Thursday, June 10, 2010

helping children understand body language

Body language is nearly 90% of what we are actually communicating to others. Part of communicating effectively is to try to understand how others are feeling about a situation but sometimes body language and the words spoken simply don't match up. This can be confusing for not only kids but adults as well. Teaching children and awareness of body language, such as facial expressions help guide them toward effective communication and empathy towards others.

Activities for helping children understand body language/facial expressions:
For very young preschoolers we use emotions cards. I will even draw facial expressions on a pieces of paper to demonstrate:
*I show the emotions cards to the children and tell them what emotion is happening, I will tell them a story or experience I have had with that particular emotion. Over the next few days I begin to use the cards at circle times for the children to report if they know of anyone who felt angry, sad or happy etc. and why they think it happened. The children have many stories about what they have felt.
*After the children are familiar with the cards we play a charades game. I child looks at the card and makes the same facial expression, we all have to guess what emotion is happening.


Anonymous said...

this info is very useful but please could you explain how body language helps chilren to communicate?
if you could that'll be awsome
any way i know a lot of people that will love your website i'll also tell them to write a comment.

please try to answer my quetion

thanks :)

bobby (bob for short) said...

hey i just heard from my friend about your website. it well cool and i got some infomation about some things and my teacher loved. she even asked me what website i went on. so thanks

Barbra 'the Bloggess' Stephens said...

Hi Anonymous, great question. Understanding our body language is part of effective communication. Have you ever had someone say they agree with what you just said, yet they are rolling their eyes? It's pretty clear what a person does...says more than what they say at times.
With very young children I start with basic emotions. Young children talk, but still aren't aware of what the simplist expressions mean. As a teacher I help them draw attention to that every day and by using emotions cards. I will say something like,
"Look at Kimmy's face, she looks so sad her mommy left, let's see if we can help her." or "I see Mikey face looks very angry about sharing that toy, Do you need me to come help you?"
Awareness of your emotions are the first step into gaining control of them, and when you have that control, you are on your way to good communication and self-discipline.

Barbra 'the Bloggess' Stephens said...

Hi bob, Wow, thank you for passing on the information. I hope the information helps! Let me know if you would like me to do any more posts on something you would like to hear about. I really appreciate that and have a great day!