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Go: JHS GrammarMickey's Dead


SUBMITTED BY: Matt Baumgartner

BORROWED FROM / INSPIRED BY: Englipedia's Detective


GRAMMAR: Past Progressive Verb

EXAMPLE: I was killing Mickey last night.

DATE ADDED: Jul 26, 2010


    Small Classes (1-15 Students)ÒLarge Classes (16-39 Students)Ó


35-50 min.

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BRIEF OUTLINE: Students become well-known characters and apply their basic grammar skills to figure out who did what many of us would die to do: kill Mickey Mouse.This exciting review game will have your students combining the grammar they have learned with their heads to solve the mystery of which one of them killed that hated mouse in this tub-thumping twist of the classic whodunit.  



  • MickeysDead worksheet: Print out the worksheets and the character cards.The worksheet can be photocopied as a double-sided worksheet if you want to save the rainforest.Cut out the character cards: one for each student in the class.



  1. Divide the class into groups of seven student, and no more.If there are less than seven students in a group, then either a teacher can play, or assign brighter students two character cards (when the time comes for giving character cards out).
  2. Give each student Part 1 of the worksheet (if not double-sided), and a character card.Each group should have one of each of the seven characters.
  3. Explain the background story.This can be anything goofy or clever or stupid as you want it to be, but it must include that Mickey Mouse was killed between "7pm and 9pm last night" and no one knows who did it, but that it was definitely one of the characters in the classroom.
  4. Teach how to play the game by demonstrating with a teacher or bright student.The students can follow the example on the worksheet.
  5. Basically, students in the group janken to decide the order, and then play moves to the left.The first student asks the student to their left, “Who are you?” The asked-student responds based upon the character they are holding.The asking-student then asks, “What were you doing last night?”The asked-student reads their card as if they were that character.The asking-student writes down their response in the appropriate blank.The asked-student then turns to the left and repeats the process. NOTE: Students can also just janken with each other at random and not worry about an order if they want; as long as each student questions everyone else in their group.
  6. When all the members of the group have finished questioning each other, students discuss in Japanese who they think is the killer.There should be three obvious choices: Minnie Mouse, Pikachu and Anpanman.When each student has an answer, they should write it in the appropriate spot, “I think that Pikachu is the killer.”Only only minutes or less is needed for this.
  7. Then, pass out Part 2 of the worksheet (or have the students turn over their worksheet if it’s double-sided) and pass out the character cards for Part 2. Each student should receive the same character as before, but the Part 2 version.
  8. Students now ask each other the new question, “What will you do tomorrow?” The asked-student responds by reading their character card’s response.Just like before, the asker writes down the appropriate information in the appropriate spaces.
  9. Students now spend about five minutes discussing in Japanese who they think the killer is and write their response in the appropriate blank.At the end of the five minutes, students should say their guess to the class.
  10. There should be only two obvious characters at this point: Pikachu and Minnie Mouse.Students who think that the killer is one person can say why they think so (in Japanese is ok), and students who think it’s the other can also say why they think so.The JTE should be able to help check their understanding at this point.The killer can be either Minnie Mouse or Pikachu, and no one really knows who did it.But the point of the exercise is for the students to read English and understand it without it being translated and spelled out for them, and say why they think Minnie Mouse or Pikachu is the killer using English.You can decide if you want which one of the characters is the killer if you want a specific answer, but there is room for either.




  • If the content of the game is too objectionable, then try changing the activities of the characters, or try rewriting the mystery a bit.



  • This activity practices all the grammar students have learned up to Unit 3 in Total Engrish's grade two textbook, but it can be used with any textbook that is focusing on Past Progressive Verbs.



  • Students will be tempted to just show each other their character cards instead of reading them each other.There can be a punishment for this if you want.
  • The JTE may want to translate everything on the character cards.This defeats the purpose of the exercise.However, some dim students may need this, and so it should be evaluated on an individual basis as you walk around the classroom checking their progress.Remember, the point is to use English to understand a situation, and then be able to express an opinion about that situation.
  • If students are struggling with the grammar, then make it allowable to use their textbooks.
  • You might have to teach students some new vocabulary words, such as ‘wine’ or ‘then’ if they don’t already know it.

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