English in Elementary School


Introduction An increasing number of ALTs are being asked to visit elementary schools. In 2011, MEXT introduced compulsory Foreign Language Activities for fifth and sixth grade at the elementary level. Eigo Note was provided as a textbook for use in these compulsory classes and replaced by Hi, Friends! in 2012. Foreign language classes through the fifth grade level of elementary schools are part of a larger goal to familiarise children with foreign languages, lifestyles and cultures, rather than focusing on teaching a foreign language in a formal way. They are not supposed to be preparation for junior high school, and the use of katakana should be avoided. Unlike junior and senior high schools, there are no set textbooks for younger elementary students, and the emphasis of foreign language education is placed on the listening and speaking of simple terms that students know from their daily lives as opposed to written forms. English should be taught in a fun and natural way, using activities such as songs and games. Some communities may not be ready to introduce English at an earlier age than this, but would like their children to be more internationally minded and have introduced “International Understanding” education for younger learners.

Teaching Young Children

The teaching of foreign language and international understanding to children can be extremely fulfilling due to the responsiveness of the audience. Whereas adults have many years of habit and thought to overcome, children’s curiosity will often overcome childhood prejudices. When preparing classes, always bear in mind that the children, although responsive, may have very limited attention spans. These are children who are used to watching television programmes with commercial breaks every 5-7 minutes. Also do not overestimate the amount of time you have. Excluding start-up and clean-up, a 45-minute class you may well have only 30 minutes of actual instruction time. There are a number of suggestions contained herein for the first time you teach a class. The children may need time to adjust to having a foreigner speaking to them before they move on to some of the more thought provoking exercises also included. When planning activities, try to look out for things that the children are interested in, e.g. their favorite musical group, or a favourite baseball or soccer player. Use these examples to capture the students’ attention and interest.

Elementary School Visits It is difficult to provide definitive descriptions of the differences between each grade of elementary school, but here are some points to remember: 1st and 2nd grade: They love to be active and often enjoy doing the same thing over and over again with just a few variations to the activity. A quick pace is required to keep their attention and it is especially important to start the class with as little delay as possible. Have calming activities prepared in case they become over excited (e.g. breathing in and out deeply after physical activities). If you are going to do several activities, make sure they are related. 3rd and 4th grade: Children at this age have the energy of the 1st and 2nd graders, but can understand the activities of the older students. Their natural curiosity is also at a peak during this period. 5th and 6th grade: More complicated games can be understood, they can listen longer and can handle more abstract ideas (talking about another countries for example) but may be less willing to speak, sing or move. Personalities also become more noticeable and you will see noisy or quiet classes. Do not push it if they are reluctant to come to the front or sing. Be careful not to let an activity go on too long - they are still children. They often enjoy doing research on their own. Always try to finish on a high note.


English in Elementary School

Creating a Syllabus

CREATING A SYLLABUS If you visit a class just a few times a year, the visits will probably involve little more than self introductions and games. However, as the frequency increases to once a month or once a week the children will remember words and phrases from one class to the next and a syllabus or teaching schedule will become necessary to build on previous lessons. So what should a syllabus include? Consider what aspects of life are important to young children and how they use language to talk about them. Subjects such as food, toys, school, family and friends will often be spoken about in terms of likes/dislikes, cans/cannots, approval/disapproval and so on. If you teach a class often enough to get to know your students you will be able to tailor the syllabus to the class, but here are some suggestions from Will Jasprizza and Richard Graham of Genki English of subjects you may wish to cover. It has been suggested that you use a list such as this as a “menu” from which other teachers or your supervisor can choose. You can then adjust the activities and difficulty level to suit the class: • Animals • Greetings • Insects • Colours • Gestures • Clothes • Games • Body parts • Feelings • Sports • Fruit • Modes of transport • Food • Family members • Drinks • Directions • Weather • Names of countries • Numbers • Telling the time • Actions (doing, going) • Birthday (you do not have to remember all 12 months - just your birthday!) The following explanation and examples of games from former ALTs Richard Graham and Will Jasprizza show how to make elementary school language teaching fun. Further activities, games, flashcards and songs can be found on the Genki English website : www.GenkiEnglish.com Remember that what you are teaching is “international understanding.”.English communication ability is just one part of the bigger picture. The aim is not linguistic perfection, but to get the kids motivated and interested in learning about the world. In practical terms… • Create an enjoyable atmosphere conducive to learning. This almost goes without saying, but the important point is to think like a kid. If you were a 7 year old kid, how would you want to learn? • Use movement. Get the students out of their chairs. If possible use the gym, or the open area most schools have. When students practice “left” and “right,” do not have them just say the words - get them to move left and right! The more senses employed at once during the learning process, the easier it will be for the students to remember. (Think of riding a bicycle, you may find it difficult to describe all the steps involved, but your body remembers) • Use songs. They are one of the best ways for the kids to remember the English you have taught them. MEXT recommends using songs, but warns against using traditional songs that may have out-of-date English. In addition many traditional children’s songs are (a) difficult to teach, (b) contain a lot of stereotypes, and (c) cannot be used in conversation- e.g. Twinkle Twinkle. Use songs that contain language the kids can use. However, if you simply play a CD and tell kids to sing along, it probably will not work. Take a three-step approach: 1. Introduce the vocabulary with picture cards or gestures. Remember that the focus is on


English in Elementary School

Creating a Syllabus

spoken English: we do not have the time to teach reading and writing. 2. Sing the song a cappella, and get the students to repeat. 3. Once the children can do the song a cappella, play the actual music and sing along. This way you keep the exciting part for the end. • Drama. Get the students to role play. If you are teaching “How much is...” have them act out a scene in a make-believe shop. Remember: elementary school students are far less shy than junior high school students. • Be knowledgeable about Japanese pop culture. Know at least a few Japanese sporting heroes, TV stars and cartoon characters. Ask about the characters on the kids’ pencil cases, lunch boxes, etc. or try watching a bit of Japanese TV. Use this knowledge to illustrate what you are teaching, e.g. “Do you like (famous cartoon character)?” • Use games. Games are the best way for kids to practice the target English. Kids love games. But do not play games just for the sake of playing. Each game should have an educational objective, whether it be increasing vocabulary, listening practice, or the teaching of whole phrases. • Some other advantages of EFL games are: - They provide extra motivation to learn the target language - learn the new language, win the game. - They allow the kids to practice with their peers. - The lessons become less teacher-orientated and more student-orientated. And the biggest advantage is that they are fun. Kids want to learn more so that they can try new games. Sometimes kids might get fed up if they lose a game, or other kids might tease the losers, in this case you must teach the kids the golden rule of games: “Losing” doesn’t mean “losing”. The real meaning of the word is that you get another chance to try again. You never fail until you stop trying. If everyone is having fun, everyone is a winner. Try this and after every lesson the kids will be shouting “again, again.” Below are some examples of games that work well in elementary school, and prove that learning English is fun and effective. (These games are taken from the GenkiEnglish.net website where you can also find photos of the games in action and Japanese translations to hand to your teacher great for lesson planning).

THE GROUP GAME Target language: Numbers 1-12 Target grade: Any 1. All the kids run round the gym in a big circle. 2. The teacher shouts out a number. 3. The kids have to stop and make groups that contain this number of people. For example, if the teacher said “3”, then the kids get in groups of three. 4. When they get all the members of their team they sit down. 5. Repeat from 1.


English in Elementary School

The Lines Quiz

THE LINES QUIZ Target Grade: Elementary 1 to Junior High 3 Target English: Questions and vocabulary practice 1. Split the class into two groups. One lines up on the left side, one on the right. 2. The ALT asks the front kid in each group a question. 3. The first one to answer correctly gets to sit down. The other goes to the back of his/her team. 4. The winning team is the first where everyone is sitting down! Make sure the questions come thick and fast. Examples include “What’s your name?”, “How old are you?”, “What’s this?”, “What colour is this?”, etc.

BODY BUILDING GAME! Target Grade:1-6 Target English: body parts Preparation: an inflatable dice This is the perfect game to play after teaching the song “Heads and Shoulders.” But the actual scoring system can be used in a variety of other ways. Make sure the kids remember the words for parts of the body (head, eye, ear, mouth, nose, arm and leg) before playing. 1. Split the class into six teams. If they are in columns of desks, saying the left hand column is team 1, the next team 2, etc. is usually the best. 2. On the board draw 6 six limbless, featureless faces and bodies. 3. Ask the front person in each group to stand up. 4. The ALT asks the kids who are standing up a question. The quickest one to answer is the winner. 5. The winner rolls the inflatable dice. 6. If they get a “1” they can draw an eye on their team’s face. If they have a “2” they can draw an ear. Similarly, “3” is a nose, “4” is a mouth, “5” is an arm and “6” is a leg. 7. But each team can only have one nose, one mouth, and two each of the ears, eyes, arms and legs. For example, if your team already has two arms, and you roll another number “5”, then that go is a “pass” because you cannot add another arm! This really helps the weaker teams catch up (and sometimes win!!!) 8. The next person in each group stands up, and repeats from step 4. 9. The winning team is the first team to get two eyes, two ears, one nose, one mouth, two arms and two legs. If time runs out then the team with the most features is the winner! The eyes, ears, etc. are drawn on one at a time. Suitable questions include “What’s this?” and point to your own body, or “show me a .....” where the kids have to point to their body. This game can also be adapted for junior high school. Questions to be used there can be based around the current grammar point (e.g. “Which is bigger, China or Japan?”).


English in Elementary School

What Time is it Mr. Wolf?

WHAT TIME IS IT MR. WOLF? Target Grade:1-4 Target English: “What time is it?” You need the gym or similar open space to play this game in. 1. Introduce and practice with the kids the phrase “What time is it?” 2. Practice the responses “It’s 1 o’clock,”,“2 o’clock,” etc. 3. Introduce the name of the game. This gives a chance to introduce the cultural point of “Mr. ....” 4. All the kids line up against one wall of the gym. 5. One kid is selected as Mr. Wolf, and walks to the middle of the gym. 6. The students’ objective is to reach the far wall. Mr. Wolf’s objective is to eat the other kids. 7. The kids shout out “What time is it Mr. Wolf?” in a big, loud voice. 8. Mr. Wolf then shouts back the time. The time can be anything from 1 to 12 o’clock, e.g. “It’s seven o’clock.” 9. The kids then take the corresponding number of steps forward. For example, three steps for 3 o’clock. 10. Repeat from step 7. 11. When Mr. Wolf decides that the other kids have got near enough to the far wall then instead of saying “It’s ..... o’clock” he says “It’s Dinner Time!!!!!” 12. All the kids then run back towards the wall they came from. But if Mr. Wolf tags (touches) them before they reach the wall, they become the new Mr. Wolf! 13. Play Again! You can either have Mr. Wolf be replaced one at a time, or have several Mr. Wolfs (e.g. if the first Mr. Wolf tagged three kids there would be three new wolves). Make sure the kids only take large steps, and not the massive huge jumping leaps that some of them will be tempted to do. It is good for about 20 minutes, which is usually enough time to let everyone be the wolf.

CRISS CROSS GAME! Target Grade:1-6 Target English: conversation, vocabulary, anything! A quick way to practice a conversation idea or vocabulary set. 1. All the students stand up. 2. Teacher asks a question. 3. The student who wants to answer raises his/her hand. 4. If they get the question right then all the kids in their row of desks (i.e. all kids to the left and right of them) sits down. 5. Ask a question. The student who wants to answer raises his/her hand. 6. This time if they get it correct all the students in the column they are in (all the kids in front and behind them) sit down. 7. Repeat until only one kid is left standing. Remember to tell them that losing doesn’t mean losing, it really means they have another chance to try again! Teaching at Elementary School can be one of the most rewarding parts of being a JET participant. You get to teach real, communicative English the kids can actually use, there are no set exams or curricula to hold you back, and the kids really do learn! So remember to prepare your lessons well, teach some cool stuff, have fun and above all be genki! You will love it. Richard and Will www.GenkiEnglish.net


English in Elementary School

Cross-Cultural Teaching Games

Cross-Cultural Teaching Games The following games played by JET participants when they were children may not have any deep “international understanding” itinerary, but provide students with a chance to meet and play with a JET participant during their school visit assignments. However, most can be changed slightly to include a more “international” angle if desired, and in fact many of the descriptions anticipate these adaptations. The students and/or teachers will quickly pick up on similarities or differences between these and the childhood games played by Japanese; most likely they will be considered “American,” “Irish,” “Australian,” “Brazilian” or whatever based on the nationality of the JET participant leading the game.


Mark out three circles on the floor. Divide the class into three equal teams, with each team given a base. Assign each group names, like Cat, Dog, Mouse. Each team is safe in its own base, but Cats must try to catch Mice, who try to catch Dogs, who try to catch Cats. Make each team wear hachimaki (headbands) or hats. When a Mouse captures a Dog, the Dog comes back to the Mouse’s base, and must wait there until freed by another Dog.

