In class GAMES and activities
for teaching Japanese
Lots of ideas and games for review of vocabulary and Japanese in class including flashcard drilling activities, worksheets, whiteboard fun, ball activities and much more. For other types of games click on the links:
Flashcard drilling techniques
Show each flashcard. Say and repeat. After 3 cards, show the first few again (as a reminder), show another 3 cards, then go back to the beginning again, another 3 and so on. [Keep to a maximum of about 10 new words.] Drill the words in various ways:
- boys only (get the boys only to say the words) おとこのこ
- girls only (get the girls only to say the words) おんなのこ
- show the flashcards and say the words softly ちさいこえで
- show the flashcards and say the words loudly おおきいこえで
- gestures (put gestures to the words - get the Ss to help you think of a gesture)
- Tt does the gesture Ss says the word
- Ss does the gesture Tt says the word
- show the flashcard and Ss think the word in their head
- show the flashcard and Ss put their hand up if they think they know it
- write the words for each flashcard on the board drill the words forwards and backwards
- slowly erase all the words (one at a time) drilling each time after you erase
Grouping and pairing students
Created by I Foley
Print off the cards. Cut them in half. Shuffle the cards so they are in a random order. As students enter the room give them one card ie one half of a pair (or put them randomly around the room on student desks). When all the students have arrived, ask each student to find their partner by finding the other half of their card. Extra: use the cards as a discussion topic starter.
Donated by Jasmine R
Give each student a copy of one of the partner wheels. Get students to write down one different name next to each character. Whenever there is a pair activity, the teacher calls out one of the characters on the partner wheel. The students then need to find the person written next to that character and do the partner activity. (3 different Japanese themed partner wheels available.)
In class games and activities
Two students come to the front of the class and face each other. The teacher calls out「おおきいものは？」and both students must call out the first ‘big’ thing that comes to mind. Beginner students could call out something in English and use the game as a listening comprehension activity. Whoever calls out the biggest object wins that round. Other examples…小さいものは？長いものは？短いものは？たかいものは？はやいものは？おそいものは？よわいものは？つよいものは？The rest of the class can help decide which is the best answer. Once students are confident with their adjectives, they could take turns calling out the question.
Around the world A Suzuki
Ss sit in a horseshoe shape. The first Ss on the left of the horseshoe shape stands behind the Ss to his/her left. These two Ss are asked a question related to the target language Eg. “What does this word/kanji mean?” The first Ss to answer continues left around the horseshoe shape (imagine going around the world). This Ss continues moving around the world until another Ss is faster than him/her. The Ss who is the slowest sits down and the Ss who is faster takes his/her place. Once one of the Ss has reached the end of the horseshoe shape they then have a final 3 questions together with the last person in the horseshoe shape. The Ss who wins the final 3 questions competes against the person who moved the most around the horseshoe shape. The two Ss then compete with a final 3 questions. The winner is the Ss who answers the most questions correctly and the quickest. Extra: hiragana/katakana.
Backs to Boards
Divide the class in half. One Ss from each team sits in front of the whiteboard facing their team members (back to the board). Tt writes a word, phrase or kanji on the board and each team must elicit it from their team member at the front. The Ss to guess the word first gets a point. Rotate Ss until everyone has had a go.
Back writing Adapted from www.eslprintables.com
Each pupil uses his/her finger as a pencil and writes a word, hiragana, katakana or kanji on his/her classmate’s back. This classmate tries to guess the word (or letter). If he or she guesses it before the “writer” finishes, he/she get three points. If he or she guesses it after the word has been written once, both children get two points. If the word has to be written a second time, they only get one point.
Balloon afloat www.genkienglish.net
Put the students into small groups. Each group forms a circle. Give each group a balloon. As a group they have to keep the balloon in the air, but when it touches a part of someone's body they have to shout out a word or sentence in the target language. (The next person can then translate that word or sentence into English) The group that can keep the balloon in the air the longest is the winner. (A hackey sack is a good alternative to a balloon.) Variation: Give Ss fly swats which they must use to keep the balloon a float. AND, randomly show a flashcard, if the students say the flashcard they get an extra point.
Cut out each template, fold in half and laminate. Punch a hole at the top and thread some string through. Ss then need to look at the front face, and thread the string to match the English with the Japanese translation. The pattern on the back is so that Ss can check their answers (if the string matches the black pattern they are correct). Modify the hiragana template by adding words or grammar wanting to be reviewed making sure they match the pattern on the back.
Donated by S Blundell
Give Ss a large set of words and a number of categories. In teams Ss attempt to put the words in the correct categories. 10 points for the first correct word in a category, 20 for the second and 40 for the third. They can stop and throw it over to the other team and bank their points at any stage. Extra: This can also be done with clines eg the strongest to the weakest, formal to informal etc.
Baseball (Yakyuu) Adapted from http://jhsenglipediaproject.com/
Draw a baseball diamond on the board or use classroom desks as real bases. Divide the class into two teams.The two teams Janken to decide which team bats first.The team on offense chooses one student who is the batter. The batter chooses the type of hit they would like to try: Single （たんだ）– Yes or no question; Double (にるいだ） – writing on the board in hiragana/katakana; Triple （さんるいだ） – answer a questions using correct grammar; Home Run (ほんるいだ）(4 bases) – answer a question using 3 or 4 sentences (ie. describe an object in Japanese, do an introduction, say what you do on Mondays etc.). A correct answer allows the student to move to the respective base. An incorrect answer will results in an 'out' （アウトになった）. Other teammates may give hints to the batter in Japanese, but not the answer. English being spoken automatically results in an 'out'. If the batter can’t understand/answer the question or if they make a mistake in the grammar, the other team has a chance to answer. If the other team answers correctly, it results in an out. If both teams answer incorrectly, the batter receives a strike; three strikes = one out. If there is a student on 1st base and the next batter hits the ball, the student on 1st base （いちるい）moves to the next appropriate base. For example, if there is a student on 1st base and the batter hits a triple, the student on 1st base's final destination is home plate, while the batter's is 3rd base （さんるい）. Steal option – A runner (someone who has batted and is now on base one, two or three) may move to the next base by correctly answering a question both teams have failed to answer. Points are received when the offense hits a homerun or when the batter runs around the bases and touches the home base. When a team receives 3 outs they switch to defense.
Baseball words can be found at: http://www.japanbaseballdaily.com/yakyukotoba.html
Divide the class into groups. Assign a team captain and a buzzer noise for each group. Ask a question or show a flashcard. The first team to buzz will answer the question. If it is correct then they can have a shot at shooting a beanbag or ball into a basket. If the ball goes in they win an extra 2 points. The team with the most points wins.
Divide the class into teams. Cut up 1 fish shape for each team. Put on either side of the room some masking tape. One side is the start line the other is the goal. Tt asks the Ss a question or asks them to tell them the meaning of a word. The Ss that answers first can then blow the fish once (propelling it forward). Continue asking questions until one of the teams has blown their fish across the room and over the finish line.
Blue tack vocabulary cards on the board. Divide the Ss into two teams (eg. girls vs boys). Ss put their heads on the desks with their eyes closed or turn around and Tt removes a card. Ss turn back and try to guess which card is gone. The first Ss to answer correctly gets a point for their team. [Extra: Ss could take control and remove the cards. Or this could be changed to a running game where the Tt says a word and one member from each team runs and remove the correct card. Ss that is first gets a point.]
Call my bluff
Divide the class into four teams. Each team gets 6 new words they don’t know. The team then looks the words in the dictionary to find the definition. Ss create a card with three definitions for each word. One correct definition and two incorrect. After all the cards are complete the first team reads their first word along with the three definitions while the other teams guess which is correct. Each team with a correct definition gets one point. Continue around the class until all teams have read and guessed the definitions.
Tt draws a racetrack with a starting line, several squares and a goal line. Divide the class into teams. Each team is allocated a coloured car. Ask the Ss questions, show them a flashcard, or get Ss to use a word correctly in a target structure. Each question the team answers correctly the car can move one step closer to the goal line. The car which passes the goal line first is the winner.
Divide the class into groups of 3 or 4. Give each group a deck of playing cards and a Brain Busters Question and Answer sheet. Students play by picking a card from the deck and answering the question that corresponds to that card on the Question sheet. Ex. 3 Hearts corresponds to "Describe Japan's flag". Some of the questions are cultural and others related to the language itself. Ideal for reviewing content covered in previous lessons.
Card Collect www.genkienglish.net
Give each student 4 or 5 mini cards with pictures or vocabulary on them. They fan them out so other people can see how many cards they have, but can't see what's on them. The students find a partner. The first student asks 「これはなんですか。」 (or some other target structure i.e. 「なにをしていますか。」「どこですか。」 etc.) whilst pointing to one of their opponent's cards. The other student answers. The student who just answered points to one of the cards from the first student and asks 「これはなんですか。」This student answers. Now they "janken”. The winner takes the loser's card and adds it to their fan of cards. They go around asking different people until someone has a full set of 8 different cards, then they are the winner!! If anyone runs out of cards, they come and ask the teacher who has an infinite supply!
Select two or more Ss. Sit each Ss in a chair at the front of the room facing the class and with their backs to the board. Write a word or phrase on the board for each Ss. The aim is for the Ss at the front of the class to guess the word on the board before the other Ss at the front. Each Ss at the front of the class takes turns asking yes/no questions to the rest of the class. Eg. 「おおきいですか。」 The class may answer 「はい」or 「いいえ」 only. If the question is answered with a 「はい」 then the Ss may ask another question. Continue asking questions until one person guesses the word written on the board behind them.
