Hop! Jump! Turn!

Hop! Jump! Turn!

by Judie Haynes

This lesson goes hand in hand with 'A lesson plan for newcomers' and features more an engaging classroom activies for brand new ESL students.


Demonstrate an understanding of action words; express meaning through mime; practice memory and aural comprehension skills.

ESL Level:

Newcomers as well as those who have a few months of English.


Teach action words through pictures and mime. Use the list in books published for newcomers. Another great source is Usborne's First Thousand Words.

Here is my beginning list :

After students have learned these words, compile a list of twenty to thirty action words which are relevent to the ability and ages of your students. This list might include any verb that can easily be acted out: wave, sneeze, cough, rub, sigh, wink, gulp, shout, clap, snap, hum, bend., etc.

Teach students to respond to each word on your list with a specific action. For example, when you say "Clap," have students respond by clapping. As you ask students to respond you can individualize for each student by giving the easier words to new students.

When students can respond correctly to most of the words, play this game with them:

1. Have students sit around a table or in a semi-circle on chairs.

2. Call out a series of actions for the first student to your left such as, "Jump, eat, snap."

3. The first student must repond without talking and complete the three actions in the correct order.

4. If the first student is unable to do this, the turn passes around the circle until a student can complete the actions correctly. The clues are not repeated, however.

5. This requires students to work on memory and aural comprehension skills. They must all listen when you are giving the clue to the first student. When a student responds correctly, you go back to the second student in the circle.

6. If you want to make it a competition, give a point to the student who responds correctly. This can become your assessment of how much your students learned.

Related Links

What Happened on Pa Lia's First Day?
On her first day in a new school Pa Lia felt alone and wanted to make friends. This thematic unit will help students discuss feelings about their first day in a new school and the difficulties of making new friends.

Resource Picks

Usborne's Animated First Thousand Words
With this CD-ROM from Scholastic, students can click on a picture, hear the words, and see how they are written in 35 scenes from everyday life. Originally designed to help young native speakers of English learn to read, this program is a great beginning vocabulary builder. You can buy it from Educational Resources, 1-800-624-2926 or you can find it online by going to Usborne Books At Home.