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Everyday Hand Gestures

Everyday Hand Gestures

Students learn about and practice hand gestures commonly used in America.

Level:  Any

Topic:  Gestures

Time:  15 minutes


  • Make one copy of the Conversation Cards, and cut as indicated.
  • Make one copy of the Key for the teacher, if necessary.



Explain the importance of gestures when giving a speech.

The way we move our hands can show the audience what we mean to say. Moving our hands unnecessarily can confuse the audience and take the focus off what we are trying to communicate. This activity shows how we use body language and gestures in daily non-verbal communication.


Pass out the Conversation Cards – give each student one card.


Ask the first student to go to the front of the classroom and do the action written on the card. The other students’ task is to guess the verbal equivalent of the gesture.


Continue with each student until everyone has had a chance to go to the front of the classroom.

Extended Practice

Ask students to discuss differences between everyday hand gestures in their home country and your home country.

Printable Worksheets

Conversation Cards

This Activity is also available here:

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Cathleen said:

This is a great ice breaker and a good lead in to proper and improper hand gestures discussion. Les cour d'anglais concus pours les francais anglaisvitefait

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