Fox and Geese

Tramp out a huge circle in the snow, or use the circle on the gym floor. Add a centre hub and spokes that go out from the hub to the outer circle. Choose one person to be the Fox, the rest of the players are the Geese. The Fox tries to catch the Geese by running around the circle or across the spokes. The Geese are safe when they are in the hub, but can only stay there for one minute at a time. When a Goose is caught, he or she becomes the new Fox.

Ice Floes

Line up students at one end of the room. You can divide them into teams of 1-three, and give each team two sheets of newspaper. The first player from each team lines up standing on one sheet of paper, and on the word GO, lay the other on the floor in front of them, step on it, pick up the first sheet, lay it down in front of them and step on it, and so on. The first team to reach the end of the room and back wins, but if either foot touches the floor, you must go back to the beginning and start again.

Indonesian “Janken”

Instead of traditional paper, scissors, rock, teach your students elephant, tiger, mouse. Elephant (thumb) beats the tiger (pointer/index finger), which beats the mouse (little finger). Of course, the mouse beats the elephant.

Pass the Parcel

This game can be used for a variety of purposes: English greetings, capital cities, customs of other countries. Wrap a small present (pack of sweets, money from home, etc.) in about 10-12 layers of wrapping paper or newspaper. The students sit in a circle and, as music is played, they pass the parcel around. When the music stops, the person holding the present unwraps a layer. If they haven’t come to the present, the student must do a forfeit game, i.e. sing the ABC song, etc. The game goes on until someone reaches the present.

Squirrel in the Tree

Students make groups of three. Two people hold hands to make a circle, and the third student, the “squirrel”, stands in the middle of the circle, or “tree”. When you blow a whistle, the trees raise their arms, and the squirrels must run around, looking for a new tree. Only one squirrel for each tree. Continue playing. Make sure that the trees have a chance to become squirrels.


English in Elementary School

Tag Games

Seven Up

Seven students are selected and stand at the front of the room. The rest of the students place their heads on their hands with their eyes closed and make a fist with one hand and extend one thumb upwards. The seven students then go around the class and each touch one person’s thumb. That person then puts his/her thumb down. After all 7 have finished, they go back to the front of the class, and the chosen people guess who touched them. If they are correct, they change places; if they are not, the other person continues. Change players if necessary after 5 times.


You can buy the game, or improvise and make your own sheet. The store-bought game has four colours, rows of blue, green, red and yellow. If you improvise, you could mix the colours up, or even add extra colours, but be careful not to make the game too easy or it will take a long time to get a winner. Only a few students can play at a time, but it is fun to watch. Have a Twister sheet, or tape laminated coloured circles onto the floor. Pull instructions out of a hat. Call out instructions: “Left hand on red”, “Right foot on blue” etc. Continue until one or all of them lose their balance and fall down (they must stand - only hands and feet should touch the floor).

Tunnel Ball

Have the children make two teams. Each team stands in single file, and everyone stands with their legs apart. The student at the front rolls a ball (a medicine ball is best, but any large ball will do) down the tunnel formed by the team’s legs. The person at the end stands about 1 metre back from the team, waits for the ball and then runs with it to the front of the line. As this player is running, the whole team shuffles back - the team always has to be behind a certain line. Continue until the first person to roll the ball is at the front of the line again, and everyone sits down to show they are finished. The first team to finish wins.

Poison Ball

The playing area is a big circle. Five people stand outside the circle and roll balls through the circle. All the people standing in the circle have to avoid getting hit, otherwise they are out and join the people rolling the balls. The last person standing in the circle wins. Do not throw the balls - only roll them.

Drop Ball

Form pairs. The kids throw a ball (tennis ball size) back and forth. If one child drops the ball, his/ her partner has to call out “one knee!”, and the kid who dropped the ball gets down on one knee. If the same kid drops the ball again his/her partner says “two knees!”. The next steps are “one elbow!”, “two elbows!” and “chin!”. If you drop the ball when you have both knees, elbows and chin on the floor, you are out. And remember, you have to stay in position to throw and catch.

TAG GAMES Circle Tag

Mark out 5 circles - on the floor, in the snow or in the playground dirt - each about 1 metre across, and about two long paces apart. Choose a Chaser. He or she must try to tag the others as they run between the circles. The circles are safe, but players can only stay in them for five seconds at a time. When the Chaser has tagged a player, that person becomes the Chaser.

Everybody Tag

Everybody is “IT” and you have to tag as many people as possible. Anyone who is tagged has to stand still, until there is only one player left who hasn’t been tagged. The last player yells “Go!” and the game begins again.

Scarecrow Tiggy

Have one or more students as “IT”. When they catch someone, that person has to freeze and make a scarecrow: spread their legs apart, and put their arms out straight from their sides. They may be freed by another person crawling between their legs. The person crawling between the legs is safe while there (between the person’s legs). This may continue indefinitely. Variation: if someone is caught X times, i.e. two-three times, that person then becomes “IT”.


English in Elementary School


Shadow Tag

Good as an outdoor game on a sunny day. To tag a player, “IT” has to step on that person’s shadow. Whenever a person is tagged, that player becomes the new “IT”. Players must stay in the sun.

Tail Tag

Choose who is “IT”. The rest of the players get into lines of three, with each person holding the waist of the person in front. “IT” tries to attach himself to the last person in any line of three. If he succeeds, the front person of that line becomes “IT”. If anyone in a line lets go of the person in front, that person is “IT”.

Crows and Cranes

Name half of the group crows and the other half cranes. Each team has a home base. They all move towards the centre, then the teacher calls out either “crows” or “cranes”. If “crow” is called, the crows chase the cranes. If a crane is caught, they become a crow. Set a time limit, or finish when one team has all of the players. Substitute blue/red etc.

Red light/Green light

One player faces the wall and the rest of the students stand behind a line some distance away. The player facing the wall calls out “green light!” and the students can run towards the wall. When “red light!” is called, all players must freeze. The player at the wall tries to catch someone who is still moving, who then returns to the start line. The first person to reach the wall is the winner. Add “crash!” (students must fall down) and “bridge!” (students form an arch by touching the ground).

Where are you?

Also known as “Marco Polo”. Blindfold a student (preferably a popular one). He or she asks “Where are you?”. The other students reply “Here I am!”, and the blindfolded student tries to tag one of them. If he tags them, they change places.


The teacher starts by saying “I spy something blue”. The students must guess what the teacher has “spied”. If necessary, continue to give clues - “It’s big”, “You can write with it” etc.

Noisy Animals

Teach the students some animal noises and divide them into groups of five or six. Give each group an animal noise and get them to practice loudly. Students then close their eyes (or are blindfolded) and the teacher scatters the groups up around the classroom or gym. When the teacher says “Go!”, the students try and find their group by calling out the group’s noise. The first team to find everyone wins. This game is good fun to watch!

Tray Memory

Put ten items on a tray. They should be things that the students have learned, e.g. fruit. Have them look at the tray for one minute, then cover it up and have them write down the items. Alternatively, remove one item and have them guess which one it is.

Circle the Letter

Write letters on the board in different sizes and colours. Make teams and call out “Big red A” etc. The students run up and circle the letter.


English in Elementary School

Foreign Holiday Craft


Make a Valentine’s Day card and photocopy it for the students to colour in, or let them draw their own. Cut heart-shaped cards. Tell them about Valentine’s Day in your country, and teach them simple Valentine’s greetings.

Colouring Easter Eggs

Ask someone from home to send out an Easter Egg colouring kit, or food colouring if you cannot find shokubeni (food colouring) in your own town. Japanese food colouring sometimes comes in the powdered form, and you may find it difficult to make the powder mix properly. Prepare bowls of water, and add food colouring and some vinegar. Make sure that the eggs are hard-boiled, and let them sit in the dye until they reach the desired colour. Use a white candle or wax crayon to draw designs on your egg BEFORE dipping in the dye. Your design will remain white. Older kids can lightly rub some fat (pork, etc) on the egg to make it shine. Coffee and onion skin eggs: an Eastern European way to colour eggs. Wrap a raw egg in brown onion skins. Keep the skins in place with a string. Put the wrapped eggs in a pot, cover the eggs with water and add coffee grounds. Boil for 10 minutes. Unwrap the egg. It should have a brown, marbled pattern.

Mother’s Day Cards

Show how to make a Mother’s Day card. On the front, attach a cut-out flower vase, gluing only the outside edges of the sides and bottom (forming a pocket). Attach paper flowers to popsicle sticks, so the stick become stems. On the stems, write something that the child will do for the mother (help with the laundry, help set the table...). Then put the stems into the vase. This can also be done in a voucher style, THIS entitles bearer to one hour of my help, etc. Vary the type of card for Father’s Day.

Paper Chain-making to Decorate the Sukkah

A Sukkah is a structure which recalls the type of structure the Jews lived in during their journey from Egypt to the Promised Land. Children enjoy making metres and metres of paper chains while you introduce Jewish heritage.

Jack o’Lantern Faces on Kaki

Most towns usually have an abundance of kaki (persimmons) in October. Using a black felt pen, draw jack o’lantern faces on the persimmons. Use a water-based pen so the fruit can be washed and eaten later.

Thanksgiving Turkey Puppets

Students trace the outline of their hand onto white paper. Their thumbs become the head of the turkey, and their fingers become the feathers. Colour in the turkey.

Advent Calendar

Make advent calendars with older children, or make one yourself for younger kids to enjoy. Select a simple Christmas scene. Lay out where you will place the doors (from 1 to 24) by using a template. Make #24 a bit larger. Then use the template on a separate thick piece of paper to draw in the windows. Draw festive pictures. Let the students open the doors to count down to Christmas and their winter holidays.


Make a simple piñata and bring it to class to show the students. Then let them try to make one. Cut a newspaper into strips. Dip each strip in a flour and water mix, not too thick, not too runny, and wrap around a balloon. Let each layer dry overnight (before continuing. When 5 layers are completed, you are ready to decorate. Cut tissue paper into 5 cm squares. Place the flat end of a pen in the centre of the square, and wrap the paper around the pen. Then dab a bit of glue on the end, and stick the paper to the balloon. Use the pen to firmly put the paper in place. Remove the pen and repeat.


English in Elementary School

Other Ideas

Once dry, pop the balloon and remove. Attach a rope to the hanger from which to hang the piñata. Fill the piñata with sweets and unshelled peanuts. Attach the rope to a long stick, or throw over a beam/tree branch. Depending upon the age of the child, you can make it easy or difficult. Blindfold the child, and give him/her a bamboo stick (a baseball bat offers a little too much danger). Then let him/her try to hit the piñata. Be very careful to keep other students and yourself far away. Move the piñata around, and give other students a chance to take a whack at it.

OTHER IDEAS Non-Japanese Fairytales, Folktales, and Bedtime Stories

Translate or use Little Red Riding Hood, Nordic Troll Stories, Native Indian Legends, Aboriginal Dreamtime stories or your favourite childhood bedtime stories, and tell them to the students. Liven them up by drawing pictures (or get picture books from home) and using props, etc. Many nursery schools and libraries have volumes of Kamishibai, stories accompanied by drawings. Sometimes, there are stories that have been translated into Japanese.

Scavenger Hunt

Plan a simple hunt and let the teachers know well ahead of time. For younger kids, draw pictures on flashcards, and do a vocabulary review at the beginning, and again at the end. Adjust according to the level of the kids. For a different twist, get them to go on a sound scavenger hunt, armed with a tape recorder. They have to make their teachers say something in English, record a dog barking, the bell chiming, toilet flushing, etc.

Embassy Materials

Most embassies and foreign tourist authorities produce promotional materials.

Map Quizzes

Use brightly coloured maps to teach children size-words, colours and names. Use gestures and melodies to aid memorisation. Make a big topographical map with twigs for trees, clay mountain ranges etc.


Even just a simple story with actions and a few words will work for the school festival.


English in Elementary School

English in Kindergarten

English in Kindergarten Teaching English in kindergarten is an easy and enjoyable experience. Unlike their adolescent counterparts, few young Japanese children have inhibitions about speaking English, and display a remarkable eagerness to learn and perform. The following ideas have all been used with classes of five and six year olds, with class sizes ranging from 20-28. All have worked, and all are fun. Please also refer to the Elementary School sections of the ALT handbook. Most of the games and activities can be easily adapted to suit kindergarten children, but remember that this age group has a short attention span, so you will need to do less explaining, and more showing and doing. Kindergarteners also have a lot of energy, which can be used to your advantage- get them to use English as actively as possible. Keep in mind, however, that emphasis at this stage should be on speaking and listening. Teaching ABCs only teaches the names of the letters, but not the sounds themselves - children cannot communicate with ABCs. Also, bear in mind that English songs will only work if there is very simple vocabulary and lots of repetition.

