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Under, on, in - Where is Mr Monkey?

Target Language: Where is...? near, next to, in front of, behind, under, on, in
Target Grade: All ages
This lesson is in the Teacher's Set
And in the new curriculum Level.

Click the pictures, hear them talk!

This song is a little different in that unlike the other songs in the curriculum, which were written from requests from kids, this came from requests from teachers for a fun way to teach words such as under, on, in, etc..

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Lesson Plan

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Dice Game
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"Where is Mr Monkey?"
by Richard Graham

Where is Mr Monkey?
Where is Mr Monkey?
Where is Mr Monkey?
Where is Mr Monkey?

Is he near the box?
(Is he near the box?)
Is he next to the box?
(Is he next to the box?)
Is he in front of the box?
(Is he in front of the box?)
Is he behind the box?
Is he ( behind the box?)

( Repeat Chorus )

Is he under the box?
(Is he under the box?)
Is he on the box?
(Is he on the box?)
Is he in the box?
(Is he in the box?)

Yes, I am!

( Repeat Chorus )

Always wanting to help people out, here you go!

First of all, go through the song acapella ( just singing, no music). The best thing is to have a real cardboard box and move the Mr Monkey picture card around the box as you introduce the words.

Ninja Tip: I had one teacher training session where the teachers were teaching in pairs and in one group, one of the teachers introduced the vocab and the other teahcer was actually physically getting into a huge cardboard box! Needless to say the kids loved it!

When the kids sing their repeat lines they actually move to be in the correct position relative to their desks. This makes it easier to remember as they physically move whilst singing the words. You might need to explicitly explain the difference between "near" and "next in" (for example in Japanese it's "chi ka ku ni" and " to na ri ni"). Getting the kids to go "on" their desks might not always be suitable ( e.g. if they eat their lunch of them!), so, if you're feeling brace, for "on" get them to stand on their chairs.

In the chorus section, everyone looks around like they are searching for Mr Monkey.

Now this is all very straightforward, and not exactly very genki, you may be thinking. And you'd be right! The fun bit comes when you've gone through the "box" version of the song there is also a "Dragon Remix"!!

This time you put up the dragon picture, and although the kids still do the moves in relation to their desks, you use the dragon card. And of course the fun bit comes as you build up to the "Is he IN the dragon!". Cue lots of laughter, and a fantastic final chorus!!

If any kids start crying when they hear this ( it can happen!!), get them to play the video game ( especially if you can get a projector and laptop in the class), as here your job is to answer the questions and rescue Mr Monkey from the Dragon's stomach!! Or in the classroom you can try the "Banana Tree Game", but instead of climbing a tree, Mr Monkey has to climb out of the Dragon's stomach!

It is important, however, to do the box version first, as otherwise kids can have problems with the word order. For this reason it's always a good idea for the teacher to use full sentences when describing the words e.g. "He's under the dragon" rather than just "under".

Check out these kids in Italy!

Recommend Game 1:

The best game to do is to use the computer game to save Mr Monkey. This really creates a whole new atmosphere in class.

But if you don't have a computer available (you can always set it as homework), use the Banana Tree Game i.e. draw pictures of the dragon's neck ( like in the computer game ) and have the monkeys pop out. For questions do something really simply like show one of the flashcards and say "Where is Mr Monkey?"

Then the kids should be ready to try the main Under, on, in game. You could try this game straight away, but saving Mr Monkey seems to bond the class together!

For a future review in the gym, try the Assault Course Game or try this game from Nigel...

Recommend Game 2: Under the Animals

Or this is an even better version ...

And you can link this in with any other themes you've done by using the software, e.g. Rooms of the House or Breakfast.

1. Put 16 animal picture cards on the board in a 4 x 4 pattern. And put the kids in groups.
2. Pick an animal. For example the snail.
3. You ask "Where's the snail?"
4. Explain to the kids the possible answers e.g.
Under the dinosaur
On the turkey ( or on top of the turkey)
Next to the rabbit
Next to the penguin
In this game with also designate "near" as meaning diagonally away from i.e. we can also have
The snail is near the duck
The snail is near the camel
The snail is near the tortoise
The snail is near the bear.
Plus if you want you can add in the bonus word of "far from". In the game we define "far from" as the card that is
the farthest away i.e. The snail is far from the bee.
OK, you got all that?

5. Now choose a different animal, let's say the dragon.
6. Ask the kids "Where's the dragon?"
7. The first group answers with one possibility e.g. "It's
under the lion". They get one point.
8. The next group then gives one answer e.g. "It's near the rabbit". They get one point.
9. If a team makes a mistake they get no points and the next team can answer.
10. Keep going till all the possible answers have gone. e.g. in this case there are 4 possible answers
for "Where's the dragon?". ( "next to the tortoise" and "far from the kangaroo" are the other two).
11. When all the answers have gone take that animal from the board i.e. we just did "Where's the
dragon?" so we take the dragon picture off the board.
12. The next group gets to ask "Where's the ...?" plus another animal. They get a point if they say it correctly.
13. Continue from step 8.

The kids shout out "Where are you?". The teacher chooses an animal and replies by saying "I'm under, next to" etc. another animal. e.g. for the penguin they would say they are next to Mr Monkey! The kids shout out "You're a " + the name of the correct animal! Working in teams is good.

The "Where is Mr Monkey?"  songs can be found in the Teacher's Set

Readers' Comments
by Roger in Imakane

These are simple listening worksheets.. It's a good idea to get the higher kids to make some sentences too.

Betting on the Monkey Game

( Note: This game uses play money and the mini cards above)

After teaching and then singing the song...

1. Make 4 groups (according to the number of kids)
2. Give each group a set of mini cards and some money (eg 10 $1 notes)
3. Rock, Paper, Scissors to start
4. The teacher chooses a card from their set and the kids have to guess or bet where the monkey is!
5. Each round one more $1 is put in the kitty until it is guessed. Winner takes all.
6. Make sure they practice the new grammar during the game.
eg The teacher says "Where is Mr Monkey?"
the 1st player guesses ...."He is in the box"
The teacher then replies, "no sorry" and continue (if wrong) or "yes good job!" and start again (if correct)
Lots of fun and very easy!

by Roger in Imakane

Act the Monkey Game

Everyone stands up. Tell the kids they are monkeys
Act out the preposition while they are listening and repeating ("Where is Mr Monkey ... he is in the box")
First. make an outline of an imaginary box with your hands and act out each preposition in turn.
e.g. for "IN" ... you and the kids are monkeys and each person acts out entering the imaginary box a lot of fun!
You can test the kids after a few times

by Roger in Imakane

Readers' Comments
by Brad Mylrea

  Cheers for the wonderful idea, Roger!

The students have loved this game and I think it is now my new favorite game...I say that because of how effective I feel you can be in getting so much practice with not so easy target phrases in such a fun way!

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