Time: 1-10min

Kids doing the TPR warm-up.

This is designed for Listening and Speaking and is good for PreschoolElementary school and Junior High.


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The Total Physical Response (TPR) warm-up is a simple warm-up activity for Elementary school kids. The idea is to get them using their whole body and all of their senses to get their brains ready for learning! It works best for 1st-4th grade classes. Kids this age love moving their bodies and dancing around. 5th and 6th graders tend to be a bit too shy to really enjoy it, but it depends on how genki the class is.

Materials required[]



The procedure is very simple. You just shout out actions at the kids and they do them. You shouldn't need to explain the idea for them to understand it.

  • After the introductory greetings, start with "Stand up!".
  • Follow that with a "Sit down!", then quickly another "Stand up!", then "Sit down!" They should be giggling and finding it amusing by now.
  • Ask them to repeat after you as you say the commands. Then do another "Stand up!" and "Sit down!", making sure they repeat after you in a loud voice.
  • Continue to shout out new commands like "Jump!", "Swim!", "Walk!", "Run!", "Dance!" with the appropriate action. Another good one is "Freeze!" or "Stop!", where they have to freeze in their current position, mid-dance or mid-backstroke.
  • After they have memorised a few commands, just shout out the command (i.e. don't do the action yourself) to see if they can remember.
  • Once you've tired them out, or they're getting bored get them to sit down and finish the game.

Sometimes it's nice to select a "volunteer" after the game to come up to the front and do it alone in front of the class. The teacher shouts out "Jump!", "Swim!", "Dance!" and the kid has to jump, swim and dance in front of the other kids, much to their amusement!


You can use Flashcards so that the students get a chance at saying the word. Hold up the card and have the students yell out the action before they perform it.

Other action commands[]

(Flash required for video)
4th grade class doing TPR Magnify-clip.png

Use a variety of commands and introduce new commands each lesson!

  • Eat
  • Drink
  • Wave
  • Shake hands
  • Smile
  • Sleep
  • Skip
  • Sing
  • Be sick! / Vomit!
  • Play baseball
  • Play football
  • Play volleyball etc.


The original idea for this game came from the GenkiEnglish website.