Challenge Round L Brandis
Two Ss stand up. The Tt shows a flashcard with the words being studied. (Cards can be in English or in Japanese). The Tt flashes the card to the two Ss. The first Ss in the pair who says the word correctly can sit down. (I.E. If the Tt flashes '’ the Ss must say in English 'foot'.) The next Ss in the class stands up and challenges the remaining Ss. Continue around the class. If both Ss in the pair don’t say the word quickly enough or are wrong they both remain standing and the next Ss challenges both of them. The last students standing come to the front of the class and do an individual challenge at the front of the class.
Ss sort words from smallest to largest or by speed, temperature, formality etc. Give each Ss a card. Ss then mingle and stand in the correct order ie smallest to largest. When finished Ss say their word aloud in the order they are standing. If correct, ss sit down and write the cline in their books. ie. freezing, cold, warm, hot, boiling. OR ichi ji, ni ji, san ji, yo ji, etc.
Cross the river Adapted from http://jhsenglipediaproject.com
Have a list of questions. One question per hiragana on the game board. Split the class into two teams (or 3 or 4 smaller teams). Play janken to decide who goes first. The starting team select any hiragana letter. (Hiragana can be replaced by katakana if students need practice in this.) Tt asks the corresponding question. If the students answer correctly they can claim that box. Tt marks the box with an X (or O for the other team). If the team answers incorrectly then the other team can then select a letter. The aim of the game is for the first team to cross the river. (Make one line from one side of the board to the other - in any direction.) EXTRA: To make the game more difficult have two or three questions per hiragana letter on the board so the other teams don't answer the same question. At the end of the game run through all the questions and answers.
Dare desu ka?
Complete the Dare desu ka grid with the answers to 9 questions. Ie. If studying hobbies one square could be: Terebi o miru koto ga suki desu. テレビをみることがすきです。Before the game begins, check that all the Ss know what question needs to be asked in order to get the answers on their grid. Ie. テレビをみることがすきですか。Ss then mingle around the class and find someone who matches the answer. (In this case someone who likes to watch TV.) If they find a person in the class they then write that student's name on the line in the appropriate box. Once someone has 3 across, the Ss then writes their name on the board. When there are 3 names on the board the Tt stops the game. The Ss with their name on the board first reads the 3 sentences and the Tt checks that it is correct. If correct that Ss can win a prize. (If the Ss don't speak in Japanese or are cheating get that Ss to sit down and wirte all 9 sentences out.) OR: Rather than finding 3 people in a horrizontal line across, the Tt could specify for Ss to find 3 diagonally or a T shape, or a cross shape, or all 9 squares. Other possible topics: school subjects, past verbs (what did you do on the weekend), birthdays, food likes and dislikes,
Print out dice on different coloured cardboard e.g. Place dice - purple, Direction 1 dice - green, Direction 2 dice- orange, Side of road dice- pink. Depending on the number of dice, form groups e.g. 4 different dice = 4 people. Students sit in a circle and each person throws one dice. One student then has to make the sentence according to what is shown on the dice. (Directions dice example: Massugu itte, kado o migi ni maggate kudasai, gakkou ha migigawa ni arimasu. まっすぐいって、かどをみぎにまがってください’がっこうはみぎがわにあります。) Continue around the circle until everyone has had a turn. Various dice on various topics and templates included in ZIP folder.
Donated by A McLuckie
Review vocublary with this dice game.
How to play: Students play the game in pairs. They need two different coloured dice between them and a different coloured pencil each. The first player rolls both dice. One die is the “across die” and the number rolled determines the horizontal position of the box the roller must answer. One die is the “down die” and the number rolled determines the vertical position of the box the roller must answer. (In this example, reviewing kanji numbers, two players have decided that the red die is the across die and the white die is the down die. If a player rolls a 5 on red and a 2 on white they need to locate the square that is 5 across and 2 down-( 四). If the player can say the word correctly in English, they may colour the square their colour. If a player rolls a square that has already been coloured in, they miss that turn. The player at the end of the game with the most number of squares shaded, is the winner.
Donated by Rachel
Disappearing Pirates A Suzuki
Give Ss a piece of paper with medium sized circles in 8 rows by 5 columns. Next to the rows are words and columns are target words. Eg. 8 different hobbies next to the rows – horse riding, swimming, playing tennis, computers, playing rugby, playing soccer, Karaoke, baseball. Eg. 5 different adjectives under the columns - interesting, fun, boring, difficult, easy. Ss need to draw randomly in 15 of the circles little pirate faces. Tt reads a sentence using the target words. Ss cross off the circles corresponding to the words Eg. Playing tennis is fun. (Ss cross off the circle that corresponds to tennis and fun.) The first person to cross off all of his/her 15 pirates yells out “Pirates” (Little bit like bingo!) and wins. Extra: Tt can be replaced by a confident Ss and create appropriate sentences. (Other word combinations are: days of the week/activity, subject/adjective, object/adjective, object/location, body parts/adjective, time/activity, name/activity)
Teach Ss vocabulary using flashcards. Put the flashcards on the floor or around the room. Then give each pair of Ss a number. Say one of the flashcard words and then a number. The pair with that number needs to run and touch the flashcard. The fastest Ss is the winner.
Get a dominos template. Split two words in half over two dominos. Put a picture (or kanji or katakana) on one side and the word (or hiragana) on the other. Word on one side definition on the other etc. Cut and laminate the domino cards. Divide the class into groups of four. Shuffle the dominoes. Randomly hand out the dominoes ensuring each Ss gets the same number of dominoes (approximately 10 each). Place the remaining dominoes to one side in a pile. Decide who will go first by playing Junkenpon. The first player puts down a domino then the next player puts down another domino that matches the word or picture of the previous domino(es). If he/she can't go they pass and pick up a domino from the pile. A player wins the game when he/she has no dominoes left.
Draw it Adapted from www.eslkidstuff.com
Divide the class into two teams. Allocate a team member from each, to come to the front of the class. Tt says a target or review vocabulary. Each Ss has 30 seconds to draw the vocabulary on the whiteboard. At the end of the allocated time, if the drawing matches the vocabulary item, then the student(s) can roll a dice. The number rolled on the dice is the number of points the team receives. Swap drawers at the front. Continue the game. The team with the most points at the end wins. EXTRA: If the student doesn't draw anything, or draws the wrong thing, the dice can be rolled and this number of points is deducted from their total score. OR Rather than 30 seconds to draw the object, it can be played that the first team to draw the object (making sure the object is recognizable) is the winner.
Egg and spoon race Adpated from http://jhsenglipediaproject.com
Divide the class into teams. Make sure each team has an equal number of students. Move desks to the centre of the room. There should be enough room around the teams that there is a 'race track' area around the sides of the classroom so the students can run. (if not play this game outside.) Hand out a ball/marble/pingpong and spoon for each team. The objective for each student is to run the circumference of the classroom once and return to their seat while balancing a ball in their spoon. When the pass the teacher on the way they have to answer a question or identify a flashcard. If they can, they can continue their circuit. If they can`t they have to wait until they do. When they finish their lap, they hand the ball and spoon off to another student. They do their lap. When one team has all their students finished they win.
Give Ss a ½ an A4 piece of paper. Fold the paper like a fan. Ss write on the first section of the fan a word in the target language and then in English on the next fan section. Continue until the fan is completely full of words. Ss fold up the fan and test each other by slowly unfolding the fan.
To review vocabulary (or hiragana or kanji) put the word you want Ss to learn onto a piece of A4 paper. Fold the paper in a fan shape. Slowly reveal the word fan section by fan section. Ss have to guess what the word is before the fan is completely opened.
Ss have a list of words that are numbered. Tt reads the definitions and Ss write down the corresponding number to the word being described. (Words can be replaced with pictures)
Review any vocabulary by getting Ss to create their own find-a-word puzzle.
Teach Ss the vocabulary on the flashcards. Ask individual Ss the words on the flashcard. If they are correct give them the flashcard. When all the flashcards have been handed out the Tt then asks for them back. ie. Colour flashcards = しろい、あかい、あおい、 etc. Tt asks for しろいをください。あかいをください。etc. The Ss then pass back the flashcard to the Tt.
Divide the class into two teams. Put the words on the board in fly shapes. The Tt yells a word and the Ss have to swat the corresponding word.
Fruit Basket A Suzuki
Ss sit in a circle with one Ss in the middle. The Ss in the middle says a statement that reviews a target structure. Eg. 「バナナが好きです。」 Ss with the same opinion then they must stand and swap chairs. The last person standing becomes the new person in the middle. (To make this more challenging the Ss can’t take a seat that is next to them they must move at least two seats away.)
Fun Grammar Cards A Suzuki
Tt writes a sentence on the board leaving only particles . Eg. (person a) は(place)で(person b)と (verb). All Ss write on a piece of paper “person a”. Tt collects them all and puts them on a separate desk labeled “person a”. Repeat for all the other missing words. Ss then go around and collect one random card from each pile of cards. They then read to the class their sentences. (Which are grammatical, which are funny?) etc.
Get the bananas www.genkienglish.net
Put the students in groups small groups. Draw pictures of trees on the board, one tree for each group. Each tree has 9 "rungs" (add more or less depending on the amount of time you wish to play), and some bananas at the top. This takes about 1 minute if you're quick! Each team then has an animal which will climb the tree (e.g. Monkey, Koala, but also things like "cow" or "helicopter" are very amusing!). Explain that the aim of the game is to eat the bananas at the top! During the game you play some music (something fast and dancey). When the music plays the students pass a ball around (no throwing!!). Stop the music then ask the person holding the ball a question using the target vocabulary or structure. If the student gets it right then their team's animal climbs one rung up the tree! Repeat until one team reaches the top - and gets the bananas! (Variation: For Junior High students you could use Spiderman and the villains who need to rescue Mary Jane at the top floor of a building.)
