About the Authors

Carrie Lobman and Matthew Lundquist are the Authors of Unscripted Learning: Using Improv Activities Across the K-8 Curriculum.

Carrie Lobman, EdD is Assistant Professor of Education at The Graduate School of Education, Rutgers University. She is the director of the Developing Teachers Fellowship Program at the East Side Institute. Send an email to Carrie

Monday, May 7, 2007

"Riding the Bus" Improv Game

I had not planned to introduce the improve game “The Emotional Bus” game on the day or at the time that I did, but after a discussion about feelings during morning meeting one day, it seemed like the perfect time to introduce it in my first grade class! In “The Emotional Bus” game, several students perform different emotions as they enter a bus and interact with a bus driver who also performs an emotion. The tricky part is that each person who is on the bus must take on the emotion of the person entering the bus. For example, if the bus driver is happy and then someone sad gets on, the bus driver and the person entering the bus both perform the emotion of sadness and so forth.

What I had anticipated, or rather feared, was that the students would all want a turn on the bus and we might never get to play the game. A short reminder discussion about the importance of both the performers and audience, with a promise that all children would have a turn to “ride the bus” at some point, enabled us to play,. The children had a blast. Performers were so fun acting out their emotion. They also did really well remembering to perform each other’s emotions. The audience was spectacular, giving emotion ideas and listening and watching attentively. This game is such a great hit with our class and is a new favorite!

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