Hands On Activities to Teach About Body Parts

Do you have students who need explicit instruction to learn their body parts? These ideas are for them! Get your students moving and learning their body parts with these hands on ideas.

Explicit instruction, body parts, hands on lessons, thematic units

My students all have language based disabilities and need skills that come naturally to peers explicitly taught. Most of my K- 6th grade students come to me knowing some of the more well know body parts such as head, feet and hands, but most of my students need instruction on the rest of the body parts along with the five senses. To help them learn, we use hands on activities that incorporate movement. Movement builds in another opportunity for my students to work on motor planning as well as better engage them.

Introduce Vocabulary 

To start, we introduce our vocabulary cards. These vocabulary cards have both pictures and words on it to support all of the different levels in my classroom. For my class, we work on half of the cards the first week and the other half the next week. My kiddos get overwhelmed if there are too many cards on our board.  Here is what our board look like:

Word wall vocabulary cards

During the introduction, we work on finding the given body part, touching the body part on our own bodies, labeling the body part I am touching, etc. 

Requesting & Labeling Body Part

To practice requesting and identifying body parts, we did a craft where students had to request the pieces they wanted by using a sentence. For example, "Can I have 2 arms?" This is a great way to sneak in adjectives and requesting practice! Once students had all of the body pieces, they glued the pieces on to paper. Not only are they demonstrating knowledge of body parts, they are also showing their understanding of where their body parts go. 

Aren't they cute?!?! We found this cute FREE activity on Pinterest. Click here to check it out.

Count The Room Body Parts

My class L-O-V-E-S any lesson that involves giving them freedom to move around the room, so count the room is a favorite task of theirs. I have both writers and non-writers in my program, so these leveled count the room sheets are perfect for us. I don't have to plan two different lessons or make and use different materials. Both levels use the same cards which get hidden around the classroom. I like to get students writing and moving in all directions, so I tape some of the cards to the floor, on the walls, under things, etc. This allows me to build in writing practice on different planes as well practice visually searching messy fields. 

Students have to find the hidden cards and then count the set of pictures.
count the room, body parts, one to one correspondence, counting

Next, the student either writes or circles the number on his sheet.

You can find this set by clicking HERE.

Labeling Body Parts

For this activity, we traced one student onto bulletin board paper. Next, each student took turns answering a questions about our bodies and then putting it on our outline to label the body parts. We did this as a whole class group, but the questions individual students have to answer on their turn can easily be customized and differentiated. For example, one student might get asked, "Tell me the body part I would use to tell if something is hard or soft." while another student might be asked to label the body part I am touching.

Here we are labeling the body outline:

This is what the outline looked like towards the end:

After we had outlined the body parts we did the hokey-pokey. I went around the group and asked each child which body part(s) they had taped up to work on recall. Then we did the hokey pokey for that body part. 

Write The Room Body Parts

As I mentioned, my class loves moving around the room. That is why we also do write the room activities. Again, we need 2 levels to meet all of my students' needs. One group writes the words while the other group traces the words. No extra prep for me....YAY!!! You can find the materials we used HERE.

Here are the cards that we hid around the classroom:

Just like in count the room, some students wrote their answers independently while other students traced the words.

Do you have any favorite ways to teach about body parts? Write it in the comments section so we can all learn!

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