Divide the class into two teams. One person comes out at a time. Put all of the vocabulary you want Ss to learn on to fish shapes (attached is a paper clip at the mouth). Ss get a fishing rod (chopsticks and a paper clip bent as a hook). The Tt yells out a word and the Ss have to collect the corresponding fish.
Grid Scrabble A Suzuki
Give each pair of Ss a grid (about 10 x 10 squares). Put a word that the Ss already know in the middle of the grid (or the Ss can select one). Ss take turns to add as many words as possible to this original word (obeying the basic scrabble rules). For each word added to the grid they get points. Each letter (or character) added equals one point. The winner is the Ss who collected the most points.
Gruupu ni wakaru (Groups)
Give each Ss a card with a word on it. Ie. ringo りんご, banana バナナ, juusu ジュース, koora コーラ, etc. Ss then divide themselves into groups (in this case 'food たべもの' and 'drinks のみもの'). Other possible groups: dates/seasons; clothes/various 'to wear' verbs; colours/ i adj or na adj; times/ gogo or gozen;
Guru Guru flashcard
Ss sit in a circle. Pass around flashcards around the circle while saying a chant eg: 'Guru guru guru guru doko de tomaru kana? ぐるぐる ぐるぐる、どこでとまるかな？’ Once the rhyme is complete each Ss should have a card. Go round the circle and each Ss says the word that is represented by the card they are holding. Then say the rhyme again. Each Ss should have a new card and they then need to say this card. Continue passing the cards around. EXTRA: Ss say what is on the card in a sentence or say the negative form.
Students sit in a big circle on chairs, except one student. This student is the 'Oni'. All students are given a karuta card with a word, script or image on it. The 'Oni' leaves teh room. All the seated students put their heads down. The teacher goes around randomly selecting 4 students by tapping them on thei heads. Students sit up and don't let on if they were tapped on their head. The oni comes back in and randomly asks students a set question eg. Nan sai desu ka. Students respond with the information on their card. If the student was one of the ones tapped on the head by the teacher they must respond with 'Hachipachi'. All students must get out of their chair and move somewhere else (more than 1 chair away). The oni must also try to get a chair. The one student who misses out on a chair becomes the new oni. Remaining students pass their karuta card around the circle in a clockwise order. Game continues.
Created by ChalmerSensei http://www.teacherspayteachers.com/Browse/Search:jankenpon
Stand the students in a circle. In the middle of the circle put 4 or 5 vocabulary flashcards. Select two students to come to the centre of the circle. Give one student an inflatable play hammer. The teacher then says one of the words. The aim of the game is for one student to hit the card with the play hammer and the other student to take away the flashcard before the student with the hammer can hit it. If the student takes the flashcard away before it is hit with the hammer he/she gets to keep the card. If the student with the hammer hits the card, then he/she gets to keep it. The student with the most cards at the end wins. He/she can select the next two players or can receive a prize.
The teacher says 「大きな花火がとんできた。ドードン ドードン」 Students repeat each ドードン after the teacher. 「大きな花火がとんできた。ドードン(ドードン) ドードン(ドードン)」 Then the teacher calls 「ドン、ドン、あつまれ」. The teacher may say ドンas many times as he/she likes. Students must form groups according to the number of times the teacher said ドン.
Hangman Wheel of Fortune Adapted from www.eslcafe.com
You will need: Photocoipied Japense yen. 3 dice. A price list saying what each dice roll is worth (See attached sheet)
How to play: Write a sentence on the board, hangman style. _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ (きょうはげつようびです。）You may give a clue if you think the Ss may find the phrase difficult. The first student rolls the three dice. Let's image the Ss rolls a 10. Look at the price list. 10 = 3000yen. They then say a hiragana letter. If they say 'u' （う）, and this letter is in the phrase, write all the 'u's （う）on the board. _ _ う _ _ _ _ う _ _ _ 。 The student will then receive 6000 yen from the Tt as they have two 'u's （う） each worth 3000 yen. If someone says a letter that has already been said, they forfeit their turn. If someone knows the whole phrase, they must put their hand up and say kotaemasu こたえます. If the Ss is correct, give them a bonus 10 000 yen and let them start the next round. If a Ss rolls an 11 or 15, then you take all their money back - bankrupt (tsubureta つぶれた）! The winner is the team with the most money at the end of 10 or so words/phrases.
Two children are chosen to stand up and all the others put their heads down on their desks with their eyes closed and thumbs sticking up. The two left standing must then creep around the desks and gently touch one person each on the thumb. Everyone is then told to open their eyes and the children who were touched stand up and try to guess which child touched them. If they get it right the children swap places if not the children have another go.
Heads down thumbs up vocab Adapted from www.technolote.com
Select three or four students to come to the front of the class. Give each one of those students a Japanese word or vocabulary card. The remaining students put their heads on the table, close their eyes and have their “thumbs up”. The selected students then sneak around the room and choose one person each to touch their thumb. Once all the students have made their selection they return to the front of the room. The remaining students open their eyes. The chosen students then try and guess who picked them by asking them a question using the vocabulary that matches with the person they think selected them. Ie. Jessy is at the front and her vocabulary is 'Kuruma'. The student with the thumb down would ask "Kuruma ga suki desu ka?" If that person touched the thumb they change places and the teacher introduces a new vocabulary card.
Hide Tomoko Adapted from www.eslprintables.com
Choose a student to begin. This student steps out of the room. Hand a doll (Tomoko) to another student. All students in the classroom should see who has Tomoko. The student outside returns to class. He or she must try to guess who has Tomoko by asking various classmates yes/no questions. Sample questions include... Onna no ko desu ka? おんなのこですか。Zubon o haite imasu ka? ずぼんをはいていますか。 Aoi youfuku o kite imasu ka? あおいようふくをきていますか。 If the student guesses correctly, he or she gets another turn (limit three). If the student guesses incorrectly, the student who has the ring becomes the next player.
Hiragana jumble Adapted from www.eslprintables.com
The class is divided into pair or groups.The teacher writes some words about a topic on the blackboard and gives each group a set of small cards where children write each hiragana of the words on the blackboard. Then they have to mix the hiragana and then recompose each word. The teacher walks around checking the words and asking the children to read out the words. For older students, the teacher can write sentences rather than words and pupils have to recompose the sentence word by word.
Hiragana spell Adapted from www.eslprintables.com
Divide the class into teams and give each team a set of hiragana letters. Get them to spread out the letters on the table so they’re all facing up. Then give clues for words you want to test them on, e.g. ‘the day before Suiyoubi すいようび’, students write kayoubi かようび on the table by selecting the hiragana letters. ‘Kore wa nan desu ka?’ – point to things in the classroom, draw on the board etc. Once students get the idea, ask one of them to lead the game and give the clues instead of you.
Divide the class into two teams. Place a table at the front of the room. Place a small object such as a ball in the middle of the table. Write on the board two lines of about 5 crosses each. At the end of each row of crosses draw a line and write ゴール。
x x x x x x x | ゴール
x x x x x x x | ゴール
Then, ask one member from each team to come to the front and stand on either side of the table. Show the students a flashcard or ask them a question. The first person to 'snatch' the ball from the table gets the opportunity to answer the question. If they are correct then a cross is erased from the board. If they are not correct the other team has a chance. Continue to answer questions and swap team members at the front of the class. The first team to reach ゴール wins.
You will need a hoop board (a board with numbers on it and large protruding pins in each number). Ss through a small hoop or ring at the hoop board. If the ring catches onto one of the pins in the board they answer a question or say a sentence using the target word or structure. If they get it correct they receive the number of points corresponding to where their hoop landed.
Put 3 chairs in a row under at the front of the class and another separate chair facing the PowerPoint, this chair is the 'hot seat'. Choose 4 Ss to sit in the chairs at the front of the class. The first Ss sitting in the 'hot seat' is shown the first multiple choice question. If the Ss answers the question correctly, they move onto the next question. If they answer the question incorrectly, the next person sits in the 'hot seat'. A new Ss from the ‘studio audience’ takes the empty seat at the front of class. Proceed through the questions. The person in the 'hot seat' for the last correctly answered question is the winner.
Worksheet explaining the basics of Jankenpon. Includes lyrics to two songs using jankenpon: Kakurenbou no uta and Goo Choki Paa no uta (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WG4eNAl8MuM).
Donated by M Back
Choose a starting point on the circle and place your counter there. Your partner starts opposite you on the circle. Play janken. The winner can move forward the following number of spaces: Win on ぐう = 3 spaces, Win on ちょき= 2 spaces, Win on ぱあ=1 space. The aim is to catch up to your partner. When you land on the same space your partner is on, you win the round. Colour in the tile and start a new round. When all the tiles are coloured, the winner is the person with the most tiles. (Modify this game with any kana, kanji or words that need reviewing.)
Janken with a difference L Brandis
Rather than the standard rock, paper, scissors use mouth closed, mouth open, and poking the tongue. Divide the class into two teams. Show a flashcard. The Ss janken (using their mouth etc). The winner of the janken then gets to say what the word is on the flashcard in the target language (or uses the word in a target structure) and receives a point for their team.
Karuta flash R. Jeffers
Divide the class into small groups. Give each group a set of picture karuta cards with matching word karuta cards. When the Tt says the Ss match the words with the pictures. The group that matches the cards the quickest gets a point for their team. Once all groups have accurately matched all picture cards with word cards the Tt then says one of the karuta card words in Japanese. The Ss that can show the matching picture card to the Tt the fastest gets a point for his/her team. An extra point is then allocated if the team can say the meaning of the word in English.
