Series The Power of Collaboration for ELLs: Total Physical Response Vocabulary

Total Physical Response Vocabulary

Lesson Objective: Use transition moments in class as an opportunity to teach vocabulary
All Grades / All Subjects / ELL

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Discussion and Supporting Materials

Thought starters

  1. What is total physical response?
  2. What types of words does Ms. Sweeney select for this strategy?
  3. Why is this strategy especially useful for English Language Learners?

16 Comments

  • Private message to Tianhui Liu

1. Total Physical Response (TPR) is a method of teaching language or vocabulary concepts by using physical movement to make students involve and comprehend. 

2. She use Supress. This word connected to the big theme of this unit, and they will see this word in their reading. 

3. This method use body movement to exlain the word. In this way, Engish learners will have a betetr understanding of this word and those movements also help them to memorize the word. 

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  • Private message to Rachel Johnson

Total physical response or TPR is a teaching method when the teacher gives students a command with body movements and students respond. Students repeat the action a few times and relate it to the topic they’re learning about.  

The teacher uses the words suppress, secede, and suffrage. TPR is a great strategy to teach words relating to a certain theme. 

This strategy is useful for EL learners because they can use actions to remember the term, rather than reading. Their reading skills may not be at the level of their peers. With TPR, ELs can recognize the word’s meaning by connecting it to the action. 

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  • Private message to Sierra Fisher

  1. Total physical response is a method of teaching language or vocabulary concepts by using physical movements or gestures to help students transition from one part of the lesson to another. 

  2. Ms. Sweeney uses the word suppress. She used the I say it, you say it, we all do the action TPR technique. She had the students think about the word throughout the day and across different lessons so that they could remember the meaning and the use of the word. The repetition and use of an action or gesture can help students to remember what the word means. 

  3. This strategy would be helpful for English Language Learners because of the repetition and use of movement. The movement helps students to create meaning to the vocabulary words making it easier for them to remember.

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  • Private message to Alexis Baumgarn
  1. What is total physical response? 

Total physical response is using vocabulary with gestures or physical actions when transitioning from one piece of the lesson to the next. It helps students have repeated exposure to important words over the course of a day.

2. What types of words does Ms. Sweeney select for this strategy?

Ms. Sweeney used the words suppress, secede, and suffrage for this strategy, as they connected to their unit themes and were important vocabulary terms for her students to learn as they came across them in class readings and discussions. 

3. Why is this strategy especially useful for English Language Learners?

This strategy is especially useful for English Language Learners, as it helps them not only learn the sound and pronunciation of a word, but also recognize the word's meaning and connect it to the action they are performing with it. Additonally, there is so much value in repetition, so by repeating this words through a total physical response throughout the day, English Language Learners will be better able to master the vocabulary.

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  • Private message to Miranda Holmquist
  1. What is total physical response?

Using an action for different words. Doing this while saying the word

  1. What types of words does Ms. Sweeney select for this strategy?

Secede, Supress and Suffrage

  1. Why is this strategy especially useful for English Language Learners?

Its useful because it helps them see what the word means and learn the word better by hearing it and seeing it and being able to connect the definition to the word easier.

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Transcripts

  • Total Physical Response Vocabulary Transcript

    Speaker 1: Alright. We're going to transition.

    In our class, we use vocabulary with a gesture or

    Total Physical Response Vocabulary Transcript

    Speaker 1: Alright. We're going to transition.

    In our class, we use vocabulary with a gesture or physical response to transition from one piece of the lesson to the next piece of the lesson, so that the students have a lot of exposure to a vocabulary word over the course of a day.

    Remember our transition word this week is suppress. I say it. You say it. We're all going to do the gesture.

    Part of the transition word is using TPR, which is Total Physical Response.

    So remember when we're doing this, we're all speaking loud and clear. Ready? I'll say it. You say it. Suppress.

    Suppress.

    Students: Suppress.

    Speaker 1: Keep them down.

    Students: Keep them down.

    Speaker 1: So this word is a Tier 2 academic vocabulary word that connects to the bigger theme of the unit. It's also a word that they will see in their reading.

    Let's practice our word again.

    Suppress.

    Students: Suppress.

    Speaker 1: And we'll do that three or four times a lesson as we transition from group work to teacher direction to another phase of the lesson.

    Alright. Keep thinking about that word. We're not just doing the gestures and saying it. I want you to keep thinking about what it means, and how it's relating to the topic you've just learned about.

    Tips for getting started, using a transition word, especially with TPR. You want the gesture and the definition to be short. Three or four words.

    Speaker 1: How did that [inaudible 00:01:21] in?

    Speaker 1: Also, have the students help. Ask them, "What do you think of when I say this word and you know it means this. What gestures do come to mind for you?"

    Other words we've used were suffrage. So I would say, "Suffrage." They say, "Suffrage". We all say, "Right to vote." Or secede. Secede. Pull away.

    Nice job today, guys. Let's use our transitional word one more time.

    So plan in stopping points where you're going to use it.

    Speaker 1: Suppress.

    Speaker 1: We can ask students, you know, even years later when they come back. That's something that they always remember and they always enjoy and have fun with.

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School Details

Horning Middle School
2000 Wolf Road
Waukesha WI 53186
Population: 750

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Meredith Sweeney
Shannon Kay
6 7 8 / Coach

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