Engaging in purposeful, socially interactive problem-solving games such as those found in dramatic play can help students access and develop parts of the brain related to complex thinking.
Students who participate in drama learn to think creatively. Engaging in purposeful, socially interactive problem-solving games such as those found in dramatic play can help students access and develop parts of the brain related to complex thinking. Here are three drama games that can enhance brain development in key areas: communication, problem solving and creativity:
- Gibberish: This game heightens listening skills and teaches how to convey meaning through expression. Demonstrate some nonsense sounds for the students, then allow the entire group to practice making gibberish sounds all at once. Students may move through the space and greet each other, uttering strange sounds. Next, pair up the players and invite them to carry on a conversation about a specific topic such as what they had for lunch that day, the best party they have ever attended, or the scariest thing that ever happened to them. Have one person be the teller, and the other person listen and respond, and then switch.
- Mystery Bag Theater: A game that encourages problem solving and creativity. To prepare, put a selection of items such as a bell, a flashlight, a cookie cutter or a cat toy in each of six paper grocery bags. Each bag should have only a few items in it. Divide the students into small groups, and give each group a mystery bag. Allow fifteen minutes for the students to write a skit in which they use each of the items in a way that makes sense. Let each group act out their skit.
- Ten-Second Objects: This activity helps students think creatively and work together. Assemble players in groups of three to five. Call out an object, such as blender, lawn mower, clock, UFO, popcorn popper, washing machine or jungle gym. The groups have ten seconds to create that object out of their bodies. Each group will have a different interpretation.
Try these ideas, then make up some of your own!