Adjusting Classes for the Age Difference

The range of maturity and ability from kindergarten to 6th grade is enormous and will affect your class planning and activity selection. The enthusiasm with which you are met is unlikely to be matched anywhere else on the JET Programme. Kindergarten Visits From the moment you are met at the door by screaming, bouncing 3-6 year olds until you are group hugged good-bye you will feel very welcome. Kindergarten visits will usually be just that, a visit and not a lesson. The teachers will often have the visit planned out to some extent. It may include a brief self-introduction, followed by games, songs and a presentation from the students. Try to include some kind of language or cultural learning activity into regular pre-school activities such as drawing, colouring, singing or stories . Although the visits are often planned, you should have a number of songs, games and activities in your repertoire. Action songs (e.g. Heads and Shoulders) are always good to fall back on if you are suddenly asked to perform. Anything that lets them move around, have fun and act silly will be successful. Ham up the greetings and act goofy for an even bigger reaction. In preparation, wear appropriate clothes (you will be climbed upon) and try to be prepared for the behaviour of children of this age group. Groping and poking may well be part of the visit, but do not be afraid to put a stop to it.


English in Elementary School

Advice and Preparation

ADVICE AND PREPARATION Here are a number of tips and ways of preparing for a successful kindergarten or elementary school visit. These have been collated from a number of JET participants with experience: • Bring indoor shoes. Running around in vinyl slippers may be entertaining for the children but will make things more difficult for you. • Use the teacher for crowd control. They are usually pretty good at keeping things quiet, getting the children into groups and playing fairly. • Make a lesson plan, but keep it flexible. Prepare more activities than you have time for. • Avoid games that could potentially get violent. Students often get carried away. • Do not wear anything restrictive or expensive. • Try to meet the teacher before the lesson and explain the games. • Laminate anything you want to use again. • Do not scrap an activity just because it did not work in one class. It may work fine the next day with a different class. • Keep the class student-centred at all times. Have the students give out handouts and collect up afterwards etc. It takes the pressure off you and keeps them occupied. • Use incidental language as much as possible. This will help them remember it and how to use it (ie., “Hello”, “Here you are”, “Thank you”, “You’re welcome”, “Bless you”, etc.) • Keep things simple. Games you spent hours preparing are often the first to flop. Explanations should be carried out within a minute or two. Where possible, demonstrate with the Japanese teacher rather than explain. • Eating lunch with the children helps to get to know them and create a little informal internationalisation. • Do not jump randomly between topics. Keep activities related. • Phrases should be repeated frequently. • PLAY between classes and TEACH during them. • Try teaching with other classes like cooking or gym for a bit of variety. • Praise individuals. • Using a game more than once saves explanation time. • Make sure the Japanese teacher knows what to do. • Make vocabulary posters to save time. • Balance activities that “stir-up” and “settle down”. • Make name cards so you can address the children as individuals. • Prepare an activity or video in case you are absent. • Let the children teach you something each lesson. • Buy teaching aids. Invest in self-training. • Children will understand a lot from tone, gestures and facial expressions. • Use lots of English words which are also used in Japanese in the katakana form. • Keep notes of what you taught, so you can re-cap on previous areas. • Try repeating explanations and phrases in several different ways. • Use a toy to talk to if the Japanese teacher is not already prepared. • Try to get feedback from the children as well as the Japanese teacher. • Use commands and phrases in various contexts to highlight their usefulness. • Have an emergency teaching pack ready for unexpected circumstances. Some ideas for things to include: Bingo cards Glitter pen for autographs Posterboard Mr. Bean video Blank Karuta cards Book of games Colour markers and pencils Nametags Stuffed animals/Mascot Blindfolds Music tape Prizes Book of games Indoor shoes Photos/Slides/Video of your home country


English in Elementary School


GAMES NAMES What’s your name? My name is ________.

• As each child says his/her name, write it down on a big piece of paper or cardboard, to be hung up in the classroom. • Distribute individual name cards to each student.

FEELINGS How are you? I’m happy/O.K./sad.

• Use a piece of cardboard with three different faces on it. • Ask this question at the beginning of each class.

NUMBERS What number is this? How many?

• Use flash cards to teach numbers 1-10. • Clap your hands, and have children identify how many claps they hear. • “Grab the ball” game - divide children into two teams, and number them off from 1-10. The teams stand facing each other. Place a ball in the centre. When you call out a number, the two children from opposing teams race to get the ball first. • “Take____steps” game. Have all the children on one side of the room. Stand at the opposite end, with your back to the children. Call out the number of steps to take. The first child to reach you is the winner.

BIRTHDAY How old are you? I’m ______.

• Have all the children’s names written in a large calendar. As each birthday approaches, sing the “Happy Birthday” song. • Divide the children into groups corresponding to their current age (there will probably be two groups). Have each group ask the other “How old are you?” and see which group can give the loudest answer.

COLOURS What colour is this? Red/Blue/Yellow/Green/Black/White/Brown/Pink

• Use large pieces of coloured paper to teach colours. • Have children identify colours of objects, clothing that you point to. • Play “Fruit Basket” (depending on the size of the class, you might do only 4 four colours at a time). • Play “Catch”. Have all children stand at one end of the room. Give each child a piece of coloured paper. Stand in the middle of the room and call out a colour. The children who are that particular colour try to run to the other end of the room without being caught. If they are caught, they must help you catch the others. Have the “catchers” (including you!) stay on their knees during this game if space is limited. • Arrange the children in a big circle. Each child has a piece of coloured paper. When you call out a particular colour, those children must run to the middle of the circle within five (or three) seconds. Count loudly.

STOP/GO Green=Go Red=Stop

• Play “Red Light, Green Light”. If any child moves during “red light” he or she must go back to the start line.


English in Elementary School


• Have all the children stand around the room. When you call “Go!”, they start moving (twirling, jumping, running, etc.). When you yell “Stop!” they must stand perfectly still. If they move, they must sit down.

PARTS OF BODY What’s this? How many ____ do you have? Head/shoulders/knees/toes/eyes/ears/mouth/nose/feet/legs/arms/hands

• Sing “Head and Shoulders” song. When the children know the song well, you can do it very fast, which is a lot of fun. • Play “Simon Says”. • Play “Fruit Basket”.

ACTIONS ______ your head/feet/etc. Touch/clap/shake/stamp/turn around

• Play “Simon Says”. • Sing “If you’re happy and you know it...”, combining actions with body parts previously taught (e.g. shake your shoulders).

LEFT/RIGHT Raise your hand

• Sing the “Hokey Pokey” song. (“Put your ____ foot in...”) You may need to colour-code left/right to help children remember. For example, children hold a piece of blue paper in their left hand, red in their right hand.


This is a twist on the classic “Simon Says” game. Rather than use the not very useful phrase “Simon Says”, try using “please” instead. If the teacher says “stand up, please,” the kids should stand up. But if the teacher says “stand up!” without saying “please”, the kids should not stand up! Try “Sit down”, “Jump”, “Spin”, “Clap” and best of all, “Smile, please!”. Then try “Smile” (with no please). If the kids smile, they are out.


Call out a number as you jump into the air (if you can do a high vertical jump your kids will be really impressed. The class then jumps and yells out the same number. It is important for the teacher to jump and count first so that the students can hear the correct pronunciation. Once you think the students have the hang of it you can try jumping together - instead of pausing between jumps try jumping as soon as you land. This is also a sure way of helping your students get rid of excess energy (i.e. use it to deliberately tire them out!).


Once your students are fairly competent with the numbers 1-12 (teaching the numbers 1-12 means that the students will be able to use them in “telling the time” activities), give them a bit of a challenge such as asking them to count backwards, but in the form of a NASA-like rocket count down. Everyone crouches down and holds their hands above their heads like the nosecone of a rocket. As you count down from 12 you stand up a little higher with each number, and on zero you launch by jumping up in the air. Remember that if your students’ voices aren’t loud enough the rocket will not have enough energy to take off and you’ll have to do the whole thing again.


Instead of a nosecone, form the shell of an egg with your hands. Do the countdown and on zero, burst out of the shell and fly away like a cute little bird, flapping your arms for added effect.


Classroom Activities

English in Elementary School

Classroom activity ideas ANIME NOISES GAME

Submitted by Kseniya Vaynshtok (Namerikawa City BOE) Target Group: Kindergarten

Difficulty Level: Fundamentals

Activity Objective: To teach animal noises and names Procedure: Since many of my kindergarten students love animals and already know their names, I decided to make a lesson combining something they already love with a new element to learn: animal noises, using a picture book and a game. I begin the activity by reviewing the different animals, their names, and the sounds they make in English using an engaging picture book. I then use the large animal flashcards to briefly review the animals they just learned. If the students do not quite catch how to say a certain animal sound (an example of a tricky sound being a mouse's "squeak squeak." I put the flashcard on the whiteboard and write the pronunciation out next to it in hiragana/katakana (depending on what the student can read). I prefer for the students to hear the natural (non-katakana) pronunciation of words, but sometimes they are difficult to retain without a visual reminder. Once I am satisfied with their pronunciation, I begin the actual game. The children are very excited and enthusiastic to make animal sounds so I tell them they will become animals for this game. This helps set the stage for the game. I then divide the students up into groups and assign them animals. So that the children better remember their assigned animal, I hand out small animal cards with a picture of their animal on it. This helps them remember their animal and later helps in the game for the students who find it too challenging. I tell each group to practice each noise until they sound like the actual animal. Once they have practice for about 5 minutes, I have the children stand, explain the rules of the game, have them close their eyes, and mix them up. When I say "go!" the children open their eyes and search for their group mates using the sounds they practiced, and if they need to, the cards they are holding. In this way they not only know the names of the animals, but also become familiarised with the sounds, too. The first group(s) to find all their group mates by their sounds and sit down win(s)! Materials and Preparation: This activity requires large animal flashcards, a white board, and small animal cards (approximately 7 different animals, and enough cards for the entire class). The flashcards and animal cards can be printed using clipart pictures or cute pictures found online and photocopied in the office. Division of Labour for ALT and JTE: I am usually the teacher in charge of preparing the lesson and executing it. However, I have found that getting the teachers as involved as possible really helps the class go smoothly. Therefore I email or fax each teacher my lesson plans and game explanations a few days in advance for them to review. For this particular lesson, the JTEs helped me divide the students into groups and practice the animal noises within the groups. When it was time to explain the directions, the JTEs help me paraphrase the rules and to act out the activity so that the students can better understand. Afterwards they helped me mix up the children and judge who won. The JTEs often have as much fun as the children and if the activity is a success, they continue it even after I leave. Suggestions and Advice: The children are easily excitable when you are excited. During the picture book and flashcard review, I asked the children to repeat the animal sounds, but making their sounds much deeper like a cow, or squeakier like a real mouse until they were giggling from the sounds that ensued. Silliness and gestures are also encouraged. The children also respond when you are not afraid to be a little silly, or tell them that during the game the will be turning into animals. Asking the JTEs to get involved and be silly also helps engage the children and make even the shiest kid enthusiastic.


Forecast Game

English in Elementary School

And lastly, if there is enough time, feel free to play a few rounds and to switch up the animals, as once the children are familiar with the rules, it goes much more fluidly and allows for everyone to have a chance to win.


Submitted by Rebecca O’Neil (Otaki Town BOE) Target Group: All grades

Difficulty Level: Fundamentals

Activity Objective: Students will be able to say and identify weather types Procedure: This is an adaptation of the "Juicy Sabotage" game on the Englipedia website. Students sit in vertical rows to make teams. The students in the back row receive weather cards face down. To play, the student in the back flips over a card and reads it to the student in front of him/her. This student says the word to the student in front, and it passes telephone-style to the front. The student in the front row stands up and draws the weather in the forecast box on the board, then sits down in the back row and everyone moves forward one seat. Continue until students finish a five-day forecast. Prizes can be awarded for best pictures at first, so they can practice the game, then for fastest time. Materials and Preparation: Karuta-style cards with weather vocabulary (I used sunny, rainy, cloudy, hot, and cold), chalks and a blackboard, desks should be arranged in vertical rows. Division of Labour for ALT and JTE: ALT and JTE pass out cards to students in the back row. ALT can model how to play with students or the JTE. If teams are uneven, JTE or ALT can join a team; if not, they can walk around to ensure no Japanese is being used and to remind students who have forgotten the vocabulary. JTE can also serve as judge for fastest team, best picture, etc. Suggestions and Advice: This game is best as a second or third activity in a lesson, so the students should already be familiar with the vocabulary and ready to get excited and use it. It is easy to explain just by modeling with a row of students rather than explaining. This game works best with medium-large classes, but if there is not enough room in the classroom students do not have to change seats with each drawer. The one flaw in this game is while it cannot be won by one person, it can be lost if a student forgets the vocabulary or has other circumstances (is in a wheelchair, is special needs, etc.) In this case you have to tailor it to what the student can do. For example, the student in the wheelchair could say the English word, so I made him the designated card-flipper and the other students rotated seats in front of him. Also this game can get loud so remind students to use their normal voices. And of course prizes for the winning team are great.