Kitsune, Ninja, Omusubi
Equipment: 1 dice, 2 coloured magnets, 8 copies of the ninja, 2 copies of kitsune, 2 copies of omusubi, whiteboard marker
The game: Draw a big circle on the board and divide it into twelve segments (so it looks like a large pizza). Put the copies of the ninjas, kitsune and omusubi randomly around the 12 segments. Divide the class into two teams. Allocate a different coloured magnet to each team. Put one magnet on the left hand side of the circle (Team 1) and the other magnet on the right hand side (Team 2). Give each team 10 lives by writing Team 1 and underneath it draw 10 dashes, do the same for Team 2. The object of the game is for each team to try and eliminate the other by killing off their lives. Ask Team 1 a question (OR show a flashcard to review vocabulary, complete a grammar question, ask a cultural question etc.), if they get it correct then they can throw the dice. This team moves their corresponding magnet clockwise around the pizza. If they land on a ninja then they can erase one life from the opposing team. If they land on a kitsune, they themselves lose a life and if they land on an omosubi then they ‘power up’ and gain a life. Now Team 2 has their turn. The game continues until one team loses all ten lives. The winner is the team with lives remaining. EXTRA: If you want the game to last longer add more omusubi, if you want it to be shorter add more ninjas and kitsune. (PowerPoint version available below.)
Ladder jump / Hashigo janpu Donated by M. Miller
Draw a ladder on the floor of the classroom with either chalk or using masking tape. Ss line up at one side of the ladder. Put the flashcards for the words being studied between each rung. Ss jump from rung to rund and say the flash card as they jump over it. If it is said incorrectly the Ss must go back to the start and try again.
Liar / Usotsuki
Three Ss stand at the front of the room. Each student says 3 statements about themselves. Two statements are correct and one is incorrect. The rest of the class must guess the statement that is incorrect.
Line up and race Adapted from www. eslprintables.com
Divide the class into two or three teams of equal numbers. The students bring their chairs out into the middle of the room. Each team should form a row; students sit in chairs one behind the other to form a line perpendicular to the white board. Assign each member of the teams a number from 1 (front of the row) to the maximum number of team members (the end of the row). Ask a grammar question, show a flashcard and then say a number. The student who has the number you called must run to the board and write than answer. The first team to write a correct answer gets a point for their team.
Line Quiz www.genkienglish.net
Split the class into two groups. One group lines up on the left side of the teacher, the other gropu lines up on the right side of the teacher. Tt shows the first students in each group a flashcard. The first student who says the word correctly in Japanese gets to sit down. The winning team is the first team that has everyone sitting down! (With younger classes or classes with behaviour management problems select 9 students ie 3 groups of 2, rather than getting the whole class to stand up). OR Rather than getting the students to sit down if they get the answer correct they can then go to the end of the line. Once that person returns to the front of his/her team, the team then gets awarded a point. The team with the most points at the end of a selected time frame is the winner.
Divide the class into 3 groups. Ask each group of students to put themselves into order according to their name. While making the line ups each Ss needs to speak in Japanese. Ie. Onamae wa nan desu ka? おなまえはなんですか。ぼくはサムです。The first group to put themselves into alphabetical order puts their hand up. The Tt says stop. The Tt then asks the students to introduce themselves in Japanese and checks they are in alphabetical order. Ie. ぼくはアダムです。わたしベッキーです。etc. Any Ss who is caught speaking in English needs to sit down and write in their book 10 times the question and answer. Other possible line ups includes: Asking names: Nan sai desu ka? なんさいですか。Birthdays: Tanjoubi wa itsu desu ka? たんじょうびはいつですか。Where they live: Doko ni sunde imasu ka? どこにすんでいますか。
Line up and race Adapted from www. eslprintables.com
Divide the class into two or three teams of equal numbers. The students bring their chairs out into the middle of the room. Each team should form a row; students sit in chairs one behind the other to form a line perpendicular to the white board. Assign each member of the teams a number from 1 (front of the row) to the maximum number of team members (the end of the row). Ask a grammar question, show a flashcard and then say a number. The student who has the number you called must run to the board and write than answer. The first team to write a correct answer gets a point for their team.
List memory Adapted from www.eslprintables.com
The teacher shows a list of words (three/four). Pupils have to memorise them for one minute. Then, the teacher hides them and they have to write them down.
Divide the class into two. Ss stand in two circles. One circle stand inside the other circle. Give the Ss on the inside circle a question card. Tt plays some music. The inside circle doesn't move. The outside circle of students moves clockwise around the inner circle of students until the music stops. (Make sure the students stop and stand in front of someone in the inner circle.) When the music stops the student on the inside circle asks the Ss on the outside circle (standing in front of them) the question on their card. The Ss on the outside needs to answer the question. Give about 1 minute to answer then Tt plays the music again and students move around until the music stops and asks the next person the question. Continue.
Put dashes on the board as in hangman. The Ss try to guess the complete word. Put a cross for incorrect letters and a circle for correct letters ie. The dashes on the board represent: げつようび but the Ss guess かようびl you would write XXOOO. Continue until the word is guessed.
Cut two groups of words on slips of paper for the Ss to match with the correct synonym or opposite. Ss work in pairs to share existing knowledge then through a process of elimination to work out the remaining words. One pair joins another pair. Comparing answers. Finally as a whole class.
Teach Ss all the vocabulary on each flashcard. Then, put all the flashcards on the floor. Select a Ss. Tt says three flashcards (or more) and the Ss needs to touch the flashcards in the same order as the Tt said them.
Use a grid (about 8 by 10). Write one type of vocabulary ie travel vocabulary from one side of the grid to the other (randomly but still making sure that students can make a line from the start to the goal). Label where the first vocabulary is with "Start’ and on the other where the last vocabulary is with the ‘Goal’. Complete the grid with other vocabulary (ie not related to travel). Ss draw a line from the start to the goal finding all the appropriate vocabulary. (Extra: hiragana vs katakana, numbers vs kanji, travel vocabulary vs other vocabulary etc.)
Divide the class into two or more teams. Allocate a leader and a scribe for each team. Have a list of words Ss have studied. Take the two leaders outside the classroom and show them one of the words on the list. When both Ss know what the word is they return to their group and mime the word. The team members must guess what the word is and when they know the word the scribe writes the word on the board. The first team to get the word written on the board gets a point. Allocate bonus points for correct spelling etc. Deduct one point each time the mimer says something.
Miming Crossword P Little
Create a crossword with all of the target words (no clues required). White out numbers 1,3,5,7 etc on the cross word for student A and 2,4,6,8 etc for student B. Give each pair of students a copy of the crossword (ie student A pairs up with student B). The students then mime the missing words to their partner who has to guess the word and write it in the crossword. (Rather than miming the words student can also be asked to define the words using relative clauses.)
Tt introduces vocabulary through flashcards. Once the Ss are more confident in the words then the Tt shows the flashcards and occassionally makes a mistake. When Ss recognise the mistake the yell out 'machigaimashita まちがいました'. The Tt then asks 'nani o machigaimashita ka? なにをまちがいましたか。' The ss then corrects the teacher. If the Ss is correct they can then come out and be the teacher.
Copy the keypad of a mobile phone and blow it up to A3 size. (See below) Tt selects a set of words to revise. Tt writes on the board the SMS codes for each word. (A=2, B=2, C=2, D=3, E=3 etc) Eg. inu = 468 or doubutsu = 36828878. Divide Ss into small groups. Ss need to guess the words and write them down. First group to have all the codes cracked win.
Name that list
Divide the class into pairs. Select one pair to come to the front. One person in the pair faces the whiteboard and the other person has their back to the whiteboard (faces the rest of the class). Put up a list of approx 10 words the students have been studying. The person facing the board needs to explain to their partner the word (this can be done in English or Japanese). The person with their back to the board must say the word written in the list. The teacher gives the pair a time limit of about 1 minute. The aim is for the person with their back to the board to say as many target words as possible in that minute. Then the next pair of students come up, a new list is put up on the board and they then have 1 minute. Continue with as many pairs as the class can handle. The pair of students who can list the most words in 1 minute wins. LIST IDEAS: The list of words can be in English, the list could be in kana or kanji, the list could be pictures only, the list of words must be put into a grammatically correct sentence (ie 'ringo' りんご is the word in the list, the student needs to say 'ringo ga suki desu' りんごがすきです。), the list could be replaced with flashcards the teacher shows (the flashcards can be put into a different order for each pair), the list can be prewritten on a flip chart or PPT slide for quicker changeovers between pairs.
New words pass
Present, elicit, model and drill new vocabulary using flashcards. Put Ss in a circle or line. Show first flashcard to first Ss and ask. Tt: 「これはなんですか。」Ss: 「それは...です。」 Tt: 「よくできました。」 That Ss then turns to the Ss next to him/her and asks the same question. Tt gives the first Ss another flashcard. Repeating the above process till all of the flashcards go around the room back to the Tt. To make it more challenging Tt can send cards from another direction around the circle. Extra: Use this to study target structures.
Divide the class into groups of three. Two student in the group are called "the voicers" and one student is "the judge". Give the two Voicers in the group a strip of ninjas. Give the Judge a set of karuta cards, one side pictures representing Japanese words and the other side English words (or a list of answers to what the pictures mean). ie. If studying colours one side of a card would be purple and the back would be the word murasaki むらさき. Start the game by the Judge showing the two Voicers a karuta card. These students must yell out the Japanese word the picture represents. The person who says it the fastest is the winner and can cross off one of their ninjas. If this person gets the word wrong the other Voicer can have a go. If both people don't know the word the Judge tells them the answer and puts it back into the pile of karuta for later. The person who crosses off all their ninjas first is the winner.
