Exploitation of the rhyme “I’m a brave, brave mouse” 

Fernando Yarza Gumiel


1- FINAL TASK: The students recite the rhyme by heart. They will have to act it out by means of gestures at the same time they say it aloud.



2.1. - The students will be able to understand specific oral language, related to the tale I’m a brave, brave mouse as used by the teacher and their classmates.

2.2. - The students will be able to use oral language fluently and competently, using linguistic and non-linguistic resources related to the tale I’m a brave, brave mouse, showing respect for, and interest in understanding and being understood.

2.3. - The students will be able to use autonomous learning strategies developed from previous language learning experiences, related to other language study methods.



3.1. - The students are all given a chart. In the first column there will be some wild animals which are in danger of extinction, and in the first row there will be numbers given to the 15 E.U. countries in the map of Europe. After we revise the E.U. countries and the animals which are becoming extinct, we start telling them a tale in which the main characters are going to be the animals.

      “Once upon a time, not a long time ago, a group of students who were on a school trip decided to go to see the animals which up till then they had only seen in books. This was because it was very difficult to find these animals in their natural habitats. Therefore they had to fly around Europe to find them in captivity. First they went to Vienna, where they found the rhino, which was really huge; it was really fantastic to see such a beautiful animal.”

The students have to match the animal called a rhino and the number referring to Austria on the map they were given. They put a cross in the appropriate box. From now on, the students are encouraged to continue to tell the tale. It might be advisable to give each student a picture of a wild animal and the country where it is going to be found.

3.2. - The teacher brings into the classroom some toy animals some of which were presented in the tale, and revises their names again. Apart from the animals which are in danger of extinction, we are also going to present some other animals, and besides, the ones which appear when reciting the rhyme to the students: a mouse, a cat and an owl. We will encourage them to think of words which rhyme with the animals presented. These new pictures of the words referring to animals are placed next to the phonetic transcriptions  of  the vowels  and diphthongs which should have been stuck on the walls at the very beginning.

3.3. - All the toy animals are named again and put into a plastic bag. One of the students is blindfolded, and asked to put his hand into the bag and pick out one animal. Once they touch the animal they have to guess what it is. If they hesitate they can ask for help from the teacher or from their classmates. They will be allowed to give characteristics of the animal chosen, always with the help of the teacher: It is a large, fierce animal that belongs to the cat family. It is orange with black stripes. It lives in Asia. It rhymes with the word ‘child’. Its first letter is T. The student will check which animal it is by asking the others ‘Is it a tiger?’ and the others will answer him/her by saying ‘Yes, it is’ or ‘No, it isn’t’. If they find it difficult to answer, we will ask them whether it is something obvious or the name of the animal they are trying to guess. The activity will continue until all the animals have been guessed.

3.4. - Now we ask them whether they are afraid of each animal: ‘Are you afraid of a mouse?’ ‘Yes, I am’, ‘No, I am not’. Once we have practiced enough for them to understand the structure, they are given a chart with all the names of the students in the first column and the 18 animals we have been working with in the first row. What they have to do is to move around and ask their classmates whether they are afraid of the animals. If they are afraid they put a cross

and if not they put a tick. They will continue to ask about the other animals by saying ‘And what about an elephant?’ When they all have completed the chart we will make a mural with all of our students’ answers. We will work with expressions such us all of, some of, a few of, none of, etc.

3.5. - One of the rows will be reserved for the teacher to be interviewed. The students will interview the teacher about the animals he/she is afraid of, and they will complete the chart the same as they did with their classmates. The expression ‘Well, except for a tiger I’m not afraid of anything’ will be introduced.

Students: Are you afraid of a mouse?

Teacher: No, I’m not, I’m not afraid of anything.

Students: And what about a tiger?

Teacher: Well, except for a tiger, I’m not afraid of anything.

Now the teacher asks the SS and they have to imitate the structure used by the teacher.

3.6. - A possible variation would be to ask them if they would be afraid of different animals if they were different animals. ‘ If you were a mouse, what would you be afraid of?’ or ‘Imagine you are a mouse, what are you afraid of? And what about a cat? Yes, a big cat?’

