The Power Of Exrpession
Group Size: 1-100
Estimated Time: 40 minutes
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The Power of Expression
By Zippi Shulman
Goal: To show the chanichim that it is not only important what we say but also HOW WE SAY IT!
3. Game 2
Things to prepare:
Make paper masks that cover the entire face with eye holes for the kids to see through, or bring scarves or towels that they can use to cover their faces with.
Game 1: Pick a game that is fun and interactive such as Party Quirks (this game works really well) Start the kids playing the game the regular way (using facial, physical and vocal expressions). After a few minutes, tell them you are changing the rules.
New rule 1: no facial expressions allowed. Give each kid a scarf or mask and tell them to cover their faces to continue playing as before.
New rule 2: no body language. They may remove their masks, but they can not express themselves with their bodies (walk straight and tall, no slumping etc – stand at attention the entire time!)
New rule 3: no vocal expressions. They may use their faces and bodies as they wish, but they must speak in a monotone (no accents, expressions, anything!!)
New rule 4: no vocal, body or facial expressions. They must stand still and straight, speak in a monotone with their faces covered.
All the regular rules to the game (no saying who you are etc) apply of course.
Discussion 1: ask the kids which rule was hardest to follow (besides rule 4). Why is that so? Why are our vocal expressions so important? What new technologies today have forced us to rely more on our vocal expressions than body language (phone) and how has this affected our society? What happens when we don’t even have vocal expressions (instant messenger)? [misunderstandings, not personal…]
Game 2: “Mommy My Tummy Hurts” – a skit by you.
Get four volunteers to act out the following skit (mother, kid, doctor, director):
Director: take 1! (adjust number accordingly)
Kid comes home: Ima, my tummy hurts!
Mother: we’ll call the doctor
Doctor comes in: weeeooo weeeooo weeeooo
Kid falls to the floor
Mother: oh no! he’s dead!
Director: CUT!!! That was boring!! It has to be more _____
Do the skit many times – each time in a different style: dramatic, western, valley girls, monologue Japanese, alley dancers, babies, Chassidim, crocodiles, and anything else that comes to mind – let the kids decide. Tell them that THEY CAN NOT CHANGE THE SCRIPT!! (they must say the exact same words every time, the point is to use expression to make an impact!) can have the chanichim rotating the parts to get everyone involved.
*remember to let the chanichim think of the ideas and then if they are stuck, help them out!!
Discussion 2: we can say the same thing in many different way and it can be understood differently by others. (Someone watching a monologue version of the skit would think the mother didn’t care about her child, but someone watching a frantic version would get a different impression.)
Discuss the importance of saying things the right way so that it won’t be taken the wrong way! *Get the chanichim to give examples of this [expressions such as thank you, no thank you, how are you –fine, etc can sound sarcastic or meaningful; get them to help think of more examples].
Story 3: a story is probably not necessary because the peula is already pretty long (especially if you play the games many times each which you can because the kids get really into them). I couldn’t find a “real” story (as in a made up one that someone published and has told you that it is real) so you can make your own up if you wish, or even better get your kids to make one up – in groups, alone etc.
Summery: We have to be extremely careful and aware of how our expression, body language and facial expressions affect what we are saying and how we can use them to emphasize our intention; or they can also do the opposite and give off the wrong impression!! Lesson: “it’s not what you say, it’s how you say it!!”
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