Much more than just “improv games”
With this handbook you’ll get:
- 16 detailed, full-proof lesson plans that cover the “9 rules of improv”
- Notes on how to introduce improv concepts in clear, concise language
- Over 114 improv games and activities
- Reflection and journaling exercises after each lesson
- Homework handouts and YouTube video links to deepen understanding
- Sample improv scenes to demonstrate “good” and “bad” scene work
- Sample “performance line-ups” for every age/experience level
- A troubleshooting guide to address common issues
- 23 Bonus Videos to demonstrate how games are played
A note from the author
While there are countless books and websites out there with games, many of them lack lesson-by-lesson strategies for teaching improv skills. The books that do teach skills are geared towards long form improv for adults. I wrote this book to save you the time of pouring through those books and websites! The lessons presented here are a culmination of decades of research, teaching and performing.
Similar to Teaching Drama: The Essential Handbook, the layout of this resource recreates the experience of being “in the classroom” observing an expert teacher introduce these concepts to a beginning class of students.
Whether you are a drama teacher looking to add a short form improv unit to your curriculum, an improvisor wanting to lead workshops or a general education teacher looking for new ways to incorporate creativity into your class, there is something in this book for you!
– Mel Paradis, Arts Educator & Improv Performer
What skills will my students learn?
- Teamwork and Trust. Students will demonstrate an understanding of improv and develop trust with their classmates.
- Make Associations. Students will practice making associations and discover tools to help them think quickly and creatively.
- Yes, and. Students will demonstrate the ability to accept a statement or action that they are given and add something to it.
- Listen. Students will listen to each other by observing how their classmates move and absorbing what their classmates say.
- Relate. Students will learn to internalize and connect with whatever has been communicated.
- Be honest. Students will demonstrate honesty in their creation of environments, objects and characters.
- Be in the present. Students will make strong initiations that are rooted in the present.
- Tell a story. Students will learn how to incorporate the Important Elements of Storytelling into their scenes.
- Develop Relationships. Students will explore how status affects relationships, and how it can be used to enhance a scene for comedic or dramatic effect.
- Scenework. Students will create entertaining scenes with characters who have a strong relationship, locations, a strong initiation, and a conflict.
A Resource You Can Trust
Beat by Beat Press is the leader in providing today’s best resources for theatre educators. Our website attracts over 450,000 visits a month by teachers just like you seeking high-quality materials to use in the classroom. Our materials have been used in performance spaces and classrooms in over 75 countries and translated into 5 languages. You can feel confident that the materials you receive are top-notch.
Download your copy today.
It’s always our goal to provide drama teachers the resources they need at a price they can afford.
Professional development workshops for improv training can cost thousands of dollars. Online training courses charge subscription fees of over $440/year.
Why spend that kind of money when you can download everything you need to teach improv at a tiny fraction of that cost?
Teaching Improv: The Essential Handbook (a practical guide you can start using in your class tomorrow) can be downloaded instantly for only $35.
At Beat by Beat, we’re passionate about raising the bar on the quality of resources that are available for young actors…and you’ll find this book to be no exception. Over 30,000 people a month visit the Beat by Beat website, discovering tools and resources which have brought joy to teachers and creativity to young actors around the world.
You have our personal guarantee that if you aren’t completely satisfied, if you don’t love this monologue book and use it all the time, call or email us within 30 days and we’ll refund every penny immediately.
Alison C. –
Perfect for an improv newbie. As someone who is strongly versed in musical theatre, improv has always scared me but I know it’s such a good skill for my students. That’s why I picked up this book and I’m so glad I did! I can see me being able to offer a class and use this book as my complete lesson planning. It’s laid out really well. I run a children’s theatre so I don’t need to grade but it’s easy to just skip past those parts because of how neatly everything is laid out. I love the debriefing sections with the lessons. Improv is not my specialty so having the correct verbiage spelled out for me will be extremely helpful when teaching this. I love that you have a performance at the end too, this is so important in offering classes. Every parent wants to see a final product.
Trevor D. –
Amazing! I just spent three days at a conference with the author and WOW! Mel is such a dedicated professional with amazing ideas for student engagement.
Ivan Eakins –
Fabulous. Great book. Informative and incredibly successful.
Concise, complete, and practical intro to the world of improv. This is the book I’ve been wishing to find for the last few years. I’m helping start a High School improv group and have a local improv performer and teacher helping, but I have no improv experience other than as an audience member. This book has concisely laid out the critical aspects of improv (and even history of improv) that I had been trying to sift out on my own. The lessons plans are flexible and can definitely be used for students in elementary to high school if you pick and choose games according to what feels appropriate. The fundamentals of successful improv are clearly and masterfully laid out in some very quick, digestible lessons. I made it half way through the book in one long afternoon and gleaned so much, and of course loved the entire book. Our group has enjoyed several of the games and suggested videos. (After beginning by reading this book, I read the UCB Improv Manual, listened to Curtis Rutherford’s podcast Improv Beat by Beat, and then read Improvise by Mick Napier. I felt like all of that material in that order was incredibly helpful to me! And all of it made me appreciate this book even more.)
Robert Scott Bowman –
Well thought out. Good item. Good classroom plans. Nice resources.
Selisa Hue –
Great teaching tool and reference book. I really like the way the lessons are set up for teachers of Improv. My students like that it has new games and scenarios.
This book is so easy to use and chock full of useful information to teach Improv. I was very nervous to jump into teaching Improv to my Jr. Highers, but this tool has made it a breeze and FUN! My kids love it and so do I. A must have! The digital resources are also invaluable. Thank you!
Jim Hanophy –
This is the perfect book to teach improv. This book provides great step by step instructions for how to teach improve. It takes you through the elements and, at each step, provides great activities to follow. The discussion suggestion with students work really well. The book also contains an index with some great additional improv games. There is even access to video demonstrations by this author of many of the improv games. Really a bargain and a great resource
David G. (Shinshu University Matsumoto, Japan) –
I am really happy with the book and am enjoying using it with my ESL students in university in Japan. The students are enjoying my course and this handbook is making my job so much easier. It is also teaching me a great deal on Improv. I think using Improv is a very effective way to teach communication in English to ESL students. Thank you so much!