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The song in this lesson 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.

Lesson Procedure:

Warm Up and Maintenance:

See our "Warm Up & Wrap Up" page.


Teach the body vocabNew Learning and Practice:

1. Teach the body 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).

Practice the vocab

3. Play "Flashcard Exercises"
Play "Flashcard Exercises"Get everyone sitting on the floor and facing the front of the class. Give out body flashcards so that each student has at least one card (even better is for each student to have two cards). Shout out a random flashcard word (e.g. "ears") with an action (e.g. "ears - hands up!"). All students with the ears flashcards have to do that action. Continue with other words and different actions (e.g. jump up and down, run on the spot, turn around, stand up / sit down, wiggle, touch your toes, etc.).

4. Sing the "Head, Shoulders, Knees & Toes" 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 followingalong. 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.

Lyrics for "Head, Shoulders, Knees & Toes"

(Each verse gets faster and faster)

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.

Sing the “Head, Shoulders, Knees & Toes” song

(download MP3 here)

Gestures for "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!

We also have a video that you can stream in class to sing along with (Internet connection required):

Head, Shoulders, Knees & Toes

5. 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.

Play "Teacher Says"

Read classroom reader "The Monster Family"6. Read classroom reader "The Monster Family"
Before class, download and print off the reader "The Monster Family". As you go through each page, point to the pictures, elicit each key body word, and have your students touch their part of the body as shown in the picture, for example:

Teacher: What's this? (pointing at head)
Students: Head!
Teacher: Yes, a big head! Everyone, touch your head (touching head).
Students: (Touching heads) Head!
Teacher: What color is his head?
Students: Purple!
Teacher: Right! (Reading) Hello. My name is Little Monster. I have a big head.

Read classroom reader "The Monster Family"Get the students really involved in the story by asking lots of questions (e.g. eliciting colors) and getting them to touch and say the parts of the body in the story.

After reading the story, give out a reader worksheet to each student and have everyone match the monsters to the parts of their bodies.  Then go through the answers as a class.


Alternatively, watch our video version of the reader (Internet connection required):

Do "Mr. Shape Head’s Body" worksheet7. Do "Mr. Shape Head’s Body" worksheet

To finish off this section of the lesson, give out this worksheet which has 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.


Wrap Up:

1. Assign Homework: "Match-Up the body parts"
2. Wrap up the lesson with some ideas from our "Warm Up & Wrap Up" page.

Print Outs / Worksheets:


  • head


  • shoulders


  • knees


  • toes


  • eyes


  • tag


  • mouth


  • nose



Songs & Readers:

Additional materials:

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  3. print= British English version - click the flag to open and print. Click the thumbnail image to see the US English version.
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