kids on stage

Improvisation as a Tool for Presentation, Collaboration, and Critical Thinking


Public Speaking Through Play

  • Wednesday, January 13, 2021, 5:00 PM - 6:30 PM
  • Wednesday, January 20, 2021, 5:00 PM - 6:30 PM
  • Wednesday, January 27, 2021, 5:00 PM - 6:30 PM
  • Wednesday, February 3, 2021, 5:00 PM - 6:30 PM
  • Wednesday, February 10, 2021, 5:00 PM - 6:30 PM

Are you nervous to speak in front of others?

Do you want to enhance your public speaking skills for school or future careers?

Develop public speaking in a supportive space through improvisation!

Public Speaking Through Play: Improvisation as a Tool for Presentation, Collaboration, and Critical Thinking

About the Program:

Students with little to no acting experience are encouraged to participate! During this virtual course, we will play a variety of theater games designed to spark creativity and a sense of play while also developing invaluable, interdisciplinary skills, including team building, communication, and leadership skills. We will then put these skills into practice through in-class presentations and feedback sessions.

Be thoughtful and silly! Think outside the box! Learn from one another! Take risks & Have fun!


Wednesdays, 5:00pm - 6:30pm, January 13, 20, 27; February 3, 10 (Make-up Day: February 24)


Students in grades 6-8


Weeks 1 & 2: Introduction

At the beginning of our course, we will create class guidelines for each other to develop a classroom community that facilitates creativity and growth. We will discuss the core pillars of improvisation and dive into the work with some improvisation games. Students will also participate in lower-risk public speaking exercises (smaller opportunities to share as well as viewing and briefly responding to TED Talks) to ease into our work over these next few weeks. As students engage in these activities, we will take time to reflect on and discuss the various transferable skills and lessons at the heart of improvisation.

Week 3: Group Presentations

We will continue incorporating improvisation games at the start of class, but this week we will move towards applying these skills directly to the art of public speaking. Students will work in groups (or as one big group, depending on class size) to create a pitch (for a new app, new television show/film) to present to the class. In crafting their mission, main idea, and features of the product, students will gain insight into creating an argument as well as incorporating supporting evidence. After each presentation, students will engage in a Q&A session with the audience - their fellow classmates and myself - so they will have the opportunity to develop their ability to speak off-the-cuff. After presentations, students will share feedback with one another, and I will give feedback as well.

Weeks 4 & 5: Solo Presentations

During these final weeks, students will prepare for and give their independent presentations in our supportive classroom community. Students will choose between a more creative final presentation option or one that is more analytical in nature. They may decide to create their own TED Talk (a more open-ended presentation on a subject of their choice) or to create a final presentation analyzing a news article - its main idea/argument, supporting evidence - as well as presenting their own personal responses, reactions, and views. By engaging with and presenting on current events, students will be able to consider the deep impact these events have on our lives and how they affect the way we communicate with one another. Additionally, students will be able to think critically about the information and media they consume as they formulate their own opinions and arguments. I will ask students to read each others’ articles ahead of time so that they can participate in the Q&A sessions after each presentation. As was the case for their previous Group Presentations, students will have the opportunity to ask questions of one another and to offer feedback as we collectively learn and enhance our skills.

About the Teacher:

Ariela Nazar-Rosen graduated cum laude from Wellesley College with a degree in English. She is also a proud alumna of Teen Leadership Rockland! Ariela previously taught English to high-school-aged immigrant and refugee youth for three years through the Phillips Brooks House Association at Harvard University and later worked in a high-school level Sheltered English Immersion Academy with City Year Boston. She has been able to combine her passions for education and acting by teaching theater to elementary-school students through the New York Public School System. Her positivity and enthusiasm encourage a sense of confidence and competence in young people, and she believes that each student has a unique, meaningful voice that should be heard.

Registration Deadline: January 8, 2021


$100. Financial assistance is available for those with demonstrated need.



This event is online

Last updated February 3, 2021