SPARKLERS / Managing emotions

'Sign' Your Game Face

A fun extension to help tamariki overcome inhibitions and learn NZSL for our most common emotions
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Why we love it

This year 7 and 8 activity combines some of the key skills used in improvisation, e.g. fast thinking and acting, along with helping tamariki begin to understand and interpret non-verbal communication.

This activity also provides an excuse to have a bit of a laugh at yourself, in a fun and positive way – it’s supposed to be funny! Laughter is a great stress relief and when we do it with others, it helps us connect... a top technique for feeling good

Tikanga Tips

This game should have a rule around tamariki drawing on their own experiences – there’s no props and no need to touch anyone else.

What to do

This game is an extension to Game Face and will work best if tamariki have had some fun playing that first.

To get started, ask tamariki to learn the signs for the following emotions, using the free New Zealand Sign Language dictionary.

  1. Angry
  2. Calm
  3. Happy
  4. Excited
  5. Worried
  6. Jealous
  7. Sad
  8. Annoyed
  9. Frustrated
  10. Whakamā (shy)

Practice them as a class, to help embed the learning. Initially they’ll be tricky to remember!

Once students are getting the hang of this, have an NZSL-off where you say the emotion and the class signs it together, as quickly as they can.

When the signs are becoming more familiar and automatic, give them a chance to play Game Face where:

  • both tamariki jump around
  • one acts out the emotion; and
  • the other signs it as quickly as they can.

What Next?

You could extend this activity by:

  • Adding new emotions in NZSL
  • Learning ways for tamariki to ask questions and respond in NZSL, e.g:
    • How are you?
    • I'm feeling ...
    • I'm sorry to hear that.
    • That's great/tino pai you feel that way.
    • Is there anything I can do to help?
    • I'm here to talk of you want to.

Thank you to...

We’d like to acknowledge the pocket book of great ideas ‘Brain Breaks’ created by the Institute of Positive Education and Geelong Grammar School.

Thank you for sharing!

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