Divide into teams of 5-7 people. Have members of one team leave the room while the others think of a situation which can be acted out without words. Then bring in one person from the team that was sent out. Explain the situation he or she will be acting out.
Now bring in the second person from that team. Without saying a word, Person #1 must act out the assigned plot for Person #2. Person #2 may or may not understand the charade, but he or she must subsequently act out the same situation for a third member of the team. Person#3 performs the charade for Person#4, and so on.
The last person must guess the original storyline. Basically, this is a game of telephone, but using only charades to communicate.
Remember, all this is done in complete silence. Even the simplest charade can undergo a thorough metamorphosis after being passed down several times. If the last person cannot guess the charade, person #1 should perform it again and let the last person guess once more.
Here are some classic French charade situations to spur your creativity.
The original pantomime that you do could include the following: pull the elephant into the room on a rope; tie the rope at a stake; dip a rag in a pail and wash the side of the elephant jumping high to get all the way to the top; crawl underneath, wash his belly and legs; go to the front and wash the trunk inside and out and wash the elephant’s ears as well; and then, wash under his tail (hold your nose).
You are a high school beauty pageant contestant, anxiously awaiting the announcement of the winner. Suddenly you hear your name! You now step forward to receive your crown and roses. Then comes your victory walk down the aisle, waving to the crowd, you encounter many misfortunes. First, you are allergic to the roses, so you begin to sneeze, but you keep on going waving and sneezing to the crowd. Then, on the way back up the aisle, your high heel breaks and you finish the walk with one heel missing!
You’re are a pregnant bird about to give birth. You must fly around the room gathering materials for your nest. Once you make your nest, you lay your egg. Then finish the charade by hatching the egg and finding a worm to feed your new baby.
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Jonathan McKee is the author of over twenty books including the brand new The Bullying Breakthrough; The Teen’s Guide to Social Media & Mobile Devices; If I Had a Parenting Do Over; and the Amazon Best Seller - The Guy's Guide to God, Girls and the Phone in Your Pocket. He speaks to parents and leaders worldwide, all while providing free resources for youth workers on TheSource4YM.com. Jonathan, his wife Lori, and their three kids live in California.