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Head, Shoulders, Knees & Toes

Published: February 12, 2013  |  Last updated: June 18, 2013

Download a new song from ESL KidStuff: Head, Shoulders, Knees & Toes

Head, Shoulders, Knees & Toes SongHead, Shoulders, Knees & Toes

Song Theme: Saying parts of the body
Target Vocab: head, shoulders, knees, toes, eyes, ears, mouth, nose
Song Length: 1:23

The classic song for learning the parts of the body.  The song runs through the verse 3 times, each time getting faster and faster. Here is a sample:

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Lyrics:

Verse 1:
Head, shoulders, knees and toes,
Head, shoulders, knees and toes,
Eyes and ears and mouth and nose,
Head, shoulders, knees and toes.

Verse 2:
Head, shoulders, knees and toes,
Head, shoulders, knees and toes,
Eyes and ears and mouth and nose,
Head, shoulders, knees and toes.

Verse 3:
Head, shoulders, knees and toes,
Head, shoulders, knees and toes,
Eyes and ears and mouth and nose,
Head, shoulders, knees and toes.

 

Gestures and activities to use with Head, Shoulders, Knees & Toes

Doing the gestures with this song is a must!  They are very simple and the kids will pick them up really quickly as they follow you.

Everyone needs to stand up. Simply touch the parts of your body with both hands in time with the song. The song starts off slowly with each verse getting progressively faster, making the gestures more frantic and therefore more fun!

 

Using Head, Shoulders, Knees & Toes in class

This song can be used as a fun, energy burner at any time but it is also a very nice way to teach parts of the body.  Here are some ideas on using the song in your ESL kids lessons:

  1. Start by teaching the vocab.  Depending on the age / level of your students you may want to teach a just few words per class, building up to the full 8 words over a series of lessons. Prepare flashcards of the parts of the body used in the song. Slowly reveal each flashcard card and have your students touch their part of the body (so, when you show the “head” flashcard get everyone to touch their heads). Chorus each word three times and then ask your students to individually say each word.
  2. Practice the vocab. Lay the flashcards that you have just taught in front of you, facing your students (or lined up on the board). Randomly touch each card and have your students touch that part of their body and say the word. Do a final round with the cards in the correct order of the song (so they are basically doing a practice run of the song).
  3. Play the song. Everyone stand up. As the song plays the teacher sings and does all the actions, touching each part of his/her body with two hands in time with the song.  Make sure your students are following along.  It’s easy and fun so your students will love doing this.  Each verse gets faster so by the last verse it will be frantic but great fun.
  4. Play “Teacher Says”. This is the game “Simon Says” but using the word “teacher”, or your name, instead. Go straight into the game (no explanations necessary) by saying “Teacher says touch your (knees)”.  Do the action and make sure everyone else follows along.  Do a few more “touch your eyes, touch your toes”, etc. Then at some point give a command without the “Teacher says” part (e.g. “Touch your mouth”). First time round, everyone will touch their mouth, so make it very clear that they shouldn’t do this when you don’t say “Teacher says”.  After a while your students will get the hang of it.  Play the game faster and faster.  When a student makes a mistake they have to sit the rest of the game out.  The last student standing is the winner.
  5. Do a body worksheet. To finish off this section of the lesson, give out worksheets which have the vocab from the song.  As your students are doing the worksheets, ask questions (e.g. “which part of the body is that?”, etc.).  You can also give a body worksheet for homework.

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One Response to “Head, Shoulders, Knees & Toes”

  1. Maggy says:

    Such a good idea to do faster verses each time! I actually do it that way in class but we have to do it without the music as the CDs we have got have the song at the same tempo. Now we can do it with music. Great work on the songs so far – thank you!

Leave a Reply to Maggy