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ELT Game Corner

Welcome to my Game Corner. Here I introduce a game for you to use in your classes to help make English come alive.

February 01, 2004

Parts of the Body Puzzle

body_parts.gif Assembling puzzles is a great hands-on activity which always automatically captures the interest of young learners. Perhaps this has something to do with their sense of curiosity in wanting to put things in order, along with the suspense of seeing who can find and assemble what. Since puzzles need no explanation, talented English teachers can use them to their advantage. Also because puzzles are generally assembled with the participants gathered in a circle, they are a great vehicle to promote group cooperation and camaraderie.

I would like to introduce to you an item called "Parts of the Body Puzzle." The sturdy and colorful puzzle is a healthy 92 by 61 centimeters, which means it takes up a good amount of space, which enables all the students to touch and assemble it. It consists of 24 large and easy-to-manage pieces. It portrays and has the English to coincide with 21 body parts, which is a pretty hefty vocabulary for young learners. The body parts focused on from head to toes are: eye, ear, nose, mouth, hair, head, neck, shoulder, chest, waist, arm, elbow, wrist, hand, fingers, thigh, knee, leg, ankle foot and toes. In addition to the puzzle, a FREE, large, color poster is included. This poster also measures 92 by 61 centimeters.

I would suggest first displaying the poster to the students and pointing out the body parts you would like to teach with a pointer or ruler. Focusing on one part of the body for one lesson, like the head, which contains six classifications, is a good policy. The students can repeat after the teacher. And the teacher can ask the students to point to that body part on a class doll or on their own bodies. Next, the teacher can assemble the students around a big table or a tatami mat and have them put the puzzle together. The teacher should encourage the students to visually depend on the poster as a base.

After the students have assembled the puzzle, the teacher can ask them to point to the (head) parts taught earlier in the lesson. In conclusion, the class can sing "Head and Shoulders" together following the teacher's lead.

Puzzles are a superlative teaching tool because young learners are attracted to the tactile appeal of the pieces. A wonderful sense of intimacy is promoted as the participants huddle in a circle around the item. And of course, children are fascinated seeing the puzzle take shape, as well as satisfied in seeing it completed.

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