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Body Language: Lesson for Kids

Instructor: Jennifer Lowery

Jennifer has taught elementary levels K-3 and has master's degrees in elementary education and curriculum/instruction and educational leadership.

Body language is a way that people communicate with each other without using words. Explore how people use body language, see why it's important to pay attention to body language, and find out how your own body language can communicate with others.

Wordless Language

Would you believe that it is possible for you to communicate without uttering a single word? It may sound strange, but you can actually 'say' things with signals from your body. This is called body language, and it can be a very important way to communicate to others. Let's find out how body language works, and learn how you can focus on the body language of other people to know how they are feeling.

Without even talking to this boy, you can probably guess how he is feeling.
body language

What Does Your Body Say?

So how exactly does someone communicate with their body? One of the most common forms of body language is facial expressions. These are ways that the muscles of your face actually move, depending on your mood. What facial expression do you think you would have if you just got a new puppy? Your face would probably look excited and happy, and you might even laugh when the puppy does something silly.

Your facial expressions change all the time, depending on your mood and also on things that happen to you. That happy expression you had with the puppy might change when he decides to chew up your favorite pair of shoes. Now your face might look angry or frustrated.

This might be the facial expression of a girl whose puppy has chewed up her favorite shoes.
facial expression

Body language can be more than just facial expressions. People use their arms, their shoulders, and their hands to show how they are feeling. If someone's shoulders are slumped down or they have lowered their head, they might be sad. Have you seen someone with their arms crossed? They might be angry. But if someone's arms are extended wide and their hands are open, they might be happy and ready to hug someone!

Reading Body Language

So why is body language important? These body movements are signals, or clues, that show how someone is feeling. Sometimes people don't communicate with words, so it's your job to find body language clues to know how to interact with them. Understanding and reacting to body language in the right way can help improve our relationships with friends and family.

How would you respond to someone whose body language looked like this?
body language

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