In The Manner of the Adverb
In the Manner of the Adverb strategy invites students to non-verbally embody a single idea multiple ways so that another participant can infer the meaning of the first participant’s actions. The exercise requires students to be creative, clear, and specific in their choices (or context clues) to support inferences made by the individual trying to guess the word being shown. This strategy has clear connections to language arts, but is also used to explore inferencing, non-verbal expression, kinesthetic embodiment, and strong performance choices.
Select a volunteer to be “It” and ask them to leave the room. Invite the remaining students to select an adverb (such as merrily, nervously, warmly, etc.). Invite “It” back into the room; explain “It” must try to guess the selected adverb by asking the entire group to perform an action in the manner of the adverb. For example, “It” might say: Shake hands in the manner of the adverb; Walk in the manner of the adverb; etc. “It” asks for demonstrations until he or she guesses the word. (If “It” is stuck, offer recommendations of the type of actions that might help them solve the mystery.) Play multiple rounds to explore different adverbs and allow multiple students to be an “It.” To make the process easier: a word bank of adverbs can be listed on the board; “It” can be two or three people working together; or, a list of actions prompts can be generated that “It” can use with the group.
- What helped “It” figure out our chosen adverb? (Focus on context clues and inferencing).
- Were some adverbs harder to perform than others? Which ones, and why?
- Why are adverbs useful in writing?
- For the players: Use your whole body to demonstrate the adverb.
- For the person who is It: How would you describe the way the player is doing this action?
- Have players demonstrate the adverb individually, in pairs, or small groups.
- Reading/Writing: Have students explore and review different genres of literature – fiction, fantasy, poetry, etc. For example, describe your pencil in the manner of the genre.
- Reading/Writing: Have students explore different character traits and actions from a story. For example, sit down and say “Hello” like the character.
- FOREIGN LANGUAGE: Practice adjectives/adverbs in a different language.
- Social Studies: Have students explore and review time periods and technological advances. For example, show us the best way to travel across town (to explore the 1800’s).
- Science: Have students explore different ecosystems, scientific theories, animals. For example, show us what plants and animals you might find here.