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

name game

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.

About Franklin Willis

Franklin Willis

Mr. Franklin J. Willis currently serves as the Elementary Music Coach for the Metro Nashville Public Schools district. For the past decade Willis has taught both general music and choir at the elementary and middle school levels. He is a three time recipient of the prestigious Country Music Association Foundation Music Teacher of Excellence award. He specializes in providing musical instruction that will empower and engage all children to achieve their best through authentic culturally relevant teaching experiences. He is a graduate of the University of Memphis where he earned a Bachelor's of Music Education with an emphasis in choral music. Willis also earned the Master of Education Degree in Nonprofit Leadership at Belmont University. To learn more about Franklin and his advocacy for music education visit his website at www.fwillismusic.com



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

Stephanie Beaudoin

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


This lesson is fantastic! I am using it as a reference for the construction of a lesson plan that will serve as an evaluation of a discipline of teaching methodology and musical learning in the music degree course at the Universidade Federal do Ceará – UFC in Brazil. When I graduate, I intend to apply this idea to my classes. Thank you!


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