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Body language

To show the children that we can give messages to other people by what we do, not just by what we say. To think about sending positive messages to others.

by Rebecca Parkinson

Suitable for Whole School (Pri)

Aims

To show the children that we can give messages to other people by what we do, not just by what we say. To think about sending positive messages to others.

Preparation and materials

  • You will need some small pieces of paper with a variety of words/messages written on them for individual children to act out using only gestures, e.g. ‘Goodbye’, ‘Stop’, ‘I’m sorry’, ‘Come with me’, ‘Go away’, ‘I’m bored’, ‘I’m cross’.
  • Small pieces of paper with actions/situations written on them for two children to act out using gestures, e.g. ‘Having an argument’, ‘Best friends’, ‘I don’t like you’, ‘I’ll look after you’.

Assembly

  1. Ask the children if they can tell you what a gesture is. Read the dictionary definition: ‘A movement of part of the body to express an idea or meaning. An action performed to convey your feelings or intentions.’

    Explain that you would like a few of them to act out the gestures that are written on your pieces of paper. Choose your volunteers and ask them to come to the front.
  2. Show the first child a gesture, and as they act it, ask the children to guess what is meant. Repeat until all the gestures have been guessed correctly.
  3. Now explain that you need pairs of children for the next few actions, to show a situation between two people. You want those watching to explain what the situation is.
  4. When all the situations have been guessed correctly, ask the children, how did they know that these two children were having an argument, while those two were showing that they were good friends? Draw out the fact that the way we position our bodies and the looks we have on our faces make a big difference to the way others see us.
  5. Ask all the children to pull a variety of faces and do accompanying gestures for different moods such as: happy, sad, angry, cross, bored, etc. Discuss how they feel if someone looks at them angrily; if someone turns their back on them when they are talking; if someone pulls a horrible face.
  6. Ask the children to make a special effort today to give gestures to one another that are helpful and encouraging rather than hurtful and unkind.

Time for reflection

Reflection

Close your eyes for a moment and think about what gestures you make to people.

Can you think of gestures you could make today that will make other people feel good about themselves?

 

Prayer

Dear God,

Please help us today to think about the messages we send –

not just the things we say, but the way we behave.

Help us not to be rude or hurtful but to show love and concern for each other.

Amen.

Song/music

‘When I needed a neighbour’ (Come and Praise, 65)

Publication date: July 2008   (Vol.10 No.7)    Published by SPCK, London, UK.
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