Shhh! Speech Students Create Silent Movies

November 11, 2013


Students in Mrs. Garrelts' speech class have been examining nonverbal communication recently.  Kinesics (body language) and Proxemics (proximity to others) have been major focuses of the unit.  As a capstone project for the unit students were invited to create a modern take on the classic silent movie. 

Students invented their own story lines and created textual dialogue for screen transitions.  They also planned locations, costumes, and actions for the scene and then filmed and edited the piece prior to adding the final touch of "emotion"-enhancing music to the background. 

The main theme of the movie was put to the test as other students were allowed to watch and then dissect the movement of the characters on screen.  Did their facial expressions show enough emotion?  Were their hand gestures sufficient at giving details?  Was the eye contact shown evidence of personal connections to other characters?  Did their body position, posture, and stance encompass the main ideas they were trying to present? 

Overall, the students learned a great deal not only about nonverbal communication but also about:  working in cooperative teams with differing viewpoints, and historical background of silent films.

The speech class students will continue to use their knowledge of nonverbal communication as they broaden their speaking skills into more difficult presentations for their classmates which will include speaking presentation, body presentation, writing, researching, and even memorizing.