How I plan a K-2 lesson… Building Blocks- TPR

I have had some emails the last few weeks about Elementary Curriculum and Lesson Planning. If you are one of those people, you are not alone. I do not have all the answers but I am 10 years into this journey so I can tell you what I know so far. I invite you on my journey that is far from over. I also want to share some of the people that helped me on this road.

So how do I plan a lesson for my Kindergarten – 2nd grade class?


Things that I continually use throughout a lesson.

Total Physical Response- (TPR) created by James Asher

TPR is a great way to increase vocabulary for actions in a game like setting. It is a play on Simon Says but everyone wins! Here is the research and explanation from Berty Segal Cook.

I have a running list of words I teach in 1-3 small sessions of TPR in every K-2 class. It is a great brain break and a way to reenforce words you want to use in a song or a story. THESE TPR SESSIONS ONLY LAST ABOUT 5 MINUTES. Sometimes is is a 30 second break in the story to remind them of what a character is doing. It can be more if you are doing mini-situations with them.

TIPS to keep it novel.

  1. Don’t forget to add adjectives. (Walk slowly, quickly, Jump high, Jump low, Sing sweetly)
  2. Comparisons (Walk like a monster, walk like a baby, walk like an elephant, Look at Patrick. Patrick you walk. Class, walk like Patrick, Dance like Barney)
  3. Numbers and Combinations (Jump 4 times, Eat 13 pizzas, Dance and write, Dance Write and eat pizza, Lift 2 hands, Jump and say “Shoe”)
  4. Mini-situations- The class is happy. The class dances. The class jumps. etc. The class is tired. The class is thirsty. The class wants water. The class drinks lots of water. The class drinks lots of water and sits down. There is an insect in the water. The class says “How disgusting!” (other examples: The class builds a snowman, the class makes snowballs and has a big fight. The invisible ball

Erica Peplinski (a MUST follow for elementary TPRS/CI teachers) has a list of TPR terms along with other resources like books to read aloud and MovieTalks to reinforce the TPR terms. LISTA ACTIVA

Jason Fritz (EL REY) does a great job with this because he makes the actions into mini stories and also he divides the classes into countries to compare and contrast.


Michel Baker has a great series of blog posts about Jason. ENJOY!







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