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ERIC Number: ED371424
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 1991
Pages: 5
Abstractor: N/A
"Acting Out" in the Classroom: Improvisation in the Curriculum.
Echle, Joe
Bread Loaf News, v4 n3 p19-22 Fall-Win 1991
Getting students to react to literature and write more than a good "topic" sentence is a perennial dilemma for teachers. A course at the Bread Loaf School of English, Middlebury College, Vermont, that incorporated improvisation with the writing process used role playing to solve real life situations, physical and verbal warm-up exercises to prepare for writing topics and assignments, and, (in nonverbal improvised scenes) setting, character and storyline were shown to the class or audience through physical interaction and movement. Through improvisation, students were lured into the process of learning and assimilated knowledge of people and social situations through actual experiences. A teacher who participated in that course used improvisation in his English class of 34 ninth graders. After an orientation period, they used the strategy once or twice a week before writing or writing group sessions. An offshoot of this activity was a radio play. Each of five writing groups used the plot of Edgar Allan Poe's "Cask of Amontillado" and developed different scripts for radio complete with sound effects. Later, after workshops were conducted on improvisation and writing to enthusiastic response, the school administration accepted a course proposal for the next year called "Improvisation, Acting, and Writing," which grew to four sections serving over 90 students and which still continues. The use of improvisation in the classroom demands that students learn to communicate clearly. Improvisation contributes to the communication skills students desperately need and adds meaning to literature. (NKA)
Publication Type: Guides - Classroom - Teacher; Journal Articles
Education Level: N/A
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Grant or Contract Numbers: N/A