9 ESL Activities for Teaching Parts of the Body

Knowledge of ESL body parts is important for various day to day situations, such as:

  • Going to a doctor’s appointment
  • Visiting a beauty salon
  • Working out at a gym

Therefore, teaching body parts should be incorporated into all ESL programs. In this article, we are going to discuss some fun ESL activities that will help your students learn body parts quickly and efficiently.

These are the best ESL activities to learn body parts in English

1. Simon says

 This is the first ESL body parts game that comes to mind when we think of body-related ESL activities. Most commands in a classic variant of this game involve body parts, e.g. “Simon says: Touch your left ear.” 

In such a way, students, especially younger ones, can quickly learn body parts by observing others and identifying the parts of their own body. To add more challenge to the game, “Simon” can show the gestures that intentionally do not match what “he” is saying. The players should only listen to him and touch only those parts that he is calling out. For example, “Simon” says “Touch your ears” but touches his nose instead. 

This is also a great ESL listening activity. 

For example of ESL listening activities, check out this piece.

2. Body diagram

Present your students a diagram of a human body with marked parts and explain each part to the students. Then give them a “parts of the body” worksheet with blank diagrams so they can fill in the names of the parts themselves.

3. At the doctor’s office

 Ask your students to imagine that they are visiting a doctor and describe symptoms they might have. This is also a great way to bring body vocabulary into ESL conversation topics

4. Body parts bingo

Each student gets a bingo sheet with the pictures of body parts. The caller reads the questions and the players must guess which body part is being described. They place a token on the body part that they believe is the correct answer. When someone calls “Bingo”, the players should name the body parts on their bingo to see if their guesses are correct.

5. Body-related idioms

Study body-related idioms and their meanings with your students. For example, “Walk in someone’s shoes” means “to emphasize”. If you are teaching English to a group of international students, encourage them to come up with body-related idioms that are specific for their language and culture. Together, you can search for analogs in different languages and cultures.

6. Songs about body parts

Younger learners will enjoy songs about parts of the body, such as “Head, Shoulders, Knees & Toes”, the lyrics of which can be found in the internet easily. As the song plays, the teacher does all the actions, touching each part of his or her body with two hands in time with the song. The students should do the same. The song starts off slowly with each verse getting progressively faster, so it can bring lots of fun in the end.

7. Collective drawing

The teacher and the students sit together in a circle. The teacher holds a piece of paper and something to draw with. The teacher starts drawing a body part, e.g. a head, and then passes the paper to the left or right. Then tell the next student to draw a neck and pass their paper again. Continue the cycle and pass the paper until the students have completed a person.

8. Whose body?

This ESL body parts game is especially good for younger learners. Give the students spoken or written characteristics of animals consisting mainly of their body parts descriptions and have them guess the animals that are being explained. Start with less obvious clues, such as “It has four legs”. The animals that you choose should have at least one distinctive point about their body that can be the final clue, e.g. “It has a long neck” for giraffe.

9. Draw a monster

This is also an ESL body parts game for the youngest learners. You should prepare two dice, one with body parts written on the six sides and the other one with ordinary numbers. Students then draw the combination that comes up, a monster with six feet. You can also replace the numbers with names of animals, so that the monster has a “bird’s head”, “lion’s tail”, etc.

How Do You Teach Body Parts Vocabulary?

We hope that out ESL body parts worksheet will help you bring more fun and excitement to your body parts lessons as well as help your students memorize the names of body parts. 

We want to know how you do it. Do you have your own method for teaching parts of the body to English language learners? Please share in the comments section below.

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