Looking for a simple, yet highly effective, strategy for working with students? Then you need to try the Actor’s Toolbox Strategy. There are a total of 5 tools: Voice, Body, Imagination, Concentration and Cooperation. Each of these are used by professional actors when working with character exploration and presentation.
I first learned about the Actor’s Toolbox from Sean Layne and have used it as a powerful access point for students in embedding drama into the classroom experience. However, I noticed that with my elementary students, they needed a way to both get them into the routines and as a way to remember all of the tools and their uses.
To help with this, I created a script that I use with my students each time we prepare to engage with the Actor’s Tools during an arts integration lesson. It’s part of our warm-up and sets the right frame of mind for my students as we get ready for a meaningful lesson. Today, I’m sharing this script with you, along with a video to see this simple script in action, to help you in using these incredible tools with your students.
Actor’s Toolbox Script
Teacher explains that they will speak the line first and the students will echo. As you are speaking the name of the tool, demonstrate it in some way. For example, voice = use your voice in a new way, body = wiggle your body, etc. Repeat the script twice and then ask students to explore each tool individually with some examples.
I take my box…
Open it up wide….
I look around….
and see inside….
And my body…..
and my cooperation!
WHAT TO NOTICE
Susan Riley is the founder and President of EducationCloset.com. She focuses on teacher professional development in arts integration, Common Core State Standards, 21st century learning skills, and technology. She is also a published author and frequent presenter at national conferences on Arts Integration and Arts and the Common Core.
Susan holds a Bachelor of Music degree in Music Education from the prestigious Westminster Choir College in Princeton, NJ and a Master of Science in Education Administration from McDaniel College in Westminster, MD. She lives in Westminster, MD with her husband and daughter.