Gestures/Facial Expressions


Students will demonstrate their ability to pick up on and understand gestures and facial expressions by performing a silent skit.



Materials Needed

You will need a list of strong, known characters for the students to draw from. You will need situations or objectives for students to create silent skits around. You will also need different emotions for the students to create facial expressions out of.  Character, etc. Ideas



Lesson Directions

Anticipatory Set/Hook
Ask for four volunteers. Have the volunteers each draw a character out of a hat. Tell the other students that they will be observing a party and that they are to guess who each of the characters are. Ask the students what kind of party it should be.




• The game will proceed similarly to the game on Whose Line Is It Anyway? Have one of the students who is a character be a host. Instruct the four students that they are to impersonate their characters specifically through facial expressions and popular motions that they use.
• Have each of the three other students come in one at a time and then exit one at a time.
• After the party is over, ask the students who they thought the characters were. Ask them how they knew who the characters were.
• Gestures!
• Begin a discussion about gestures. What are gestures? Why do we use gestures?
• You can recognize a character because of their gestures. Gestures make a character more real.
• Ask the students to come up with some examples of characters with famous gestures.
• Ask for another volunteer. Have the student draw an emotion out of another hat and show the class the facial expression they would make for that emotion.
• Ask the class, “What do you see here? What’s going on in this student’s face?” Have students guess the emotion.
• Take many volunteers to do this same exercise.
• So, we not only use words to communicate, but we also use gestures and facial expressions.
• Tell the students that they are not to take anything with them, but that they are to follow you out of the classroom. Take the students on a field trip around the school.
• If the class is during a lunch period, take them to the cafeteria. If not, take the class around different classrooms where people will be talking.
• Ask the students to watch specifically for gestures and facial expressions.
• Take the students back to the classroom. Ask for volunteers to demonstrate the facial expressions and gestures that they saw.
• Ask the other students “What do you see?”
• Break the students into groups of 4-5. Have them select an objective for a skit out of a hat. They will perform this objective silently for the classroom.
• Instruct the students that they are not to use any dialogue, only facial expressions and gestures.
• Give the students 10 minutes to work on their skits. Let them know that there is a time limit. Walk around the groups to give instruction and to give assistance as needed.




Ask for volunteer groups and have the students perform their skits for each other.
• Ask the other students after each group is done performing “What gestures did you see? What facial expressions did you see?”
Ask students, to recap, how gestures and facial expressions can be helpful in theatre and every day in communication.




Students will be assessed on their participation in their group skits. If they participated and used, or made very strong attempts to use, facial expressions and gestures, they will receive full credit for the day.