to their holes.
For full details see the BB Anchors Pro Pack CR7