Body Language - 3

Continued Growth

Lesson Plan

Goal: During a set time within the school day, the student will observe another person’s body language to interpret their possible emotions, in 8 out of 10 observable opportunities, as measured by a teacher assessment tool.

1. Review examples of people’s body language to identify the possible emotion they are feeling.
2. Identify the factors that influence a person’s mood.
3. Respond to another person’s body language using rehearsed phrases (such as “I can see you are upset.Is there anything I can do to help?”; “You look like you’re having a great day.”,etc.).

Definitions of Key Terms: Body language is nonverbal communication. Body language includes facial expressions and your body movements. Body movements and facial expressions can convey meaning and show emotion.


  • What is body language?
  • Is body language an important factor in communication?
  • Can body language provide us with information different from the words someone says?

Discussion Points:

  • Body language conveys a lot of information about what a person really means.
  • Body language can change the meaning of words.
  • Body language gives you insight into how someone actually feels about what you have said.
  • Body language can help you understand what happened in greater detail.

Discuss with students what body language is. Review the discussion point questions.

Possible activities to review the discussion points or use your own:

Think. Pair. Share: The teacher will pose questions related to the discussion points. Explain to students that the purpose of the activity is to think about the question and activate prior knowledge. The teacher will model the procedure to facilitate student understanding.

  • T (Think): Teacher begins by asking a specific question using the discussion topics.
  • P (Pair): Each student should be paired with another student, small group or work with a teacher. Pairs write brief answers on sticky notes or scrap paper.
  • S (Share): Students share their thinking with their partner. Teacher then leads a whole-group conversation using students’ answers.

SEL Categories Activity:

  • Ask students to create a list of words associated with the topic (give them 2-5 minutes to complete).
  • Once time is up, ask each student to share a word or thought from their list.
  • Other students must cross that word or thought off their list.
  • Continue the process until all words or thoughts have been listed.

Directions for In-Person or Virtual Learning: You have three options for students to complete this lesson.

  • Option 1: Print the Student Activity Sheet for each student. Complete the lesson as a group and assign the activity sheet to the students.
  • Option 2: Click the Student link to access the activity sheet electronically and post to your Learning Management System (if your school has one) or send the link to the student. The student may complete the activity sheet electronically within the classroom on a shared computer or device.
  • Option 3: Click the Student link to access the activity sheet electronically and send the link to the student. The student may access the link from a home computer, chromebook, iPad or other device.

Activity 1: Brainstorm

Review the definition of body language with the students. As a class, develop a list of reasons why it is important to understand body language.

Materials Needed:
  • Chart paper or interactive board

An example could be to understand when a friend is upset with you. Record students’ answers on the board or chart paper.

Activity 2: Expressions Practice

Prior to the beginning of this activity, print a variety of emotions on index cards with one emotion listed per card. Make enough to have a complete set of all emotions for each pair of students. For example, if you are reviewing six emotions and have 12 students, you will need six sets of emotions for six pairs of students.

Materials Needed:
  • Index cards with an emotion written on each

Review the key points from Activity 1 with the students.

Pair students together. Pass out a set of index cards to each pair, with the word face down. Instruct students to take turns picking up a card. The person taking the card should not look at the word, but place it on their forehead so their partner can read it. The partner will then act out the emotion. The other student will need to try guessing what emotion it is based on the body language of the partner.

When all pairs have worked through their sets, ask students how they did guessing the emotion based on the body language displayed by their partner.

If time allows, have the pairs shuffle the cards and play again. This time, once the partner guesses the emotion, they should respond with a corresponding/appropriate phrase.

Activity 3: Personal Narrative

Review the key points from Activities 1 and 2 with the students. Discuss with students the different phrases you can use to respond to someone's body language. Discuss what happens when you respond incorrectly.

Materials Needed:
  • Student Activity Sheet A - 1 per person
  • Pencil for each student

Allow students time to complete Student Activity Sheet A. Ask for volunteers to share their work when all students have finished.

Student Activity Sheet A

Directions: Think about a time you misunderstood someone's body language. How did you interpret their feelings through what his/her body was doing? What emotion was the person actually experiencing?

Application Activity

Script Prompt: Develop a script and create an animation that includes two characters in a setting related to the problem. Use the script prompt provided below or create your own and include:

Materials Needed:

The dialogue between the characters must include:

  • Demonstrating body language.
  • Correctly reading body language.
  • Interpreting the emotion the other character is feeling.
  • Using a rehearsed phrase to respond.

Script Extensions: Click the following hyperlinks to have students choose their Characters, Background and Props prior to writing scripts. For examples of script writing accommodations, click Here.

Methods for completing this activity include (choose one or a few, depending on your students’ levels and abilities):

Script Writing Practice: Teacher-led discussion of script creation. As a group, write both an appropriate and inappropriate version of the script. In small groups or individually, have the students independently create scripts that demonstrate the script prompt. Use the script sheet to create students' scripts.

Independent Script Recording: Pair students together to complete two scripts using the same script prompt detailed above. Direct each student to take turns being character one and character two.

Animation Creation: Have students record their scripts using the SiLAS software. Remind students to name and save their work. Premiere the movies with the group members at the end of each session.

Lesson Extension: Incorporate ELA standards by discussing both spoken and written grammar rules (dialogue punctuation, correct verb tense, sentence structure, character, setting, problem, solution). Consider using both the final animation and written script as an ELA grade/assignment.

Topic Checkout

Review the key points from all previous activities with the students. Allow students time to complete the Student Topic Checkout. Discuss their answers when all students have finished.

Materials Needed:
  • Student Topic Checkout - 1 per student
  • A pencil for each student

Student Topic Checkout

Directions: Complete the following questions.

1. Why is understanding body language important?

2. Does body language tell you more about a true message? Yes or no? Why or why not?