Bippity Bippity Bop
Context for this Strategy
Bippity, Bippity, Bop is a fast paced game that asks students to work together to recall and create specific three-person images within a given time limit. This is a playful way to work on focus and collaboration and to make and practice non-linguistic representations of vocabulary words.
Teach the strategy: Invite students to stand in a circle. Introduce the strategy: In this activity, I will teach a series of images, then I will stand in the center of the circle as the caller and point at a group of three to make one of the images. If chosen, your job is to make the body image I ask for within the count of three. Teach the first image: “Elephant.” Point to a person in the circle and ask them to make a long trunk with one arm, ask the person on either side to each form an ear in a “C” shape facing toward the trunk. Call out: Elephant 1-2-3. Practice “Elephant” with the group, pointing at lots of different people around the circle, working to build confidence and speed. Next teach “Palm Trees.” Explain that in this image all three people do the same thing. Point to a person and ask them, and the person on either side, to wave their hands in the air above their head like a palm tree blowing. Call out: Palm Trees 1-2-3. Once both images are taught, play the game with “Elephant” and “Palm Trees” calling on students as quickly as you can around the circle. Finally, introduce: “Bippity, Bippity, Bop.” Explain that if the caller says “Bippity, Bippity, Bop” the person being pointed to must say the word “Bop” before the caller completes the word “Bop” at the end of the phrase. The two people on either side of the person being pointed to, do nothing and must not move. Practice with “Bippity, Bippity, Bop.” Then, play with all three calls (Elephant, Palm Trees, and Bippity, Bippity, Bop); work on speed and accuracy.
Explore the strategy: Once students understand the activity, introduce 2-3 content related vocabulary words (e.g. a math unit might use obtuse angle, acute angle and right angle, while a science unit might use solid, liquid, gas). Build a three-person image for one of the words. Practice the word as an image in the game. Then, split the group in half, and each invite each half to create a three-person image of one of the remaining vocabulary words. Remind the groups that it must be an image that every body can do, which can be created quickly on a count of 3. Each group shares and teaches their image to the rest of the group. The game resumes with the new vocabulary, plus the original terms of “Elephant,” “Palm Trees” and “Bippity, Bippity, Bop.”
- What did you have to do to play well?
- In our content vocabulary, how did we differentiate between our images? Why did we do this?
- Why might it be useful to construct a body image of vocabulary word? How can we use this technique to help us better understand the material?
- This can also be played so that when a student makes a mistake they move to the middle and serve as the “caller” and the teacher joins the circle. If using this choice be sure to remind the “caller” to use speed and an element of surprise to try and get out of the center. The caller needs to be fast to keep the game moving.
- The game can be played with students getting “out” if they make a mistake. However, when this happens it’s important to find a way to keep them engaged in the activity as judges or in another role.