Nonverbal Communication Lesson Plan

Instructor: Sharon Linde

Sharon has an Masters of Science in Mathematics and a Masters in Education

Students are communicating all the time, whether they know it or not. Teach them about the all-important non-verbal communication with this video-based lesson plan. Active participation and application make this lesson stick.

Learning Objectives

After this lesson, students will be able to:

  • define non-verbal communication
  • explain different types of non-verbal communication


1 - 1.5 hours


  • Copies of the quiz, one for each student
  • Access to technology

Key Vocabulary

  • Non-verbal communication
  • Pacifying behaviors

Curriculum Standards

  • CCSS.ELA-Literacy.SL.9-10.1

Initiate and participate effectively in a range of collaborative discussions (one-on-one, in groups, and teacher-led) with diverse partners on grades 9-10 topics, texts, and issues, building on others' ideas and expressing their own clearly and persuasively.

  • CCSS.ELA-Literacy.RST.9-10.4

Determine the meaning of symbols, key terms, and other domain-specific words and phrases as they are used in a specific scientific or technical context relevant to grades 9-10 texts and topics.


  • Start class by demonstrating some clear non-verbal behaviors your students may be aware of, such as shaking your fists or slamming a book on your desk.
  • Ask students to briefly write what they think you're displaying, then have them share their ideas with a partner.
  • Share and discuss as a class, letting students in on the fact that you just exhibited non-verbal communication, and they (likely) were able to decode it.
  • Have students work in their small groups to brainstorm a list of non-verbal communication and behaviors.
  • Start the lesson video Non-Verbal Communication: Examples, Types & Definition and pause at 5:45.
  • Instruct students to create categories for the list of their non-verbal communication, such as 'fight or flight,' 'pacifying' or 'anger.'
  • Share group work and discuss:
    • Why do humans use non-verbal communication?
    • Do other animals have non-verbal communication?
    • How often do you think about another person's non-verbal communication?
    • How do you think non-verbal communication impacts interactions?
  • Play the remainder of the lesson video, answering any questions.
  • Now, have students take the quiz to assess understanding.

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