Drills using rhythm, music, and movement
(Drilling (Warm-up Activities))

Drilling activities using rhythm, music and movement. You may use already existing songs, poems, rhymes, dances or come up with your own.

Rhythmical Drills

Sentences such as: IT’S A CAT. IT’S BLACK. Practise in the rhythm of:

  • clapping;
  • moving your head from side to side or backwards and forwards;
  • jumping or hopping;
  • slapping the table;
  • a musical instrument (a drum; rumba rattles; harmonica; cymbals; wood clackers; tambourine; metronome; etc.)
  • stamping;
  • steps;
  • knocking;
  • snapping your fingers;
  • patting your stomach or head.

Also, you may change the positions within the classroom - drill while sitting on the floor; under the desks; running to the blackboard; etc. - children will think they are doing something different each time and find it exciting.

Fox and Rabbits

  • Have children sit in a circle.
  • The teacher walks outside the circle, touching each student’s hair, calling out Rabbit!
  • Children repeat the word with the teacher.
  • Call one of the children a fox at random.
  • This child must jump up and chase the teacher outside the circle until the teacher gets to the student’s seat.
  • Both the teacher and the children repeat rhythmically: "Hurry, hurry, the fox is coming."
  • The child who is now the fox exchanges roles with the teacher; he/she walks outside the circle, naming the others rabbit. At random, he/she names one of the students fox, and the whole process is repeated.


You may use other words, replacing the FOX and the RABBIT, e.g. WOLF and SHEEP; PRINCESS and WITCH etc.


If children already know the activating word (here fox and rabbit), use the activity as a drill; if its new, use it as TPR.

Clap Clap

  • The children sit in a circle. The teacher hands each student a card with a word on. First, all students read their word; the game then begins.
  • The first student taps on his/her thighs twice while saying his/her word, e.g. chair, chair. Consequently, he/she claps his/her hands twice and says the word he/she wishes to be said next, e.g. table, table. The student with that word then continues the game in the same way.
  • Gradually, all students are involved in the game. It is important not to lose the rhythm.




This game may be turned into a competition. The child who makes a mistake is out of the game. The child who remains in the game for the longest time is the winner. The tempo may gradually increase.


This activity may be used for practising any vocabulary, e.g. fruit, vegetables, animals, furniture, numbers, etc. In addition, it is intended for the strengthening of vocabulary previously studied.


  • Greeting rhymes, e.g.:

    Good morning, good morning,
    How are you? Fine, thank you.

  • Goodbye rhyme, e.g.:

    Time to finish now
    Goodbye, everyone

    Note: Greetings may be demonstrated using puppets, dolls, and animal toys. Children thus see how their little friends greet one another and want to copy them; they will thus greet one another or the teacher in the same way.
  • Calming action rhyme - suitable for calming the children down
  • Energetic action rhyme - the teacher says the rhyme and children carry out movements, e.g.:

    Follow, follow, follow me. Clap, clap, clap, one, two, three. (TPR)

  • Story rhyme - prepare a fairy tale/story for children to listen to, e.g.:

    Be very quiet, listen to me
    Open the book and read with me.

Rhymes can be successfully exploited in various games.

Using rhymes, you may practise the sounds of animals:

The teacher says the first two verses, e.g. The cat has a baby. What does it say? while pointing at the picture of a cat and a kitten. The children complete the remaining two verses: Miaow,miaow,miaow, All of the day. They continue like this with the other animals.

Alternative 1:

Divide the class into two groups. One half asks the other (i.e. says the first two verses) and the other half replies. Then, they exchange roles. Similarly, children may practise in pairs. They may have the pictures of the animals on their desks.

Alternative 2:

With more advanced children, you may replace the word baby in the first verse with the young, e.g. The cat has a kitten.

All the above mentioned techniques of drills may be combined almost without limitations, e.g. high drill and low drill (say the first part of a sentence in a high voice and the second part in a low voice); the rhythmical drill may be combined with either the emotional or character drills (children will imitate the voice of a witch in a rhythm, accompanied by music).

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Drilling (Warm-up Activities)

Tento projekt je spolufinancován Evropským sociálním fondem a státním rozpočtem České republiky.

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