Posted 20/5/11

2011 marks the 40th anniversary of Roger Hargreaves’ Mr Men. All Mr Men and Little Miss images are available as high resolution downloads from this site. I wrote and asked permission to upload this lesson plan but didn’t hear back. I promise to take it down if they send along Mr Heavy.
  • Language level: Beginner – Pre-intermediate (A1 – A2)
  • Learner type: Young learners; Teens; Adults
  • Time: 20 minute
  • Activity: Word game
  • Topic: Children’s books
  • Language: Descriptive adjectives that end in –y (happy, noisy, sleepy, grumpy, etc.)
  • Materials: Slideshow
Mr Men: Lesson plan pdf [downloaded 23609 times] Mr Men: Slideshow pdf [downloaded 18605 times]

Lesson plan outline

  1. Ask students to think of as many 2-syllable adjectives that end in -y as possible (hungry, thirsty, tidy, sunny, cloudy, etc.) Write these on the board.
  2. Make sure that the following are also included:
  3. Noisy, Busy, Greedy, Lazy, Nosy/Nosey, Grumpy, Skinny, Happy, Clumsy, Funny, Messy, Silly

    To do this, give definitions or prompts and elicit the adjectives from students when possible. For example:

    • Not quiet (noisy)
    • You have a lot to do. You are … (busy)
    • You are only interested in food or money (greedy)
    • You don’t like working or doing anything energetic. All you want to do is lie on the sofa or stay in bed (lazy)
    • You want to know things about other people – things that are none of your business (nosy/nosey)
    • You don’t laugh. You are in a bad mood (grumpy)
    • This means thin but in a negative way (skinny)
    • The opposite of sad (happy)
    • You break things. You drop things. You walk into things (clumsy)
    • If someone or something makes you laugh it is … (funny)
    • The opposite of tidy (messy)
    • If someone isn’t being serious when you want them to be serious, you say: “Don’t be …” (silly)
  4. Ask students if they know about the Mr Men. Roger Hargreaves created the first character – Mr Tickle – in 1971. Since then, the list of Mr Men and Little Miss characters has grown. They have also become quite international. See Wikipedia for more.
  5. Tell students that you have a game for them. Show them the 12 book covers (Slides 1 to 12 in the PDF slideshow) and ask them to guess the names of the Mr Men which are covered up. Students should write down their answers. You can put students into pairs or groups for this.
  6. Note: point out that all Mr Man names consist of 2-syllable adjectives that end in –y.
  7. Use the images on Slide 14 to Slide 37 to go over the answers and find out who the winners are.
  8. Write all the Mr Men’s names of scrap pieces of paper. Distribute them among students randomly. Ask students to write a short ‘Day in the life’ composition about their Mr Man.

  • The composition should be in the present tense. (He gets up very late. He doesn’t go to work. He sits on the sofa all day watching daytime TV. After lunch he has a three-hour siesta, etc.)
  • Students must not use their Mr Man’s adjective in the composition. They should always refer to him as he.
  • Ask students to read out their compositions. Other students should listen and write down which Mr Man they think is being described.


At the beginning of this activity (step 1) use a game to introduce 2-syllable adjectives that end in –y. After giving a few examples of your own (happy, easy, pretty, etc.) invite students to think of their own and describe, define and/or contextualise them for the rest of the class. Points are awarded if:

  • A student can think of an adjective that no one else knows (and in your opinion has described/defined/contextualised it well.)
  • A student successfully manages to guess another student’s adjective.

Follow ups

  • Use the images for an observation game: name a Mr Man and ask students to describe, from memory, what he looks like (This is good for describing shape, appearance, facial expressions, physical features, colour, clothes, etc.)
  • Give students a list of 2-syllable adjectives that end in –y. Ask students to create their own Mr Men. They should design book covers and write a short story (see page 4). Alternatively, make use of this online Mr Man design application.

Note that this word cloud contains some adjectives which are not suitable for younger learners. Can you spot them?

Some example Mr Men drawings by adult learners:

Posted 20/5/11

22 Responses to Mr Men

  1. Esther Hoad says:

    Jamie, Thank you for this great lesson plan, and especially thank you for sharing! I have an ESOL Literacy group of women and my colleague has an ESOL Literacy men’s group – both classes take place twice a week. Progress is often slow and limited due to lack of formal education and personal learning strategies, for example, and we are always looking for new, fresh ideas to engage our students. This looks like a super idea in that it links students’ learning with family, uses coloured images and increases word power. I look forward to giving it a shot! “Share happily, Reap endlessly” :) All the best, Esther Hoad

  2. This is a great lesson plan. I will be using this in my lessons for next week with my Chinese Young Learners. They would love this.

