Total Physical Response

TPR (Total Physical Response) is a great way to get students involved by physically engaging them in the lesson. And it’s easy! Just say an action and let the students do it. And you do it, too. So even students who don’t know what the word means will know what to do.

It’s about cognition of the words and about fun. When they get used to Total Physical Response, you can get them to say the word of the action you are performing together. And then you can trick them by saying a word, but using the opposite gesture. Tell them they have to listen to your command, not to your gesture. Say ‘Sit down!’ while raising your hands up. They have to remain seated and shout ‘sit down!’ Be a little silly. You can have a lot of fun with this.

I will give you a list of commands you can use for your TPR warm up or for other TPR games, like the game Teacher says.


Total Physical Response


Stand up, sit down

Jump, turn around, hop, walk, run, crouch, swim, dance, sing, star jump, 360 jump

Show me your hands, hands up, hands down, clap your hands, roll your hands

Shake your – hands, head, shoulders, feet, bottom

Wiggle your – ears, fingers, toes, body

Ride a bike, fly a kite, play football


Brush your teeth, wash your face, comb your hair, get dressed, go to school, go to sleep, wake up!

Take off your shoes,

Eat a hamburger, eat an apple, drink a soda, drink some water, cough, sneeze

Laugh, cheer, show me your hands, give me a high five!

Close your eyes, open your eyes, open your mouth, close your mouth

Touch your – head, nose, ears, eyes, mouth, tongue, hair, shoulders, neck, arms, elbows, hands, fingers, legs, knees, feet, toes, back, bottom, shirt, shoes, pants, book, etc

Point to – your teacher, classmate names, something blue, red, green, white, black, pink, a big book, the door, window, whiteboard, floor, the sun, a monkey, a pig, an elephant

Make a – fist, circle, square, triangle, heart, house

Be a – cat, dog, tiger, butterfly, airplane, train, rocket, helicopter,

Hayo English Total Physical Response
Hayo English performing Total Physical Response with baby class

One thought on “Total Physical Response

  • November 4, 2015 at 12:01 PM

    Hi there I was wondering tips on how to teach a phonics kindergarten lesson and tips for normal kindergarten lessons.


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