Student Web Activity

Chapter 5 Lesson 2: Body Language Basics

Introduction

Communication goes beyond words. We all know someone who says one thing but his or her tone of voice or facial expression says something different. On the Web site below you will learn about how various parts of the body contribute to communication, and how you can use your body to send specific messages.

Link to explore: Self-Growth:  http://www.selfgrowth.com/articles/Phipps3.html

Directions

  • Start at the Self-Growth Web site.
  • Read through the page on body language.
  • Take notes as you read.
  • When you are done reading, answer the questions below.
  • Finally, using the information from the link, create a body language game that teaches players how to communicate with their partners using only non-verbal clues.

Questions

  1. Why is it so important to maintain eye contact with people you have just met?
  1. If you want to seem confident and self-assured, how should you carry your head?
  1. When your arms are kept relaxed and by your side or behind your back, what message are you communicating?
  1. When people are nervous, stressed or being deceptive, what do they usually do with their legs?
  1. If you stand too close to someone, what will he or she feel you are doing?

Answers

  1. Maintaining good eye contact shows respect and interest in what the person you have just met has to say.
  1. When you want to appear confident and self assured, keep your head level horizontally and vertically.
  1. Keeping your arms relaxed and by your side or behind your back shows that you are receptive and not afraid of whatever the other person will say or do.
  1. When people are nervous, stressed or being deceptive, they tend to move their legs around a lot more than normal.
  1. If you stand too close to someone, he or she will feel you are being pushy or too personal.
Additional Resources for Teachers

Body language is fascinating and a lot of fun to play around with. You might want to talk to students about the way different cultures handle body language. The Web sites below offer more information and a quiz that tests studentsí ability to understand what is being communicated.

  1. Discovery School:
    http://school.discovery.com/lessonplans/programs/thehumananimal/
  2. Life Tips:
    http://psychology.lifetips.com/subcat/72740/non-verbal-behaviour/reading-body-language/
  3. Body Language Quiz:
    http://nonverbal.ucsc.edu/
  4. Self-growth:
    http://www.selfgrowth.com/articles/Schaefer1.html

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