nonverbal communication activities

Nonverbal communication activities are a great way to enhance critical social and emotional skills, including knowledge of tone of voice, facial expressions, and body language. In this activity, students will practice for a puppet show by reading scripts. Feeling words indicate what emotion should be conveyed while saying the line. Students will read and give each other feedback on how to change their tone of voice to match the emotion. Students will then use cut-outs of a lemur and a hedgehog to create different puppets for the different emotions.

Students will learn to show clear nonverbal communication, use the correct tone of voice to convey an emotion, and identify components of facial expressions and body language to convey an emotion.

This activity is based on one of the nonverbal communication activities in a Zoo U game scene, in which players work with a classmate to construct lemur and hedgehog puppets that represent various emotions, then perform a puppet show.

Discussion will include:

  • When we’re talking to someone, what are some things we should pay attention to besides the words we’re using?
  • How can things like tone of voice, facial expressions, body language, and other nonverbal communication change the meaning of the words we are saying?

The message of this activity is that when we are talking to someone, the words we choose to use are only one thing that help us get our meaning across. We also need to think about what expression we have on our face (facial expression), HOW we say the words (tone of voice), and how we hold our body (body language). If any of those things don’t match each other, it’s more likely the person we are talking to will be confused.

Extension Activity

Students will read a sentence, then write in the emotion word they think belongs with this sentence and describe the tone of voice that should be used to say that sentence. Then, students will complete the circle with the facial expression that matches the sentence and emotion word.