Where is my monkey?

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Names of Teachers: Richy Lee and JTE

Class/Grade/Language Level: 4th – 6th Grade / Elementary Beginners / c. 12 students

Textbook and specific lesson: Eikaiwa activity

Goal: To introduce expression “Where is my _____? Practice through repetition and activities.

Preparation: Flash cards / Toy monkey / Animal Pictures / Realia: Ping Pong Balls / Lollipop sticks with students names on / boxes / 2 hours prep time needed

Class time: 45-60 minutes


  • Choose students randomly using lollipop sticks and ask questions about the weather / day / date / feelings.
  • Start the lesson by using the expression: “Where is my monkey?” Use gestures to elicit the meaning of the expression in Japanese (looking around the classroom, scratching head etc.)
  • Place 6 different animal cards on the whiteboard, elicit question, “Where is my _____?”


  • Students make sentences looking at the animal picture cards placed on the board. Each animal raises student’s interest in the subject matter. Interesting animals in funny situations, for example, a bear on a bike or a cat on a man’s head.
  • “Where is my ball?” Students close their eyes and the teacher hides a ping pong ball under one of three cups. Students take turns to ask: “Where’s my ball?”. One student can guess: It’s here”. Student picks up one cup as they guess and say the expression.
  • Students hide one of their items under one of three boxes and individually ask students: “Where is my pencil case?” Or similar item. Another student who was selected will answer, whilst looking under the box where they think the item is hidden.


Step 1

  • Students will get into groups of four. Each group will receive 10 different flashcards with food and animals on them. One student chooses three cards and shows the other students the cards. Then the students close their eyes while one student turns over one card. The other students open their eyes and have to quickly guess the missing item by asking the question: “Where is my _____?” Rotate students so everyone has a go at turning the cards over.

Step 2

  • Team activity. Three teams will compete in a race to the finish. Line up the three teams in rows, sitting down. At the front of the class, place 10 different picture cards face down. The student at the front of the line has to pick up the card, ask the question: “Where is my lemon?”, then they will run around their team mates that are sitting down. They will make two laps around the students. Every time they reach the front of the students, everyone will chant: “It’s here”. After two laps, the student will sit down at the back of the row, ready for the next player.

Step 3

  • Students draw an item on a piece of paper. Distribute the pieces of paper randomly to other students. Students take turn to ask the other students: “Where’s my _____?” If the student has the piece of paper with the picture on it, they’ll answer: “It’s here”.


  • Rock, Scissors, Paper Goodbye Activity
  • Teacher asks: “Where is my _____?” Make a rock, scissors or paper symbol.
  • Students answer: “Where is my rock / scissors / paper?”
  • Play the game after making sentences.
  • Winning students will be the first to leave; losing students go to back of the queue.

Review / Closing

  • Ensure that all students can fully grasp the concept of the expressions, using the rock, scissors paper activity. Students will be required to recall the expression for the next lesson when the answer will be expanded from “It’s here” to - it’s under / on / in / over / in front and behind.
  • Award individual students who have done well in the class. Use the lollipop sticks with the names and add stickers to the stick.
  • Students who have completed the stick with stickers will receive a small prize.


  • The ALT should be the main teacher for this class. The JTE should be ready to translate any difficult instructions. The JTE will assist and monitor when the students are working independently.


The lesson worked well. It took a while to elicit the correct question in Japanese, “Where is my _____?” After more exaggerated gestures, the students could grasp the question and what was being taught and communicated in English. Allowing the students to run around whilst speaking English was perfect for an eikaiwa class where the lesson is less formal than in a classroom setting. There was enough space for the students to move freely, obviously you should be sure that no one will injure themselves whilst doing the activity. The lesson had a good balance of drilling and activities, ensuring that students left class thinking that English was fun whilst learning new English expressions.

Picture of monkey: File:Orangemonkeypic.doc