3.7. - Once we have introduced our SS to everything we think they have to be familiar with before telling them the tale, we can tell them the tale. What they have to do while listening to the tale is to mark the animals which appear in the tale.

3.8. - Now the teacher takes the place of the mouse, and the SS take the place of each character: the cat, the trap and the owl. We will make them remember their role by means of pictures and symbols. They do not read meaningless words, but associate meaningful pictures and symbols with their meanings. Once they get familiar with their role, they change roles. We will pay special attention to linking words, pronunciation, stress, rhythm, and intonation from the very beginning.

3.9. - By using linguistic and non-linguistic resources, they will recite the whole tale aloud.

3.10. - They are given the tale with all the relevant meaningful words omitted. What they have to do is to draw and colour all the drawings which have been omitted. Once they have finished the picture, they have to tell the tale individually aloud to the teacher with the help of the picture.


4.1. - In connection with the didactic unit ‘The European Union Countries’, the students are supposed to know names of animals which are in danger of extinction and the 15 European Union Countries.

4.2. - The alphabet. Spelling words out.

4.3. - Phonemic transcriptions.




5.1. - Difficulty in spelling words out.

5.2. - Difficulty in reading phonetic transcriptions properly.



6. - MATERIALS: a world map, a map of Europe, a plastic bag, toy animals.



7. - LEVEL: The Didactic Unit has been designed for 3rd cycle Primary School students.



8. - DISTRIBUTION OF THE SS: whole class work, individual work, and group work.



9. - NUMBER OF LESSONS: Three 50 minute lessons will be devoted to completing this Didactic Unit.



10. - EVALUATION: Activities in this context allow the teacher to observe and collect information, enabling him or her to reflect on the learning and teaching process. Therefore, instead of designing activities solely to evaluate, we propose to select activities which, as well as being a part of our didactic units, allow us to observe and collect different information about:


1. Using rhythmic patterns.

2. Quality of pronunciation.

3. applying the appropriate socio-communicative rules in specific situations.

4. level of oral comprehension.

5.  level of oral production.

6.  attitudes (collaboration with the other participants of the group, assessment of student’s own learning and attitude to the English language, etc.);

7. types of activities and their appropriateness for the group.

The information collected by means of these activities will allow us to reflect on our students’ learning processes and results, and to make decisions about:       


The point at which to intervene didactically and how.

Students who require more direct and systematic pedagogic assistance.

Different learning strategies to assure the desired understanding by the whole group.

The planning of new ideas or proposals which include linguistic or formative elements requiring greater attention.



 11. - REINFORCEMENT ACTIVITIES: by means of the information collected we will help SS who require more direct and pedagogic assistance. There will be SS who will be working in groups trying to consolidate what they have learnt by reciting the tale in groups and acting it out, and others who have also achieved the objectives proposed will help other SS with the tale.




12.1. - The tale is recited and acted out in groups.

12.2. - The tale is recited and acted out by the whole class. It is video recorded. 





I'm a brave, brave mouse.

I go marching through the house,

And I'm not afraid of anything.  

For danger I'm prepared,

And I'm never, never scared.

No, I'm not afraid of anything.


What about a cat? What, a cat?

Yes, a cat!

Big and fat.

Well, except for a cat

I’m not afraid of anything.


I'm a brave, brave mouse.

I go marching through the house,

And I'm not afraid of anything. 

For danger I'm prepared,

And I'm never, never scared.

No, I'm not afraid of anything.


What about a trap? What, a trap?

Yes, a trap that goes snap!

Well, except for a trap,

I’m not afraid of anything.


I'm a brave, brave mouse.

I go marching through the house,

And I'm not afraid of anything. 

For danger I'm prepared,

And I'm never, never scared.

No, I'm not afraid of anything.


What about an owl? What, an owl?

Yes, an owl on the prowl!

Well, except for an owl,

I’m not afraid of anything.


I'm a brave, brave mouse.

I go marching through the house,

And I'm not afraid of anything. 

For danger I'm prepared,

And I'm never, never scared.

No, I'm not afraid of anything.