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Emotional Charades - A Fun Social Emotional Learning Game

Lately I have been incorporating more team building challenges in our class to help them practice with problem solving, listening, leadership and critical thinking skills. Not only are these skills important in science, they are important in learning how to build trust, mitigate conflict, and communicate effectively in every day life. 

We recently played “Emotional Charades”, a fun spin on regular charades. Students had to blindly pick two prompts, one from the action bowl and one from the emotion bowl. They then had to combine the two prompts and act out their action in character with their emotion using facial expressions and body language. For example, one might have had to “mow the grass angrily” or “run on the treadmill sad”. I have to say my favorite was the “disappointed laying an egg”. 

Expressing and acknowledging feelings are important tools for communicating and resolving conflicts. Trying to understand another person’s feelings can help avoid misunderstandings and de-escalate conflicts. At this age it can be hard for them to interpret what other’s are feeling when they don’t use words, therefore it is important to help them recognize other clues as to how someone may be feeling.

This game also allowed them to practice their non verbal communication skills as they acted as well as making them feel “heard” and acknowledged by their classmates while they had the floor and all eyes were on them. This was so much fun, we all were laughing so hard today! 

Set up is super easy, cut the prompts into strips and fold them up individually. Have two bowls and put the action prompts in one bowl and the emotion prompts in the other. Have the students pick one from each bowl and perform their act in front of the others for them to guess.Some students may need help with ideas. I always give students the option to participate, for those who weren’t comfortable acting, they sat with the guessers and helped guess. This is a great opportunity to help them identify facial expressions and body language by talking about what you see, "I see his eyebrows are down, he's moving fast and pacing".

I had trouble finding good action prompts for this game, so I compiled lists for both, the actions and emotions. This set includes 9 pages with 53 fun action prompts and 18 emotion prompts.


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