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Nonverbal Communication Activities: Puppet Show

nonverbal communication activities

Nonverbal communication activities are a great way to enhance critical social and emotional skills, and 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: Show clear nonverbal communication; Use the correct tone of voice to convey an emotion; Identify components of facial expressions and body language to convey an emotion.

Materials: Two copies of the hedgehog and lemur script, Printable hedgehog and lemur parts, laminator, and velcro dots

Zoo U Game Context: Players work with a classmate to construct lemur and hedgehog puppets that represent various emotions, then perform a puppet show.


Print and cut out the hedgehog and lemur parts. Laminate all of the parts separately and cut out. Place pieces of the hook (hard) side of the velcro on the lemur’s and hedgehog’s face and body where eyes, mouth, and arms would go. Place pieces of the loop (soft) side of the velcro on the backs of all of the eyes, mouth and arms pieces.


  1. Assign one student to be the hedgehog and the other student to be the lemur.
  2. Instruct students that before they do the puppet show, they will practice their tones of voice. In front of each of their lines in the script, there will be a feeling word in parentheses, such as “surprised” or “angry.” When it is their character’s turn to speak, the student should read the line in a tone of voice that matches that feeling word.
  3. Since this is practice, after each person reads his or her line, the partner should give feedback on whether the tone of voice matched the feeling word, and what they could do to make the tone of voice match better.
  4. Once the students have gone through the script a couple times and mastered their tones of voice, they can create their puppets. Students should create one puppet for each emotion that their animal displays in the script. Partners should again give feedback on whether the puppets’ facial expressions and body language match the feeling word.
  5. Students can now put on the puppet show using the correct emotion puppet and the correct tone of voice as they read their lines.
  6. (Optional) If students have practiced and performed with both scripts, have them write their own script! The should write dialogue between the lemur and the hedgehog and identify the emotions that match each line.  
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