Disney Shorts Offer Lesson in Nonverbal Communication

A person’s body language or tone of voice offers clues about how he or she is feeling: excited, angry, distracted, upset, etc. Being able to read nonverbal communication is important for effective interactions with others at work, at home, and in the community and can increase a person’s self-confidence in regard to social skills.

To help LGS students increase their ability to read nonverbal communication, Miss Carpinelli recently led classroom activities utilizing three Disney shorts: Geri’s Game, For the Birds, and Luxo Jr

None of the videos includes spoken dialogue, so students had to rely on their ability to read nonverbal cues to determine how the characters feel, understand the overall story line, and predict what they thought would happen next.

Geri’s Game depicts an elderly gentleman in a park playing chess against himself. The personality and level of confidence of the Geri who plays the black chess pieces is different from that of the Geri who plays the white chess pieces, offering an opportunity for students to predict who the winner will be.

For the Birds begins with a flock of small birds perched on a telephone wire. Sitting close together has problems enough, and then a large dopey bird comes along and tries to join them. Students used various clues to describe how the small birds react to the big bird, and who has the last laugh.

In Luxo Jr., a baby lamp plays with a small ball as a big lamp watches. It’s all fun and games until the ball bursts. The reactions of the big and the small lamp offer clues to what will happen next.

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