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Robot Body Language

Your challenge is to communicate an emotion to your family, like a robot, without using your face or voice.



  • paper and pencil
  • large paper grocery bag
  • optional: digital camera or video recorder


  1. Think of ways you can tell when someone is happy (i.e., using tone of voice, facial expressions, body language). Then consider how a robot that lacks facial expressions might convey emotion. Your challenge is to find ways to express your feelings using only body movements!
  2. Brainstorm different emotions and feelings (e.g., happiness, impatience, concern, friendliness). Then list body movements that could convey them (e.g., shoulder shrugging, head nodding, arm crossing, finger pointing, foot tapping). Remember: facial expressions and/or voice should not be included!
  3. Have each family member take turns covering their face with a large paper bag and acting out the movements for one emotion to see if anyone can guess which emotion is being expressed. (Or, take pictures or shoot video of the actions, and then look at them together to try and guess the emotion.)
  4. Talk about which emotions were easiest to express. Most difficult? Which might be expressed more easily with tone of voice or facial expressions? Why?

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