Noughts and Crosses flashcards Adapted from www.eslprintables.com
The teacher makes a 3x3 square on the blackboard. The teacher turns nine flashcards round and sticks them on the squares.The class is divided into two teams: Noughts and Crosses. A team starts saying a number from 1 to 9. The teacher turns the flashcard round. If the team knows how the word is called in Japanese, the teacher will replace the flashcard with a nought or a cross, depending on the team. The objective is to put three noughts or crosses in line.
Noughts and Crosses Marking www.germanteaching.com
Write the question numbers in a grid on the board and give each team a colour or symbol. Teams take it in turns to choose a question to answer and if they are right, they 'win' that number. To win the game, teams need to try to get three numbers in a row (just like noughts and crosses)
Noughts and Crosses Vocab review
T writes the vocab. to be revised on the board in a noughts and crosses grid (ie 9 vocab. items).Divide SS into two teams, one noughts and the other crosses. Toss a coin to see which team starts and nominate a ‘volunteer’ to choose any word from the grid. That S must use the word in a correct sentence. If the sentence is incorrect the word gets thrown over to the other team for them to try. When a correct sentence is provided, rub out the word and replace it with a nought or cross depending on the team. Now it’s the other teams chance to pick a word. The team with three 0’s or X’s in a row wins. Elicit/re-present any words remaining in the grid after the game has finished, as they are likely to be the ones SS don’t know yet.
Numbers mingle www.genkienglish.net
Put large number flashcards on the floor around the room. The students stand by a number. Throw a dice (later get the students to do this) and ask what’s the number? Show the student on that number a flashcard. If the student can say the word in Japanese correctly he/she gets a point card (or equivalent). Shout change and continue. The person (or team) with the most points at the end is the winner.
Object build Adapted from www.eslprintables.com
The teacher draws a large object on the blackboard (ie a human body) and labels each part with numbers from 1 to 6 (or 1 to 12 with 2 dice). Divide the class into groups of four/five people. The student roll the dice and then answer a question (the question can be about the oject or grammar style question). If they get the question correct they can draw that part of the object. The student who completes the whole drawing first is the winner. The rest continue playing until the whole group completes their drawings.
Teacher: おちた、おちた Students: なにがおちた？ Teacher: りんご
Depending on what the teacher says has fallen, students must do the correct action.
- りんご Students put hands on heads
- かみなり Students cover their bellybutton (Japanese mythology says that - the Thunder Gods throw arrows in a storm and will try to take children’s bellybuttons!)
- ぼたもち Students cover their mouths as mocha come falling
Start with these three, but when students get used to the game you can add a few more…
ながれぼし Students point in the air from top right to bottom left as if following the path of a falling star.
せいせき Students pretend to cry as their grades are falling.
Students sit in a circle – either the whole class in one big circle or groups of 5-6 form small circles. Each student forms a circle with the thumb and index finger of their right hand and holds it out in front of them near the person on their right. Each student puts their left index finger through the circle formed by the person to their left. The teacher reads a story or passage and whenever a certain hiragana character is said, (e.g.「お」)students try to catch the finger of their neighbour on the right without being caught by the person on their left.
Give each group of students a pack of orihime, onie, kappa cards (wild cards) mixed in with a set of vocabulary karuta. Divide the class into groups of 3. Place the cards faced down on the desk. Each player takes a turn to take the top card from the deck. The player must say the Japanese word for any karuta turned over. If correct the student keeps the card. If incorrect the card is placed upside down in a 'discard' pile. Play continues until a wild card is turned over. If Orihime is turned over they collect all the cards from the dicard pile. If Oni is turned over the player must put all their collected cards into the discard pile. If Kappa is turned over all players must pass their collected cards to the next person in a clockwise direction. When all cards in the main pile are gone, the player with the most cards in their collection is the winner.
Donated by Chalmer Sensei. http://www.teacherspayteachers.com/Browse/Search:jankenpon
OHT memory A Suzuki
Put up an OHT with pictures, vocabulary words, phrases, Kanji or other script. Ss have one minute to remember the words. Tt removes the OHT and Ss write down all the words that were on the OHT. The Ss who remembers the most words wins.
Paddle pop sticks
Buy coloured paddle pop sticks (available at $2 shops). Write a question on each stick. Ss collect a stick on the way into the classroom. As Ss get settled, the Tt collects the sticks back off of students and the Ss asks the Tt or another Ss in the class the question on the stick. Rather than collecting all the sticks up at the one time, take only 3 at the beginning of the lesson, another 3 sticks 10 minutes later and so on, until all the sticks are collects. EXTRA: higher ability students can be given a stick with only a word (not the whole question) on it.
Suggested topics: family, age, personal details, hiragana/katakana
Pair Flip L Brandis
Two Ss come to the front of the class. Both are given a card. They are to hold that card facing them. The Tt and the class count down from 3. When they reach 1 the Ss at the front of the class both turn over their cards and show their partner. The Ss to say the word corresponding to their partner’s picture is the winner. The winner selects the next Ss to come to the front of the class. Extra: Ss can be asked to make a sentence using the word on this card. Verbs - students can change the verbs.
Pass the chicken Adapted from http://www.educationworld.com/
Equipment - fake rubber chicken
Students sit in a circle. Select one student to be "It". That person holds the rubber chicken. The teacher says to the person holding the chicken, "Name five ..... Pass the chicken!" (eg. "Name 5 Japanese cities. Pass the chicken!") As soon as the teacher says, "Pass the chicken," the person holding the chicken passes it to the right. The aim of the game is for the 'It' person to name the 5 things before the chicken gets back to him/her. If the chicken returns to the original holder before he/she can name the five things, the student remains "It". Otherwise, the person holding the chicken when "It" finishes listing the five things is the new "It". TOPIC IDEAS INCLUDE:
Cultural themes - name 5 Japanese cities, manufacturers, food etc. Language/vocabulary themes - list 5 foods in Japanese, transport methods, body parts etc. Grammar themes - say 5 sentences with the word すき (suki), ～たい(tai), ことができます(koto ga dekimasu) etc.
Peep hole Adapted from www.eslprintables.com
The teacher chooses a picture and does not let the students see it. The teacher places five sheets of paper with holes of different sizes over the picture (the sheet with the largest hole on the bottom and the smallest on the top). Students have to guess which picture is only by looking at a small section. They have to ask “.... desu ka?” （．．．ですか。） and the teacher answers:” Ie chigaimasu.” or “Hai, so desu!”. If nobody guesses the picture, the teacher removes the top sheet, and continues removing them until the picture is revealed.
Divide the class into groups of four. Tt shows the captains of each team a word. They return to their group and draw the word. The first person in each team to guess the word is the winner and becomes the next drawer. Extra: Using a stopwatch and giving Ss 30 seconds to draw will add to the excitement. Those teams that do not guess within the time cannot play the next round. Other: Divide the class into four large teams. These teams allocate a drawer and a scribe. The drawer draws the object on the board while the team members tell the scribe what they think the object is and then the scribe writes it on the board. The first team to have the correct word on the board is the winner.
Draw a target in the middle of the board with different points in each ring. Two Ss come to the front of the class. Tt shows a flashcard or says a definition of a target word. If the Ss knows how to say the word in Japanese they can throw the plane. The Ss plane that first hits the target gets a chance to answer the question. If the Ss answers correctly they keep the amount of points they hit with their plane on the target. This person then sits down and is replaced with another Ss.
Play dough mania
Divide the class into two teams or more teams. Each team has a bucket of play dough (different colour per team is preferred). Each team selects a sculptor. The sculptor comes to the Tt who flashes a card with a word on it. The Ss with the play dough run back to their team and make a shape corresponding to the word on the flash card in one minute. The Ss in their team must guess what the object is in Japanese. The Ss write down on the board what they think the object is. The team that guesses correctly gets a point. (To make it more challenging the team that loses also loses half of their play dough. Continue the game until one of the teams doesn’t have any play dough left.)
Poker word lists
Equipment: deck of cards, whiteboard and markers
Divide the class into two teams. Divide the whiteboard into two halves with a black line. Select one member from each team to come up to the whiteboard. The first team writes any Japanese word they know (or any word they have learnt in the unit being studied). Then they say the word aloud. If the word is written correctly and pronounced correctly they can take a card from the deck. (Ace is 1 point, King is 13 points, Queen is 12 points, Jack is 11 points, and the remaining numbers are as is.) The next team then writes a word. Team members at the front can be swapped in and out. The game continues until all the cards in the deck are gone. The team with the most points at the end wins. With lower level students they can have their textbook/notebook or hiragana/katakana chart with them. EXTRA: Higher level students could write a kanji and then say the on/kun readings. OR Write a sentence rather than a word.
Pop Up Pirate Vocab (Kurohige Kiki Ippatsu)
Divide the class into two teams. The first member of one team is shown a picture flashcard. If the student can say the vocabulary in Japanese they then get the opportunity to put a sword into the pirate's barrel. Then a person from the next team is shown a flashcard etc. The first team to pop the pirate out of its barrel loses.
Pop Up Pirate games are available from most toy stores for about $15. Various Japanese themed Pop Up Pirate games are available including Hello Kitty and Doraemon.
Created by I Foley
Ss sit in a circle. In the middle of the circle are flashcards of words Ss have learnt. Then a Ss says a word and grabs on of the cards. Once all the Ss have a card they turn the card around so that everyone in the group can see it. One Ss at a time then grabs a card from another Ss whilst asking them a question about the card. Ie. If a student has a card of 'ichigo いちご' The Ss taking the card could ask: ichigo ga suki desu ka? いちごがすきですか。The Ss holding the card would respond: hai suki desu はい、すきですor iie suki janai desu いいえ、すきじゃないです. Suggested topics: Food/likes and dislikes; places/when did you go; places/have you been; days of the week/what did you do etc.
