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Gr7 Drama Unit 1-Mime

Page history last edited by Frank Curkovic 9 years ago

Unit Title: "Silent Messages"

Students are evaluated on knowledge, process, participation as well as product.

(10 weeks x one 80 minute lesson a week)


Area of Interaction: 

Health & Social Education 

Students will create mimes incorporating various aspects of non verbal communication to explore issues relating to themselves, their environment, their reflections and how they are changing.


Significant Concept: The body can express more than the voice.


MYP Unit Question: Is language necessary to communicate?



By the end of this unit, students will be able to:

  • communicate various feelings and states of being non-verbally
  • portray character attitude through physicality
  • create situations and use/manipulate imaginary objects



By the end of this unit, students will understand:

  • some key styles of mime within the history of theatre and the work of key mime practitioners
  • the power of non verbal communication
  • the importance of self control and concentration 




  • All practice tasks done in class (Criteria A)
  • Students will also keep records of exploring mime, body language and rehearsals for their scene in their Developmental Workbooks (Criteria A) 



  • Students will create a mime scene in groups of three, of people gathering at a communal place e.g. waiting at a bus stop/train station platform. Through the mime, they must convey the emotions or states of being of the arriving passengers using the mime techniques (esp. posture, gesture and facial expression) they have explored in class. (Criteria B) 
  • Write a final self-reflection (Criteria C) 
  • Personal Engagement & Interaction in class (Criteria D) 


Drama 7-1 Mime Task Rubric 


Key vocabulary: 

  • mime
  • non-verbal communication (NVC)
  • freeze frame/tableau
  • gesture
  • frozen attitude
  • isolations/rotations/inclinations
  • neutral zero position
  • manipulation (of imaginary objects)
  • counterweight & tension
  • mental discipline 


Video Resources: 

Mime Basics videos

Marcel Marceau: The Lion TamerFacial ExpressionsExtended piece

Charlie Chaplin: Modern Times


*Activities are subject to change at teacher's discretion

Week 1 - Copying & Freezing

Intros; Housekeeping, Distribute cover sheets

Cover sheet may also be downloaded from here if lost:

Drama 7.1 Cover Sheet.pdf

Usually begin by sitting in circle; shoes neatly outside; respect performance; keep it clean


Warm Up: Propose, Elope, Shun (Whole Group) 10mins

In partners, moving around room separately.

Teacher calls out one of either of words:

  • Teacher calls out "Propose" and partners meet up and 1 character gets in traditional "propose" position to partner. Partner makes a stereotypical reaction. If late to pose, they are eliminated.
  • Move around room separately again. Teacher calls out "Elope" and partners join and perhaps picks up partner. If late to pose, they are eliminated.
  • Move around room separately again. Teacher calls out "Shun" and partners are back to back with expressions of anger or tired of each other. If late to pose, they are eliminated.
  • Move around room separately again. Teacher calls out "Flirting" and students find a new partner to flirt with. If late to flirt, they are eliminated.

*Can use music or place or speed etc. to vary it.


  • Demo Mirror Exercise follow teacher (Whole Group) 15mins
  • Activity Mirror Exercise; expressions; gestures; stance (Pairs) 10min [Teacher will narrate this excercise]

-one is mirror; other is person switch later (simple movements first-take it slow and make it intricate; 

-talk them through it as they do it (video example below)

-then suggest an activity to do: getting ready to go out, waking up in the morning,  etc.

  • Prep - students invent own scenario (Pairs) (10mins)
  • Present - each shows the class
  • Input - talk about NVC (Non-verbal communication); 3 components - facial expression, posture, gestures


Demo - Student A is molded into a Statue (a body posture); that student then becomes animated after a 1,2,3 count into what they think they are (continue as if in a scene); discuss differences with moulder 

  • Activity - students put their partner in posture and partner animates after a 1,2,3 count 
  • Prep & Present - You could try teams moulding other teams (4 on 4)  
Debrief by talking about position of body can show people our mood etc 


Week 2 - Body Language

Warm Up: Stage Picture (All)

