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Lesson Plan Idea: Teaching Body Parts


The human body is a wonderful and mysterious thing! As they grow, children often notice how the different parts of their bodies help them with different movements, but they don’t always know the name of each body part that helps them run, throw, play, and learn!

With Read! Move! Learn! by Carol Totsky Hammett and Nicki Collins Geigert, educators can teach children about the body’s numerous parts and how they are integral to movement.

The following activity allows educators to teach students science, literacy, and movement all in one lesson plan!

From Head to Toe by Eric Carle

  • What's the Book About?
    The animals in this story show children how to exercise from head to toe. The children join animals moving parts of the body. The story describes simple movements that children can perform.
  • Theme Connections
    • Animals
    • Parts of the body
  • Lesson Objectives
    Children will:
    • Engage in predictable text.
    • Experience a variety of movements.
    • Identify parts of the body.
  • Action Vocabulary
    • Arch
    • Bend
    • Clap
    • Kick
    • Raise
    • Stomp
  • Concepts Explored
    • Parts of the body

  • Developing Literacy Skills
    • Introduce the book's author, Eric Carle.
    • Before reading, familiarize the children with the repeated question and answer spread. Emphasize you in the first sentence and can in the second. This will encourage the children to move just like the animals do.
    • Tell the children you will point to the sentences when it is their turn to help you read.
    • Invite the children to move about as you read the book. Ask them to touch each body part as it is mentioned.
  • Moving to the Story
    • Materials:
      • CD play
      • Favorite marching music (just to keep up the pace)
    • Have the children to stand in a large circle. You will stand in the middle of the circle and model a few of the movements shown in the book.
    • Name one part of the body and focus on the ways that part can move. For example, turning the head from side to side and up and down.
    • After modeling movements, give each child a turn to be the leader/ “animal” and come up with her own body movement.
    • Play instrumental marching music to keep up the movement pace.
    • Encourage the “animals” in the center to ask the question for the book and the children to use the response form the book.
  • Developing Motor Skills​
    Add-On Actions
    • Materials:
      • CD player
      • Music of choice
    • Have the children form pairs and face their partner. One child will start as the leader, and then the children switch roles after the movement.
    • The focus of this activity is to add an action to each prior action. For example, if the first child raises his arm, the second child raises her arm and adds a leg lift. The first child will raise his arm, lift his leg, and adds turning around. The children continue to add movements.

For more great activities that connect literacy and movement, check out Read! Move! Learn!

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