name game

Lesson: What’s Your Name? Speech and Body Percussion Piece

What’s Your Name?
Speech and Body Percussion Piece

Every year, new students enter our classrooms from all walks of life. The one commonality with all of them is a NAME. As an elementary music teacher, learning all of our students’ names can be a daunting task and we sometimes forget that the children are in new classroom groups and do not know all of the people in their class either. However, with this fun and practical name game learning names can be fun and hip! Use this activity to build community, make music, and learn those NAMES!

Curriculum Concepts

Beat, Rhythm, AB Form


In this lesson, students will:

• Learn and review key musical vocabulary—beat, rhythm, form.

• Identify A and B sections that combine to form a larger piece of music.

“I Can” Statements

• I can chant while performing rhythmic patterns using body percussion.

• I can recite and recall key music vocabulary terms in this lesson.

Tennessee Music Standards*

4.GM.P3.B Using body percussion or instruments, perform instrumentally (pitched/unpitched), alone and with others, with expression, technical accuracy, and appropriate interpretation.

*NOTE: Find the similar standard for each grade level, 2nd-5th grades. 

Instructional Procedures

Preparation and Items Needed

1. Print out and become familiar with the following documents included in this item:

2. Use a drum or the video below to establish the beat


Body percussion A section

1. Echo-chant each phrase. Put two phrases together until students are able to easily chant the speech piece.

2. Echo-teach the body percussion part.

3. Divide the class into two groups. Lead one group in performing the body percussion parts. When

the beat has been established, bring the other group in chanting the speech piece.

4. Switch groups. Repeat.

5. Challenge!! Have the entire class perform the speech and body percussion together.


After students have successfully learned the speech and body percussion of the A section introduce the B section. In the B section students will take turns saying their first name in rhythm. Example: My name is Franklin. (See rhythm examples on handout.) This is a cumulative piece so after 4 students say their names, class chants the names in reverse order. Then add another group fo 4 students, class chants 8 students’ names in reverse order and so on.

Body percussion B section

1. Use this body percussion pattern to establish the beat for the B Section.

2. Echo-teach the speech pattern to the first four students. Tell students to come up with a motion to go with their name, stand and twirl, clap/pat the rhythm of their name, wave hands, etc. Class will repeat that motion every time that student’s name comes in the chant. Practice several times until they are comfortable going on to the next set of four students.

3. After four students have said their names, all students repeat the names in reverse order as described above. See example.

4. Repeat the A section after each set of four names.

5. Keep repeating the B section until every student has had an opportunity to speak their name.

6. Be sure to add YOUR name to the end!!

For more activities from Franklin Willis, visit his Teachers Pay Teachers Store

© Copyright 2019 by Franklin Willis. All rights reserved. Reprinted with permission.

Franklin Willis

For more than a decade, Willis has educated, mentored, and developed elementary and middle school students through the power of music. He specializes in providing musical instruction through authentic culturally relevant teaching experiences to empower and engage all children to achieve success. He is a graduate of the University of Memphis with a Bachelor of Music Education with an emphasis in Choral Music in 2009. In 2012, he earned the Master of Education Degree in Nonprofit Leadership from Belmont University. Most recently Willis completed the Education Specialist Degree with an emphasis in Instructional Leadership from Tennessee Technological University. He currently serves as the Elementary Music Coach for the Metro Nashville Public Schools District, to provide music teachers with instructional support and resources necessary to enhance their classrooms. Willis believes that music education is a vital tool to teach student about other cultures, create community, and a love for learning. Through his work, he has developed a passion that the cultivation of musicianship begins at a young age and that every child has musical potential. Every student is a champion and deserves a music teacher who will see the best in them. Willis has facilitated professional development sessions for music teachers of all grade levels sharing his unique and relevant teaching practices. He consistently collaborates with colleagues, community organizations, local businesses, colleges and universities to advocate for the importance of music education in our schools. Through his work he has received national recognition for his ability to meet students at their point of need and guide them to new levels of success. He is a three time recipient of the CMA Foundation Music Teacher of Excellence Award. ('16, '18, '19)

See all posts by


  1. Natalie Baker on September 5, 2019 at 2:47 pm

    This is so much fun and I can’t wait to use it in class! I love the accompaniment that is included!

  2. Karen on September 5, 2019 at 4:33 pm

    How do I go about getting permission to use this wonderful lesson plan idea by Franklin Wills with my elementary music students?

    • Franklin Willis on September 11, 2019 at 11:24 am

      You have permission. It is a free resource for all teachers!

  3. Lenore Johnson on September 6, 2019 at 8:05 am

    Thank you Franklin. I did this yesterday with my students at their first class back and they loved it!

    • Franklin Willis on September 11, 2019 at 11:25 am

      AWESOME!!!!!! I am glad that the students enjoyed the activity! Have a great year!

  4. Patti Hager on September 6, 2019 at 8:24 pm

    Thx Franklin. I’m going to modify for my pre- K

  5. Chandra Sadler on September 9, 2019 at 7:20 am

    Thank you for sharing! You can’t have too many “name” activities!!!

  6. Marsha on September 11, 2019 at 3:45 pm

    I did this with my kids this week and it was a BLAST!!! Thank you!

  7. Stephanie Beaudoin on September 13, 2019 at 2:07 pm

    Thank you so much for sharing something so fun, funky and challenging for my upper grades!!!! They loved it!!

  8. Myra Johnson on August 18, 2020 at 8:58 am

    This is great! Thank you so much!

  9. Dana Patterson on October 7, 2021 at 3:49 pm


Leave a Comment

This site is protected by reCAPTCHA and the Google Privacy Policy and Terms of Service apply.

The reCAPTCHA verification period has expired. Please reload the page.

Filed under

Sign up for latest Orff Tips, Lesson Plans and Advocacy Tools

  • This field is for validation purposes and should be left unchanged.
PP1 Lead Magnet

Empower your students to create their own music in this free 3-day challenge with Roger Sams. (Lessons delivered via email)

Why Studio 49

Learn about the legendary factory that started it all and why so many teachers like you love our instruments.