Welcome back to another post of How To Teach Your First Drama Class: Teen Monologue Series 2. Helping drama teachers develop their own lesson plans.
In Part 1 of this series, we talked about some of the ways you can break the ice as an introduction to your first drama class. This was followed by a short monologue analysis focusing on character, motive, circumstances, background story, intentions, relationships and other acting related elements to help guide your students with a monologue piece.
For this post we will provide additional monologue analysis but first let us get into acting exercises and warm ups.
How To Teach Your First Drama Class
Acting Exercises and Warm Ups
Drama activities are a lot of fun. They can create a world of engagement and excitement for your students and open up avenues for personal growth, human connection and enhanced communication skills.
For starters, we invite you to have a look at some of our acting games and exercises that you are welcome to introduce to your students.
- 7 Theatre Games for Kids and Teens
- Drama Exercises to Develop Characters
- 10 Easy Drama Games for Teens and Kids
- 5 Fun Drama Activities for Kids and Teens
- Acting Games and Exercises for Warm Ups
Start your actors off by getting them all to stand in a circle facing center.
As an acting teacher for this warm up exercise, it’s good to take the lead and let them follow you with the following movements:
- Raise your arms high above your head and reach for the ceiling. Be determined to touch the ceiling with your fingers, no matter how high the ceiling may be. Reach, reach, reach for a count of fifteen seconds and then slowly bring your arms back down to your hips and relax.
- Rest your elbows at your hips and shake your hands. Shake them up and down and all around to get them as loose as possible. Do this for thirty seconds and then reach back up to the ceiling for five, four, three, two and one. Lower your arms and bring them down to your hips and relax.
- Have your students form a line facing a solid wall. Each actor must go up to the wall and push as hard as they can against it for a count of five. Let them give it everything they got during those five seconds. Once the five seconds is up, they move to the back of the line and the next actor takes their turn.
- In a group circle, facing center, sound off an animal noise from a jungle. Your group of actors must imitate your sound. Then the person standing next to you moving clockwise takes their turn and an animal sound. The group imitates that person’s sound as well. Do this until you go through the entire circle and then back counter clockwise again.
5 Teen Monologues for Drama Class
A Normal Level of Playing Music – This isn’t the first time that Nicki has had to tell her brother to lower his music playing. But is there something more going on? There are choices that can be made for the character that will make it much more interesting than just the rudimentary surface of it. Perhaps Nicki isn’t as “cool” as her brother and her arguing with him is a way for her to try and level the playing field. Maybe Nicki thinks her brother is way smarter than what he always seems to demonstrate and she believes he hides behind his music. These are just a couple of ideas to consider when it comes to helping your student deepen the acting choices they make.
Old Enough To Work – Martin goes off on a tangent to his mother about how they never have enough food in their refrigerator. He then realizes how this devastates his mother and it’s a defining moment for the young man because he shares with his mother that he will work and help. This monologue explores how money plays such a factor in society and family. It brings about a work ethic, love and compassion. It is good to explore with your student what the character does not have in his life and his inner drive to take action and do something about it.
Bubble World – Jasmine and her cousin have always been close but their are attributes in each of their personality that are slowly dividing their relationship. Jasmine doesn’t come from such a well off family. She’s grown accustomed to hand me downs and discounts for the clothes she wears and money is always hard to come by unless she goes out and works for it, which she does part time at the ice cream parlor. Her cousin Jessica comes from money. She doesn’t work and she gets whatever she wants at the store, clothes, jewelry techie swag…you name it. Jasmine is annoyed by this and more annoyed over the fact that Jessica seems to value materialistic things more than spending quality time. this monologue brings up the fundamental values of family.
A Sense of Belonging – The biggest and greatest thing going on in Beverly’s life is her desire to fit in and be part of the “it” crowd. The IT crowd has always alluded her and because of this she always feels like the outcast, which in turn gives her a self perspective of weirdness of herself. Beverly feels like she has so much to offer in friendship and personality but her shyness always seems to have the upper hand. Beverly hasn’t had it easy, growing up with just her and her mother but she so desperately wants to feel accepted. This monologues deals with loneliness, courage and depression.
Walk Before You Run – Justin is a good older brother who cares a great deal about his younger brother and the choices he makes. Perhaps the lack of having a father around has somehow forced Justin into looking after his brother a bit more than a household with a strong family unit. He wishes for his brother to do well in life and make good decisions and even though his brother is dating his first girlfriend, he gives him some advice. This monologue explores responsibility, trust and peer pressure.