Japanese GRAMMAR IN CLASS teaching ideas
Ideas for teaching or reviewing Japanese grammar in class. These activities are general teaching ideas, for specific ideas for specific grammar points click on 'Grammar worksheets' below.
GRAMMAR in class GENERAL IDEAS
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 phrase 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.
Balloon afloat Adapted from 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 sentence using the target structure. 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 use the word from the flashcard as well as using the target structure they get an extra point.
Write verbs or adjectives on a beach ball. Students take turns to toss the ball around in small groups or in the whole class, wherever the catcher’s thumb lands on, the student must conjugation the verb to past/mashou/negative tense etc.
EXTRA: Hiragana and Katakana or basic Kanji symbol can be written on the beach ball.
Donated by W Lu.
Card Collect Adapted from 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 "What's that?" (or some other target structure i.e. What are you doing? Where have you been 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 "What's that?" 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!
Divide the class into two teams. Allocate 3 members from each team to come to the front of the class. Give each team a bell (or they can yell a word as their buzzer). Ask the students a grammar question or to say/write a sentence using the target structure/word. If the students think they are capable of completing the task they buzz in. Then as a group of 3 they have 30 seconds or a minute to complete the task. If the team can complete the task in the allocated time and accurately they then allocate a team member in the audience to come out to the front and do as many star jumps (or other activity such as hop, jump, clap etc) in 5 seconds. The number of star jumps completed in the 5 second time limit then becomes their point score. Ie if the team member jumps 7 times in the allocated 5 seconds the team receive 7 points for their correct answer. (If both teams can't answer the question, they can 'ask a friend' and ask a team member in the audience to help answer the question.) Continue the game until all grammar questions have been completed. The team with the most points in the end is the winner. EXTRA: Randomly yell out the code word 'chikaradameshi' and a team member from BOTH audience teams is quickly allocated to come to the front and do as many star jumps as possible in 10 seconds. Adding an element of surprise and also making it possible for any team running behind to try and catch up!
Put Ss into rows of 6 facing the back of the room. Give the last Ss in each row a whiteboard pen. Take the first Ss of each row of six to the front of the class and whisper
a sentence with the target structure. Ss then run to their group and whisper it to the first person in the row. That person then tells the next Ss in their team and so on. When the sentence message gets to the last person he/she runs to the board and writes it on the board. 1 point is allocated to the fastest person. 5 points to a correct sentence. 3 points for a mostly correct sentence. 0 points for a very incorrect sentence. This is repeated several times and the winner is the group that has the most points at the end.
Dice grammar review game Y Pakenham
Divide the class into pairs or small groups. Give each group a die (dice) サイコロン and the ‘Dice Grammar Review Game’
sheet. Ss then roll the die to determine who begins the game. The winner rolls it once to get the larger category (Roman numeral I to VI) and then a second time to get the smaller category (Numbers 1 to 6). The partner or group member must translate it into Japanese. The winner of this game is the person who has the
most number of correct translations.
Give Ss a piece of paper with medium sized circles in 8 rows by 5 columns. Next to the rows and columns are target words. Eg. 8 different verb phrases on the rows - playing tennis, washing the car, etc. And 5 different adjectives under the columns - interesting, fun, boring, difficult, easy. Ss need to draw randomly in 15 of the circles little smilie 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 smilies yells out “Disappearing Smilies” (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)
Get a dominoes template. Split a sentence over two dominos. Put a picture on one side and a verb on the other. Verb on one side another tense on the other. Etc.
Eight page book A Suzuki
Fold a piece of paper into 4, then in half (creating 8 squares). Tear along the middle of the second and third square (creating a hole). Fold the paper into a star shape. Now fold up into a book form. (This book can be used for practicing writing: eg. introduce a friend, days of the week, daily routine, family members, likes and dislikes, a short story etc.)
Eraser madness Adapted from Dave's ESL Cafe
Write on the board. 'Subject' wa 'Adverb of frequency' 'object' o 'verb'. Then below it write a starting sentence using the structure. Eg. 子供はときどきごはんを食べます。Go round the class have each student change only one word from any column. After he/she says a complete sentence, you the teacher must change the word by erasing it and writing a new one. Eg. 子供はいつもごはんをたべます。The ideas is for the students to say new sentences quickly so the teacher gets to the point where he/she can't keep up with the necessary erasing and writing so then the students win. (Students could change two words at a time, or change the sentence structure.)
Hold up a flashcard with a picture. Ie. ひこうき (hikouki) Drill the target sentence using the picture as a prompt. Ie. ひこうきでいきます。(hikouki de ikimasu). Drill up to 8 different pictures. Repeat each flashcard 3 times. (Try to use a variety of techniques see FLASHCARD DRILLING TECHNIQUES.) Then only showing the back of the flashcard, students try to guess what picture the Tt is holding by saying the target structure. When guessed correctly the flashcard can be passed to the student and any student with a flashcard at the end of the game gets a reward. Or, the student who guesses correctly then replaces the teacher.
