Warm-Up of the Week: Laser Beams

I’m starting a new section to the website this week. It came to me in a dream (seriously) after looking and thinking about my visitor traffic and the things they had been searching for on my blog. I’m thrilled to have readers and whilst I would like to continue to post about the things in Drama that I’m passionate about, I’d like to think I can help you all out too with things that you need. That’s why we’re a network. We’re a network that’s here to support each other.

On our homepage you’ll find a new page with a list of some of the warm up games I like to use in my classes. I’ll always put them up as a blog post as well which you can search for using the tags (“warm up games”) or categories (“Teaching and Learning in the Drama Room”). I will provide instructions on how to play the games and hopefully you can take them away and use them to your hearts content.

This week’s game is called:

Laser Beams

Time: approx 10 minutes.

How to Play:

1. Have your students form pairs. One person needs to wait outside the room. If there aren’t enough students to form pairs you, as the teacher may need to play.

2. Each pair needs to stand opposite each other. They can spread out around the space. They can also be at varying heights. The one thing that is most important is that they must maintain eye contact with each other and remain facing each other. This becomes the laser beam.

3. Place an object somewhere in the room that is surrounded by the “laser beams.”

4. The student who is outside the room enters and needs to work through the obstacle course to try to get to the beam. They need to strategise and think about which is the best possible way to get to the object without crossing a beam.

5. If the student crosses a beam the student pair, whose beam has been crossed must say “Buzz!”

6. The student mustn’t cross a beam more than three times or they are out.

Notes

This is a fantastic game for student focus, concentration and getting comfortable with using eye contact. Many students are very uncomfortable with looking anyone in the eye in a performance and this is a way to get them to become aware of its power.

For the student who is strategising to get to the obstacle, it is a fantastic way for them to use their body to move around a space. Discuss with the students how something like this could be transformed into performance. Discuss which elements of drama are being used. Discuss with the students what they learnt from the game and how their approach to the game may have changed after they played it a few times. It’s interesting to note how the students who are the “beams” really discuss and strategise together as to how to make it difficult for the person trying to get the object.

Was this suggestion helpful? What was your experience like in the classroom?

I’ve done my best to acknowledge sources where I can but some of these games I’ve just learnt from my teachers over the years and they never really told me who or where they came from. If you recognise one of these games as being your creation, please let me know and I will kindly acknowledge it.

Image Credits:

Untitled, karlao, @Mirazozo Architects of Air, Sydney Opera House, January 2011.

4 Comments

  1. I’ve played a similar game in my dance class, however we split the group into two larger groups of about 6-7.

    One group spreads out around the room and focusses on a point somewhere in the room. There is a laser beam from their eyes to their point. The second group must try and get from one side of the room to the other without hitting any of the other team’s “laser” beams.

    If they hit them, they must return to the start and keep trying to cross. They have 60 seconds before the teams swap. Whichever team manages to get the most teammates through the lasers wins.

    Not so great for building eye contact, but good for focus and teamwork! Also makes you feel like you’re in that (slightly questionable) Catherine Zeta Jones film Entrapment!

  2. Very good game to introduce new members to one another. They have no choice, but to make eye contact and keep the pose. Great for concentration especially where kids take drama as an extra subject! Thank you for all your effort. I incorporated sound- warm-up exercises- high pitch gives a hint of danger, low pitch -it is still safe!

  3. This sounds easy and helpful to get my students trying anything related to drama. I teach at an international school where English is an additional language for most of my students. Many have never even seen a play! They are very shy and it is a challenge to get them to open up. I’m going to try this game today!

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