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Taming Bad Behavior with Improv


January 28, 2004

I have found that improvisational activities provide a unique opportunity to bring classrooms together, especially if you’re having difficulty with students who have emotional and/or behavioral problems. I have used improvisation to work with a combination of ability and age levels with excellent results. I'm sure you will have some who refuse to participate at first; and that's okay as long as they don't disrupt. If they do, it's probably because what they passed up suddenly looks like fun, so offer them a second chance to participate. Of course you do have to draw the line somewhere, but I have found that the non-judgmental atmosphere of a theatre games class is just the thing for many behaviorally challenged students. There are many books available on improv and theatre games. I highly recommend the books by Viola Spolin, who was the acknowledged leader in the field of improvisation education for many, many years.

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