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Emotions Charades: Exploring Feelings by Analyzing Facial Expressions

An At-Home Literacy Lesson Plan Crafted by BGCHarlem Literacy Specialist Fabiola Marceline Augustin

Photo: The Boys and Girls Club of Harlem


Emotional intelligence is the ability to recognize emotions in the self and in others.

Youth with higher levels of emotional intelligence are able to better manage themselves and relate to others around them, resulting in an enhanced classroom experience.

This lesson will teach students to explore common emotions and the role they play in communication.

If your child cannot read, read the text out loud to them. Ask them the questions and have them respond and/ or solve on a separate sheet of paper.

If your child can read, simply give them the second page of this handout and have them read the text out loud or in their head. Materials: Blank paper, pen or pencil, Internet access/YouTube

Addresses Common Core Standards:


CCSS.ELA-LITERACY.SL.3.2 (You may click here to print the lesson or the student may view the lesson online and write his/her answers on a separate piece of paper)


Emotions Charades: Exploring Feelings by Analyzing Facial Expressions

Step 1: With a partner, view the clips according to your grade level. After watching, display the instructed facial expressions.

Pair up and exchange happy faces. (Pay attention to detail)

How did you know it was a happy face? Was it easy to recognize? How is it different from a sad face?

Pair up and exchange excited faces. (Pay attention to detail)

What were some similarities in your excited faces? What were some differences? Whose expression was easiest to read? Why?

Pair up and exchange shocked faces. (Pay Attention to detail)

What were some similarities in your shocked faces? What were some differences? Whose expression was easiest to read? Why?

Step 2: Emotions Charades Activity: Exploring feelings by analyzing facial expressions. Turn your thinking caps on and pay attention to detail.

  • After the video, partner up and take turns picking an emotion word card and acting out the feeling using only facial expressions (no words) while your partner tries to guess what it is. (You also have the option to print or write your own emotions cards on a separate piece of paper)

  • When your partner guesses, they should answer the question, “What were the specifics about your partner’s facial features that gave you clues about the emotion s/he was expressing?

  • Continue until you complete the deck of Emotion Cards.

  • Discuss what you learned about trying to recognize emotions using just facial expressions.

Key points to consider:

  1. Not all emotions are easy to read

  2. Without knowing what’s happening, it can be difficult recognize the emotions that others are feeling

  3. The better you know someone, the easier it is to know their facial cues

  4. When we misread emotions, it can lead to misunderstandings

  5. Recognizing emotions is a skill that takes time to develop

  6. Ask: “Was there anything that surprised you, or something new you learned, in how easy or hard it was, or in the discussion?”

Can't Get Enough of Charades Watch This Clip Face off!!

How many facial expressions can you do in one minute??


Follow BGCHarlem social media channels for daily updates. Students we would love to see your work! Be sure to upload a picture of yourself with your completed lessons using the hashtag #BGCHarlem.  

View our additional 'Resources For Students & Parents for Dealing with COVID-19' HERE

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