Question the teacher
Teach vocabulary using flashcards. Tt choses one of the flashcards and Ss have to guess which one by asking an appropriate question. Ie. food/drink. 'ringo ga suki desu ka? りんごがすきですか。' Ss keep asking the same type of question until they are correct. EXTRA: Higher ability students could ask additional questions such as 'akai desu ka? あかいですか。 suppai desu ka? すぱいですか。etc. Suggested topics: foods, drink ( ~ ga suki desu ka?), hobbies (shumi wa ~ desu ka), transport (~de ikimashita ka.), etc.
Make a large dice with the target vocabulary ie. きょう、あした、あさって、etc Ss roll the dice saying Nani ka deru kana? なにかでるかな。 When the dice stops the Ss that threw the dice must say a sentence using the word on the dice eg. きのう、かいものをしました。 (This can be made into a competition by dividing the class into two teams. Each team gets a chance to say a word and points are allocated for correct sentences.)
Round the world
Put Ss into a horse shoe shape. Select one Ss to stand behind another student at the beginning of the horse shoe. Show the two Ss a flashcard or ask them a question. The first Ss that is correct gets to stand behind the next Ss in the horse shoe. Another flashcard or question is asked. The Ss who is correct continues around. If the person standing gets it incorrect then the new winner stands and the loser takes that person's seat. This Ss continues around. The winner is the Ss who can stay standing the entire way around and gets back to his/her original seat.
Row and Columns www.genkienglish.com
Ask everyone in the class to stand up. Ask a question in Japanese. The first person to correctly say the answer in Japanese can sit down and is given the option to choose ひだり、みぎ、まえ、うしろ. The students sitting in that direction can also sit down. (ie. If the student who correctly answers says "forward" all the students to the front of him/her can sit down as well). Continue until there is no one standing.
Run and erase
Write vocabulary you wish to revise on the board. Divide the class into two teams. Allocate a runner for each team. Tt defines a word or shows a flashcard and the Ss then run to the board and erase (or draw a circle) around that word. The person to first do this gets a point. The team with the most points at the end is the winner.
Run and write
Divide the class into two teams. Allocate a runner for each team. Tt shows a flashcard in English the Ss then run to the board and write the word in Japanese. The person to first do this gets a point. The team with the most points at the end is the winner.
Running Dicatation Groups D Powell
Pin up a list of vocabulary. Divide the class into teams of two or more. Allocate a scribe and a runner. The runner must run to the vocab list and remember the first word then run back to their team. Tell the scribe the word who then writes it down. The team then swap jobs. A new runner and a new scribe. Continue until the entire list is complete. The first team to complete gets 5 points. Second gets 4 and so on. Then the Tt reads the script or puts a copy of it onto the OHT. Ss check what they have written. 1 point is allocated for each correct word. The group with the most points at the end wins.
Samurai Race adapted from genkienglish.com
Print, laminate and magnetize four different coloured Samurais (blue, red, yellow, and green) and four castles. Put the samurais and castles on the board. Then draw three or more circles (depending on how long you want the game to last) between them. Divide the students into four groups by randomly distributing coloured cards to each student (blue, red, yellow and green). Explain the aim of the game is to get the castle first. During the game you play some music (something fast and dancey). When the music plays the students pass a ball around (no throwing!!). Stop the music then the person holding the ball should tell the teacher in the target language which team they are on. Then ask the student a question using the target language. For example: (Grammar) Make a sentence using ‘I am going to…”(Vocabulary) Make a sentence with the word “funny” in it. If the student gets it right (including the pronunciation) then their team's Samurai climbs one circle up closer to the castle. Repeat until one team reaches the top - and gets to the castle!
Put some masking tape down on the floor in a ladder shape. Between each rung put a flashcard. Divide the class into two teams. Get each team to line up on one side of the monkeybars さるわたり. One Ss from each team crosses the さるわたり. As they cross they need to say the word represented by the flashcard. If the Ss can't say one of the words or says it incorrectly then the must return to the end of the line of their team and the next team's person can cross. The team to cross all of their members first is the winner. OR Use a worksheet. Put Ss into pairs. Each pair says the vocabulary. When they say it correctly their partner crosses the word off. If all are crossed then they test their partner. EXTRA: Have two or three different paths that the Ss could travel along rather than just one path across.
Give a list of five to fifteen categories and one hiragana. The Ss find one word for each category starting (or containing) that hiragana.One point for each correct answer. Eg: き- Food, Animals, Clothes: ケーキ、 きりん、きもの
Scrunch it Dave's ESLCafe S Walker
You need a sheet of paper with the base form of the verb, or the vocab item, or the error written one to each sheet of paper. Put the pile of papers face down on a chair halfway down your classroom. At the other end put a waste paper bin on a table or on a chair. Put your class into teams. In turn, a person from each team steps up to the chair, picks up the first sheet of paper, shows it to everyone, and either gives the verb conjugations, or explains/translates the vocab, or corrects the error. The rest of the team must be quiet when they do this - no prompting allowed. If the answer is not correct, the sheet of paper goes back into the pile. If the answer is correct, the student's team gets a point. Now, for another point, they can scrunch up the paper and try and throw it in the bin.
Sengoku Jidai Adapted from http://jhsenglipediaproject.com
Split the class into teams. The first team choose a hiragana letter, for example あ. The teacher reads a corresponding question or clue eg. "りんごのいろ’ The first team to answer "あか" gets to claim the hexagon for their team. Place a picture of the team's historical Japanese figure to indicate they occupy this hiexagon. Then, the winning team chooses the next letter. NOTE: the answer should start with the same letter as the letter of the hexagon. If a team surrounds another team's hexagon on three sides, the surrounding team gains control of that hexagon. The team with the most territories becomes Shogun and becomes the ruler of Japan. As rulers they can get a bonus - ie no homework. EXTRA: Like Jeopardy, the teacher can give the answer and the students must make a question: "りんごのいろはなんですか。"
Sensei Machigatta L Brandis
Tt shows a picture of the words being studied. Tt says the word. If the Tt says the word matching the picture then the Ss says the word. If it is wrong the Ss says nothing. Extra: All Ss stand. If they say something when there should be silence they sit down. The last person standing is the winner.
Write on small pieces of paper vocabulary you want to revise, write each word twice eg. once on a blue card and once on a green card (different colours will help distinguish who is on what team). Divide the class into 2 teams. Distribute the cards between the Ss. Every Ss should have a paper and both teams have the same words. When you call a word, 2 Ss should stand up, one from each team. The Ss must then run to the blackboard and race to write a sentence using their word. Points can be allocated to the Ss who wrote it first and the Ss who wrote it grammatically correct.
Write a sentence with the grammar point being studied on card. Cut the card after each word. Give Ss one card each. Ss stand at the front of the class and try to rebuild the sentence in the correct order. When done, Ss read the sentence aloud. Discussions about grammar then can take place. EXTRA: For more advanced Ss paragraphs can be cut up instead.
Divide the class into teams, ask Ss a question. First team to put up their hand and answer the question then may choose a hiragana or katakana. The Tt clicks on the hiragana or katakana and reveals the object underneath. If a number is revealed, then that is the number of points the team receives, if a shark is revealed, points are halved, if a monster is revealed, points return to zero, if a fish is revealed, points are doubled, if a turtle is revealed, add fifty points. This game can be used for any topics including review of vocabulary, grammar etc.
Print off two sets of Shinkansen (below). Divide the class into two groups. Each group gets their own shinkansen set. The Tt keeps each set. Write on the board numbers 1 to 6. Next to each number write in English a word or sentence being studied. The Ss are then given a dice. One at a time a member of the first team rolls the dice. He/she then reads the number on the dice in Japanese ie. Roku ろく. Then looks at the board and reads what is next to the number on the board. ie on the board next to the number 6 is ’What's your hobby?' So the Ss needs to say 'Shumi wa nan desu ka. しゅみはなんですか。' If the Ss is correct they then get to keep the corresponding part of the Shinkansen. In this case because it is number 6 the group gets the tail end of the Shinkansen. The next group then rolls the dice. The game continues where each Ss collects Shinkansen pieces. The group to get the entire Shinkansen built first is the winner. They can yell out 'Shinkansen'!! EXTRA: This can be played in pairs. Give each pair a mini shinkansen.
Shiritori Race M Herbert
Divide the class into 4 or 5 teams. Divide the board into the same number of sections. Nominate one leader. Tt writes one of the words the Ss have been learning in each column. eg.りんご. The leader must then write another word starting with the last letter of the previous word. Eg. ごはん Then the next person in the team comes to the board and writes a word with the last letter of that word. Continue until all the members of the team have written a word. The team to finish first is the winner.
Shopping L Brandis
Teacher has vocabulary flashcards. Ss ask the teacher which vocabulary they would like by using the phrase 「～ください」 Eg. 「ねこをください。」(ねこis the new vocabulary.) Tt gives the card to the Ss.「はいどうぞ」「ありがとう。」 Then the next Ss asks for a vocabulary item. Repeat until all the vocab cards are gone.
Shyuwa L Brandis
Introduce new vocabulary assigning a particular hand signal to it. Then create symbols for the particles in Japanese or artilces in English. Finally create sentences or a story using this sign language.
Ss stand up for this activity. Tt stands at the front of the class and says: 「先生いわく」 Eg. 「先生いわく耳をさわります。」 Ss need to follow the teacher’s instructions. (Ss touch their ears.) Tt speeds up once Ss know what to do. Tt occasionally doesn’t say "Sensei Iwaku" before the word. If Ss do what Tt says (even though he/she didn’t say “Sensei iwaku") then they need to sit down. The winner of the game is the last standing. (Tt can be replaced by a confident Ss.)