Gokiburi Game

English in Elementary School

GOKIBURI (COCKROACH) GAME Submitted by Melinda Charnas (Mikasa City BOE) Target Group: All grades

Difficulty Level: Fundamentals

Activity Objective: To practice self introductions (or any other topic) Procedure: Practice the target conversation, play janken and evolve from cockroach to human. Students will introduce themselves to the ALT and try to win janken, winning the game. Materials and Preparation: Depending on the grade level, 3 to 5 animal cards (such as mouse, bird, rabbit, penguin, monkey) to place on the board in a line (or ladder), drawing a cockroach at the beginning and a human stick figure at the end of the line (or ladder). Cockroach and/or human cards can be used if necessary. Bring magnets if the classroom has none. Prizes are always well received. Division of Labour for ALT and JTE: Before class, make sure the JTE understands the rules. In class, the ALT explains the rules using simple sentences. Have the JTE check for understanding and translate if necessary. During the activity, have the JTE walk around and check that kids are using the target conversation, not Japanese. Students who evolved to human will introduce themselves to the ALT, who will reply and janken as the final boss. Suggestions and Advice: Reviewing the animals at the beginning is always a good idea. Students love it if you add gesture to represent each animal to each other (antennas for cockroach, ears for rabbit, etc), it also reduces the noise level since they do not have to scream “rabbit, rabbit!” This game can get pretty loud, take necessary precautions. The students also love it if you tell them they will become gods if they beat you (the ultimate boss) in janken. If most of the class wins, you can either end the game and start a new round, or have them fix games of janken so everyone can win at least once. For older students (5th or 6th graders), set a limited number of winners, stop the game, and start again. You can always add or change the rules to make it more fun!


English in Elementary School

Play-Along Story


Submitted by Juliana Watkins (Fuefuki City BOE) Target Group: Kindergarten Difficulty Level: Fundamentals Activity Objective: To introduce and review vocabulary for very young children in a memorable and fun way. Procedure: I make copies of a book, such as "Wiggle" which features various animals and their way of moving. For example, waddle, slither, jump, etc. I show them one card and tell them what it is. For example, "penguin." I ask them how a penguin walks, then ask them to act like a penguin. I continue introducing cards and reviewing them at random. This works with many other books and objective as well. Materials and Preparation: I use laminated copies of the book's pages, but this isn't required. I like it because I can bring out a couple to start with, review at random, and then add a card or two each time I see a group of kids. If I bring the whole set, kids will frequently mob me to see the rest, so I take out only what I will use that day. I have pre-school visits that can be a month or more between seeing each group, so this is a great way to review and build vocabulary at the same time. The kids love looking at the pictures and have fun doing the related actions. Division of Labour for ALT and JTE: This activity is also good because it doesn't really require any Japanese. It's nice if you or someone else can speak some Japanese to help explain and make things more interesting, but it's simple enough that this part isn't necessary. Young kids will naturally enjoy mimicking you. Suggestions and Advice: Use your space wisely. You need to be sure all kids can see the pictures well, but also have the space to move around. If they get too close to each other, they may become distracted and start playing. If the class is small enough, I have them stay standing next to their desks.


Weekday Hopscotch

English in Elementary School


Submitted by Alexander Miller (Tenkawa Village BOE) Target Group: All grades

Difficulty Level: Fundamentals

Activity Objective: To practice recognizing, speaking and memorizing the days of the week Procedure: Two teams race one another by hoping across 7 steps outlined on the floor, in a hopscotch pattern, meanwhile reciting the days of the week per step in sequential order Materials and Preparation: First, materials needed: 14 laminated 8x11 blank white papers, 14 laminated strips of white paper with each day of the week typed in katakana per strip(each day of the week printed twice), 14 laminated strips of white paper with each day of the week typed with few katakana (leave only the first katakana character in place), a roll of tape, and 7 flash cards indicating days of the week in English on one side and Katakana on the other. Second, assembly: Take the 14 laminated 8x11 papers and tape them in a straight vertical line for two teams, making 7 steps per pathway. And lastly, the game: First teach the days of the week with the flashcards made. Next, students "janken" to form two teams, as they then line up single-file in front of one of the two 7-step hopscotch pathways taped to the floor. Alongside the boardgames are the weekday katakana labeled strips of paper. Each strip of paper is placed alongside each square in sequential order from Monday to Sunday. Each student on both teams must hop across each step reciting the days of the week; both teams go three times in this 1st round. Whichever team is the fastest receives 1 point. In the 2nd round students again cross the board three times, but this time the laminated labels are replaced with the labels only showing the first katakana character of each weekday. If a student cannot identify a particular day on the board, he or she can ask their teammates to shout it out in order to advance. Whichever team is the fastest receives 2 points. And in the 3rd round students must cross the board three times but without any labels. No extra materials needed for this last round. 3 points are awarded to the fastest team. Division of Labour for ALT and JTE: As far as delegating responsibilities, the JET can make the preparation materials alone. The JTL, I believe, will become the most valuable in the classroom. He or she can translate the rules, answer any questions, and also help keep the students obedient during the activity. Within the game, the JTE and JTL should each monitor one team's jumping across the board. If a student mistakenly recites the day of the week, it is the JTE's and JTL's responsibilty to correct the student with the right answer and have the students retry from the start of the boardgame. Suggestions and Advice: Because this game involves a lot of jumping and vocalizing, students can become very excited and disregard the game rules. For this reason, I would have the JET monitor one team while the JTL monitor the other. Also, to maximize use of the materials made, I recommend playing the popular pick-up card game "kurata" after the hopscotch game, using all 28 weekday labels made. Anytime the students are in competition with one another, they always seem to give a 100 percent effort.



English in Elementary School


Submitted by Fenyang Smith (Shoso City BOE) Target Group: All grades

Difficulty Level: Basic Conversation

Activity Objective: To practice using new grammar Procedure: Students use the newly presented grammar along with a few props to create short theatre scenes. Materials and Preparation: Prop sunglasses, hats, etc. (things that can be worn). Classroom desks, chairs, (depending on the scene) After practicing new grammar points as a class and in pairs, students are invited to volunteer to perform in front of the class (usually) in groups of two or three. The remaining class members will be asked to close their eyes while the volunteers are encouraged to adopt a new persona and select props to use. When the volunteers are ready, they will take their places around the classroom, their classmates will open their eyes, and the scene will begin. Although this activity is at its core rather simple, I feel that therein lies its efficacy. It requires very little preparation of materials (though more preparation/props can always benefit the experience) and thus can be woven fluidly into class sessions. It also encourages students to volunteer, to jump outside themselves and imagine (by way of stage personas), and, by giving the students an opportunity to imbue the grammar with their own sense of style and expression, enables them to make what they learn in class their own. Division of Labour for ALT and JTE: I am responsible for assembling the props and utensils needed for the activity as well as explaining the activity and helping the students to understand what they are to do (I also get to say “ACTION!” *ahem*). The JTL and I initially demonstrate a scene together when first presenting new grammar points as a kind of template for the students follow during their own practice, however, aside from a willingness to have fun and encourage students to do the same, the JTL does not need to prepare anything specific. Suggestions and Advice: This activity offers a chance for students to explore ad utilize the English that they've learned in their own individual ways. As such, it is important to flow with the students’ ideas – to help them to understand and deliver the grammar correctly but, ultimately, to remember that they are the stars of the show.


Fun Faces

English in Elementary School


Submitted by Patrick Finn (Namerikawa City BOE) Target Group: 2nd year

Difficulty Level: Basic Conversation

Activity Objective: The goal of this activity is to practice numbers, shapes and potentially, basic conversation Procedure: First, review the numbers 1 through 10 with the students using large flashcards. Pronounce each one for the students and have them repeat. Then, point to random numbers and ask the class to call them out in unison. After, you may want to play a game or two of bingo using numbers. Next, review the shapes with the students. The shapes will likely be new, so keep them simple and repeat them multiple times. When the students have a grasp of the words, begin the activity : - Tell the students that they will be drawing faces today. - Show them your own example using an enlarged A3 version of the Fun Faces worksheet. - Hand out the Fun Faces worksheet, a simple A4 sheet with a square for the students to draw in. - Explain that you will say the name of a shape and then how many of that shape you want. - Go through two examples, drawing your face on the board while the students listen / watch. - Once they understand the idea, tell them it is time to begin! - Put all of the shape flashcards on the board using magnets. - Call out a shape, having the students repeat it, and then a number, having the students again. - Only after having the students repeat the shape and word, point to the flashcard and write the number of shapes underneath it. This gives them the chance to recognise the vocabulary verbally. - During the activity, draw your own face on the board so the students can follow along visually. - Say the next shape, without repeating what’s been called out, and continue the activity. - After going through all the shapes, ask for volunteers to choose a shape and number they want to draw. This moves the activity from strictly listening to speaking as well. - When a he / she chooses a shape and number, remove that flashcard and ask for a new volunteer. - Continue until all the shapes have been called out. - After, ask for volunteers to present their drawings and reward them with stickers for sharing. Materials and Preparation: Bingo Worksheets (A4) (Optional) Completed Fun Faces Worksheet (A3) (Optional) Fun Faces Worksheets (Simple A4 worksheet with a square for students to draw in and possibly some shape clipart.) Number (1 - 10) Flashcards (A3 or Larger) Shape Flashcards (A3 or Larger) Division of Labour for ALT and JTE: Since the elementary schools I work at do not require a teacher that can speak English for grades 1st through 4th I am usually responsible for all the preparation and execution of the activity. Therefore, all worksheets and flashcards are the responsibility of the ALT. However, during the lesson and activity, it is essential that the JTE is there to motivate students, check their understanding of the activity and most likely translate the activity's instructions to Japanese. Although, I have found that doing examples helps most students understand, even if language proves to be a barrier. Suggestions and Advice: I like this activity a lot since it gets the students listening and speaking, while staying active. Also, it is rewarding to see what the students end up drawing. Here are a few useful suggestions and advice for the activity :


English in Elementary School

1… 2… 10!

Although optional, bingo helps get the students energised before reviewing the shapes. Since the shapes may be new vocabulary, it takes some time to go over and memorise the words. Full of energy, the students are much more likely to remain attentive. Having a personal example of the Fun Faces worksheet to show gets the students excited and helps them better understand that they will be doing something similar. The first “round” of Fun Faces is good for practicing listening and pronunciation, but having the kids interact and volunteering during the second “round” gets them speaking and builds confidence. During the activity, draw a large version of your own Fun Face. This not only acts as a visual example for those that have more difficulty with verbal instructions, but the students get excited when the teacher participates in the activity. Afterwards, tell them you drew yourself or the JTE! Additionally, this activity can easily be adjusted to focus more on communication or different grade levels. Having the students use phrases like, "I like (shapes)." can reinforce other targets.

1… 2… 10!

Submitted by Brian Dinnie ( Asagiri City BOE) Target Group: 1-2nd year

Difficulty Level: Fundamentals

Activity Objective: To master 1-10 and the correct order of the numbers Procedure: This is a variation of the classic game "Duck, duck, goose." The students and the ALT sit in a circle. One student is the "Oni" and must, in a clockwise rotation, walk around the circle while tapping the other players sitting on the head. For every player tapped, the "Oni" must say 1, 2, 3, etc. for each person (up to ten). If the "Oni" says a number not in the current numerical order (Example: 1, 2, 10!) then the person tapped then arises and chases the "Oni" around the circle. If the "Oni" makes it around the circle and sits in the person's spot, that person is the new "Oni." If the "Oni" is caught, he/she must go again. Materials and Preparation: There is very little preparation needed, only a thorough understand of the rules by the JTE and ALT. Division of Labour for ALT and JTE: The JTE must ensure the students understand the directions of the activity. The ALT should be the starting "Oni" and encourage the students by demonstrating that both being the "Oni" and not being the "Oni" are fun elements of the game. Suggestions and Advice: Often the "Oni" will be shy to count out the numbers loudly, so it is helpful for the other students to count out loud as well. This will also be a helpful hint to the become the "Oni" tags, as the number of the "Oni" will differ from the number the rest of the students speak.


