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The Second City Guide to Improv in the Classroom: Using Improvisation to Teach Skills and Boost Learning

The Second City Guide to Improv in the Classroom: Using Improvisation to Teach Skills and Boost Learning

Katherine S. McKnight, Mary Scruggs

ISBN: 978-0-787-99650-5 May 2008 Jossey-Bass 208 Pages

 Paperback

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$24.95

Description

Most people know The Second City as an innovative school for improvisation that has turned out leading talents such as Alan Arkin, Bill Murray, Stephen Colbert, and Tina Fey. This groundbreaking company has also trained thousands of educators and students through its Improvisation for Creative Pedagogy program, which uses improv exercises to teach a wide variety of content areas, and boost skills that are crucial for student learning: listening, teamwork, communication, idea-generation, vocabulary, and more.

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About This Book v

About The Authors vi

Acknowledgments xiii

CHAPTER ONE: It Begins with Play 1

Montessori’s Connection between Play and Learning 2

Spolin’s Connection between Play and Learning 2

What Has Happened to Play? 4

Why Improvisation Works in the Classroom 5

The Second City Connection 6

Overview of the Book 7

CHAPTER TWO: Improvisation as a Pedagogical Tool for Engaged Learning 11

Connections between Improvisation and Authentic, Engaging Teaching and Learning Experiences 12

Teaching and Learning Experiences 15

Improvisation for Engaged Teaching and Learning in the Diverse and Inclusive Classroom 17

The Brain Connection 19

Building a Community for Engaged Teaching and Learning 22

CHAPTER THREE: Literacy Learning and Improvisation 27

Potential Impact on Literacy Skill Development 28

Improvisation and Reading Links 28

Improvisation and Writing Links 33

Improvisation Links to Speaking and Listening 36

Some Concluding Thoughts 38

CHAPTER FOUR: Explanation of Improvisation Exercises 41

Getting Started 41

Time for Improvisation 42

Classroom Management 44

Sidecoaching and Reflection 46

Improvisation Games 48

Ad Game 48

Alphabet 50

Beginning, Middle, End 53

Bippity, Bippity, Bop 56

Bus Trip 58

Conducted Story 61

Deck of Cards 63

Dr. Know-It-All 64

Gibberish 67

Give and Take 70

Half-Life 73

Mirror 74

Object Work 76

One-Word Story 79

Panel of Experts 82

Parts of a Whole 84

Pass the Clap 87

Slide Show 89

Space Walk 91

String of Pearls 94

Take That Back 98

Throwing Light 100

Who Started the Motion? 102

Zip Zap Zop 103

CHAPTER FIVE: Skills and Teaching 105

Lesson: Lights, Camera Re-Action! 106

Alphabet Book 111

Story Generation Using Beginning, Middle, and End 114

Conducting an American Revolution Review 118

Speaking in Songs 121

Becoming Characters 129

Math Gibberish Translator 131

Building a Relationship 133

Geometric Object Work 136

One-Word Story, a Many-Word Story 139

Physicalizing Cell Structure 142

“Ten Days in a Madhouse” Human Slide Show 144

Geometry Walk 151

Painting Visualization 154

String of Ideas 157

Tableau Activity for Analytic Geometry 160

Picture Book Tableau 165

In-Class Field Trip—Using Tableaux to Explore the Role of Perception in Communication 167

Throwing Math Light 170

CHAPTER SIX: Engaging Students in Learning 173

Authentic and Engaged Learning 174

The Literacy Connection 175

Some Final Thoughts 175

Index 177