Lesson Plan on Grumpy Monkey (Reggio New Zealand)

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Kindergarten / ECE Lesson Plan – Lesson Plan on Grumpy Monkey (Reggio New Zealand), Reggio philosophy

Title: Exploring Emotions with Grumpy Monkey – A Reggio Emilia-inspired Lesson Plan for Kindergarten/ECE Students in New Zealand

Curriculum Link:
This lesson plan aligns with the New Zealand Te Whฤriki curriculum, specifically focusing on the following strands:
1. Well-being – Goal 1: Children experience an environment where their emotional well-being is nurtured.
2. Communication – Goal 4: Children experience an environment where they develop non-verbal and verbal communication skills.
3. Exploration – Goal 5: Children experience an environment where they develop working theories for making sense of the natural, social, physical, and material worlds.

Theorist Link:
This lesson plan incorporates the principles of the Reggio Emilia approach, which emphasizes child-led learning, exploration, and the importance of the environment as the third teacher. The Reggio Emilia approach encourages children to express their thoughts and emotions through various mediums, fostering their creativity and critical thinking skills.

By the end of this lesson, students will be able to:
1. Identify and express different emotions portrayed in the book “Grumpy Monkey.”
2. Develop empathy and understanding towards others’ emotions.
3. Create artwork and engage in discussions to express their own emotions.

1. The children’s book “Grumpy Monkey” by Suzanne Lang
2. Art supplies (paper, crayons, markers, colored pencils, etc.)
3. Chart paper and markers
4. Emotion cards (with pictures representing different emotions)
5. Props (e.g., stuffed animals, masks, etc.)


1. Introduction (10 minutes):
a. Begin by gathering students in a circle and introduce the book “Grumpy Monkey.”
b. Show the cover of the book and ask students to predict what the story might be about.
c. Explain that the book explores different emotions and that they will have the opportunity to discuss and express their own emotions throughout the lesson.

2. Reading and Discussion (15 minutes):
a. Read aloud “Grumpy Monkey” to the students, pausing at appropriate moments to discuss the emotions portrayed by the characters.
b. Use emotion cards to help students identify and label the emotions they observe in the story.
c. Engage students in a discussion about how the characters’ emotions change throughout the book and why they might feel that way.

3. Artistic Expression (20 minutes):
a. Provide students with art supplies and encourage them to create their own illustrations or artwork inspired by the emotions depicted in the book.
b. Allow students to choose their preferred medium (drawing, painting, collage, etc.) and provide guidance as needed.
c. Encourage students to express their emotions through their artwork and discuss their creations with their peers.

4. Role-Play and Empathy (15 minutes):
a. Set up a role-play area with props such as stuffed animals or masks representing different emotions.
b. Divide students into small groups and assign each group an emotion to act out.
c. Encourage students to observe and discuss the emotions portrayed by their peers, fostering empathy and understanding.

5. Reflection and Closure (10 minutes):
a. Gather students back in a circle and ask them to share their artwork and experiences from the lesson.
b. Use chart paper to create a visual representation of the emotions discussed and observed throughout the lesson.
c. Conclude the lesson by revisiting the central themes of the book and emphasizing the importance of understanding and expressing emotions.

Assessment in this lesson can be conducted through observation, discussions, and students’ artwork. Observe students’ active participation, engagement, and ability to identify and express emotions. Assess their understanding of the central themes by listening to their reflections and contributions during discussions.

Extension Activities:
1. Encourage students to create their own stories or poems about emotions, using the characters from “Grumpy Monkey” as inspiration.
2. Invite students to bring in their favorite books that explore emotions and share them with the class, promoting a love for reading and emotional literacy.
3. Collaborate with the school counselor or psychologist to organize a workshop on emotional well-being, where students can learn more about managing and expressing their emotions.

Note: Adapt the lesson plan as needed to suit the specific needs and abilities of your students


New Zealand


Te Whฤriki (New Zealand)


Reggio Emilia



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