With an exceptionally large student turnout at Marcy on Saturday, the off-court talks were especially fun and interactive. The topic of the week was Non-Verbal Communication, which we brought to life with charades. Of course, the game of charades restricts the “actor” or “actress” from using words, so this week’s talk had a bit less “talking” than usual!

We began with a brief discussion to inspire reflection on non-verbal communication. First we asked, “How do you communicate with others?” The students described speaking, talking, or using words. Then, we presented a challenge: “How would you communicate with someone if you were not able to speak?” They suggested sign language and facial expressions. We explained that these are two forms of non-verbal communication, and then told them about one more: acting. To illustrate the concept, we organized games of charades.


Without a boxed version of the game available, we generated original words and phrases and hand wrote them on index cards. Some mystery words/phrases proved trickier than others, but the kids worked hard to solve each performance. Likewise, as actors or actresses, the students were persistent and creative when their audiences were stumped.

“Blowing out candles on a birthday cake” was one particularly challenging phrase. After blowing out imaginary candles on an imaginary cake produced only wrong answers from her guessers, one student, Franchesca, added a bit more detail. She picked up an imaginary knife from her side, began cutting the imaginary cake and passed out imaginary slices to everyone sitting around her. It was only a matter of seconds before her actions registered and her fellow students guessed the phrase correctly.

And where’s the lesson in all of this? Communication isn’t limited to the words we use, and what we convey non-verbally can be even more powerful. Everyone had a blast playing KCTL’s version of charades. We’re sure the kids will be thrilled to revisit the concept with some additional games of charades later in the season!

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