Give and Take
Give and Take invites students to explore a range of repetitive sounds and movements, and to consider how they connect together as part of the give and take of energy between performers on stage. The activity focuses on improvisation, repetition, active listening/responding, and abstract/concrete embodied ideas.
Define an open space as the “stage” with space in front for the “audience.” Invite a portion of the students (5-10 is best) to play first. Ask them to evenly position themselves throughout the stage space, with space to move between them. Everyone is frozen, except for one player who uses a repetitive sound and movement to travel through space and “give” their sound/movement energy to another player, who makes a new repetitive sound and movement. Players can use literal or abstract movements. For example, player A stomps their feet and says “Boing, Boing, Boing” as he travels across the playing space to player B who is frozen; A makes a loud final “Boing” in the direction of player B. Then A freezes and B jumps up and grabs her toe saying “Ow, Ow, Ow” as she hops one foot saying “Ow” to C and then freezes. C shoots her arms out, saying “Ohwah, Ohwah,” and so on. After the group has played for a while, swap groups and begin again. Introduce themes to inspire movement/sound like: School; or Fame; or The Ocean. Once “give” is mastered, introduce “take.” In “take” players repeat the same pattern, but instead of waiting for a player to “give” the energy, players “take” it. When the energy is taken, the player it was taken from freezes. After the group understands the rules for “give” and “take,” players can use both; so, C may “take” from B, and then B can “give” to player A, and so on.
- On a scale of 1 – 10, how successful were we at this activity?
- How did our sound/movements evolve throughout the game? Did we tend to use literal or abstracted movements more? Why do you think that is?
- How did our sound/movements build a story or connect to our larger inquiry when we were working with a theme?
- Try to use your whole body. If we are playing on a 4, on a scale of 1-10, what does a 10 look like?
- Remember that you must remain completely frozen when it isn’t your turn.
- This is an ensemble game; it is your responsibility to make sure everyone has a turn.
- During thematic explorations students can use short word phrases; encourage students to really listen and respond to what is given them to build out a story.
- Social Studies: Have students explore events in history (Industrial Revolution) or a time period.
- Reading/Writing: Have students explore the setting or world of a story, key themes, and characters.
- Science: Have students explore ecosystems, seasons, weather, and animal characteristics.
- Math: Have students explore skip counting (give 3 to 6 to 9).