Emotion Charades

How would you feel about swimming with a shark? Play a fun game to act out your feelings about different scenarios!
Ages 8-10 / 30
min Activity
No items found.
No items found.


  • Play a game to practice identifying and expressing different emotions (e.g., through facial expressions, body language, and actions) 
  • Predict how people might feel about the situation that they are acting out

Supporting Research

Developing emotional competence is a crucial skill for students, as it enhances their ability to recognize their own feelings and identify others’ feelings based on facial expressions and other cues. A higher level of emotional competence empowers students to effectively regulate their emotions and form positive relationships with their peers and educators. This activity aims to foster students’ emotion recognition as they interpret others’ emotions (e.g., based on the way that they look and act, and within the context of different scenarios), and diplomacy as they recognize that everyone feels and expresses emotions in their own way.

To learn more about these skills, and how they promote students’ healthy growth and the development of empathy, please check out our Empathy Framework.

Activity Partners

No items found.


  1. Before playing the game, cut out the “Emotion Charades” cards, fold them up, and place them into a container. Encourage students to also come up with their own scenarios using the blank page at the end. 
  2. Then, guide students through the “Emotion Charades” game by following the steps below. 
    • Divide the class into two groups, and ask the first group to send someone up. 
    • The chosen student should randomly pick a card from the container, and act out the scenario described on the card, as well as how they would feel in this situation. Students can’t speak while they’re acting, but they can use body gestures, facial expressions, and actions. 

    For example, if they pick a card that says: “Your friends surprised you with a birthday party!”, they might pretend to enter a room full of people, and react with a shocked expression on their face! 

    Set a one-minute timer for each round, and within the minute, their team members have to accurately guess the situation and the emotion in order to win a point! 

    • Then, it’s the other team’s turn to send someone up! Keep track of the points, and celebrate the winning team at the end! 
  3. After finishing the game, lead a reflection by asking the following questions: 
    • Was it easy or hard to guess your classmates’ emotions? What clues did you use? Was it helpful to see the situation being acted out? 
    • Were there any emotions that were more challenging to guess than others? If so, which ones and why?
    • Were there any moments when people interpreted the same performance in different ways? Why do you think that is? 
    • Do you think everyone would have the same feelings about a situation? For example, would everyone feel happy about a surprise birthday party? Why or why not?
    • Why is it important to be able to recognize others’ feelings? When might this skill be helpful? 

If students in both classes have individual devices (e.g., mobile phone, tablet, laptop, etc.)...

Use a platform such as Google Meet, Zoom, or Microsoft Teams which allows you to screen-share during a video call. 
One educator should set up the Kahoot! game and share the code with students in both classes by following this tutorial about using Kahoot! in a remote learning environment, and share their screen so everyone can follow along.

If students in either class don’t have individual devices...

Follow the same instructions above, with one educator starting the game and sharing their screen so both classes can follow along.  
Instead of students joining the game to answer the questions, they can hold up their fingers, call out their answer, or use a paper template to indicate their response.

If you prefer not using Kahoot!...

Use this document (Spanish version) to prompt students.