Number and Colour

English in Elementary School

NUMBER AND COLOUR REVIEW Submitted by Pa Xiong (Uozo City BOE) Target Group: 1-4th year

Difficulty Level: Fundamentals

Activity Objective: To review their numbers and colours Procedure: Basically, it mainly focus on the numbers (1-20), a few colours and simple math. The game is very simple to play. Put all the little coloured magnet on the right (or left) side of the black board. Then not too far from them, tape the top edges of a poster or a piece of paper to the black board. You want to make sure the poster (or paper) is big enough to cover 20 small coloured magnets behind it. If you used 4 different coloured magnet (example--pink, blue, red, yellow), you should have 20 altogether or more on the board. At the beginning of the class, have the students count how many coloured magnets are in each colour group on the board. For example, 5 pink, 5 blue, 5 red and 5 yellow. Write these numbers on the board as a reminder for the students. Tell the students, that the rule of the game is that, you are going to slowly move some magnets from the right side of the board to behind the sheet of paper. They`ll have to keep track of how many are behind the piece of paper. Start out simple, move just one magnet to behind the piece of paper. It is important that when you are doing this, you make sure the students are all looking at you and move it slowly. After that, you then asked the class, "how many are behind the paper?" while pointing to the piece of paper. Tell them to raise their hand and call on them to give the answer. The answer should be "one" not "ichi." The point of the game is to emphasis the numbers in English. Next round, move the magnet out from behind the piece of paper before you start the round. Try to add some subtraction in there by moving three magnets behind the piece of paper then take 1 of them out back into the pile of magnets before you ask them "how many are behind the paper?". The answer should be "two." (3-1=2). To make the game harder, you could incorporate the colour of the magnets into the game. Instead of asking how many are behind the paper, ask "how many red one (s) are behind the paper?" Materials and Preparation: 1) little coloured magnets from the dollar store (about three to 4 different colours of 20 altogether)--put them randomly on the board on either the right or left side of the board. 2) a poster or a piece of paper (size A4 or up)----tape this to the side opposite of the coloured magnets Division of Labour for ALT and JTE: The ALT and the JTE can switch role many times throughout this game. Someone can be the one who puts the magnet behind the piece of paper while the other one is responsible for taking out the magnet from behind the paper. By having two people designated as the addition and subtraction person it will make it easier for the students to keep track of the magnets behind the piece of paper. If not that, then one teacher could be in charge of asking the question "How many are behind the paper?", while the other is in charge of moving the magnets. Suggestions and Advice: This is a simple activity so there is not much preparation involved. The hardest part would be to get all the students engaged in the activity especially with a large class. Of course, some classes are going to move at a slower pace or have different level of English. Just make sure you get a feel for what your class can handle and go from there. For my 1 to 2 grade students at ES, I have only done the activity with number review. The 3 and 4 grade at ES, have a better feel for simple colour so I have tried the number with the colour review. Also this activity is good for reviewing, I don`t recommend using this as an number/colour introduction game. To encourage the students to keep up with me and the homeroom teacher, I hand out stickers for correct answers.


Number Chanting

English in Elementary School


Submitted by Jennifer Myers (Gojo City BOE) Target Group: 3nd year

Difficulty Level: Fundamentals

Activity Objective: To practice numbers 1 through 20. Procedure: Hold up magnetic cards with the numbers 1 through 20 on them one at a time. Ask students to say each number. After they say it, the JET should say the number and the kids should repeat once or twice. Place each card on the board in order. Count 1 through 20 again by pointing to each number. Randomly point to numbers and have the kids tell you the number. Chant the numbers and clap your hands to provide a beat. Have the students stand up and chant and clap with the JET. Now place a colored magnet or mark random numbers. First use red magnets or draw a triangle to signify that kids should jump on this number during the chant. Select 2 to 3 numbers. Introduce another action like spinning or stretching with different colored magnets or other symbols. The JET should lead a few times. Chant and clap but on the selected numbers, everyone should do the action rather than clapping. Once the kids get the hang of it, let students come up to the board and select numbers and actions. Make sure they say the number out loud in order to choose a number. Materials and Preparation: Chalkboard or white board; laminated cards (B5 size or half of A4) with a number from 1 through 20 printed on each; adhesive magnetic strips for the back of the cards; assorted sizes and colors of magnets to distinguish different actions and/or assorted colors of chalk or markers. Division of Labour for ALT and JTE: The JET is responsible for making the cards and leading the activity. He or she should consult with the JTL to see how far the kids can count. If 20 is too much, then reduce it to 15 or 17. The JTL should participate and be an example for the students to follow, particularly when first starting the chant. Also, the JTL can help the JTE choose students to select numbers and actions. Suggestions and Advice: This activity incorporates visual, auditory, and kinesthetic components to cater to different learning styles. By channeling the kids' energy - in a controlled manner - the class becomes easier to manage. Students struggle with numbers 14-19 a lot, so in the beginning try to leave these unselected and force students to chant them. If some students get particularly rowdy, ask them to select an action and a number. To the JET: be very genki for this activity. Follow up with number BINGO where students insert provided numbers and ask for numbers to be called out. Or calm them down with a picture book related to numbers.


English in Elementary School

Soccer Game


Submitted by Verity Townsend (Fukusaki Town BOE) Target Group: 3rd-4th year Difficulty Level: Fundamentals Activity Objective: To practice using 'I can…' Procedure: The class is split into two teams. Each team has to reach their opponent's goal on the opposite side of the blackboard by getting the correct number on the dice. If they 'score' a goal they get one point and the game starts again. The team with the most goals at the end wins. When a team lands on one of the flashcards which are between the goals, they have to say 'I can...' plus the verb on the card. The JTL and the rest of the students in the team then repeat after them. Materials and Preparation: Soccer players: These are drawn on cardboard with a computer printout of the head stuck on top. Famous players used include Sawa Homare, Kagawa Shinji, David Beckham and Wayne Rooney. These figures amuse the students, as well as giving the ALT the opportunity to ask 'who is this?' while setting up the game. Dice: A large cardboard dice for the students to roll. Verb flashcards: These are the flashcards used for teaching verbs such as 'dance', 'run' and 'swim'. In order to play the game, two goals are drawn on either side of the blackboard with 7 flashcards in between. Two soccer players are placed on the goals. Division of Labour for ALT and JTE: Preparation: The ALT is responsible for making the soccer players, flashcards and dice and for bringing these to the lesson. It is also the ALT's responsibility to explain the activity to the JTL before the lesson. The ALT moves the soccer players and keeps track of the score. The JTL helps keep the classroom under control and calls up each student to roll the dice. Both JTL and ALT help with repetition of words and encouraging the students. Suggestions and Advice: If there are a lot of students, the class can be split into 4. Yellow cards and red cards can also be introduced into the game to make in more competitive. If the two teams land on the same flashcard, they do janken and the losing team gets a yellow card and has to move back a space. If they lose another janken match, they get a red card and have to move back to their goal, while chanting all the sentences on the flashcards. The flashcards on the board can also be changed after a goal is scored to add variety if the class is doing well with the verbs already used.


English in Elementary School

“How Are You” Gesture Game

“HOW ARE YOU?” GESTURE GAME Submitted by Leanna Jenkins (Kobe City BOE)

Target Group: 3rd-6th year Difficulty Level: Basic Conversation Activity Objective: To practice asking "how are you?" and replying with various responses. Procedure: Before I play this game with my students, we first practice saying the responses to the question, "How are you?" while doing different gestures that remind us of that feeling (ie: crying for sad, stomping for angry, yawning for tired, etc). Students will then each get three point cards from the ALT and JTE. Students will go up to their different classmates and play "rock, scissors, paper". The winner will ask the losing student, "How are you?" and the losing student responds by giving a gesture of how they are feeling. The winning student must then guess the gesture and if the winning student can guess the gesture correctly, then the losing student must give the winning student a point card. The students with the most point cards at the end wins. Example: Winning student: "How are you?" Losing student: “I’m…” (gestures being sad). Winning student: “SAD!” Losing students gives one point card to winning student. Materials and Preparation: 3 point cards per student - You can design your point cards however you like but the ones I made for this lesson all have different types of emoticon faces on them. The students really enjoyed seeing all the different silly faces and were quite competitive on collecting the faces they liked. Making a large number of point cards can be tiring and are easily torn if they are not laminated. If you have a small school, you might be able to make multiple decks of point cards as I have done. However, you could also just make one deck to use in multiple lessons. Division of Labour for ALT and JTE: The success of this game heavily relies on both the JTE and the ALT. While explaining the rules of the game, the ALT and JTE will do an example together on how to play the game. This is vital as the students seem to easily understand the game after they have seen it played through once. I recommend doing two examples with the JTE: 1) The winner guesses the gesture right and receives a point card 2) The winner doesn't guess the gesture right and does not receive a point card. During the game, both the JTE and ALT are encouraged to play with the students. students who run out of cards can approach the ALT and JTE and challenge them for more cards. Win or lose, I give the students with no cards a card for playing with the teacher. Suggestions and Advice: Some students will be shy about using English with their classmates, so always make sure you are encouraging students to use English and not Japanese. Lastly, try to practice the gestures a few times beforehand as well as pronouncing the responses.


English in Elementary School

English Onomatopoeia

ENGLISH ONOMATOPOEIA Submitted by Alexander Kuzimski (Isahaya City BOE)

Target Group: 3rd-6th year Difficulty Level: Conversational Activity Objective: Learn about English cultural perceptions and practice phonics to avoid katakana English. Procedure: Students are given a paper of animals and guess the animal from sounds spoken by the ALT. Materials and Preparation: A paper with pictures of animals, objects or actions that make distinct onomatopoeia in English, ie: dog "woof", cat "meow", cow "moo". Each animal or object should be numbered and images can be taken from clipart or hand-drawn by the ALT. If desired, students may use a pen or pencil to select their guess to prevent cheating or mark the numbers that have been done previously. Division of Labour for ALT and JTE: The ALT will be responsible for making the worksheets and speaking the sounds. Students can repeat after the ALT to practice the sounds themselves, which don't follow katakana patterns found in Japanese onomatopoeia. This will help accustom them to pronouncing sounds like a native speaker. The JTL can translate any difficult instructions so the students understand the activity and if the activity is a competition the JTL can help keep time and score. Suggestions and Advice: It may be a good idea to make sure the students know how to say the animal or object names in English. The length of the activity can be determined by the number of pictures you wish to do with the allotted time. Because of this, it may be prudent to have a stopwatch to speed the activity along so that the students don't take too long making their decisions. Instead of doing the activity individually, the students can make groups (teams) and compete to see who can guess the most correct answers.


Mother May I

English in Elementary School


Submitted by Brendan Hayes (Fukuoka Prefectural BOE) Target Group: 4-6th year

Difficulty Level: Fundamentals

Activity Objective: The goal of this activity is to learn and practice polite requests, as well as many different action verbs. Procedure: Step 1 Teach the students various action verbs that will be used during the game. Teach them by example physically (for example: take a step, crabwalk, jump forward, run forward, etc) Step 2 -Begin by designating a "Mother". This person will change at the beginning of each game. Step 3- The Mother stands by him or herself at one end, and all the other players ("children") stand shoulder-to-shoulder a desired length away (usually 10-20 feet) facing the Mother. However far away the children are, the Mother must be able to hear them. Step 4- The game begins by the first child asking the Mother if they can take a certain amount of a specific type of step. Some popular steps are Baby Steps, Scissor Steps, Giant Steps, Jumping Jack Steps, Karate Steps, or Jump Steps. Step 5- The Mother then replies with "Yes, you may," or, "No, you may not." Whether the Mother replies yes or no is completely up to the Mother's whim. The rest of the children each asks for steps on their turn, and once all have asked, play returns to the first child and continues until a child had reached the Mother. Step 6- The first child to reach the Mother wins! This child also becomes the Mother for the next game. Materials and Preparation: There is no need for any materials to be made for this activity. Division of Labour for ALT and JTE: The ALT should be primarily in charge of explaining the actions through demonstration, as well as starting the game as the mother. The JTL should be in charge of making sure the students are not cheating, taking the right amount of steps, and helping the new “mother” accomplish her role. Suggestions and Advice: There is the potential for rowdy kids to not listen to the instructions and just hop or run forward. There needs to be a policing of the students, as well as showing them the correct method of how to proceed. Make sure that you properly demonstrate all the actions before playing.


English in Elementary School

The Passport Game


Submitted by Martthew Farrell (Kyotango City BOE) Target Group: 4th year Difficulty Level: Basic Conversation Activity Objective: 1) To practice "self-introductions" themed materials outside the context of giving a selfintroduction 2) To practice listening to questions and giving appropriate answers to those questions Procedure: Students get a "passport sheet" (see attached), and they fill out the information and draw their rough self-portrait. 2) Students are divided in half and then asked one-by-one by the ALT / homeroom teacher three questions: "What's your name?","How old are you?", and "Where are you from?". 3) If the student's responses are understood, they get one stamp. 4) The activity is over when the student collects four stamps. Materials and Preparation: Preparation: (about 30 minutes) 1) Teach students the expressions: “My name is X”. (name), "I'm Y." (age), and “I'm from Z”. (nationality). 2) Have them practice each of these expressions with 5 conversation partners (Teach names ⇒ practice, ages ⇒ practice, etc.) 3) Have the students practice listening to the aforementioned three questions about their name, age and nationality. Game: (about 15 minutes) - Explain and play the game. Game Materials 1) "The Passport Game" worksheet - 1/student 2) two rubber stamps (any are fine - the cuter, the better) - one/teacher Division of Labour for ALT and JTE: ALT Role: The ALT is responsible for the preparation of materials as well as assisting the JTE in teaching the material. The ALT should act in an encouraging manner as well as be a model for correct game play (i.e., demonstrate how to play the game through a model conversation with the JTE). During game play, the ALT acts as a "passport official" and will ask students questions, stamping their papers. JTE Role: The JTE is responsible for the flow of class as well as explaining what the material means if some students cannot understand from context (however, usually at this age the students have no trouble). The JTE is responsible for assisting the ALT in model conversations, game explanation (if need be), and acting as a "passport official" during game play, asking students questions and stamping their papers. Suggestions and Advice: I have run into very few problems with this activity. Generally by fourth grade, students can say their name in English as well as the numbers from 1-10. Generally, the only English conversation pattern that they are unfamiliar with is “I'm from Z.”, even then, they readily pick it up. Encourage any nervous students that making mistakes is fine. JTE participation is critical. I have noticed that if the JTE is reticent to participate, the students can become nervous. It is important to have a meeting to go over this lesson and what is expected of each teacher before attempting it. My students really enjoy moving about and “collecting” stamps in this lesson; because the rewards are tangible, they really get into it. If one wanted to be generous, I suppose they could substitute stickers for stamps.


