GAME (By virtue of the fact that the teacher sets the rules, and there are specific boundaries.)
To know the words of at least six feelings.
To experience the relationship between feelings and body movements.
To experience the relationship between feelings and use of words.
To read body language.
To introduce feelings, since they are an integral part of the final production. The aliens’ fuel is “feelings”.
Students pretend to wear masks. The teacher asks them to put on a mask which shows NO feeling. (The robot mask.) The teacher explains that as humans this is impossible, but with drama we can “make believe” or act “as if” it is real.
Have students hold their hands down on their desks. It is important that feelings be isolated on the face for the first part of this activity. It is difficult not to let feelings into all of our body.
With no talking put on a HAPPY, SAD, ANGRY, and FRIGHTENED mask. After these four masks, ask students for feelings that have not been done. Help them if they do not respond. Other feelings might be: GREED, SURPRISE, PRIDE, JEALOUSY, etc. Only do two or three more.
Next, talk to students about the use of the voice to express feelings. The teacher reads a selection from a reading text with no feeling, then with anger, and sadness, etc. Students will quickly understand that feeling changes the meaning of words.
The teacher now repeats the first exercise, but says “hello” to the students with the feeling expressed by the mask. Students echo the word “hello”, mimicking the teacher’s style.
The students now stand in a space near their desks. The teacher explains that they will now “isolate” feeling in another part of their bodies. This time instead of the face, they will use their hands. When the teacher says a feeling, the class has a count of three to make their hands show the feeling. Each student must take the feeling off their face. The teacher points out different qualities of the hands which express the feeling. i.e., anger: tight, angular; sadness: light, rounded, etc.
The next activity involves the students making a statue with their bodies of the feeling. Each student should try to show the feeling all over their bodies.
The final step is for students to think of a reason for their feeling. The teacher goes around and asks different students, “Why do you feel so . . .”, and the student responds with a reason. Each student’s movements and quality of voice should be appropriate to the named feeling.
In order to make this sequence of events more obviously game like, the activity concludes with a “real” game, “What’s My Feeling?” Three or four students create a feeling statue in front of the entire group. They must come to life and express their feelings for at least 30 seconds, using no sounds. Students can guess what the feeling is. The second stage of the game would be to guess the situation. The students in front of the class would complete the game by acting out the situation (with words) for the rest of the group to see how close the guess was to the actual situation.