  • Have students move about room randomly exploring the space
  • Speed them up/slow them down as necessary
  • Teacher calls out ‘stage picture’ and students freeze in a pose (body posture)
  • They must, after you call "1,2,3" animate on the spot according to the body posture they have frozen in (no interaction with others)
  • Repeat 2 or 3 more times


Activity: Actions/Reactions (Pairs)

Number off A/B; Count them in; They face away from each other and when you say go they will turn to face each other; A goes first round with a frozen body posture, facial expression and gesture; B has 30 seconds to create a reaction posture, facial expression and gesture; now B has turn to lead (Sounds A/B story sound reactions)


Recap: Body Language (NVC) - look and discuss sheets, especially 7% of our communication is words; the rest are sounds and NVC (All) [Info Sheets]


Activity: Lines (All)

All in circle; you pick random students and throw them a line from the ‘lines’ sheet (below); they enter circle and create the BL/NVC

  1. Go away! Leave me alone!
  2. Be quiet!
  3. I'm hungry.
  4. I can't hear you.
  5. I've got a headache.
  6. I feel absolutely exhausted.
  7. Go away!
  8. Come here!
  9. What's over there?
  10. I'm tired.
  11. I don't want to volunteer, so don't choose me. 
  12. I'm sorry, I don't understand English. 
  13. It's cold in here.
  14. What a surprise!
  15. Don't stand so close, I feel uncomfortable...
  16. Don't come any nearer!
  17. Peace, man
  18. Something smells
  19. My feet ache
  20. I'm bored
  21. Halt!
  22. You're crazy!
  23. I don't know...
  24. I'm warning you
  25. I'm so hot
  26. Do, sit down
  27. What's the noise?
  28. Gee, I'd really like to get to know you better...Keep talking.


Demo: Pick 4 students to be interviewed; one is nervous; another lazy; the third disinterested and the last eager; get them to enter one at a time into the circle and wait for their interview (4 chairs?); this can be extended if you wish into group work (All)


Prep & Present: Break them into groups of 3-4 to create a scene at a bus stop; different people arriving through BL/NVC - no talking; let them work on the interrelationships between the people with only a 3 seat bench (Groups)


Debrief: Importance of interpreting BL/NVC correctly


If time; go back to Interview scenario or create comic strip of super hero with freeze frames (tableaus) showing BL/NVC; they can use only a written caption for the last frame; show and debrief (4-6 Groups)



Week 3 - Beginning Mime

Warm-Up: Knife & Spoon (All)

Students start individually creating shapes with their bodies as teacher calls shapes e.g. no.1 letter z, sharpener, orange, flower, hatstand in 5 beat count; (In Pairs) students create new shapes in 10 beat count together but without speaking e.g. no.11, letter m, sharpener & pencil, flower in pot, hat on hatstand - build on last shapes add more; (Fours) two pairs become 4; same rules now bigger items - sofas, pianos, bicycles, etc on 15 beat count; (Eights) Bigger things again, cars, walls, planes, forests; (All) create Eiffel Tower; Liberty Island, Bay Bridge etc in 20 beat count - build ensemble


Activity - Divide class into two halves; they need to become objects and furniture in a room and one a person - have them present a improv showing the person arrive and use the furniture in the room e.g. a lamp, a sofa, a cupboard, a phone etc; each class views other’s performance


Review Unit Question: Is language necessary to communicate? 

Review Significant Concept: The body can express more than the voice.

Input: What is Mime? Acting but remove voice, sounds and objects

Objects have to have size, weight, shape


Activity: Pass the Present

 Class in circle pass imaginary object; show size, weight, shape - receive it as you would imagine it; no talking; mould into another object give to next 


Input: Segmentation; diving the body into segments from joint to joint; the body as units; the face as whole.



1. View the videos one by one below and have students attempt.

 2. After videos, students individually find their own spot and follow teacher; take them through moving just segments of their body







How can we show emotions?