How Many Chopper Men?

English in Elementary School

HOW MANY CHOPPER MEN? Submitted by Kim Youngin (Toyono Town BOE) Target Group: 5th year

Difficulty Level: Basic Conversation

Activity Objective: To practice asking questions using the expression, "How many ___?" and answer by using numbers from 1-31 Procedure: Students should do this activity after practicing the expression "How many?" and numbers from 131. 1. Students are given three cards with different numbers of Chopper men on each of them. *Big Chopper can represent ten and small Chopper, one. 2. Have students practice the numbers on their own cards as a warm up. *Ask students to count theirs out loud. 3. Students have to find a person to play with by walking around the classroom and change their partners each time. 4. Students start the game by doing 'Rock, Paper, Scissors.' The winner picks one of his/her partner's cards. The losing person asks a question using the expression, "How many Chopper men?" If the winner answers right, the losing person says 'OK' and gives his/her card to the winner. If the answer is wrong, the losing person says 'No, Sorry!' and find another person. 5. The person with the most Chopper men cards wins the game. *If students run out of cards during the game, they can still try to get cards by winning the 'Rock, Paper, Scissors!' Materials and Preparation: For this activity, Chopper men cards are used. Use the internet to get the image you want and photocopy multiple times to create cards with different numbers of Chopper men on them. Laminate the cards if necessary. Have cards with numbers students struggle with the most. Division of Labour for ALT and JTE: The ALT would be responsible for making the cards, demonstrating the game and helping the students while they play the game. JTE would be responsible for demonstrating the game with the ALT and answering any questions students might have before they play the game. It is a good idea for both the ALT and the JTE to participate in the activity with the students. The ALT and the JTE should discuss the characters for the cards together. Suggestions and Advice: Students really get into the game if you use the characters they love. You can use more than one character to create the cards. When creating the cards, choose the numbers that students struggle with the most (eg. Fifteen, thirty, etc… Every class will be different) Make sure you play with the students and help them during the game. Do not forget to check and see how many cards students have at the end of the game and praise/reward the winner accordingly. You can also have students clap the students with no cards at the end for encouragement.


I like~

English in Elementary School


Submitted by Swer May Kiyomi (Oita Prefectural BOE) Target Group: 5th year

Difficulty Level: Fundamentals

Activity Objective: To practice asking "What ~do you like?" and responding to the qustion by saying "I like ~." Procedure: After practicing the key sentences (in pairs and in groups), the main activity involves a game similar to the fruits basket game. Students are assigned a fruit and are required to make a big circle with their chairs. There will be a person in the center of the circle. The students sitting on their chairs will ask the question "What fruit do you like?" and the person in the center will respond by saying "I like apples." After a few rounds, students can be newly assigned with the names of sports or animals. Materials and Preparation: 1) Picture cards of fruits, sports and animals for review 2) Chairs Division of Labour for ALT and JTE: 1) ALT will first practice the words (fruits, sports, animals) with the students using the picture cards. 2) Demonstration with JTE using key sentences "What fruit do you like?" and "I like apples." ALT will explain the meaning of the key sentences to students in simple words. JTE will get feedback from students if they understood the meaning. If students have difficulties, JTE to provide Japanese explanations. 3) Pair work - students to make pairs and practice key sentences. Group work - students can go around the classroom and practice the key sentences with 5 friends. ALT and JTE to join the activity and practice with the students, providing support to students who are still not confident in saying the key sentences. 4) ALT to explain the rules of the game to the students. JTE to check and ensure that the students understood how to play the game. ALT to start off by being the person in the center. Both ALT and JTE to be involved in the game. Suggestions and Advice: If students seem to have difficulties with the names of the fruits/sports/animals or the key sentences during the game, ALT and JTE to practice with the students again before proceeding to continue with the game.


Gesture Feeling Race

English in Elementary School


Submitted by Talia Nagatoshi ( Fukuoka Prefectural BOE) Target Group: 5th year

Difficulty Level: Fundamentals

Activity Objective: To practice recognizing and saying different feelings Procedure: Break the class into three groups. One teacher per group. Have the students line up. The first student must come up to the front and face the second student. The teacher then shows the first student one of the feeling cards (happy). The first student does the appropriate gesture without talking. The teacher then asks the second student "How are you?" The second student must answer what the first student gestured ("I'm happy."). When the student answers correctly, the first student goes to the back of the line. Everyone moves up a space. The second student becomes the gesturer and the third students answers the "How are you?"question. The teacher should use a different card each time unless the group has gone through the entire pile. To make the game more interesting add a time limit to the game (two minutes). At the end of the time limit have the groups sit down and count together how many feelings they got right. Materials and Preparation: 1 large set of feeling flashcards and three smaller sets of the same feeling flashcards Division of Labour for ALT and JTE: Some of my elementary schools do not have a JTE. Because of this I usually bring all of the flashcards. If there is a JTE available, they usually explain the grammar point "How are you?" and "I'm _____." If not, I explain it to the students through a dramatic demonstration and question them on what they think is happening. The ALT is responsible for teaching the pronunciation and gestures to the students. Both the homeroom teacher and JTE can learn the gestures during class too. Since explaining the game can be difficult, I usually have one group stand up and do a run though of the activity one step at a time. Both the JTE and the homeroom teacher usually pick up the games rules at this time. If you are lucky to have time to meet up with your teachers prior to class, you should explain the game and rules to them then. Suggestions and Advice: I have carried this activity with and without a JTE at several schools. If there is no JTE the class must be split into two groups. One group for the ALT and the other for the homeroom teacher. Usually after the first run through the class will want to try the game again to see if they can beat the other team(s) or their old record. You can carry out as many rounds as you see fit. For slow learners some feelings may be too difficult for them (ie. bored or thirsty). If the student is unable to say the proper feeling they can say "Pass." The teacher can give the same gesturer a new card to gesture. If the gesturer forgets the gesture they can also pass. If your entire class has forgotten the gestures, after the first round go over the gestures again.


Anime Costumes

English in Elementary School


Submitted by Bradley Bryant (Kumamoto City BOE) Target Group: 5th year

Difficulty Level: Fundamentals

Activity Objective: To become familiar with colours and the names of clothes; practicing description in English Procedure: Review colours and clothing. Draw 4-6 stick figures on the board (depending on the number of teams). Split class into teams. Each team chooses two students. One student from each team will draw on the blackboard; the other student will explain what to draw. Before you begin a round, take the explainers into the hallway and show them a picture of an anime character with an easily describable costume. Review each of the identifiable pieces of clothing. Once they understand all of the pieces of the costume, return in the classroom. Have a countdown, and let the explainers describe the clothing to the drawers using ENGLISH ONLY. Sitting students may raise their hand and guess the anime character. After the character has been identified, give 30 seconds for the students to finish describing and drawing. Award points to the teams that guessed first and with the best drawing. Play again until every kid has had one or two turns. Materials and Preparation: Coloured chalk; anime character printouts (Mario, Luffy, Naruto, and Sailor Moon are a good start); clothing and colour flash cards Division of Labour for ALT and JTE: ALT: Begin the activity by reviewing and pronouncing the names of clothing and colours; explain the game using English and demonstration. Draw the stick figures on the board for the drawers, and take the explainers into the hallway to go over the anime costume with them. During the game, make sure the explainers are using English. JTE: Help explain the activity by confirming with students what directions they understood and what they did not. Explain difficult misunderstood parts in Japanese. During the game watch for sitting students to raise their hands, and call on them for the correct answer. Award points for the fastest guess and best drawing. Suggestions and Advice: The kids can get really energetic during this game, so do your best to make sure they use English throughout the entire activity. I try to listen for the sitting children using English as well, and give bonus points if I hear them reacting in English or helping explain the costume in English. Additionally, you will need to teach any strange clothing items your anime character is wearing, so simple examples are best. I find that playing four rounds of this game takes roughly 20-25 minutes, not including explanation. Allot your class time accordingly.


My Special Lunch

English in Elementary School

MY SPECIAL LUNCH: Experiencal Learning through Pizza Making Submitted by Thomas Kloepfer (Onomichi City BOE) Target Group: 5th year

Difficulty Level: Fundamentals

Activity Objective: To practice the English language through hands on activities that test listening, and speaking. To provide lessons that are fun and challenge students to think outside of the book. Procedure: This activity is built up in the end of the semester, for my 5th grade class. My class had about 32 students. In the previous lesson, each group of about 6 students, designed their “special lunch pizza.”The special lunch idea is taken from the Ego-Noto book. In the warm up class we practice “What would you like?, “I would like ___ and ___, please,” “Here you are” “Thank you,” “two please” etc. The children also voted on their favorite toppings in the first lesson. In the second lesson I surprised the children with being able to make their own pizza. I think that many of EgoNoto's lessons are good, but connecting with lesson in a deeper way lets many of the ideas discussed sink in. In this lesson each group came up to ask for materials, ingredients, etc. using what we practiced in the previous lesson. Next the students followed my directions, like next add ____ or now roll out your pizza dough. We prepared and had the ingredients cut and ready for students to ask, as if they were in a restaurant making their own personal pizza. After making their pizza, we cleaned up the room as the pizza became ready. After we enjoyed the pizza. Materials and Preparation: I prepared the dough and sauce prior to giving the lesson. The school had most of the supplies, because most kitchens in the schools are equipped with lots of the needed materials. We used rolling pins, bowls, and spoons. I brought a pizza cutter. The school had ovens, which the ALT and JTE prepped, loaded, and unloaded. Soap and brushes which the school had was also used for clean up. The JTE brought the ingredients based on what the students wanted. There were 5 ingredients including cheese. Each group chose two ingredients and all pizzas were topped with cheese. Division of Labour for ALT and JTE: The JTE was responsible for translating some of the materials, and a few of the directions, but most of the students knew what to do, based on cues given by the ALT. I spoke with the vice principle about accessing the kitchen. Some of the other office staff joined in to help, because they were interested in this lesson. The schools provided some supplies, like toppings, and cheese. Suggestions and Advice: I think that this lesson would be difficult for a lot of teachers. Some schools may not be equipped for a lesson like this, but surprisingly all of mine are. If one has prior knowledge to cooking for making pizzas this lesson can be very great. I think that having a great JLT and high functioning class make this lesson a success. One must also be able to prep and be ready prior to class, and make sure everything is good to go. Word travels quickly within in a school, and when people find out that 5th grade made Pizza it gets them excited for English class. It cannot be like this for all schools and classes, but like I have mentioned a high functioning class is very important. One does not have to make pizza, but something simple and hands on goes a long way to learning a new skill or language. That is what I think this lesson plan does best.


Find the Object

English in Elementary School


Submitted by Elizabeth Gawne ( Morotsuka Village BOE) Target Group: 5-6th year

Difficulty Level: Fundamentals

Activity Objective: To practice location words (under, over, beside) Procedure: One student volunteers and must close their eyes while I hide an object. After the object is hidden, they open their eyes and must find the object only by listening to my instructions (e.g.: "It is under the desk"). They say "Where is it?" to practice the question word "where," and have only three chances to find it (three strikes and they are out). This is used to keep the students from randomly searching, as well as not simply going to the object because they know the object name, as they have to utilise the location words. Materials and Preparation: This activity uses the items already in the classroom, as well as a small object to hide for the students to try to find. Division of Labour for ALT and JTE: Preparation involves teaching 1) English names for basic classroom objects (e.g.: desk, table, chair) and 2) 4-5 simple English location words such as "over, under, next to." These could be taught dayof, or in the span of one or two classes prior. I taught the classroom objects a lesson prior, and the location words on the day of the activity. The ALT would be responsible for explaining and giving the commands in a clear voice, as well as running the activity. The JTE would be responsible for maintaining classroom management as well as explaining instructions in Japanese and assisting the children. Suggestions and Advice: Practical tips include slowly helping the students understand the unique structure of the way direction words work in English. When I did this activity, the 5th graders were very interested in how the language order was different, so allowing the students to find ways to be interested in discovering the grammar for themselves is important. Classroom management is important to keep the students sticking to the "three strikes" rule so that they are not simply randomly searching.