Simultaneous Chatter L Brandis
Three students would go to the front of the room. The teacher tells them a word each. When the teacher says go they would then say the words all at once. The audience members have to guess who said what.
Slap Clap Click
Put students in a circle. In front of each student put a flashcard. Teach the Ss the rhythm - slap knees, clap, click left hand and then click the right hand. Once the Ss have the rhythm then on each left click the Ss say the word represented by the flashcard in front of them and when they click their right hand they say the word of the person to their right. If a Ss makes a mistake or misses a beat then everyone stands up and moves a seat to their right. Start again. EXTRA: To make it more challenging on the left click say the card in front of you, then on the right click select any other Ss card in the circle. This person then is the next person to say their card and any other person's card.
Revise any grammar or vocabulary with this snail game. (Rules on last page of download).
Snap (Karuta) P Little
Give each pair of Ss a set of flashcards with pictures on it. The tt says words that relate to the pictures. The Ss challenge each other to grab the card first. The Ss that does gets to keep the card. If both snap just as quickly they need to do rock, paper, scissors to see who keeps the card.
Draw (or print off and enlarge) a diagram of a soccer field on the whiteboard. Divide the class into two teams. Each team chooses one representative to compete. That student comes to the front of the class. The teacher places a round magnet in the centre of the diagram and then says a word/phrase. The chosen representatives have to raise their hand if they know the word and the first to answer correctly will win the right to move the magnet up one line towards their goal. After this round, a new representative of the team will come to the front of the board to compete for their team. This continues until a goal is scored where the first team to three or five goals will be declared the winner.
Donated by N Collins
Song word grab Adapted from www.eslprintables.com
Learn words in a song. Practice pronunciaiton of the words. Stick each word to the board with magnets. Put the students into 2 teams each one in a line before the board. Play the song. When the 2 students at the front of their line hear a word in the song that is on the board they must race each other to grab that word from the board. They then go to the back of the line and it's up to the next pair. The team with the most words wins.
You need a blackboard, a suction ball that will stick to the blackboard, or wet tissues. A little like the arcade version, draw a number of aliens on the blackboard. Each Alien is worth x number of points. Divide the class into 2 or more teams. Ask them questions. If they get the answer right they then get to throw a suction ball (or wet tissue) at the blackboard. Aliens, which have been hit, are wiped off the board. Options are to also draw earthlings or something that they are not supposed to hit. These hits are worth minus points. Another option is to draw aliens and earthlings on the blackboard and have the children divided into earthlings and aliens and they have to hit the opposition’s pictures. Last alien / earthling standing is the winner. You can change the aliens/earthlings to fish/sharks, flowers/insects etc etc etc.
Divide class into groups of 5-8 per group. Each group decides on a four syllable word (e.g. o-ni-gi-ri) and then allocates one hiragana to each person in the group. If there are 8 students in the group, two people would say each hiragana. Then the group should shuffle around so that they are not calling out the hiragana sounds in order. Two groups face each other and call out their sounds at the same time. Each group must try to guess the word that the other group is saying.
Speed writing Derived from www.technolote.com
Give the students two minutes to write as many sentences as they can in Japanese. At the end of the two minutes the students swap work and get a point for every correct sentence they have written. Whoever gets the most sentences wins. Then discuss how basic sentences can be easily modified to write different sentences. After a few rounds encourage students to use new vocabulary or grammar learnt.
Spelling race Adapted from www.eslprintables.com
The teacher dictates a word letter by letter. Pupils have to guess the word before the teacher has said all the letters of the word. Eg. M-I-D.. (midori みどり green)
Spin the bottle www.genkienglish.net
Have everyone sit boy-girl in a circle then spin twice to choose a boy and a girl. Instead of kissing, they have to wave meekly to each other then stand in the middle of the circle. Each is secretly given a word that they must act out for their respective genders. The first team to guess their gender's word gets a point.
Spin the bottle Q & A
Ss sit in a circle. Put a bottle in the middle of the circle. Spin the bottle. Where the bottle lands the Ss spinning asks that person a questions. Ie. Ringo ga suki desu ka. りんごがすきですか。 The Ss who has the bottle pointing at them must answer the question. Ie. Hai suki desu. はい、好きです。 This person then spins the bottle. Continue around.
Squeeze and bang Adapted from www.technolote.com
Students sit in two rows facing each other.The two rows form opposing teams. Each team holds hands. At the end of the row there is a plastic mallet. At the opposite end of the rows is the teacher with a pile of flash cards.The teacher shows the first two students (one from each team) a flash card. The teacher will then say one word after another in Japanese and when the words is said that was on the flash card, the students must squeeze their partner's hand (descretely). Once the student at the end of the line has received the squeeze they hit the table with a mallet. The team to hit the table first and correctly wins a point. However, if students start sending the squeeze too early (and they will) and the mallet is hit at the wrong time the team will loose a point. The winning team is the one with the most points.
Divide the class into 2 teams. One team are the students that stand up and sit down (called Tattesuwatte たってすわって team), the other team are the watchers (called Wocchyaa ウオッチャー team) and observe the Tattesuwatte team. Tt writes a list of revision words or pharses on the board. (Or can prepare an OHT or Powerpoint to save time.) Each Ss on the Tattesuwatte team must write down 2 words from the list on the board. The first word the Ss wrote down is their 'stand up' word. The second word they wrote down is their 'sit down' word. The teacher begins by reading out the list of words in random order. When the students on the Tattesuwatte team hear their words they stand up or sit down accordingly. The object of the game is for the Wocchyaa team to remember someone's two words from the Tattesuwatte team. When someone from the Wocchyaa team thinks they know someone's two words from the Tattesuwatte team, they put their hand up. The Wocchaa team member must then tell the teacher the two words in the correct order. If they are correct they can receive a reward OR can swap with the person whose words they remembered, and the Tattesuwatte team member now becomes a Woocchyaa. (NB To make this game challenging ensure students don't write the words down.)
Tt plays music. When the music stops Tt yells a target word or phrase and the Ss need to stand like a statue in that shape. Ss who is the slowest has to sit down. The winner is the Ss still standing at the end. (Tt can be replaced by one or some of the Ss who had to sit down.)
Story Rebuild L Brandis
Tt writes a few sentences on the board in English. Tt then gives a bag of words to the Ss in Japanese. The Ss have to rebuild the story on the board in Japanese.
Story with Hidden Words C Morgan
Ss are put into small groups. Give each group a set of words they need to use in a short story. Each group reads their story and the other groups listen and try to identify the target words. Listening teams get a point for each word they identify and lose a point for wrong guesses. The story telling team gets a point for each one they slip by their peers.
Divide the class into three (one captain for each team). Line each group at the back of the classroom with their captain at the front. On the opposite side of the classroom place three chairs. On each of the chairs place a different word. Call one of the words and the first SS from one of the three teams to run and sit on the correct chair earns a point for their team. The captain goes to the end of the line and the next Ss run and sit.
Divide the class into groups of four. Create cards with one word at the top and under it four related words. One pair of Ss have to elicit from their partner the word without using the related words. The other pair watches to make sure they don’t say the related words. One minute to do as many cards as possible – with points for each card completed.
Two player version – 2 students hold hands as though they are shaking hands. One student is ‘Tako’ and one is ‘Tai.’ The teacher calls either ‘Tako’ or ‘Tai’ by saying ‘ta-ta-ta-tako’ or ‘ta-ta-ta-tai’. Whichever one is called tries to slap their opponents hand. Whichever isn’t called, tries to remove their hand as quickly as possible. The teacher can trick the players by calling other words starting with ‘ta’ instead such as ‘tane’ ‘tatsumaki’ ‘taigaa’ etc. [Whole class version (outdoors) – class forms two even lines. Each student must be matched with another student. They form two long lines in the middle of the game space about 1.5m apart and facing each other. One line is called ‘tako’ and one is called ‘tai.’ The teacher calls one of these (tai or tako) as in the above version. If tako is called, they must chase their tai partner to the far edge of the game space (beyond a designated line) and vice versa if tai is called.]
This game involves 2 students playing Jan Ken Pon. Gu (Rock) equals 1, Choki (Scissors) equals 2 and Pa (Paper) equals 5. The students play Jan Ken Pon. It does not matter who wins or loses or if both students do the same action (e.g. both do Choki). The students must quickly add the value of the actions together and call out the number in Japanese. For example, if one student did Choki and the other did Gu the value of both would be 3. The first student to call out ‘san’ is the winner. This could also be played between the teacher and a student in the front of the class. If the student playing or any student in the class can call out the correct number in Japanese before the teacher, the student wins.
Give each Ss an English card with one of the vocabulary on it. Tt flashes a Japanese card (saying the English if necessary). The Ss with the matching English card needs to stand up and say the Japanese word. Flash the cards as quickly as possible to get the Ss moving up and down a lot. (Extra: the person who stands up the fastest gets a point, the person who says it correctly gets one point).
Divide the class in half. One Ss from each team stands in front of the whiteboard facing their team members (back to the board). Tt gives show Ss a card with a word, phrase or kanji on it and then mimes what the word is to their team. (Or defines it.) The team to guess the word first gets a point. Rotate Ss until everyone has had a go.
Team Vocab J Badke
Divide the class into 4 or 5 teams. Nominate one leader. Tt writes the first hiragana letter of each vocabulary vertically on the board (repeat for each team). ( Eg. Your class just learnt the days of the week, write the first hiragana of each day vertically on the board.) The leader must complete the rest of the word receiving help from their teammates. The first team to write all of the words correctly (could include correct kanji) wins. This can also be done with grammar. Eg. Rather than writing the first letter of each word, write a verb and the Ss have to change the verbs into another tense.
