Contact Infomac Drama

Preparation/ Playing the Game / Variations

Contact (1997 American film), a science fiction drama film adapted from the Carl Sagan novel The Contact (1997 South Korean film), a romance film Contact, a 2002 short film by Kieran Galvin. Online Video, TV & Film Production Management Software and Screenwriting. Manage cast and crew, create and share call sheets, script breakdown sheets.

No,You Can't Take Me!
This game teaches confidence, pantomime, and critical thinking. It's alsoa lot of fun. I have used it with children from Kindergarten to MiddleSchool - obviously with varying levels of sophistication. It looks morecomplicated than it is - I've never had trouble making my students understandit.

I didn't make this up, although I suspect I have made changes in it.I have used it for years, and I can't remember who gave it to me.

After explaining the game a little, break the class into small groups-threeto five or so. Each group is given a room in the house--the bedroom, theliving room, the kitchen, the basement, the garage, etc. (You can use thebathroom as well if you think your students can handle it. Mine get toosilly.) If you want to, you can put the names of rooms on cards and haveeach group draw one. Don't let the students know what rooms the other groupshave.

Within each group, each student chooses one thing that would be foundin the room. (For example, if the room is the kitchen, one student mightbe the refrigerator, one the stove, one the sink, etc.) Side-coach as necessary.After choosing an object, each student practices 'being' that object.

Each student must think of at least one--or with older kids, several--goodreasons that their object is important. Side-coach them to ask themselveswhat would happen if the thing were not there.

Playingthe Game:
Work with one group at a time. The other groups become audience--whichis incidentally an opportunity to practice being a good audience.

The teacher goes to the first group and exclaims, 'My, look at all thisuseless stuff! I've got to get rid of some of this junk!' (Or some such.)The teacher selects one student and says, 'I think I'll take THIS thingaway.'

The student replies, 'NO, YOU CAN'T TAKE ME!'

'Why not?'

The student answers, without mentioning the name of his object, in thisform: 'If you take me away. . .' followed by something that would go wrongwithout the object. (For example, if the student is pretending to be thebed, she might say, 'If you take me away, no one will get any sleep.' Astudent pretending to be a wastebasket might say, 'If you took me, therewould be trash all over the place.')*

Once all the students have had their say, the audience tries to guesswhat room they are in, and then what object each student is. Then the teachermoves on to the next group.

* With younger children, I usually stop at one answer. But with olderstudents, I don't give up so easily. I improvise some reason that the student'sfirst answer isn't compelling enough. 'Well, I never sleep anyway.' 'Ilike trash on the floor. I'm taking you anyway.' In this way I ask thestudents to think of more than one reason that something is important.If the students are sophisticated enough, I encourage them to think ofcreative answers. A student pretending to be the bed might say, 'What wouldthe kids jump on?' A student pretending to be a lawnmower once said, 'We'dget our feet wet walking through the yard.' He meant that the long grasswould hold water when it rained.

Immigrants Variation / Parts ofthe Body Variation / Rainforest Variation / BookVariationGeneral Tips and Variations


My fourth-graders were studying immigrants and Ellis Island.I developed this variation of the game because they specially requestedthat we play this game (which they remember from playing it in the thirdgrade), and my special project this year is to tie my fourth-grade curriculuminto their Social Studies and Language Arts work. It is played in basicallythe same way, with the following changes:

First I divide the class into three groups. One group becomes the 'oldcountry,' one the 'ship,' and one the 'new country'‹in our case New Yorkin the nineteenth century.

The students in the 'old country' group had to come up with somethingthat an immigrant might have to leave behind‹something that would be difficultto leave behind. (Cherished furniture, a pet or a friend, the silver, favoritetoys, etc.) The students in the 'ship' group become something (or someone,if you want) on board a ship that an immigrant might need on a long journey.(A bunk or hammock, the captain, the boat¹s engine, lifeboats, etc.) Thestudents in the 'new country' group become something a new immigrant wouldneed in his or her new land. (A grocery story, an apartment, an Englishbook, dollars, etc.)

When I approach the first group I say something like, 'Gee, I don¹thave room to pack all of this! I¹ll have to leave THIS behind!'

'No, you can¹t leave ME behind!'

With the second group I say, 'The ship is too full. I¹ll have to throwsomething overboard. I think I¹ll throw THIS overboard!'

'No, you can¹t throw ME overboard!'

With the third group I say, 'There¹s so many things in this new country.It¹s all so confusing. I think I¹ll get rid of some of it. I think I¹llthrow THIS away!'

'No, you can¹t throw ME away!'

My students seem to really understand and enjoy this variation.

Partsof the Body VariationInstead of a room in a house, the 'place' is the human body,and each student becomes a different body part. For example, onestudent might become a nose, another a lung, another a foot, and so on. (I have never had difficulty with students choosing 'inappropriate' bodyparts, but of course that's something to watch, and if you have a groupyou think is inclined that way, it is probably best to nip it in the budand specifically forbid 'inappropriate' responses.)

Teacher says, 'Wow, this person's body is SO complicated! I don'tthink we need all these parts. I think I'm going to take THIS partaway.'

From here the game is played exactly as in the basic game. Studentsmust think of reasons that their particular body part is important. A nose: 'If you take me, you won't be able to smell the flowers!' A foot: 'Without me, you'd have to walk on your hands!' A heart: 'If you take me away, how will you get your blood to your body?' An ear might say, 'How could you hear anything?' but one once said to me,'If you take me away, your hat will fall down over your eyes and you won'tbe able to see!'

Usually this works best with the whole class at once, rather than brokeninto groups, but a more advanced class could be divided into groups accordingto kinds of body parts--one group could be internal organs, one bones,and one muscles, for example.


In its simple form this variation works even with pre-Kindergarten,yet is challenging enough for much older students.

This is explained in more detail in RainforestLessons,but the basic idea is that the 'room' is replaced witha rainforest, and students must become different plants or animals thatinhabit it, and explain why each is important to humankind. A conservationexercise.
Each group chooses a book, and then each person in the groupbecomes a character or an object that is important to the story. Then the instructor comes around with a giant (imaginary) eraser, and threatensto erase each in turn. Depending on the level of the students, youcan coach them to respond by explaining their character or object's importancein general, or, with a more advanced group, by explaining their characteror object's importance to the story. (For example, a studentrepresenting Charlotte in Charlotte's Web might talk about the importanceof spiders in the balance of nature, but a more advanced student mightinstead say something like, 'But if you erase me, who will teach the maincharacter self-confidence?' or 'Who will teach the reader about the circleof life?')

Contact Infomac Drama Online

GeneralTips and VariationsInfomacI have done this exercise with states or countries insteadof rooms. I have also done it with everyone AS a different state. (They had to come up with a reason that state is important to the wholecountry.)

I have done this exercise with time periods instead of rooms.

With Kindergarten I sometimes do it without the guessing. (Inother words, I simply 'guess' myself what each item is, rather than throwingit open to the class.) On the other hand, some Kindergarten classesdo quite well with the guessing.

With a small class, or a very young one, I don't divide the class intogroups, but conduct the game with the whole class as one group. Thisavoids the difficulties inherent in paying particular attention to onegroup while the other is left to its own devices.

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