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Non-verbal communication offers a forum for individuals of varying language skills to interact with each other. Without using words, individuals can convey information through observation, body gestures and facial expressions. Non-verbal activities can engage individuals prone to kinesthetic or dramatic movement, as well develop interpersonal skills between individuals who do not verbally interact. Best of all, non-verbal activities are fun, easy and require few resources to implement.
Follow the Leader
Mix up a “follow the leader” game by changing leaders frequently, suggests the website creativekidsathome.com. Choose the first leader, then let her initiate actions which the rest of the group must follow. However, she may designate the next leader, by eye contact or gesture. Changing leaders democratizes the game and also encourages players to observe an array of different leadership styles.
Within a group of people, entangle your limbs, then try to unravel them, suggests Winona State University. If the group size warrants, divide the group into two smaller teams. Have each group sit in a tight circle, whereby they can extend their arms and grab hold of a person not directly seated beside them. You can become tangled at any speed that feels appropriate, but detangle carefully, to prevent injury. Refrain from speaking during the entire process, encouraging players to use gesture.
Dramatize a text using just your hands, face and body gestures, recommends the website teachingenglish.org.uk. For dialogues or conversations requiring multiple characters, let students work together to try to embody and convey the text. You should encourage observers to guess the content and context before using words to discuss the challenges the group faced and their specific intent.
Divide the group into teams and challenge them to collaborate on drawings based on a specific idea or theme, recommends the website businessballs.com. Keep a firm five-second time limit and cue each person to contribute to the drawing, then pass it on. Make sure all individuals contribute to the picture, then create a second image, changing the order of the contributors. Alternatively, you should request that teams exchange unfinished pictures or swap artists mid-way through the process.
Sophie Bloom has been a professional writer since 2000, writing for nonprofits including the American Foundation for the Blind and The Adult Literacy Media Alliance. She received her Bachelor of Arts degree in culture and media studies from Johns Hopkins University and her Master of Science in acupuncture from Tri-State College of Acupuncture in New York City.