Learn About the Body

English in Elementary School

LEARN ABOUT THE BODY Submitted by Sarah Holman ( Kyoto City BOE) Target Group: 5-6th year

Difficulty Level: Fundamentals

Activity Objective: To learn vocabulary on different parts of the body and to be able to speak and hear each word. Procedure: (5-10 Min) Learning Vocabulary. Introduce the selected parts of the body. Drawing a body on the board as well as using your own body is effective in conveying meaning. Have them repeat the vocabulary until they are comfortable. (5 Min) Body quiz. Have everyone stand up. They can only sit down when they indicate their correlating body part. Example: Teacher says nose, and the student touches their nose. Then they can sit down. (10 Min) Play Simon Says. This actively gets them moving the right body part responding to the teachers instructions. Example: "Simon says touch your nose." (15 Min) Funny Drawing Activity. Have a group draw pictures together. Each person responds to a command (Draw a nose) and draws it. Then they pass the picture to the next person and give a command (Draw an eye). It goes on until the picture is completed. The group with the funniest picture wins. (5 Min) Review body parts. Ask random students to tell you what body part you are pointing to. Make sure everyone has acquired the targeted vocabulary. Materials and Preparation: 1 blank piece of paper per group of 4-5 students for drawing pictures. Division of Labour for ALT and JTE: The JTL should be able to prepare the paper for the students. The JET can help with pronounciation and leading the games. While introducing the vocabulary, the JTL can also ask for the Japanese to make sure they understand. The JTL and the JET can both led the body quiz by talking to different students individually to make it go faster. The JET can lead Simon Says while the JTL goes around making sure the students understand and are participating. The JTL or the JET can act as judges for the drawing contest. Suggestions and Advice: Simon Says can be difficult if they are just following what other people are doing around them. Try to make sure they are actually listening to what body part you are referring to. I start by saying the command and doing it myself and slowing easing into not gesturing with the command. If it is too easy, you can do the wrong gesture with the command in order to make it more difficult. Also, the children can get very excited when drawing the pictures. Make sure the JTL helps you maintain order, but let them have fun. As long as they are using English, I let them be silly.


English Job Names Interview

English in Elementary School

ENGLISH JOB NAMES INTERVIEW Submitted by Terin Jackson ( Takashima City BOE) Target Group: 5-6th year

Difficulty Level: Fundamentals

Activity Objective: To practice listening to and speaking basic English job names, as well as basic question and answer interview skills. Procedure: This is a two lesson unit. The first lesson consists of students learning the English names of jobs (baker, farmer, artist, teacher, police officer, etc.) and then choosing one job that they want to be. They can also choose an original job by asking the teacher or ALT "How do you say ○○ in English?" They then fill out a worksheet on which they write their job and draw a picture. This worksheet is collected by the ALT to prepare for the second lesson, which consists of an interview game. Students are given a sheet with a list of some of the jobs chosen from the first week with blank spots to fill in other students' names. They must interview their classmates, greet them, and ask them "What do you want to be?" and record the "I want to be a ○○" answers. What makes this unit unique is the ALT's ability to customize the interview search list so that students will have to speak and listen for the more interesting or difficult job names. Also, by carefully choosing which job names are on the interview search list, the ALT can make sure quiet students get a chance to speak and students who rarely participate are included. The students who found their jobs on the list were extremely excited, and their excitement caught on with the rest of the class to produce a very positive experience. Materials and Preparation: Two worksheets are needed. The first is aimed at allowing the students to choose their job, write the English job name, and illustrate it with a picture. This allows them to feel a bond with their chosen job, instead of a just a random job assigned to them by the teacher. The second worksheet is made by the ALT and is used as a checklist for the interview game. This is highly customizable, and it is up to the ALT and homeroom teacher to decide which jobs are on the list and which students will be the ones that others are searching for. Preparation time was minimal. Division of Labour for ALT and JTE: While the ALT does most of the actual preparation, the homeroom teacher is essential in helping the students think of creative job ideas beyond the basic English examples. With the homeroom teacher's encouragement, students can ask the ALT "How do you say ○○ in English?" to explore more unique and personal job ideas. Also, the homeroom teacher can play a part in making sure that the students are using only English when interviewing each other and do not lapse into Japanese. Suggestions and Advice: Students were hesitant to think of unique jobs until the homeroom teacher encouraged them to be creative. Once they saw how easy it was to ask "How do you say ○○ in English?", many students were eager to think of creative and funny jobs that were far more interesting to the class than the traditional examples. Because of language barriers and classroom dynamics, the homeroom teacher is essential in challenging the students to suggest unique jobs, as well as ensure them that they will be praised for their creativity. This ensures that the lesson creates a fun, creative environment so that the students will associate English class with a positive atmosphere.


Trump Janken

English in Elementary School


Submitted by Nathan Jang ( Tamaki Town BOE) Target Group: 5-6th year

Difficulty Level: Fundamentals

Activity Objective: To practice and review certain English sentence structures, specifically greetings and sentence/ word constructions of quantitative nature (e.g. "how many", plurals, etc.), but may be tailored to other kinds of constructions as well. The nature of this activity aims to ease students into using English verbally, and get them into the habit of speaking. Procedure: Each student is handed 2 to 3 playing cards. Students are to stand up and go to a classmate, making a pair, and practice the grammar/sentence construction learned for the day. After 2 students in a pair are done practicing the prescribed grammar construction, they are to do rock-paper-scissors and the winner receives one card from the losing player. This is considered one round. After each round, each child in the pair goes to a different classmate respectively and repeats the process. Game may go on for up to 5 minutes, and the students are to go around and go through as many rounds as possible through the whole duration of the activity. Students who run out of cards during the activity still continue and do what they can to regain possession of cards. After the duration of the activity is over, the teacher goes through and see who has how many cards (this also serves to review counting). The child (or children) who end up with the most cards is given a sticker as a prize. Materials and Preparation: 2 decks of playing cards. 2-3 cards are to be handed out to each student. Division of Labour for ALT and JTE: The role of the JET is to break down, analyze, and explain the grammar in the lesson of the day, and have students practice pronouncing and producing sentences using that particular grammar. Afterwards, the JET is to explain the rules of the activity to the students. Everything is done in English. The JTE helps the JET show an example of how the activity is done, and translates if needed the grammar explanations and activity rules into Japanese. Suggestions and Advice: Before implementing the game, it seems to help to review, or, if it is the first time covering a particular topic, to break up and analyze that particular construction for the students, and have them practice producing sentences a few times. After everything is done, the JTE should provide feedback on their opinions of how much they thought the activity was effective in teaching the children the particular grammar or how easily the activity was understood by the students. Both the JET and JTE are recommended to participate with the students.


Watermelon Smash

English in Elementary School


Submitted by Alexandrea Wetherall (Iwaki City BOE) Target Group: 6th year

Difficulty Level: Basic Conversation

Activity Objective: To practice giving directions and increase listening ability Procedure: Pairs of students, one blindfolded and one leading, use directional vocabulary to hit a "watermelon" with a stick. Materials and Preparation: Needed: newspapers, balls, blindfolds. To keep the materials as simple as possible, the "stick" is several (around 6 or 7) sheets of old newspapers, rolled diagonally into a cylinder, and taped simply. They need to be durable enough to last a lesson hitting balls, but not durable enough to hurt anyone! If doing a relay, make two. Most classrooms have dodge balls for outside play, and these act as the "watermelons". Soccer balls also work. Finally, the blindfolds can simply be repurposed headbands (hachimaki). Balls can be placed on a cleaning rag to stop them rolling away. Division of Labour for ALT and JTE: Class begins with a review of the target vocabulary by the ALT and JTE, some repetition, and then the game begins. The ALT explains the activity in English: form pairs (or split into teams, then form pairs in that team), and give the first pair a "stick" and a blindfold. The JTE follows up in Japanese, and then both the ALT and JTE work together, defining the vocabulary that is to be used in the exercise, first saying the English words, then the Japanese: Go straight, go left, go right, go back, stop, etc. The addition of the vocabulary "hit" is introduced for the action of hitting "watermelon"! Once the game begins, the ALT and JTE take turns monitoring pairs and ensuring English usage. Suggestions and Advice: Make sure both the ALT and the JTE keep a close eye on the student who is "leading" the pair to ensure they are using only English to guide their blindfolded friends, and not Japanese, or even pushing them with their hands. This goes double if it is team relays. Do not feel bad about giving them directional word hints if they have forgotten, as repeated use in this exercise will get them to remember it for sure! Make sure to keep score if you are doing a team relay, as it really encourages everyone to cheer their friends on, and for the pair trying to hit the watermelon to really give it their best.


Meishi Exchange

English in Elementary School


Submitted by Mario Acito (Kyotango City BOE) Target Group: 6th year

Difficulty Level: Basic Conversation

Activity Objective: Encourage confidence in speaking English Procedure: Students will create business cards and exchange them in the context of free communication. Materials and Preparation: ALT/JLT: * 'meishi card' template (blank), 5 cards per student - A blank meishi card will be photocopied and provided to the students * sample dialogue - The ALT and JLT will create a mock dialogue and perform it as an example for the students Students: * coloured pencils Division of Labour for ALT and JTE: Preparation: * The ALT is responsible for English pronunciation and the creation of the dialogue (see provided example). The ALT will prepare a set of meishi cards for model use and blank ones for the students to fill out. * The JLT will provide any translations that are necessary and help plan the dialogue. The JTE will also prepare a set of meishi cards for model use. During the activity: * The ALT will first present their meishi card and give a demonstration of a self introduction. * The JTE will also do a self introduction. The JTE will then confirm that the students have understood the information presented in both the teacher's self introductions. * The JTE will explain the creation of the meishi cards to the students. During the creation of the meishi cards, both the ALT and JTE will check that the students understand the information and help with any questions that might arise. * Once the meishi cards are complete, The ALT and JTE will perform the sample dialogue. The JTE will write the dialogue on the board, and the ALT will have the students repeat it a few times. * After the students have repeated the dialogue, the students will perform it with both teachers and as many other students as they can within 20 minutes time. Suggestions and Advice: Depending on class size, the meishi card preparation and dialogue practice may be one class period, with review and actual meishi card exchange following in the next class period. The meishi cards should only contain information that has been introduced in the students' previous English classes. I also suggest that the content of the meishi cards and dialogue to be tailored to each individual class. The students should be encouraged to speak English with confidence and understand that making mistakes is part of the learning process.


English in Elementary School

Dialogue A. JLT

Meishi Exchange


A. Good Morning. B. Good Morning A. How are you? B. I'm fine thank you and you? A. I'm good thank you! B. My name is Mario Acito. I'm 24 years old! I'm from America! I like video games. I don’t like carrots! Here is my card! Nice to meet you! A. My name is Toko Yoshioka. I'm 30 years old! I'm from Kyoto, Japan. I like painting. I don’t like konyaku. Here is my card! Nice to meet you too! (Exchange cards and handshake)

SAMPLE Name: Super Mario Age: 30 School: Mushroom Kingdom Elementary School I'm from: The Mushroom Kingdom I like: Mushrooms and Princess Peach I dont like: Bowser and Bananas


Name:__________________________________ Age:_____________ School:_________________________________ I'm from:________________________________ I like:___________________________________ I dont like:_______________________________


A Day in the Life of a Celebrity

English in Elementary School

A DAY IN THE LIFE OF A CELEBRITY Submitted by Jonathon Allred (Yatsushiro City BOE) Target Group: 6th year

Difficulty Level: Fundamentals

Activity Objective: To become familiar with vocabulary and phrases associated with one's daily routine and telling time Procedure: After the JLT has explained the activity, the ALT will post 4 or so celebrity pictures across the top of the blackboard. He or she will then post 4 or 5 daily activity cards below each picture, leaving a little space between each one. Next, the ALT will write a time next to or below each activity card. The times should be written so that each celebrity's daily activites happen around the same time, but so that no two celebrities have the exact same times. The ALT will read one celebrity's daily routine from top to bottom in the first person (ex: "I get up at 7:30," etc), and ask "who am I?". Students will raise their hands and answer with the name of a celebrity. As an answer, the students should be encouraged to say "you are (insert name of celebrity)." At first the times should be easy to understand and the differences between the routines of the celebrities rather clear. As the students grow familiar with the activity, however, it should be modified to include more difficult times. Also, to keep the students interest, it should be constructed in such a way that students cannot know who the ALT is pretending to be unti he or she says the very last activity and time. If there is time, try changing around the celebrities and/or the daily activities. Materials and Preparation: Prepare 5-10 colour pictures of celebrities that the students know. You can choose characters like Doraemon, celebrities like Lady Gaga, or teachers within the school. Laminate the pictures and put magnets on the back so they can be used for other activities. Also make 4 or 5 picture cards for each activity in the daily routine that you will use. Division of Labour for ALT and JTE: After that the ALT and JTE have met to discuss the activity, the JTE should explain the activity in Japanese in class. The ALT will lead the activity by saying sentences aloud (ex: "I get up at 7:30"). The JTE will monitor students and will ask the ALT to repeat a sentence or speak more slowly when students do not seem to understand. When the students raise their hands to answer a question, the JTE will call on them. The ALT should encourage and praise students in English. Suggestions and Advice: Depending on the level of the class, the ALT may try to explain the activity in very simple English, using lots of gestures and a demonstration or practice run. If motivation to participate in the activity is low at first, the ALT should try introducing stickers or similar prizes as an incentive for students to join the activity. Depending on the level of the class, the ALT can adjust the activity to be easier or more difficult. For example, in less advanced classes, the ALT may want to make the times easy, like 4:00 or 4:10. In more advanced classes, however, the ALT may want to choose similar sounding times like 3:13 and 3:30 in order to test the students' listening skills.


