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Body Language Activities for Kids

Instructor: Clio Stearns

Clio has taught education courses at the college level and has a Ph.D. in curriculum and instruction.

Body language is an important part of communication, and not everyone grasps it intuitively. This lesson offers activities that will help children learn and think about the different uses and types of body language.

Using Activities for Body Language

As a teacher, you probably spend a lot of time thinking about how your students communicate verbally. Yet, body language is an equally important aspect of communication. Whether you are thinking about helping students get their needs met, fostering their social development, or enhancing their academic skills, teaching students about body language can make a big difference in their learning.

When you use engaging activities to teach about body language, you can capture your students' attention and help them think about body language from the vantage point of their own learning styles and strengths. The activities in this lesson will help students learn more about body language and how it works.

Reading Others' Body Language

The activities in this section are oriented toward helping students learn to interpret body language in others.

Picture Book Bodies

Break your students up into partnerships for this activity, and give each partnership a picture book to work with. Ask them to read their picture books together, paying attention to how the characters use their bodies and gestures to express their ideas and opinions. Have them talk with their partners about what they notice. Then, bring students together to share what they have found. Facilitate a conversation about how characters and real people communicate thoughts and feelings with their bodies.

Body Language Charades

This is an activity your whole class can do together. Call one student to the front of the room, and give them a slip of paper with an emotion or brief scenario written on it. Ask that student to act out the feeling or situation using only his or her body. Others should try to interpret the feelings being conveyed. Leave time after each enactment for students to talk about what they notice, which might include the fact that not all people use body language in exactly the same way.

Body Language Diaries

This is a great activity students can use to think about the body language of people in their daily lives. Ask them to carry a diary around with them for a week, keeping notes on everything they observe about how body language is used within their families or groups of friends. At the end of the week, ask students to share some general observations and talk about what they learned about paying attention to others' body language and how this can enhance their communication overall.

Expressing Yourself with Body Language

These activities help focus students' attention on their own body language and how they can use it to express themselves.

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