Action Words

Music Therapy receptive language song for special needs individuals.
Goal: Clients will follow 1-step directions by performing verb-object combinations.
Domains: Language, Motor, Sensory

The purpose of this song is to address language comprehension skills by performing a variety of simple body movements. The verb-object combinations in the song are:

  1. Wave Hand
  2. Touch Nose
  3. Stomp Feet
  4. Open Mouth
  5. Pat Head
  6. Point Finger
  7. Tap Knees
  8. Clap Hands

Each direction is repeated four times. You can make use of the repetition in several ways. It may be helpful to visually model (or hand-over-hand assist) the first 2 times and then allow the client to independently respond the last two times. Or allow the client to independently respond the first 2 times and then prompt only as needed.

The chord changes were completely determined by the need to sometimes have one hand free to demonstrate. E, D, and A sound better as full chords but can be played as single notes one-handed on guitar strings 6, 4, and 5. Depending on the individual I’m working with, I may sing along with the recording so that my hands are completely free to assist or play guitar if not much assistance is needed.

As with most of my downloads, there is a fill-in-the-blank version available for you to replace my targeted actions with your own. You may want to start with just identifying body parts – touch nose, touch mouth, touch eyes, touch ears… If verb comprehension is your goal, you may want to keep the object the same and switch up the verb: throw ball, catch ball, bounce ball, kick ball… To work on expressive language you could allow your client to give you directions and give them the chance to correct you for once. For several of my clients on the autism spectrum, this song also serves as a fun and functional movement/sensory break in the middle of a session – a chance to get up and move around while learning.

Download includes:

  • Action Words [mp3 audio file]
  • Action Words (fill-in-the-blank) [mp3 audio file]
  • Lyrics [PDF]
  • Lyrics & Chords [PDF]


Action Words