Analyze short videos about body language
In this lesson students watch short video clips to observe and discuss the power of body language. Students will use a learning protocol that promotes small group discussion and collaborative thinking before students commit to answering questions individually.
1. Share with students that this session is about body language. Explain that people can gather so much information about a person (or lamp) without anyone ever talking. Good communicators are always “reading” body language just as (or more) importantly than hearing what people say. This session will start by just “hearing” what body language is saying.
2. Read the definition of body language:
"Body language is a type of a nonverbal communication in which physical behaviors, as opposed to words, are used to express or convey the information. Such behavior includes facial expressions, body posture, gestures, eye movement, touch and the use of space.
3. Group students into triads and pass out the Body Language 1 Thought Catcher Worksheet.
4. Each group should sit facing each other in a small circle or pod with their thought catchers and pencils at hand. For easier moderation of this routine, place a cup in the center of each team’s work space. Students begin by placing their pencils/pens in the cup.
5. Show the short Pixar Animation Luxo Jr:
6. Read the first question from the Thought Catcher and say “Teammates Consult”. With the pencils still in the cup, students take turns sharing their ideas and answers to the first question. Students’ discuss the answers and then come to consensus on the answer to the question:
• Who do you think the big lamp is in relation to the little lamp? What is your evidence?
7. After 3–5 minutes of discussion (decide how much time is needed based on the complexity of the question and your observations while circulating), the teacher says: “Teammates, write.”
8. At this point, all students remove their pencils from the cup and write the answer to the question in their own words on their own paper.
9. When the students are finished recording their answers, the steps are repeated with the remaining questions:
• How does the big lamp feel about the little lamp?
• How would you explain the personality of the little lamp? What evidence?
• What do you think the big lamp is thinking in the last scene?
10. Show the next clip: Pixar - For the Birds
11. Use the same format for small groups to discuss, then record for the following prompts:
• How are the birds communicating?
• What is the personality type of the initial bird who communicates with his peers?
• What is the personality type of the largest bird who wants to join the smaller birds?
• How hard would it be for you write a “script” for these characters to say? Why?
• Based on the last two clips and discussions, what can we learn about body language?
12. Once students finish this last question. Invite several to share out their conclusion statements.
Invite students to choose a “Body Language Observation Challenge” for the next week. Students should share which challenge they are choosing:
Challenge 1: Watch for body language that contradicts what someone is saying.
Challenge 2: Next time you’re out in public at the grocery store, park, etc… look for ways that people are communicating with body language. Imagine what they might be saying in their heads.
Challenge 3: During conversations you’re having with people this week (friends, adults, strangers), notice what body language you are using. Consider what it looks like from the other person’s perspective.