My students are huge fans of playing improvisation (or improv) games during each class, but I like for them to work on diction and character. I've tricked them into learning a lot about how to pronounce words by always starting rehearsal with a tongue twister (or four)!
We utilize three reasons for practicing with tongue twisters, and they're alliterated just for fun!
1. Pronunciation. Try making it a game to find the "hidden" letters that often get skipped over when using sloppy enunciation. Example: Diction is done with the tip of the tongue and the teeth. The letters to watch for here are the "p" in tip and the "d" in and.
2. Projection. Theatre games can be used to make kids feel more comfortable with themselves and with each other. Games also (in my classes, anyway) tend to rile kids up and make them louder and louder. This is great when you are trying to train them to use their vocal register to project to the back of an auditorium!
3. Partnership. Being part of a play is a team effort. When you're performing, there is no one there except your fellow cast mates to save the day in a case of forgotten lines or a misplaced prop. The more comfortable the team acts as a group, the more likely they can pull themselves out of an onstage disaster. I ask the kids to practice tongue twisters together - the goal is to say all of those hidden letters at the same time, not just spit them out as quickly as possible.
Tongue twisters are helpful for speech and language development in any kids - not just the dramatic one. How do you use them in your classroom?
You can download my list of favorite tongue twisters in a free printable here. Make sure you also snag my Character Analysis worksheet!