What happens when you mix an improv game with history? Answer – a magical long period!
This activity is based on an improv game called Ad Game. In Ad Game players invent something to market, a slogan for the item/service, a spokesperson for the product, and a jingle. It is usually done within seconds and players agree and build on the first ideas that are suggested [this concept is called "Yes And" which builds such an amazingly collaborative atmosphere that it belongs everywhere].
Having played this game quite a bit over the past year, I felt that it absolutely belonged in a classroom. However, instead of inventing something to sell, why not have people market a pre-existing idea – like the amendments in the Bill of Rights! At a practice for my historical-based improv show*, the cast did just for our collective amusement and to test out this lesson. It was awesome.
While the improvisers were only given seconds to come up with their presentation (they did not do the troublesome/important words or the print ad), my students had a long period to put their marketing campaign together. As I wanted them to have a deeper understanding of the amendments, it could not be done on the spot (although, one student after I explained where the idea came from thought it would have been a fun challenge).
Congratulations! James Madison has hired our class to sell the Bill of Rights to the United States of America. With the signing of our first client, we are now in the advertising business!
As a class, we have been hired to create a marketing campaign for the amendments proposed in the Bill of Rights**. As the head of the advertising agency, I have decided to pair you off to work on one of the amendments.