Teaching Parts of the Body : A Game for Younger Learners

One of the vocabulary areas which you comes up in almost every children's course is Parts of the Body. Here’s a fun way to practise the vocabulary after it’s initially been taught.

  • Use an A3 sized piece of light card to draw a friendly looking monster or alien. Give it four legs, five arms, three eyes, six ears or whatever. Cut it up into jigsaw type pieces so that each part of the body that you want to focus on is on a separate piece. (It's not necessary for the pieces to be "traditional jigsaw shape)
  • In class, give out the pieces to the children at random. Ask one of them, in the foreign language "What's that?" The child, again in the foreign language, replies "It's an ear" (or whatever), comes to the teacher's table and puts it down. In turn each child names their piece, comes up and puts it in position until the jigsaw is complete.
  • Divide the children into groups and give each group a sheet of A3 paper. Each group then draws their own monster or alien and cuts it up as before. They then pass their jigsaw on to the next group.
  • As each group receives a new jigsaw, the pieces are placed face down on the table. In turn, each child in the group picks one up, says "It's an eye" etc and puts it in position on the table to create the jigsaw.
  • The groups can then exchange jigsaws again and repeat the game - or alternatively you can take in the jigsaws and redistribute them in the next, or a later lesson, to revise.

If the children are too young to be able to draw the monsters effectively, or if you don't have enough time to spend on the drawing in the class, then draw extra ones yourself. You could also just do the outline and get them to colour it.

Obviously if you are home-schooling and are using the game with just one child, it will have to be adapted. The first time, when the child is putting together the pieces of your jigsaw, the pieces can be placed in a pile, in random order, and the child can take one at a time. After s/he has made his or her own monster, you can do the game - but this time make mistakes so the child can correct you. For instance you might say (in the foreign language) "It's an eye" and the child will reply "No! It's an ear!"

Further Reading ...