Back in circle, seated: each member will open door, enter and show their personality through mime. Door must be properly drawn with hand; advise against being ghost and walking through door or throwing door away; each movement has to be clear and slow


Pairs: work on entering door but there is a problem; no key? bolted on inside; jammed - how do you get in? Remember mime rules


Present some pairs to the class - and debrief/or hold over for next lesson



Week 4 - Mime Skills

Warm Up: Pig, Wolf, Farmer

two teams, each team decides which pose to form before showing to other team; Pig = two clenched fists on head and scrunched up face; Wolf = two hands as claws and snarl face; Framer = digging action; After they decide both teams form two lines facing away from each other; they turn after 3 counts and shown their pose - works like scissor rock paper - first team to beat the other and make to 4 points wins.


Mime Line: students form two new lines; one line sits quietly and watches the other line compete. Competing line all stand and face one direction; the last student is tapped on the shoulder by the teacher and shown an emotion card; they then tap the next student and show the emotion in mime; this continues down the line, and once each has shown their mime they sit. The last student has to guess what the emotion is and the opposing team has to judge if the mime changed at any point; now it’s the other teams turn; discuss clarity of movements and body language to ensure clear mime. You can run this through a few times with different emotions.


Recap: Mime & NVC rules


Mime Circle: two concentric circles of students; outside circle moves clockwise; inner anti-clockwise; when you say stop, they face partner they arrived at and you then say a place/time; e.g. mountain, evening - they then together mime on the spot an activity for that condition; continue moving them and offering new scenarios


Slow Mo Race: have them all take positions at one end of class and pretend to run in an Olympic 100m dash - (discuss emotional changes while running from start to finish before you start the exercise, and that it is slow motion not normal speed, take care and time)

Alternate: Running to the love of your life


Slo-Mo Mime Scenes: Divide students into groups of 3; give out scenarios to the groups and remind them of the no object, no sound, no voice + they must develop the scene in slow mo; what is critical here is clarity of movements; scenes can be short


  • Receiving bad news
  • Receiving shocking news
  • Receiving ecstatic news

With your group, discuss what your roles, scenarios and situations could be. Document your thoughts in your books.


Present & debrief scenes


Ask them to return to the same scene and consider doing in normal motion, but enhancing clarity as it is a mime; if time present some and debrief.


Week 5 - The Professional Mime

Introduce mime as profession; cite examples - street, theatre, cinema


Watch live performance of mime by visiting professional


Workshop with visiting professional mime


Recap skills learnt from professional mime

 *or if no professional mime visit follow below:


Introduce mime as profession; cite examples - street, theatre, cinema


Watch video performance of famous mime artists (DVD/Internet)


Discuss mime techniques from video worksheet answers


Watch short silent film (from 1920s); have students take notes of key expressions, body positions, stances and movements


Divide into groups and have students take key elements of mime from film and develop their own short 2 min mime.


Present ‘silent movie’ mimes to class


Debrief mimes and note key mime techniques



Week 6 - The Mime Task

*if professional mime visit occurs video lesson can become lesson 6, if not follow below:

Ask students to recap key techniques behind mime

Gather recap of mime games and which techniques they relate to them on white board

Play some key games and emphasise techniques

Hand out task sheet and rubric, explain assessment. Divide class into groups preferably mixed.

View  7-1 Mime Task here

Review Drama 7-1 Mime Task Rubric 


Week 7 - Preparing the Mime
Planning & Rehearsal: Students are divided into groups and should spend the time planning and rehearsing their mime with teacher input where applicable

Week 8 - Presenting the Mime

Performance: Students present their mimes to the class and a video is taken for feedback from peers and teacher next lesson; allow short 20 mins for preparation time and set up of camera/performance space.


Week 9 - Reviewing the Mime

Watch video of their mimes and write reflection in their DWB.

  • Describe the progress have you made so far. (You may need to review the skills and knowledge area for the unit, either on your cover sheet or at the top of this wiki)
  • What are the strengths and weaknesses in your summative piece of work?
  • Is your scene successful? Why or why not? 
  • What could you do to further improve your artistic process?   (Please provide details or examples for this)

Your reflection should be written on your blog. You are required to embed the performance video. Please add your blog entry in the correct category and add tags such as "Grade 7 Drama" "Drama Reflection" "Reflection" etc.

When complete, email the reflection entry URL to the teacher.






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