These are two sites that have excellent game ideas that could be easily used in the classroom. I have put both of these resources here because they are connected to the basic rule of improv: always say yes. When partners or small groups are in an improv situation the goal is to keep the improv going and see what can develop. The quickest way to kill the improv is by disagreeing, correcting, or simply saying no to what your partner has proposed. If my scene partner looks at me and says “I can’t believe you actually buried that in the back yard,” it is my job to find a way to agree and move the scene forward. If I simply say, “I never buried anything,” then the scene stalls out.
The first source is a three part blog post: “Using Improv Games to Foster Creativity and Collaboration.” Go to material.
The second source “Improv(e) Your Teaching” is particularly useful in defining the basic ideas of improv and how it is a useful tool for teachers. Go to material.
All of the ideas presented are easy to apply to the classroom setting. Many of them could be used as a way to warm the group up at the beginning of a class session. One of the important ideas emphasized in both resources is the importance of allowing for failure. The second post in the “Using Improv Games” blog has a section specifically on “games for embracing failure.”
It may be that some people might think that improv is about “being funny.” While some of the games are a bit silly and might lead to funny situation it is not the goal of the exercises to entertain the other in the group.
As noted earlier this is the type of material that could be used as a warm up for a class session. It is also possible to dedicate a longer class session to the use of improv to get the students comfortable working together but also to help them develop a deeper understanding of the value of “yes, and.”