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LifeSkills Handbook Activity 14

This is a single activity session plan from The Lifeskills Handbook. There are 61 activity sessions altogether. The handbook is available from our resources section where you’ll also find downloadable storybooks, books and posters to help you in your work.

LifeSkills Handbook Activity 14
Communication: Body Language

Purpose of activity:

  • To understand how we send messages without using words.
  • To understand the importance of body language
  • To use body language more effectively

Life skills: Communication, Self-awareness, Critical thinking

Materials: Pieces of paper/card


  1. Divide children into pairs.
  2. Each pair should think of a discussion that one of them has had with someone else which became an argument or a conflict. You could also use the role-plays from Activity 11: Resolving conflicts in a friendship.
  3. The children then act out the argument using their bodies and faces only. They must not speak (this is called mime). After a few minutes of practising the mime, choose two pairs whose scenes look the clearest. Ask the first pair to act their scene. Ask the group what they think is happening. Point out how it is often easy to know more or less what is going on from our body movement and facial expressions.
  4. Repeat the exercise with the second pair.
  5. Brainstorm the different parts of the body we can use to communicate with (eyes, arms, mouth, whole body, fingers, legs, shoulders, etc.) and the emotions we can communicate though our bodies (pleasure, anger, weakness, disappointment, etc.). Write or draw symbols for emotions on paper/card.
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  6. Give each child a paper showing one of the emotions (you can also do this in pairs). Ask them to model the emotion with their body. Go through the group guessing what the emotion each child or pair is modelling.

Final discussion:

  • Which is more effective in sending a message, body language or words? Why?
  • What are some body language messages that are particularly positive? Negative?

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