I’ve yet to meet a student who isn’t excited (inwardly or outwardly!) at the start of a new semester or first rehearsal when they hear their teacher say, “Okay, let’s go around the circle and share an interesting fact about ourselves themselves!” So. Much. Pressure. Here’s a game that helps teachers and students get to know each other without the stress of having to come up with an interesting fact – all you have to do is answer a question .You will need a deck of playing cards and a printout of our question set at the bottom of this article.
Take your cards and deal a face down card to each student, or spread the cards face down and let each student choose one. The number on the card corresponds to a predetermined question. If a student receives the Joker card, they can choose which question to answer. Questions can be drama-related (“Do you like plays or musicals more and why?”), drama class-related (“What do you hope to learn in drama class this term?”), personality-related ( “Are you a morning person or a night owl?”), related to likes/dislikes (“What is your favorite meal? Describe it.”) or a combination of any of them. You might even ask students to submit suggestions and select the best ones to ask. Keep it light – you all know each other. You will have time to dig deeper later in the term.
If you think your students would benefit from knowing the questions in advance, print copies of the question list and hand them out or make a large copy and post/project it in front of the room. This can help reduce potential anxiety about “What question will I be asked?” Your students may appreciate being allowed to turn over their books and secretly look at them for a few moments so they can see the question and have some time to think about their answers. They might also like the thrill of not knowing their question until the last minute! Just make sure everyone turns their cards back while others are responding so everyone can listen respectfully.
Here is an example of what the question paper might look like:
- As = What is your favorite food? Describe it.
- Two = What is something you like to do in your spare time?
- Three = What is something you hope to learn in drama class?
- Four = What is your favorite way to consume media (social media, videos, podcasts)?
- And so on. Jack, Queen, King and Joker follow Ten. Check the bottom of this article for a complete template.
Here are some ways to mix up the game:
- Interview: Put students into pairs. Deal three cards to each pair. Have partners interview each other using the questions on the cards.
- Exchanges: Before looking at the card, the student has the option to exchange cards with another student who has not yet answered the question. (Unfortunately, this means that the student who goes last cannot trade, but this might encourage students to volunteer to go early!)
- Suits: If the suit of the chosen card is Hearts (regardless of the number of the card), the student must mime the answer. You can add additional challenges to each suit if you wish. For example: Diamonds = sing your answer, Spades = answer in a funny voice, Clubs = say your answer while doing some kind of gesture or movement.
- Roll the dice: Before looking at the book, give the student the option to roll a die. If they get 1 or 2, they will answer their question. If they get a 3 or 4, they will have to switch cards with another nearby student and answer the question on the new card. If they get a 5 or 6, they will have to draw a second card and answer that question as well.
- Hot Seat: Have three students draw cards and ask you the questions corresponding to the numbers on the cards.
Kerry Hishon is a director, actor, writer and stage fighter from London, Ontario, Canada. She blogs at www.kerryhishon.com.
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