Drama Activity: GIBBERISH STORIES
GIBBERISH STORIES is a fun drama activity to develop pantomime skills and to think about use of vocal tone, pace etc. to tell a story. It's a fantastic voice game suitable for end of elementary (primary) years to high school.
How to play gibberish stories
This drama activity is suitable for all sized groups and is played in a circle.
Instructions for this drama activity:
Students must use their voice in an interesting way to tell a story in gibberish.
The class stands in a circle. One at a time a student enters the circle to add to the story in gibberish. There should only be one person in the middle and they should try to carry on the story from where the person before them left off if possible (this is not always possible).
I always go first in this activity. Try to keep some narrative to the story line with characters in mind. I also like to switch between characters. For example, I will demonstrate a horror movie scene in gibberish where I switch between the victim and killer and act out a scene between the two or a western standoff where I switch between the two characters. I find that this gives students more freedom with their story choices and I can demonstrate different gibberish styles and how the use of voice (and movement) can be used to show difference in character and also the idea of the activity which is still to tell a narrative. They will not all choose to play different characters and it is not necessary.
What is gibberish?
Gibberish is nonsense language. To tell a story in gibberish, voice tone, pace, pause, pitch and intonation is used.
There is no one way to speak in gibberish and every person will have their own style (some may prefer just using clicking sounds or 'la la laaas' or 'blah' whereas some will use different letter combinations and sounds for a gibberish effect.
Practicing gibberish with the class
Start by practicing gibberish with your class and lead with an example
It may be helpful to have students practice their ‘gibberish’ with a partner. Ask them to tell their partner about their favourite movie in gibberish and to focus on exaggerated voice tone, pace, pause, pitch and intonation to imitate the rhythm of a lively and exaggerated conversation but in nonsense language. The language should be exaggerated and lively.
Gibberish story ideas
Try a western or horror movie or retell a classic fairy tale in gibberish. If doing a fairy tale, the class should try to keep the narrative of the story line as far as possible.
This drama activity is included in the FREE Drama Games PDF which you can download HERE!