Emoji Get to Know You Activity

Screen Shot 2016-03-31 at 3.04.06 PM“Emoji and emoticons have developed to mean much more in language than the faces they represent.”- Lauren Collister (2015)

For the past year, I’ve been studying how learners use emoticons, emoji, and text speak to communicate, read and write. Emojis are part of digital literacy and citizenship. When our learners use emojis in their writings, they are humanizing their digital experience. They are letting others know how they feel, offering feedback, and revealing their tone. Our learners are also translating, decoding, playing with language, creating pictograms, and contributing to an international communication system.

I have developed various emoji activities to engage learners and have been sharing them in my latest keynote, I 💖 My 🙋 🤓 📚! Teaching the Emoji Generation! Teaching the Emoji Generation. Below, I’ve included a new activity I recently saw posted by my Tia Diane on Facebook. Students can copy and paste this form to any virtual learning environment (Edmodo, Schoology, Moodle, etc.), fill this out on their digital device, or fill out a handout responding to the categories. They can include emojis from an emoji keyboard or copy/paste emojis from Emojipedia.  After filling out the form, students can look at their peers’ responses and try to guess the answers. They then discuss the responses and learn about each other. Use this activity as a warm-up, icebreaker, or filler.


Enjoyed these ideas? Get your copy of Learning to Go and The 30 Goals for Teachers.


Emoji Get to Know You Activity

CAN YOU DO IT? Use only emojis to answer the following:
Current mood: 🤔
How many pets: 🐶
Favorite color: 💙 🚘 💧
Favorite foods: 🌮 🍕🍣
Favorite season: 🏖 🌞
Hobbies:  📚
Favorite holiday: 👻
Dream Job: 🍽 💻
Favorite emojis: 💃


For more ideas, take a look at the slides to my presentation!



Challenge: Engage your students with an activity, which gets them to use emojis to express themselves.


Click to access that resource!

Emoji, by shellyterrell

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Lo, S. (2008). The Nonverbal Communication Functions of Emoticons in Computer-Mediated Communication. CyberPsychology & Behavior, 11(5): 595-597. doi:10.1089/cpb.2007.0132

Collister, L. (2015, April). Emoticons and symbols aren’t ruining language – they’re revolutionizing it. The Conversation. Retrieved from http://theconversation.com/emoticons-and-symbols-arent-ruining-language-theyre-revolutionizing-it-38408

Collister, L. (2015, October). Smile, It’s an Emoji; Another Tool in Our Linguistic Toolbox Used by Clever, Creative Artists. Sunshine Coast Daily (Maroochydore, Australia). Retrieved from https://www.questia.com/newspaper/1G1-430589947/smile-it-s-an-emoji-another-tool-in-our-linguistic

If you enjoyed these ideas, you may want to get your copy of The 30 Goals for Teachers or my $5.99 ebook, Learning to Go, which has digital/mobile activities for any device and editable/printable handouts and rubrics.

Shelly Terrell

Shelly Sanchez Terrell (@ShellTerrell) is an award winning digital innovator, an international speaker/consultant, and the author of Hacking Digital Learning with EdTech Missions, The 30 Goals Challenge for Teachers, and Learning to Go. She has trained teachers and taught English language learners in over 20 countries as an invited guest expert by organizations, like the US Embassy, UNESCO Bangkok, Cultura Inglesa of Brazil, the British Council in Tel Aviv, IATEFL Slovenia, HUPE Croatia, ISTEK Turkey, and Venezuela TESOL. She has been recognized by several organizations and publications as a leader in the movement of teacher driven professional development as the founder and organizer of various online conferences, Twitter chats, and Massive Open Online Courses (MOOCs). Two of the projects she co-organized were shortlisted for ELTons, #ELTChat and the Virtual Round Table Language and Technology online conference. She was named Woman of the Year by the National Association of Professional Women, awarded a Bammy Award as a founder of #Edchat, and named as one of the 10 Most Influential People in EdTech by Tech & Learning. Her greatest joy is being the mother of baby Savannah and Rosco the pug. Shelly has an Honors BA in English with a Minor in Communication and a specialization in Electronic Media from UTSA, a Masters in Curriculum Instruction ESL from the University of Phoenix, and a CELTA from CELT Athens. She regularly shares her tips for effective technology integration via Twitter (@ShellTerrell), Facebook.com/ShellyTerrell, and on her blog, TeacherRebootCamp.com, which has won several awards and recognitions as one of the top ESL, Edtech and Elearning blogs. Find over 400 of her slide presentations at https://www.slideshare.net/ShellTerrell/presentations

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