Ss work in pairs. One student is a runner the other is a scribe. Print off the 'Running dictation sheet by scrolling down...) Add words or grammatically incorrect sentences to the right hand side of the sheet. Cut into strips (leaving the left margin attached) – like a grass skirt. Tape several copies of the grass skirts around the room (one for each pair). Allocate one grass skirt per pair. The runner runs to the grass skirt and takes one strip. He/she then runs back to their partner. The runner reads the sentence aloud to their scribe who writes a grammatically correct sentence from the words or corrects the grammar mistake. Continue until all the stiprs have been torn off. (Remind students that they must only take one strip at a time.) The pair who finishes first are the winners. (To make the game more exciting and to prevent cheating through Ss overhearing other Ss play some loud fast paced music.)
Grammar Fan L Brandis
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 verb (or target structure) and then on the next fan section how the verb changes. Fold 1: あそびますasobimasu Fold 2: あそんでいますasondeimasu (or Fold 1: target structure in English fold 2: Japanese target structure. ) Continue until the fan is completely full. Ss fold up the fan and test each other by slowly unfolding the fan.
Hebi to hashigo grammar
Give Ss a list of grammar exercises (with answers on the back). Download the hebi to hashigo game board and give each group a copy. Ss roll the dice and go around the game board. Each time they land on a snake or a ladder they need to answer a grammar question (or other type of questions). If they are correct and they are on a blank square or a snake's head they remain where they are, if they are on a ladder they go to the square at the top of the ladder. If they answer the question incorrectly, if they are on a snake's head they go down to the square at the end of the snakes tail, if they are on a square with a ladder they remain where they are. The Ss (or pair of Ss if playing in pairs) who are first to reach 'gooru' win.
Hide Smilie (Question and Answer) L Brandis
One Ss goes outside and waits. At the same time one of the remaining students receives a doll (such as a smilie cushion) and hides it. The student who is sent outside comes back inside and has 4 chances to guess who has the doll. The student has to ask 4 other students a question (using one of the target structures recently learnt) eg. ‘What is the weather like?’ The student who has the doll can only respond in one way for example ‘It's sunny’. All the other students have to say any other answer than the doll hiding student eg It's snowing, It's cloudy etc. If the student guesses correctly who had the doll they win. If not then a new person would be sent outside and the game continues.
Line Quiz www.genkienglish.net
Split the class into two groups. One lines up on the left side, one on the right. Ask the first student in each group to use a word in the target structuer or ask a question making the students use the target structure. The first one to answer correctly gets to sit down. The other goes to the back of his/her team. The winning team is the first where everyone is sat 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). (Alternatives - Verbs change to past tense etc.)
MaruBatsu Patricia Little
Divide the class into two teams. Each team has a leader. On the board is the target structure eg. Today’s weather is ~. The Tt selects one of the learnt words eg. sunny and the Ss have to guess the correct word by using the target structure. The leader comes to the front and asks one Ss to complete the sentence. Once a Ss has correctly used the target word and structure they get a naught or a cross according to which team they are on. The team that has 3 naughts or 3 crosses in a row first is the winner.
Give each student a mini-whiteboard (laminate a blank A4 page), whiteboard marker, and eraser (cut up some chux wipes). Say a target structure in English and students have one or two minutes to write it on their board. When the time is up, the teacher says みせてください and gives correct students a sticker reward (or something similar). Select a correct student to write their correct sentence on the whiteboard at the front of the class so that all the students can check their answers.
Musical Chairs grammar
Play music and everyone tries to sit down when you stop. The person who can't sit down has to make a sentence using your (already presented) pre-selected skeleton sentence (on the white board). ie. I have ..., but I've never.... I like it because. If the student gets it correct they remain in the game if they are incorrect they must sit out. The last remaining student(s) is the winner.
Naughts and Crosses Grammar
Give pairs of Ss a list of grammar exercises (with answers on the back). Ss answer the grammar exercises in turns. Each time a student gets an answer correct they can put a naught (or a cross for the other player). The winner is the person who gets three naughts (or crosses) in a row first.
New words pass
Put Ss in a circle or line. Show first flashcard to first Ss and ask a question using the target structure. Tt: “Is he swimming.” Ss: “Yes he is.' Tt: “Good”. 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.
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? The students on that number need to answer a question or create a sentence with one of the target words being studied. If they get it correct they get a point card (or equivalent). Shout change and continue. The person with the most points at the end is the winner. (Numbers and other vocabulary or grammar can be studied using this game.)
Arrange the classroom chairs in a large circle, ensure there is a seat for each student minus one. One student is chosen to go outside. The rest of the class take seats in the circle. The teacher will choose one student to be “oni” (devil). When the other student from outside returns, he/she must guess who the Oni is by asking the students a question. This question could be set by the teacher (for instance, if the class is studying the like/dislike structure, the questioner might ask each student “Do you like…?”) or the student might be allowed to choose a question. Each student in the circle must answer the question in Japanese, apart from the Oni who will answer “oni desu!” At that point, each student will need to race to another chair, including the questioner, until everyone has a chair except one. That person will go outside and the whole process starts again.
