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Go: JHS GrammarWhere's The Pickle?


SUBMITTED BY: Kristin Foxworth

BORROWED FROM / INSPIRED BY: Christmas Pickle ornament tradition


GRAMMAR: 'Where' Question

EXAMPLE: Where's the pickle?

DATE ADDED: Dec 06, 2011


              Small Classes (1-15 Students)ÒLarge Classes (16-39 Students)ÓHuge Classes (40+ Students) Ô


15-20 min.

4 votes: 4.5 stars

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Brief Outline: A fun activity based on the Christmas tradition of finding the pickle ornament on the Christmas tree.


Materials Needed:

  • WheresThePickle attachment
  • Optional toolbox poster to hang on the blackboard (not included)


Detailed Explanation:

  1. Print and cut out enough pickles for each student in the class, plus an example pickle for you and the JTE.
    2. On the back of each pickle, write a question. To prevent students from answering the same question more than once, each pickle had a different question. Change the questions to suit your class's needs and ability levels, and make it more personal to the class (My pickles had questions about the JTE and AET, but obviously yours would not have our names on them).
    3. Before class, you should come early and "hide" the pickles. They do not have to be hard to find--in fact, my kids got a kick out of the fact that I hid most of them in plain sight. It's not a pickle hunt, and they should not be spending all of their time finding a pickle. I even went so far as to put them on student's desks and in their pencil cases.
    4. Before the activity, review the grammar for "where" and "whose." Make sure the kids understand how to use on/in/by/under, and know the vocabulary in the questions. I made a tool box poster for the kids to reference if they needed help.
    5. Each student gets a worksheet. When the activity starts, they should find a pickle. Every student should have one. They must write where they found the pickle (On the desk, in my pen case, under the window, etc.), the question on the pickle (Where's your notebook?), and the answer (It's in my desk).
    6. Students should then trade pickles. They should write whose pickle it was originally (It's Ayumi's) and where it was found (It was in her pen case), in addition to the question and the answer.



  • You can change the questions on the pickles to fit any grammar point, but I like it best with "where". You can also hide something other than pickles, but I wanted an activity to tie into Christmas, and hiding the Christmas Pickle on the tree is something my family does every year.


Teaching Suggestions:

  • If possible, model the activity with the JTE first.
  • Before the activity (or after, depending on when in the lesson you're doing it), explain why you hid pickles instead of something else. I told my kids about the Christmas Pickle (It's a glass pickle ornament you hide on the tree, and whoever finds it gets an extra something) and they had a good laugh at the strange tradition my family does every year. The ornament makers will try to tell you it's a German tradition, but no one in Germany actually does this. It's just a fun game to play on Christmas.



  • (Dec 12, 2011) Ashley Alexander said: I tried it with a very low level class but the teacher left suddenly before the activity so it was hard to explain to the students! I think if I had been able to simplify the language of the worksheet or if my teacher could have explained it with me using an example it would have been better. They loved searching for the pickles and exchanging them and once they got the idea they were able to produce sentences just fine.
  • (Dec 7, 2011) kelly said: I might do this, but with a fried chicken leg. :D
  • (Dec 7, 2011) Srekcitstawt said: I enjoyed the game with my class very much. We tried to find the most inventive place to hide the pickles. I hid a few in my pocket and yelled out "Where's the PICKLE".

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