Sunday, July 19, 2015

Unit 2: Extending the Improvisation

Our "A New Language in 25 Words" improv was designed to help promote self-reflection. The words we choose and emphasize can certainly say a lot about who we are and how we think.

What I would like to think about now is how this improv might be reused as is, or modified for reuse in different disciplines, courses, or situations.

For example, in this improv we constrained the use of language or communication elements to help participants create a new "product." I could see doing something very similar with a different type of "language," such as a programming language or mathematical language.

What are some other possible applications you see? What modifications would you make to the current improv that might make it more effective? More fun and engaging? Are there similar improvs or constraint activities you have used or participated in previously? If so, what did you like about them?

Please share your thoughts in the comments below. Also, feel free to link to any Web resources, personal blog posts, or other social media sites that you want to share with the community.


  1. I don't mind kicking off the conversation with some of my thoughts. To me, the exercise is essentially about creating something new out of something familiar with a limited number of components or resources. Some may have played the team-building game where each group is given different objects (trash bags, balloons, a coat hanger, and string, for example), and then asked to compete by building the tallest, free standing structure possible. The new language concept is somewhat different, of course, in that it is asking us to create a derivative product -- a new language from a limited set of parts from an existing language.

    In computer programming, we might ask participants to create a short program or solve a problem but limit them to the use of only certain statements or functions.

  2. You know me: I am so story-obsessed! So my extending idea was the 25-word-long story (a completely different take on the idea of 25 as the limiting number)... and in a classroom setting, I thought it would be so cool to have people do their set of 25 and then put people in groups of three or four to combine their lists and then WRITE A STORY using the combined lists. Seeing your list made me start thinking right away about what we could do if we combined our lists!
    Here's the post about the 25-word-stories:

    1. I love the idea of combining the lists. Interestingly, in our next unit I'll mention Exqiusite Corpse and this combination could be a great variation of that.