The Breakfest Club
(I know it is spelled wrong)
This is a variant
of an actor's exercise that I remember from when I did some summer theater.
What is nice about this task is that it shows the students that they
can write skits in English.
Moreover, as actors they learn that they
impart messages in English using tone and body language. Often this is
the first time for them that English appears to be real and vibrant.
The dialog does not have to be that complicated, but they do have to
start to notice how people
Ask the class a series of questions and write at least one of their
responses on the board.
1. You are a couple just getting up. What is the first thing that you
would say to each other?
2. Now ask a question about sleep? What was the answer?
3. Let's add a question about food and what was the reply?
4. How about a question about drinks and what was the rejoinder?
5. Ask about yesterday and what was the retort?
6. What about today? (Work, play, etc.) How did the other respond?
7. Is there anything else to say? (Try to keep it general. Restraint
in this tends to make the class chaff at the
bit to write more)
Now you can add more questions but I recommend that you make this work
relatively short. When you are
finished you should have something that looks like this:
A: Good morning.
A: Slept well?
A: Me neither, could you pass me the OJ?
B: Sure, would you like me to make you something?
A: Bacon and eggs... I'll make the toast
B: What are you doing today?
A: Work, what else?
B: Do you have to?
A: Yeah... Why would you like me to stay?
B: No, well, it's up to you.
Now pair the students up with a partner. Ask them to
begin to memorize the skit. Give each couple a scenario from below
or ask them some questions on who they think they are. Why are they together?
How long have they known each other? What has just happened in their lives?
Etc. Make sure they have a clear idea of what is going on.
Don't worry if you give the same scenario to more than
one duo. Be creative make up a scenario or two
You've just been married and have spent a wonderful honeymoon in Hawaii.
Last night was your first day
back home and you spent almost the whole night making love.
That Seven Year Itch
You have been comfortably married for many years. Last night the husband
came in at three o'clock in the morning, reeking of perfume and alcohol.
She made him sleep on the couch.
The Grumpy Olde Couple
You have been together for ages and ages. You obviously like each other
but it is hard to tell from the way you talk to each other
Death in the Air
Mother & daughter, father & son, or husband & wife.
One of you has cancer or another disease and has not much time
to live. Let the students decide who is who etc.
Two siblings competing for the same thing. The new girl in Dad's firm,
or their handsome dancing instructor. A playful
tussle, combat without blood.
Gay or Lesbian Lovers
You are a new couple just moved in to an apartment together. You're happy
but not sure this will last.
(Advise your students not to play this for laughs)
This is a lot fun. Play this as two young children, anywhere from five
to ten years old. The dialog will have to be changed a little to reflect
Your Night Out
Last night you went out after work and partied hearty. You must have hit
at least three nightclubs. You don't remeber anything after one am.. You
wake up in your own bed and there is a stranger sharing it with you.
The students have to perform before the class. Let them
set the stage: arranging the furniture, explaining beforehand that this
desk is the stove or these chairs are the bed, etc..
After each performance, dish out praise. (Remember: deception
and lying are integral parts of good teaching.)
Ask the class:
What did they notice?
What did they like about this exploit?
How might it be improved?
What were the characters thinking?
How did the actors handle the props or imaginary props?
Would you change the timing? Or what was cool about a pause in the
What about the staging? Could you always see the actor's faces?
How about volume? Where the players loud enough?
Pronunciation, could they be understood?
Have a lot of fun and make your students clap!
Click here to see a related story.
This page is copyrighted © 1999-2000 Christopher
All rights reserved.