Have you seen the TED Talk on the link between body language and confidence/success? I had my students practice this in class on Thursday, before I gave them a small group activity to conduct and then “teach” to the rest of the class–all on the 2nd day of the term! It functioned as an awesome “icebreaker” exercise (which Igenerally hate and strenuously avoid, but sometimes magic happens if people don’t actually know they’re doing “icebreakers”), and the reigning impression was that it worked really well.
After striking the Superhero (aka the “Wonder Woman”) and Victory poses for 1 minute each, in small groups they read, analyzed, and presented totally new information on literacy to the whole class: a group of people who, for all intents and purposes, were total strangers when they walked in the door that day. And they did a GREAT job. Not only that, after reading and teaching the handout on shifting definitions of literacy, the students had the best understanding of the content, far better than any previous group of students with whom I’ve shared the same handout (which is the starting point for their first formal essay assignment, the Critical Literacy Narrative). Afterward I explained some of the research in psychology around the posing exercises, and they seemed to appreciate and enjoy that as well. The related TED video is now on our Moodle course page, and you can watch it at the link below.