Lesson Plan: What are you doing? I'm (action)

Summary: A lesson plan to teach young learners how to answer the question "What are you doing?" with "I'm (action)".

Target Language: What are you doing? I'm (action)

Vocabulary: walking, running, shopping, playingm watching TV (flashcards)

Target: Young Learners

Greetings and Warm-up

Greet the class with a good-morning or good-afternoon depending on the day. Have the class stand up and respond to your greeting and do the warm-up. Ask the students, "Do you want to sing a song?" Usually, they'll nod and begin to twitch and move their bodies. Some will respond with a yes. Songs I teach young learners include the "Eensy Weensy Spider", "Head & Shoulders, Knees & Toes", "The Alphabet Song", "Twinkle, Twinkle, Little Star", "Here We Go Round The Mulberry Bush," "Ring Around The Rosey", and "Row, Row, Row Your Boat".

After the warm-up, sit the students down. Introduce the new vocabulary using flashcards. Show the flashcard or place them on the blackboard. Point to the flashcard and say walking. Have the students repeat after you. Repeat a few times.

Model the dialogue with a puppet. I use a Panda puppet to help me do this. Place the flashcards on the blackboard. Take Panda out of a special bag. Say "Hello Panda" and then introduce him to the class. Ask Panda "What are you doing?" while pointing to the happy flashcard. Panda's answers: "I'm walking. " Do this for all the flashcards and repeat the process a couple of times.

Divide the class into 2 groups. One group asks the question "What are you doing?" And the other group answers, "I'm walking." depending on the flashcard shown. Run between the two groups. Better still, if you have a helper or if the homeroom teacher is present, ask them to help you. Alternate the dialogue between the two groups a few times until they get the hang of the dialogue.


Sit the students in a circle. Hold up a squishy ball, point to it and say, "What are you doing?" Then hold up the flashcard and say, "I'm walking." Demo with several students. Give the ball to one student and the flashcard to another student. Have them stand up. Get them to practice the dialogue. Do this several times with several different students until they get a feel as to what they are suppose to do. If the students are very timid or shy, have two students stand up and do each part of the dialogue. So, two students say, "What are you doing?" And the other two students say, "I'm walking." Play the music and get the students to pass the ball and flashcard around the circle, both going in opposite directions. Stop the music. The two students holding the ball and the flashcard stand up and do the dialogue.

If I there's a Chinese or Japanese teacher or helper or homeroom teacher in the class, I'll play the "What are you doing?" game. Divide the class into two equal groups, teams A and B. If there's one team with an extra member, have one student play twice. Line up the two teams in two single straight lines. Demo the game with a few students. Team A students go to Team A teacher and Team B students go to Team B teacher and is asked the question "What are you doing?" while being shown a flashcard. The respective student responds. They then go to the end of the line and the next student advances. When ready, start the game by shouting out go and encourage the students to advance to the front. Show your student a flashcard and ask him/her "What are you doing?" The student should answer, "I'm walking." If the student is having difficulty which some are likely to experience, help them along. The first team to get through the questions wins. As a reward, the winning team gets a round of applause.

If there's time remaining, teach them a new song or sing again the song you did in the warm-up.

End the class with a good-bye and say, "That's all for today. See you next time."

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