Do the Hokey Pokey in Many Languages
Brief DescriptionUse the popular song The Hokey Pokey to teach vocabulary for parts of the body in other languages.
Keywordshuman body, Hokey Pokey, game, song, music, vocabulary, foreign language
You all know how to do the Hokey Pokey. Now adapt this old favorite to learning vocabulary in Spanish, French, or any other language. Making the connection between music and language helps students remember the new vocabulary. This lesson is also nice for connecting science, music, and foreign language instruction; when studying the human body, you might take time out for a little fun and foreign language instruction.
Before the Lesson
Then print or copy the lyrics onto a chart, so all students can read the words as they sing along. In place of the standard Hokey Pokey lyrics, post the lyrics with Spanish -- or any other language -- vocabulary in place of English words. You can ignore the words right and left that are part of the standard lyric, if you like, and simply introduce the foreign-language words. For example, if are teaching Spanish words for body parts, the following lyrics might be posted on the chart. (Note: Pronunciation key appears below.)
You put your mano in,
To find body part words in other languages, use one of the online translation tools, such as FreeTranslation.com.
After the lesson,
Lesson Plan Source
Find more great music ideas in Education World's Music In Our Schools Month archive.
Originally published 03/07/2003
Last updated 03/09/2015