    I have used Mr Men/Little Miss series to get them do some creative writing before using the pictures as a prompt. I love the stories and my son has almost all of them.


  3. Jamie Keddie says:

    Thanks Esther. Thanks Martin.
    Really glad you like the activity. Hope it works well. Feedback always welcome!
    Jamie :-)

  4. Ana Rosa Re says:

    Hi Jamie, I love the character and your lesson plan is great! I´m going to use it with a group of teens next week. They are learning adjectives and also comparatives. THANKS!!

  5. Jamie Keddie says:

    You could create a character called Mr Comparative who always goes around comparing things!
    Let me know how you get on Ana. Good luck
    Jamie :-)

  6. Just a quick bit of feedback. I did this activity with my Chinese Teenagers and they loved it. They were Intermediate learners but they just enjoyed drawing and creating their own character. I am going to use this activity again for some Columbian YLs and I am sure it is going to be a great activity.

  7. Jamie Keddie says:

    Thanks for the feedback Martin. Great to hear that it went well.
    I am working with a group of Chinese primary school teachers. I think I’ll try it with them (hadn’t thought about it before!)
    Thank you :-)

  8. Clare Bromfield says:

    Hi Jamie,
    I’m going to adapt this for a French lesson on adjectives – lots of dictionary skills and getting them to use the etre paradigm to describe all the subjects. We’ll then move onto using your fantastic “Mr W” Youtube which I used with a Year 6 group last year (adapted into French: I think I may have previously sent you the French transcript I used) and they absolutely ADORED! We ended up doing a big display on “Qui est Monsieur W?” which got my other classes asking all about him too: wish I’d taken a picture now! That year 6 class still ask me to play the music from the clip when they’re doing quiet written work.
    Thanks for another great idea!

  9. Jamie Keddie says:

    Hello Clare
    Do you know that the Mr Men titles are available in French?
    You are right that you did send me the Mr W translation. I just left it as a comment on that lesson plan. Thank you for that.
    Hope the activity works well
    Jamie :-)

  10. Genna Bakes says:

    I love this lesson! I´ve used it with one of my YL groups and also teens – who all really enjoyed it – and I´d even use it with pre-int adults. It´s fun and students learn some really great adjectives from it.
    So, thanks, Jamie. Your lessons and your website sometimes act as my lesson-planning lifesavers!

  11. Jamie Keddie says:

    Thank you Genna
    I really apreciate your comment
    Jamie :)

  12. Pia Wimmer says:

    Hi Jamie, I did this activity with my 11-year-olds and they loved it. They even came up with the idea of creating their own men all by themselves without me suggesting it. Thanks for all your great ideas.

  13. Jamie Keddie says:

    Great to hear Pia
    I bet they came with some good stuff for the classroom wall!
    Thanks for your comment
    Jamie :)

  14. Mary Georgiou says:

    Hi Jamie,
    i have just tried the activity out with university students (upper intermediate) and they very much enjoyed it. I first gave them a handout with adjectives describing a personality and they ended up describing Mr Men (with more complicated language, i guess). Thank you very much

  15. Jamie Keddie says:

    Hello Mary
    Very nice to hear from you. I love the idea that university students are using the Mr Men to study English!
    Thanks for your comment
    Jamie :)

  16. Mike says:

    Really impressed with this idea and this site :) definitely using this tomorrow.

  17. Rachel Grove says:

    This lesson was excellent. Very simple but incredibly structured with all the right ingredients for a successful lesson. It captured the students’ interests. I used it with a mixed ability group A1-B1 as a follow on from the -ing adjectives lesson ‘Recall the Clips’.

    Thank you :)

  18. Jamie Keddie says:

    Thank you for the feedback Rachel. Really glad that you/your students like it!
    Jamie :)

  19. Granty says:


    I have just stumbled across your website and I am delighted. I give lessons to Young learners whose level of English is high the parents want conversation and fun ideas for them to practice their English. I have gone through some of your lesson plans today and it has given me some fresh ideas of what to do with them . Thank you so much.

  20. Jamie Keddie says:

    Thanks for your comment Granty. This is really good to hear. Jamie :)

  21. Milada says:


    These reviews of Mr Men give your brilliant lesson idea a brand new direction ;)

    Happy day :)