One thing I might try this year is a role-playing game called "Dread". It is a pretty great party game for dramatic types and I think it would be fun to teach students. But it probably requires, at minimum, a block period or better yet, a few days. (The actual game when played at full length can take 2-3 hours.) But the nice thing about it is that, unlike many RPGs like Dungeons & Dragons that have these steep learning curves and whole books of rules (I am not an RPG guy), Dread's structure and mechanics are really straight-forward and quick to understand. Basically, there are a number of story outlines that come with the game (and you can pretty quickly see that it would be easy to write your own too), plus others have written new stories and posted them online. It is best to play with about 5-6 players plus the storyteller who guides things, so if I did it, I'd probably want to pick a few of my strongest kids and teach it to them first so that they could guide a group to teach the class. All you need is the game book and a set of Jenga blocks.Each player is given a character questionnaire a few days before play, which the leader collects and maybe takes a few notes about to keep potentially juicy details at hand. The game uses a Jenga tower as the basic mechanic (as opposed to dice, cards, or other tools). the storyteller verbally sets up the situation, and most stories have a classic horror film set-up – like a stranded space station that has been invaded by something, or a river rafting trip of college students that encounters werewolves. I did one that used Stranger Things as the central narrative. Anyway, the storyteller puts things in motion, then stops when there is a decision to make or action to take. Then, basically, every time a character is required to do anything outside of their comfort zone (leave the tent to investigate that noise), they need to pull a block. If the tower falls, the character dies. As the tower gets more teetery and you ratchet up the tension, it is surprising how tense and fun the whole thing gets. It is this really jacked-up, high-intensity group story-telling experience. Plus, some of those answers to the questionnaires come into play. You might prompt a character to describe her experience getting attacked by that raccoon when she was 6, which can be triggered by your spontaneous insertion of a raccoon jumping into the raft into your story. The whole thing is highly dramatic and super-fun.
Again, I am not an RPG guy, but this is a really fun game. You can watch some of it on Will Wheaton's geeky youtube show of him and his friends playing RPGs HERE. Or you can buy the PDF of it HERE for $12.