The Weakest Link
All students stand up behind their desks. Tt asks a question or shows a flashcard with vocabulary recently learnt. The first Ss to put up their hand and answers the question or says the vocabulary correctly can then select 3 other students to sit down. Continue. The last person standing is the winner.
Put a grid on the board. In two teams. Ss answer questions to get three in a row. (Like naughts and crosses). Synonyms. Explain the word. Give the word etc.
Throwing words around Dave's ESL cafe
Write the words you want your students to learn/remember in large letters on A4 paper, say 6 to 8 words. Hold up the words and drill them. Then screw all the pieces of paper into balls. Point to each ball in turn and ask students to say the word. Then take three balls and put them at the front of the table. Ask students to tell you which words they are. Then tell them to watch very carefully, as you quickly move them around, as in a three card trick. Ask them again which is which. Finally, throw one of the balls to a student, saying the word it represents. Ask him to throw the ball in the same way to someone else, and say the word. The catcher then throws it to someone else and so on. Once the students understand what they should do, throw all the other balls to the class and stand well back!
Put any vocabulary, phrases or kanji needing review onto the template. Divide the class into groups of 3. Give each group a copy of the Japanese words and the English words. Draw an empty tic-tac-toe grid on a small white board or a piece of paper. 2 people are selected to compete with each other in 1 of the games. The 3rd person is the question/answer keeper. The first person calls a square in game 1. The question/answer keeper reads the phrase. The first person has to answer correctly to be able to win the square and write an 'x'. Otherwise, the second person can steal the square and put a 'o' in it. The question/answer keeper has the answers so can be the judge of whether it’s correct or not. The first Ss to get three squares in a row is the winner.
You need a timer (such as an egg timer or a fake bomb from a toy shop) for this game. Set the timer, ask a question and then throw it to a Ss. S/he must answer and then throw the timer to another Ss, who in turn answers and then throws it to another Ss. The Ss holding the timer when it goes off loses a life. This can also be done with categories (e.g. food, animals, etc.).
Toss the Ball
Put Ss standing in a circle. First Ss says a word (related to the topic or unit being studied) then throws the ball to another Ss who has to come up with another word. Continue throwing the ball around the circle. Ss sit down if they don’t throw the ball nicely to another Ss, if they can’t say a word, or repeat a word that was already said. Slight changes: last letter of the word is first letter of next word. Eg. Animals: ねこ neko, コアラkoara, ライオンraion, Word - sentence – word. (To make it more challenging or fun give a time limit (eg 10 seconds) to answer and throw the ball.)
Triangles (Sankaku) A Suzuki
Play rock, paper, scissors (じゃんけん janken). Each time a player wins they can draw a small circle. After three wins they can make a complete triangle and then put their initial in the triangle. The player with the most initials in the triangles wins. (Extra: Tt can give Ss a list of words after each Rock Paper Scissors game the winner needs to explain the meaning of the word before he/she can draw a small circle.)
Triple Say L Brandis
Tt shows a flashcard and then says the English word three times. All the Ss must say the Japanese equivalent before the teacher says the word for the third time. If the students beat the Tt then they get a point. If the Tt beats the Ss then he/she receives a point. (Ss should try to get more points than the Tt.)
True or False betting
Take some words you would like to revise and put them either truly or falsely into sentences. Eg. いぬはどうぶつです。Inu wa doobutsu desu. (T) ねずみはおおきいです。 Nezumi wa ookii desu. (F) Ss to guess if the words are used correctly or not (T) or (F). (In pairs or alone.) Ss bet points from 100 to 0 on how confident they are. For each correct answer they keep the betted points and for each incorrect answer they lose the bet. Calculate all the points and see who got the most points!
Tug of War www.genkienglish.net
Draw on the blackboard 7 or 9 lines (or stones) (red team - - - - - - - - - blue team) Choose 3-5 students to come to the front of the class. Divide the rest of the students into 2 teams. (red/blue) Place one of the 3-5 students in front of the board covering the middle line/stone. (red team - - - - S - - - - blue team) Ask the teams questions. The team that answers correctly 'pulls' the student closer towards them. (red team - - - - - S - - - blue team) Ask another question. The winning team pulls the student closer towards them. When the student has been pulled all the way to one of the teams, the next student is placed in the middle. The idea is to try and 'pull' as many of the 3-5 students to your team as possible.
Flashcards (pictures or questions on one side, numbers on the other), 'Typhoon Cards' (flashcards with numbers on one side and a typhoon picture on the other). Stick the numbered cards on the board with either pictures or questions on the back facing the board. Also include 6 Typhoon cards and mix them in with the picture cards. Ss then choose a number card. If they answer the question correctly then their team can draw a line to draw a house. If they choose a typhoon card then they blow down their opposing teams part drawing of a house. The first team to draw a house wins.
Create a set of cards with two words on each card but repeating one of the words from the previous card. Eg. Card one: やきゅう yakuu, テニス tenisu, , Card two: テニスtenisu, サッカsakka, Card three:サッカ sakka,すもう sumoo etc. Give one card to each Ss. Tt reads out one of the target words. The student that has that word on their card reads the next word on their card. The Ss that has that word on the card must read their next word. Continue until all words have been said. (This game is similar to Dominos.) Extra challenge: Ss need to remember the order then when everyone has finished saying their words, without looking at their cards, stand in the same order as the words were read.
Keep a box full of blank pieces of coloured paper (different colours for different topics or units). Get a volunteer Ss from the class to write the new words of the day on the cards. Grab a bunch of cards. Ss can do the following (in pairs): In pairs Ss explain the meaning of the words and their partner guesses the word put the word in a sentence and the partner guesses the word write the clues for a crossword and create it for another Ss to complete play Pictionary (draw a picture and guess the word). In pairs one Ss models the word with plasticine and the other guesses the word.
Domino style game. Add English and Japanese, (or Romaji and Kana/Kanji) words or grammar. Cut and laminate the small cubes. Ss reassemble the original square shape by matching the English with the Japanese translation. HINT: To make this puzzle easier, leave the outer edges of the puzzle blank. (They don’t match up to anything anyway.)
Domino style game. Add English and Japanese, (or Romaji and Kana/Kanji) words or grammar. Cut and laminate the small triangles. Ss reassemble the original shape by matching the English with the Japanese translation. HINT: To make this puzzle easier, leave the outer edge words of the puzzle blank. (They don’t match up to anything anyway.)
Wall of Correct
One wall of the classroom is 正しい tadashii. The other side of the classroom is まちがっているmachigatte iru . The Tt shows an English flashcard and then says the corresponding word in Japanese or definition (or vise versa). If what the Tt says was correct they go to the "Correct" Wall. If it is incorrect they go to the other wall. (Ss can replace the teacher.) Make this a fast paced game so Ss are running from one side of the room to the other. (This can be a game with just words all whole sentences.) EXTRA: Divide the class into teams. Points can be allocated for the first person to reach the wall or the number of team members correct. The team with the most points in the end wins.
Wheel of fortune
Write a word or phrase on the board with lines for letters. Cut up some dollar amounts (or use monopoly money) and throw them with some free spins and a bankrupt into a bag. Ss pick out a money amount and they get the cash if they guess a correct letter, another turn for a free spin and miss a turn for a bankrupt. The Ss with the most money at the end is the winner.
Select two Ss. Give each Ss a small whiteboard (laminate a black A4 piece of paper), eraser (cut up a bit of chux) and a whiteboard marker. Call out a hiragana (or word) and have the Ss draw it and then hold up the whiteboard when finished. The Ss who is the fastest sits down and passes the whiteboard to the next Ss. The slower Ss stays standing. The next two Ss challenge each other. Continue around the whole class.
Teacher prepares a list of 10 questions with multiple choice answers. Tt reads the questions and the four possible answers. The students then select their answer and they circle it on their answer sheet (provided). Tt then tells the Ss the correct answer. The Ss who answered correctly can circle the first yen amount (2000 yen). The Ss who are incorrect are out of the game. The last student remaining is the winner. OR All students remain in the game and answer all 10 questions. The student with the highest dollar value at the end (with the most correct answers) is the winner.
Donated by J Veen.
Ss sit in a circle. Tt says a word. Ss go around the circle saying one word related to the one the Tt said. (Or Ss can say a word related to the previous Ss’s word.)
Give Ss a grid of about 15 squares (number ichi to juugo) by 15 squares ( あ to そ or any other hiragana). Ss then write 5 words on the grid (horizontal or vertical). In pairs one Ss gives the coordinates (eg ichi, a or juuni, shi ) if there is a letter in that space the other Ss then needs to tell their partner the letter. Ss swap and continue until they guess all the words on their grids. The first person to guess all the words is the winner.
Word tree Adapted from www.eslprintables.com
To practice hiragana sounds. Divide the students into groups. For each hiragana being studied provide a cut-out of a large tree. Write or paint the sound/letter on the trunk of the tree. Ask the students to “hang” words on slips of paper containing the sound from the branches of the tree. Display the accumulated trees on the classroom wall as the term progresses.Use them for periodic pronunciation review.
Divide the class into small teams. Write a word, kanji or topic on the board. In two minutes which team can think of the most words related to the word, kanji or topic? (Eg. environment, environmental, environmentalist OR 気: 元気、気温、気勢、OR animals: cat, dog, mouse etc.) One point for each correctly spelt or written word, deuct points for those that are not. (This can also be done with collocations or word combinations: blood bank, blood donation…etc)
Tt draws words on the board. Divide the class into two or more teams. One Ss from each team gets a wet tissue (yukidama) and stand at the front of the class near the whiteboard. Tt shows the audience a flashcard. The audience yell out the word. The Ss at the front throw their wet tissue. The person who hits closer to the item called gets a point.