Pandemic Teaching Tip #1: Thank You for Coming to My Ted Talk

Pandemic Teaching Tip #1: Thank You for Coming to My Ted Talk

How do I teach theatre during a pandemic? *sigh*

We can help! We've been gathering pandemic teaching success stories from teachers and directors all over the country. Whether you're teaching over Zoom or socially distanced in a classroom, we have ideas for you!

"Thank You for Coming to my TED Talk"

Activity by Amanda Farnsworth, Theatre Teacher and Director in Atlanta, Georgia

In this creative nod to some of our favorite memes, this activity uses one-liner prompts to practice improv. This is a fun activity that can be done socially distanced with masks, and/or over Zoom.

Examples of prompts (you can find improv or public speaking prompts online):

"Bottles are better than cans."

"Cats are better than dogs."

"Why the hippie movement should make a comeback."

Have your students sit in a socially distanced circle, with chairs six feet apart. Each student receives a slip of paper with a prompt. The director walks around the outside of the circle, picks a student, and says "go." The student will step into the center of the circle and start:

"Thank you for coming to my TED talk. My name is ---, and I'm here to tell you why bottles are better than cans."

They talk for as long as they can, with the goal of making the class laugh. Have them continue until they falter or run out of things to say. Once they reach this point, the director says "and....thank you for coming to my TED talk." Then continue with the next student.

If you have students over Zoom, the students in the circle will just turn to the classroom screen and watch the remote learning student do their TED talk from their computer at home.

As the director, you can keep the activity moving and loop in Zoom students as well. Everybody is safe...everybody is practicing...everybody is teambuilding...and everybody is having a good time!

Have your own pandemic teaching tip? Share it with us so we can pass it on! Email

We are always better together.

Another Teaching Tip?

#2 - Improv Zoom Rooms

Loving what Amanda has to say? Here's more theatre stuff from her!

What is at the Heart of Theatre [Video]

How Did You Use Projections in Annie? [Video]

What to Say to Someone Interested in Theatre? [Video]

How Did Projections Enhance Joseph? [Video]

How Do You Keep Directing Fun?

Why is Theatre Good for Kids?

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