Johnny Slowly, Jeremy Normal and Jimmy Quickly
A story teaching telling the time by Alex Case
Johnny Slowly likes to do things slowly, so he gets up at two o’clock in the morning to get to school on time. He has a shower slowly, gets dressed slowly, gets breakfast ready slowly, and eats his breakfast at three o’clock. He clears the table slowly, does the dishes slowly, and brushes his teeth at four o’clock. He brushes his hair slowly, packs his bag slowly, puts his coat on slowly, and leaves the house at five o’clock. Then he starts to walk slowly to school.
Jeremy Normal is just like you and me. He gets up at quarter past seven. He has a shower, gets dressed, gets breakfast ready, and eats his breakfast at a quarter to eight. He clears the table, does the dishes, and brushes his teeth at five past eight. He brushes his hair, packs his bag, puts his coat on, and leaves the house at twenty five past eight. Then he starts to walk to school.
Jimmy Quickly likes to do things quickly, so he gets up at a quarter to nine. He has a shower quickly, gets dressed quickly, gets breakfast ready quickly, and eats his breakfast at twelve minutes to nine. He clears the table quickly, does the dishes quickly, and brushes his teeth at eight minutes to nine. He brushes his hair quickly, packs his bag quickly, puts his coat on quickly, and leaves the house at seven minutes to nine. Then he starts to walk quickly to school.
Slowly, so very slowly, Johnny Slowly arrives at school four hours after leaving the house. Walking at normal speed just like you and me, Jeremy Normal arrives thirty five minutes after leaving the house. Walking especially quickly, Jimmy Quickly arrives at school seven minutes after leaving the house. Mr Slowly, Mr Normal and Mr Quickly say “Good morning” to each other and to all the children waiting outside. Then they help each other open the school gates and walk slowly, normally and quickly to their classrooms, ready to teach English for another day.
As you read the first part of the story, see if the children can guess the next actions and the times when they happen. Then as Jeremy and then Jimmy come into the story, see if they can remember what order the actions were in and guess what time each thing happens. Then at the end of the story see if they can guess who gets to school first then calculate who actually arrived at school first.
You could also get them to act out the actions slowly, normally and then quickly during or after the activity.
As an extension, they could:
- say the name of the person you are talking about as you repeat some of the actions and times in the story
- discuss how they are actually similar to and/ or different from Jeremy Normal
- discuss if the timings in the Jeremy Normal part are normal/ realistic
- draw pictures for this story
- write in times for the individual actions (clearing the table, etc)
- add other actions such as making the bed, with times
- write stories between the ones that are there about Josie Quite Slowly and/ or Janet Quite Quickly
- write a similar story about evening routines
Telling the time presentation
Without looking above for now, try to pronounce and/ or write out the times below as words, using the long form (“Half past one” etc, not “One thirty”).
Check with the story.
When do we need to say “minutes” in the time? When do we not need to say “minutes” in the time?
What is another way of saying “… (minutes) before…” in times? What is another way of saying “… (minutes) after…” in times?
Which word in “a quarter past seven” can be left out if you like?
Pronounce and/ or write the times below out as words in the same way.
PDF version for easy saving and printing: Johnny Slowly Jeremy Normal and Jimmy Quickly telling the time story