Body Language/Posture


Students will demonstrate their understanding of body language and posture by being able to identify how a person is feeling based on their body language.



Materials Needed

You will need enough photocopies of the Body Language Worksheet for every student as well as video clips of different characters do demonstrate emotion through body language for the worksheet and an projector.  Body Language Worksheet



Possible Movies to Use and Characters to Focus On:
Indiana Jones (Indiana, Father, Nazis)
Ten Things I Hate About You (Kat, Patrick, Bianca, Joey, Cameron and Michael)
Star Wars I (Anakin, his Mother, Obi Wan)
Life is Beautiful (Father, Mother and Son)
Dead Poet’s Society (Mr. Keating, Neil Perry, Todd Anderson, Charlie Dalton, Knox Overstreet



Lesson Directions

Anticipatory Set/Hook
When all the students are in the classroom, without speaking, turn off the lights in the classroom. Set up a projector on the ground to project a large area of light against an unblocked wall. Then, still without speaking, bring 4-5 students up to stand in the light. By the time you have gotten the 4-5 students to stand in the light, the others should be quiet and wondering what is going on.




• Whisper to the students standing in the light that you are going to give them 10 extra credit points if they help you with this activity.
• Ask the other students how they think the students in the light are feeling right now from what they can see of their shadows.
• Once you have let a few students respond tell the rest of the class what you already told the students in the light.
• Ask the students standing in the light how they were feeling.
• Did the class get it right? How did they know? Or why didn’t they get it right?
• Begin a discussion about body language.
• What is body language?
• Body language lets us communicate how we are feeling, or our attitudes, without words.
• When do you use body language?
• Every day! All the time!
• Why is body language helpful?
• It lets us communicate how we feel without words.
• Have the students in the light then demonstrate a few examples of body language
• Happy, Sad, Excited, Tired etc.
• As for more volunteers to do the same activity. Repeat a few times to allow many students to explore body language. If time permits, let all students participate.
• Go back to the discussion about body language
• Ask if there are any questions about body language. (Check for understanding.) What do they notice about trying to portray or understand body language?
• What are the differences between gestures and body language?
• Gestures are character specific, make a character more real, specific traits that help audience members remember a character. Body language shows a character’s emotions.
• How would we use body language in theatre? Why is body language important?
• Audience members won’t know how our characters our feeling if we don’t show them. Audience members in the back can’t see our faces, so it’s important that we use body language to show our character’s emotions.
• Ask for a volunteer. Have them demonstrate any emotion. Ask the class what they see. Have them guess what emotion it is. Repeat with different students.
• Pass out the Body Language Worksheet and tell students to watch the body language in these different scenes. Instruct students to fill out the worksheet for each clip they watch, including the name of the character and their observations, and most importantly to write down each character’s emotion.
• Play the different clips from the same movie or various movies and allow students time to respond.




Discuss the answers as a class.
• Why did students get the responses they did? What different aspects indicated certain emotions?




Have students turn in the worksheets as their assessment. Points will be awarded based on completeness of worksheet, not on correctness.