Lessons learned: Where is…? New Horizons 1
Time: drawing activity, 25-30 minutes, 50 min if including the introduction to “where is…?” – page 72-73
Skills: reading, speaking, listening
This is a lesson plan for an entire class period covering the grammar concept “Where is the…?” as well as introductory prepositions. It involves three different exercises, focusing on speech practice and listening. You can also use any of the ideas here separately as a warm up or review activity. I executed this lesson twice and found the kids very receptive, even without textbooks or prior study. The more they can practice with you before attempting the drawing activity, the better.
Files used in this lesson:
Materials needed: drawing activity worksheets for each student, preposition trees for each student, magnetic pictures (one single item, one plural item). If you are performing the original dialogue, you’ll need a bag, a coat, a pen, a textbook, a notebook and a pair of glasses (which you can borrow from a student if necessary, I did!)
You can use this as an introduction to “where is…?” before students have learned the words on page 72. We didn’t use any textbooks for this period. Of course, you can still use it after students have studied pages 72 and 73. Start by performing a short skit with your JTE using “where” and prepositions. You can use my original script or modify it as necessary. Be very expressive and use lots of body language to act out “looking for things.”
After the dialogue, the JTE can ask students questions to see what they were able to understand. Introduce “where” by writing this phrase on the board as JTE translates: “Where is your textbook?” Next, explain the answer: “It is (It’s) on the desk.” Use this phrase to introduce the four prepositions on, in, under, and by. Write these on the board beneath the answer, adding the kanji beside it if you can.
Have students practice repeating these sentences with you, as well as all the new prepositions. Now give each student their own preposition tree.
Draw a large version of the tree on the board. Leave the target sentence on the board, but change it to:
“Where is the dog?”
“It’s ______ the tree.”
Show the students your magnetic picture. I used a dog, a famous Japanese Pomeranian named Shunsuke, but you can use whatever you want (a book, a pizza, beef etc.). Place the dog at each of the four locations indicated by the prepositions. Pause at each one and write “on, in…” next to the dog (add the kanji too if you can). Have the students copy these onto their trees. Now move the dog around and ask the students “Where’s the dog?” Hopefully they can answer correctly. Erase the hints on the board and do this again.
I also used this moment to explain how to change the pronouns in their response. Change the board to say “Where is Shunsuke?” explaining that’s his name. Students can now reply with “Shunsuke is…” or “He is…” Practice asking “Where’s Shunsuke?” Now pull out your magnetic picture with multiple dogs on it (or books, pizzas, etc.). Change the sentence on the board to read: “Where _______ the dogs?” Ask the students for the correct verb. Since ichinensei’s are not good with plurals, they may not be able to do this. Explain the use of “are” when there are plural objects. Now check the response and write on the board: They are ____ the tree. Again, ask “Where are the dogs?” having students practice the plural response. Do this as a whole class or call on individuals to check comprehension.
Now hand out the drawing activity worksheet. Review all the vocabulary listed, including items already in the room. Have them repeat after you: table, couch, lamp, blanket, and so on. Tell them to choose four from the list and draw them anywhere in their room (the one at the top). Give them five to ten minutes to do this. If students haven’t bothered to draw anything when the time’s up, simply write in four items in different locations yourself. Even if you tell them it’s okay to write “TV” instead of draw, my experience was that some students would not participate at all.
Draw a room just like the worksheet on the board (you can erase the preposition tree). Now demonstrate asking “Where is the ____?” with your JTE. Draw the items on the board as she answers and explain they must draw their partner’s responses in the appropriate place. Then they can compare to see if their rooms match! Erase the extra items on the board and put your magnetic dog in the room. Have students answer “Where’s the dog?” using the correct prepositions and furniture in the room. Do as a whole class, then call on a few individuals.
Have students pair up face to face, not showing each other’s drawings to the other, and start the activity. Help coax the students who are having trouble, or over-see students that are trying not to participate. This gives you something to do and keeps them accountable.
Final notes: Before releasing them to do the activity, try to explain that the preposition “on” can be used for things on the floor as well as on the wall. Demonstrate in class with a piece of paper and make a note of it on the board using a simple picture with a vertical and horizontal line.