Saturday, August 13, 2016

Jump In, Jump Out!

Summer is officially over, and I've had my first two days with students. I needed a name refresher activity that my students would enjoy, and "Jump In, Jump Out" was the perfect start to our school year. When a sixth grade student lingers after class, beams, and exclaims, "Thank you! That was SO much fun," you know you've picked well. 

There are different versions of the poem floating around, and there are different ways to perform it. I usually tweak things a bit, so I came up with the following format:

Jump in, jump out! Turn yourself around.
I said, jump in, jump out! Introduce yourself.

Soloist: (Class)
My name is__________ (yeah)
And I like __________ (yeah)
And I can __________ (yeah)

All right, all right, all right!

Circle game:
  • Jump in, jump out: everyone jumps in the circle and back out
  • Turn yourself around – turn in place one time
  • Jump in, jump out (repeat as before)
  • Introduce yourself – one student steps to the center of the circle to speak the solo part. (I placed a polyspot in the center and instructed children to step to the spot to speak.) 
  • Class answers each statement with, “Yeah” and copies the action of the soloist on “All right, all right, all right!”
  • Repeat poem with the next person in the circle stepping forward as the soloist. Continue until everyone has had a turn. Students can add claps or teacher can add a drum to help them speak in rhythm.
Here is a video of 4th graders and 6th graders demonstrating the game:

I created a PowerPoint presentation with a few examples for students to read and practice speaking in rhythm. I displayed the final slide with blanks for them while they played so the soloist could look at the lyrics if they needed assistance.

The complete PowerPoint presentation is available at my TpT Store:

Teaching Process:
  • Teach poem by rote, using the first lyric slide and completing the blanks with personal information.  Demonstrate speaking in rhythm and performing an action on the “I can” statement.
  • Lead the class in reading the next 3 slides together in rhythm. Divide into two groups and take turns reading the solo and class parts. Point out the option of “My name is” or “My name’s,” depending on which works best with the name.
  • Display the final slide with blanks. Instruct students to think of what they plan to say for each blank. Remind them the “I can” statement should include a movement for students to copy. They should silently practice speaking the poem in rhythm while they wait for everyone to get ready. Students could also practice with a partner to make sure they are prepared with good choices.
Looking for more name games and other activities to start your year? Check out these previous blog posts:
All in all, "Jump In, Jump Out" was a great way to start back to school with my 4th-6th grade classes. Thinking about using this game with your students? I suggest that you go ahead and "Jump In!"


  1. I did this activity with my older students and they really enjoyed it. Thank you!

    1. I'm glad it worked well for you, too. We've been in school 3 weeks, and 6th grade students are still asking to do it!

  2. Hi Laura! Thanks for posting this! Have you tried this activity with younger students successfully, such as 1st graders?

    1. I have not tried it with students younger than 4th grade. 3rd might work, but I don't think I'd try younger than that. It works best if they are able to think of answers ahead of time so they can answer in rhythm. I think it would be too complicated for many 1st graders. Even older students sometimes blank out when it is time to say their answers. It definitely helped to go over the slides and examples in rhythm together before trying to play.

    2. I use this with my third graders that demonstrate good rhythm. I begin each new class doing rhythm echos to see if they can hear syncopations and rests well. If they can handle the syncopations, they can usually handle Jump In, Jump out. Make sure they can follow directions the first time with whatever activities you do prior. If they don't follow directions well, it can get a little raucous!

  3. Love this activity! Also wondering, what program did you use to make your cover for the activity? So cute!

    1. Thanks! I used PowerPoint for the graphics.

  4. This looks like so much fun! What do you say/do if you have a particularly shy student who balks at going in the middle?

  5. I wouldn't force anything, especially if early in the year. I'd probably offer to do it with the student. I might do the talking, ("His name is...") and encourage him to do the action, if possible.

  6. Love this activity! Thank you for providing a video so we can get a feel for how it works with the kids.