All the students stand up and move randomly around the room. The teacher says a sentence or target grammar in English ie. I went to the beach. The students who know how to say this sentence in Japanese put their hands up. Tt selects a student. If the Ss is wrong they sit down in the closest chair. The first Ss to say the correct answer ie. うみにいきました。(umi ni ikimashita) takes one big step and tags as many people as possible. The tagged students must also sit down. The last person (or few people) standing win.
Pair Flip L Brandis
Two Ss come to the front of the class. Both are given a card with a verb written on it. 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 that says the verb in the past (or any other target tense) first 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.
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 asks Ss a question in the target language (grammar question). If the Ss knows the answer they 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.
Post it grammar http://www.eslcafe.com/ideas/
Take a cloze exercise and write or project it onto the board. Write the answers on post it notes and randomly distribute them around the class. The students then need to place the post-it they received in the correct blank space.
Buy four small bells (preferably with different ringing sounds). Select four students to come to the front of the class. Give each student a bell. The teacher says a target sentence in English. The student who rings their bell first gets to say the sentence in Japanese. If they are correct they can decide to stay in the game or sit down, if they are not correct they must sit down and allocate another student to take their place.
Make a large dice with some vocabulary from the unit. Ss roll the dice. When the dice stops the Ss that threw the dice must use the word using the target structure. (This can be made into a competition by dividing the class into two teams. Each team gets a chance to say a sentence and points are allocated for grammatically correct ones.)
Row and Columns www.genkienglish.com
Ask everyone in the class to stand up. Ask a question in the target language or say a word the students need to use in the target structure. The first person to correctly use the target structure can sit down and is given the option to choose "left," "right," "forward," or "back." 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.
Running Dictation Groups Donated by D Powell
Pin up a list of grammar exercises around the room. Or write words that then need to be put into grammatically correct sentences to the sheet on the right. Or write sentences that are grammatically incorrect and need to be corrected. Before class, pin one type of these 'Running dictation lists' up randomly around the room for each pair or group of students. Divide the class into pairs or small groups. Allocate a scribe and a runner for each pair. Allocate also a list to each pair (making it far away from the students seat makes it more fun!). The runner must run to their 'Running dictation list' and remember the first question then run back to their team. Tell the scribe the grammar question, sentence or words. The scribe then figures the grammar task out. 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 list or puts a copy of it onto the OHT. Ss check what they have written. (Check the answers to the grammar questions.) 1 point is allocated for each correct sentence. The group with the most points at the end wins.
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 and the grammar point you wish to study (ie past tense). Points can be allocated to the Ss who wrote a sentence first and the Ss who wrote it grammatically correct.
Put 8 to 10 flashcards on the whiteboard. Sit students in a 'U' shape or circle. Send a volunteer student outside. The rest of the class choose a 'shikisha' (musical conductor) and decides what action or signal he/she shall use to change the chant. The student outside comes back inside and stands at the front of the class. The students begin chanting the first sentence according to the first flashcard on the whiteboard. ie. the flashcard is a picture of computer on a table and the students say 「パソコンはテーブルのうえにあります」 When the 'shikisha' secretly signals to the class to change the chant then the students start chanting the second sentence in accordance with the second flashcard on the board. ie the flashcard is a picture of a cat under the table and the students chant 「ねこはテーブルのしたにあります」 This continues. The student at the front of the class must guess who the 'shikisha' is and has 3 attempts. If the student is wrong then the 'shikisha' has won and gets to go outside next or decides who is to go outside next. EXTRA: to make this game more difficult, get all the students to try and pretend they are the shikisha.
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
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.).
Triangles (Sankaku) Donated by A Suzuki
Play rock, paper, scissors (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 grammar questions after each Rock Paper Scissors game the winner needs to correctly answer a grammar question before he/she can draw a small circle.)
True or False Grammar betting
Take a grammar point you would like to revise and put them either grammatically correct or incorrect sentences. Eg. A dog are an animal. Ss guess if the sentence are correct or not ie (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!
Wall of ただしい
One wall of the classroom is ただしい. The other side of the classroom is まちがい. The Tt reads a sentence. If what the Tt says was grammatically correct they go to the ただしい 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. 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.
Write several samples of target structures randomly on the whiteboard (or perpare a powerpoint to save time). Divide the class into two teams. Select one person from each team to come to the front. These students stand facing the class with their backs to the board. The Tt reads one of the phrases on the board, then says 「はい、ゆびさして」 (hai yubisashite). Both students turn around and try to point to the sentence that was read out by the teacher. The first person to point to the correct phrase wins a point for their team. (This student could get an extra point if they can read the sentence back to the teacher.) Select new students to come to the front. (Either swap the student who won, or swap the student who lost, or swap both students for new team members.) EXTRA: This game can also be played with vocabulary and/or flashcards. When students point to the vocabulary they can get an extra point if they can create a grammatically correct sentence.
Yookosoo Textbook 1 Resources
Vocabulary and grammar questions with some audio on various topics including classmates, my town, everyday life, weather and climate, hobbies and leisure activities, food, shopping.
Yookosoo Textbook 2 Resources
Short videos with listening comprehension questions, reading activities, grammar questions on various topics including: travel, at home, automobiles and transportation, the body and health, life and careers, communication and media, nature and culture.