Body Language Lesson Plan

Instructor: Sharon Linde

Sharon has a Masters of Science in Mathematics

Use this lesson plan to teach students about body language. Students first learn the signs and messages given by body language, then examine body language in different cultures. Hands-on activities included.

Learning Objectives

After this lesson, students will be able to:

  • define body language concepts
  • explain messages given with body language
  • discuss cultural differences in body language


1 hour


Key Vocabulary

  • Body language
  • Context
  • Gestures
  • Eye contact
  • Self-soothing
  • Position
  • Personal Space
  • Namaste

Curriculum Standards

  • CCSS.ELA-Literacy.RI.9-10.1

Cite strong and thorough textual evidence to support analysis of what the text says explicitly as well as inferences drawn from the text.

  • CCSS.ELA-Literacy.RI.9-10.4

Determine the meaning of words and phrases as they are used in a text, including figurative, connotative, and technical meanings; analyze the cumulative impact of specific word choices on meaning and tone (e.g., how the language of a court opinion differs from that of a newspaper).


  • Engage students in learning and build background knowledge by playing a short clip of the sitcom Seinfeld that deals with body language, such as the 'close talker.'
  • After watching, ask students if they've ever had an experience such as this; share answers and discuss.
  • Tell students they will be learning about body language, ways we express ourselves and messages we send with our bodies.
  • Pass out copies of our lesson Understanding Body Language: Definition & Signs and ask students to read, highlighting major points and definitions. Instruct students to take notes in the margin if necessary.
  • After reading define terms and check for understanding. Discuss:
    • How is body language used to communicate?
    • Is all body language intentional?
    • Are we always communicating with our bodies?
    • Does everyone speak the same 'body language?'
  • Next, have students create a chart in their notebooks titled 'Body Language' with two columns - 'Gesture' and 'Message.' Create on the board along with students and have them fill out, using the lesson to guide.


  • Pass out task cards to students who wish to model body language. Each card details a type of body language. The model student should demonstrate the body language while others guess. Play until all task cards have been used and students demonstrate understanding.

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