Improvisation is essentially spontaneous composition. The art and act of creating an expressive musical statement in real time adhering to some kind of structure.
Question and Answer is a common improvisation technique in music. In the world of Orff Schulwerk we begin with imitation and exploration of an idea or concept. Then we add label and improvise using that idea and concept.
When students are ready to improvise, where do we begin?
I like to begin with this:
Teach song and step the beat in place.
Sing and walk the beat.
While singing, walk to face a partner.
Show 8 fingers and do a "countdown" demonstrating rhythmic alien language.
Something like this:
With partner, decide who is going first (rock, paper, scissors to determine "winner"). Show fingers again, first partner improvises over the 8 beats using alien language. Second partner answers them with their 8 beats. Don't worry if they are not truly performing question and answer yet - it will come.
Repeat several times before defining question and answer technique.
Repeat game with question and answer technique.
Repeat activity with body percussion. Consider transferring to non-pitched percussion.
Hope you enjoy!