Lesson:TPR warm-up

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This is a free lesson which has been donated to Teflpedia from Wikigogy. You are welcome to download and use all or part of it in class. If you feel that parts of the lesson could be improved please edit it, or raise your points on the discussion page.
  • 5min 10min
  • preschool kinder primary_school
  • ll_1 ll_2
  • game
  • classroom language

TPR (Total physical response) is very good for beginner English levels and usually younger children. It mimics the way children learn their first language by action with language and puts the context back into the language they are learning.

This is a quick warm-up involving the students following basic instructions in English. Children love this game and it gets their attention and listening skills ready for the lesson.


  • Basically the teacher commands "stand up" and the whole class must do the action. "Sit down" and the students must follow.
  • Once students are following commands, they should repeat after you and do the action.

Be sure to attempt to trick. Command "stand up" when they are standing up.


Here you can include anything that is relevant (and some that aren't).

  • stand up/sit down
  • jump
  • cheer/clap
  • turn left/right/around
  • hands on hips/knees/heads (be careful in Thailand)/shoulders/arms/etc
  • knees together
  • cross eyes
  • etc


  • Try "Simon says" or "teacher says", and those that are out must sit down. Be careful with bored students on this one. You can have them repeat the commands (or try to confuse) and be judges to keep them occupied.
  • Incorporate body parts, left/right body parts. E.g. left hand on right knee. left elbow on right hip.
  • Try two or three commands. E.g. turn around, sit down, hands on knees.
  • Add boys or girls - have them do different things. E.g. "boys, turn around" "girls, sit down"
  • Add adjectives - big, little, huge, quiet, loud, etc
  • Good night = head on desk sleeping, Good morning = awake and smiling
  • Use activities, "play the piano", "play guitar", "sing", "dance", etc
  • Try a volume control (with something like "cheer") by raising and lowering your arm/s (this will be useful later in class!).

Different commands[edit]

  • Surf in Hawaii
  • Do sumo wrestling
  • Eat hot kimchi
  • Walk on a hot beach
  • Go on a waterslide
  • I like sweet apple pies
  • She's eating sour lemons


  • Open your eyes
  • Wake up!
  • Stretch your arms
  • Yawn
  • Get out of bed
  • Have a shower
  • Have breakfast

Past simple

  • I left the house
  • I got on my bike
  • I looked at my watch
  • I was late!
  • I rushed to school
  • I crashed my bike!

(( get the kids to think of their own!)
More silly ideas

  • Climb Mt Fuji
  • Throw a big ball
  • Cheer the Hanshin Tigers!
  • Do synchronised swimming
  • Dance with Tom Cruise
  • Paint a big picture
  • Row a canoe
  • Ride on a motorbike
  • Be a monkey
  • Fall in love
  • Be an English teacher
  • Eat many sour grapes
  • Walk like a model
  • Sing "I'm a hero"
  • Be Bruce Lee (be careful!)
  • Eat hot soup
  • Be a big lion
  • Spin like a spinning top
  • Run like a penguin
  • Brush your hair
  • Swim in the sea
  • Cry loudly
  • Eat a big hot dog with lots of mustard
  • Open the biggest book in the World
  • Walk underwater/on the moon
  • Linedance
  • Dive into the water
  • Rock climb in the Grand Canyon
  • Walk like an elephant
  • Eat hot noodles
  • Stand on a balance ball
  • Shampoo your hair
  • Walk or run like an upset alligator
  • Show your muscles
  • Play the trombone
  • Towel on the head, take a hot spring bath
  • Swing your arms quickly
  • Play the guitar and shout
  • Walk on a rope