How to Use
Print Activities
All Expressions
Face Clue Resources
Face Clues
Other Do2Learn Resources


Understanding how to break down complex skills, such as reading emotions on a face, can be problematic for many people. Face Clues is designed to help by dividing the face into distinct areas and linking the positions of each of those areas to particular emotions. For example, surprised people may often open their eyes and mouth wider than normally.

The choice of clues was a result of extensive research by clinical experts and based on many years of published research. The expressions chosen are those often identified as standard for many people, although studies have shown that expressions are linked to many variables like culture, sex, age, and historical times. The parameters that effect how emotions may display on a face appear to be a combination of natural reflexes and learned responses. We do not claim the ones we have chosen are the only or the best choices, but they follow the general guidelines we found in research.

The prime value of these programs, Faceland, and the Print Activities, is to help individuals learn to isolate main parts of the face and then attach combinations of movement in those parts to expressions. We did conduct 2 small pilot studies to see if young children with autism could learn to isolate and interpret faces from playing Faceland. One was in a classroom for first graders with severe autism in a public school in Florida with six students and one involved two case studies of children four and five year old using the program at home. In both cases the children learned to isolate the parts discussed in the game and attach the facial movements to expressions with statistical significance. In the home study, one of the children spontaneously extended the emotions to people in his immediate space. To help you judge what expressions a person may be having difficulties with the testing pages used in these pilots are provided here. You may want to show the images to someone both before and after playing to determine where extra help is needed. As a note, some of the faces are the same as in the training so to measure any type of generalization, we recommend you use your cell phone to take facial expressions from real people in a child’s life and use these images to measure changes in understanding.

Parent/Teacher Guide

Measuring facial emotions before and after play


Ideally, once someone practices with the games and print activities, they will learn to generalize to the subtle modifications those around them may display in the emotions. Like much of our site content, the goal is to break overwhelmingly complex skills into small enough pieces that someone can start isolating and tying the pieces together in a way that can be extended to their life. Our hope is that this section will help do that with facial expressions and emotions.