Teaching English with Japanese Stories

English in Elementary School

TEACHING ENGLISH WITH JAPANESE STORIES Submitted by Hiroyoshi Murasaki (Tonami City BOE) Target Group: 6th year

Difficulty Level: Fundamentals, Basic Conversation

Activity Objective: This should be used as a midterm project in JHS or Final project in ES. The goal is to practice simple conversation and narration by reciting a well-known story. Final assignment option: put on a play. Procedure: Using a well known folk tale type story, the ALT creates a very simplified narrative version in English. As the students should already know the basic storyline, only key points should be translated to English. The students previous knowldedge and imagination will fill in any gaps. Sometimes, student text books may contain such a story, with accompanying media (DVD, CD, etc). This will be a long-term project, so the story should be then broken down into short easy to digest chapters, one used per lesson. Using the simplified English version of each chapter, the ALT then creates a worksheet with a table of two columns. In the column on the left is the simple English, with the right column remaining blank. From here, the ALT and JTE/ HR Teacher will work together to walk the students through the story. At the start of each lesson, the whole story is read through, to warm the kids' ears up (5 minutes). Next, that day's chapter is re-read (1-2 minutes). By now, thanks to the enthusiastic acting by the teachers, character names (Momotaro, etc), creature types (Oni,etc), animal noises, etc. the kids should have an idea what part of the story is being covered. The meaning of the English parts should be easier to understand. Next, one at a time, each line is read by the ALT, repeated by the students, and then checked for meaning in Japanese (15-20 minutes). Before revealing the Japanese meaning, the students have a chance to guess, giving hints until they get it, revealing the answer only if they are completely stumped. Once every line is cleared using this method, each line is read by the ALT, repeated by the students, and the meaning checked in Japanese for anyone that missed any lines (5 minutes). The students then will try to read along with the teachers as they enthusiastically act out that days' chapter one last time (2 minutes). After 5 or so lessons, the student should have the story memorized, and there are several choices for final group presentations. After dividing the class into equal groups (size and English level), students can be told to perform the story. The amount of preparation depends on time left in the year, and enthusiasm of the JTE/ HR teacher/ ALT. This can range from simply reciting the story in groups without costume or any final preparation, to using costumes, to having the students develop semi-original stories based on the English provided with costumes, to having the best group perform a culture day original play. I used supplemented the Momotaro story in "Hi, Friends" ES 6th year, and it was very successful. Every level was able to participate and enjoyed the final group plays. Materials and Preparation: Simple props, costumes, and/or music should be used to engage the students attention, as this is a long term project. Division of Labour for ALT and JTE: The JET will create the worksheets, and the JTL can guide the kids in making any costumes. They will work together acting out the story. The JET will be the English model when students are practicing listening to and speaking English. The JET and JTL can cooperate with teaching the English meanings and guiding the brainstorming sessions. When the plays are being practiced, the teachers can help the students by playing the roles of producers and directors, with the final responsibility for the outcome resting on the students. Suggestions and Advice: This activity gives the chance for the energetic students that learn by acting out and doing things to shine. It is their chance to contribute and be engaged, so let them be as noisy and crazy as they want, as long as it is within the context of the story. In fact, encourage them and they may start seeing English as what is should be, something that can be a challenge to learn, but fun to use.


Travel Agent Game

English in Elementary School


Submitted by Allison Ferguson (Joetsu City BOE) Target Group: 6th year

Difficulty Level: Basic Conversation, Conversational

Activity Objective: To practice the grammar point "Where do you want to go?" "I want to go to ~~." Procedure: Split the class into groups of 4. Group 1 becomes the first set of 'Travel Agents' while the rest of the class becomes the 'Customers'. The 'Travel Agents' come to the front of the room, the 'Customers' all move to the back of the room. The teachers arrange the country flags face down on the student's desks at random. The teachers practice the target grammar with the travel agents (Where do you want to go?) and the customers (I want to go to ~~.). Start the timer. The travel agents will each ask a customer where they want to go and guide them to their destination. They then go and get another customer. This continues until all the customers are sitting at their destinations. Stop the timer. Write down group 1's time. Group 2 becomes the travel agents. The teachers change the flag positions. Continue until all groups have had a chance to be travel agents. The group with the fastest time wins. Materials and Preparation: 1 stopwatch, approximately 10 country flags (A4 size) Division of Labour for ALT and JTE: This game is easy for both the ALT and the HRT to be involved throughout. Either ALT or HRT can prepare the flags. ALT will help the groups practice the target grammar. HRT will help ensure the students are not using Japanese. Both teachers can keep score, practice with the students, help to keep them focused, etc. Suggestions and Advice: This game can get very noisy! Lots of practice of the target grammar in between rounds helps keep it fresh in their minds and can help prevent them from slipping into Japanese. If they are using a lot of Japanese, try implementing a time penalty. Watch out for 'customers' dragging out their answer time or trying to hide from the travel agents.


Hide and Seek Vocabulary

English in Elementary School

HIDE AND SEEK VOCABULARY Submitted by Michelle Castro (Unnan City BOE) Target Group: 6th year

Difficulty Level: Fundamentals

Activity Objective: To practice learning new words in a fun way. Procedure: Before class the flashcards are prepared with the names of months in English. For 5-10 minutes I help the students pronounce the words then I put all of the flash cards on the chalkboard. The class is divided into two teams and one player from each team comes to the front of the room. Two players during each round close their eyes and I remove one of the flashcards from the chalkboard. The JET or JTL can ask them to open their eyes and say what month is missing. The first player to answer correctly gets a point for their team and the team with the most points wins the game. The game can last from 5-15 minutes depending on class size and how enthusiastic the students are. Materials and Preparation: 12 Laminated size A4 sheets of paper. Each sheet has the name of a month written in English and a number. For example: January would have the number one under it and May would have the number 5 under it. Magnets or tape will be needed to secure them to the chalkboard in the classroom. The flashcards will be used before and during the game. Division of Labour for ALT and JTE: The JTL is in charge of giving the JET access to any and all office supplies that the JET will need to make the flashcards. During the lesson the JET is responsible for helping students pronounce the words and the JTL is responsible for checking the students comprehension of the activity and provide any Japanese translation if needed and the JTL is in charge of classroom behavior management. Both the JTL and JET can take turns in running the game after the vocabulary has been practiced. Suggestions and Advice: The lesson can be done without the laminated sheets and instead the chalkboard and colored chalk can be used. This activity is better if the front of the classroom is cleared of desks so the students can comfortably stand while they waiting for the directions from the instructors.


Find Your Partner

English in Elementary School


Submitted by Joel Thielen (Fukuoka Prefectural BOE) Target Group: 6th year

Difficulty Level: Basic Conversation

Activity Objective: To practice, "Do you have ~?" "Yes I do." or "No I don't." while reviewing the alphabet. Procedure: Count how many students are in the class. Divide that number in half, and count that many letters down the alphabet (example: 26 students in the class, divided by 2=13 alphabet letters, A-M). Take the pairs of alphabet letter cards (A-M) and shuffle them together. You should now have a shuffled stack of 26 small alphabet cards. Now add one extra small alphabet letter card that has no corresponding pair to throw the numbers off. Pass out all 27 of the alphabet cards to the students, and give one to yourself or the HRT. Have students stand up, and try to find their corresponding letter/partner by asking eachother, "Do you have (letter)?" and responding, "Yes I do!" (both students sit down and are finished for this round) or, "No I don't." and both students find someone else to ask. Eventually all students will be sitting down besides the one who has no corresponding partner/letter. This is the "lucky" student who gets a sticker and the chance to do a selfintroduction in English to the rest of the class. Materials and Preparation: 2 sets of A-Z small laminated alphabet cards. (make sure to use thick paper so you can't see the letter through the back of the card) Division of Labour for ALT and JTE: Either the JET or HRT needs to make the small laminated alphabet cards. The HRT can decide which letters the students are stuggling with the most, so they can get extra practice with this activity. Once the letters are selected, the HRT and JET should demonstrate the target conversation with a "pair" of alphabet cards, and "different" alphabet cards so students understand both types of conversations used in this activity. Suggestions and Advice: You don't always have to use the letters from the beginning of the alphabet, just make sure the letters you use all have pairs except for the "lucky" card. Also, make sure the students understand their cards are "secret" and they shouldn't let anyone else see them. You don't want them just showing their cards until they find their partner.


Describing Attributes

English in Elementary School

DESCRIBING ATTRIBUTES Submitted by Brian Labelle (Fujisaki Town BOE) Target Group: 6th year

Difficulty Level: Basic Conversation

Activity Objective: To practice using the phrases "he has," "she has,",and "they have." Procedure: PREPARATION: ➢ This simple activity can be done with colour photographs of famous people or characters from popular anime or manga. Be sure that the subjects that you use are people or characters that are already familiar to your students. ➢ Make a list of descriptive attributes for each person or character. ACTIVITY: ➢ Begin the activity by explaining to the class that you want them to guess who this person is simply by describing him or her using the phrases, “he has” and “she has”. For example, “He has a wand. He has a scar. He has many friends.” (The students should guess Harry Potter.) ➢ You can turn it into a competitive game by challenging the students to try to be the first to guess the person correctly (this encourages them listen to the English vocabulary very closely, Giving small prizes will also reinforce this.) They may compete individually or you can have them form teams to assist one another. ➢ When a student guesses correctly, show the class a colour photograph of the person. This allows them to visually verify the attributes that were just described using “he has” or “she has”. Be sure that all of the descriptive clues are visible in the photograph. ➢ The difficulty may be adjusted according to the vocabulary used, but the use of the phrases “he has” / ”she has” should remain consistent. The initial clues should be the most obscure, while the subsequent clues should become increasingly obvious if they are having difficulty guessing the correct answer. ➢ Example: President Obama 1) He wears a suit. 2) He is very famous. 3) He makes many important decisions. 4) Yes, he can. 5) He is the President of the United States. ➢ You can increase the difficulty by introducing the phrase “they have” and make the students guess about groups of people. (For example, “They have gloves.” “They are a baseball team", etc.). If you do this, be sure to continually alternate between “he/she has” and “they have” so the students are forced to listen carefully for the difference and guess accordingly. Materials and Preparation: ➢ Access to a colour printer ➢ This activity should be performed after teaching the necessary grammar for “he has” / “she has” and “they have”. (Suggested personalities for 1st year students could include celebrities like Lady Gaga, Michael Jackson, Monkey D. Luffy, Naruto, and Kobe Bryant. Japanese celebrities and public figures may be used, but western personalities will help promote multiculturalism.) Images can easily be found on the internet, downloaded and printed out.) Division of Labour for ALT and JTE: ➢During preparation, the ALT and JTE should work together to devise lists of descriptive clues using vocabulary and characters that the JTE is sure that the students will be familiar with. The actual activity may be conducted by the ALT and the JTE together, but ideally the ALT (as the native English speaker) should be reading the clues to the students.


Three Hints Animal Quiz

English in Elementary School

THREE HINTS ANIMAL QUIZ Submitted by Danielle Markewicz (Mishima Town BOE) Target Group: 6th year

Difficulty Level: Fundamentals

Activity Objective: To practice listening comprehension for the "can" and "can't" grammar point. Procedure: Students listen to a series of "can" and "can't" sentences (3 per animal), marking each in the chart with a "O" or "X." After the listening portion, students use the clues to match each description to an animal. Materials and Preparation: Three Hints Animal Quiz worksheet (1 per student), pen/pencil, animal picture flashcards for larger visual representation, and to give students ideas for the optional after-activity Division of Labour for ALT and JTE: JET: responsible for reading the "can" and "can't" statements and checking the answers; JTL: responsible for reviewing the grammar point beforehand, explanation of activity in Japanese (if necessary), checking students comprehension throughout the activity Suggestions and Advice: Repetition of the statements as necessary (higher level classes only once or twice, lower levels three or more times); check answers to the listening portion before moving on to the animal matching portion; if time allows, student can make their own animal quiz choosing animals from the animal flashcards


What Time Do You Janken

English in Elementary School

WHAT TIME DO YOU JANKEN? Submitted by David Tacoronte (Minamisoma City BOE) Target Group: 6th year

Difficulty Level: Basic Conversation

Activity Objective: To practice asking what time someone does a daily activity. Procedure: Students get in groups of 3 or 4 and choose a game board piece. Using a pre-made size B4 worksheet, the students play Jan-ken-pon, try to travel around the board, and must ask the question according to the space they land on to the person on there left in the form of "What time do you ~?" If they don't ask correctly they cannot move along the board. The partner then must answer " I ~ at ~." or the winner gets an extra move. Every time the student completes the board they recieve a token. The student at the end of 10 minutes, or more, with the most tokens wins. Materials and Preparation: Laminated game board with pictures of daily activities and instructions of the game. Game board pieces, school erasers also work of no pieces available. Tokens for getting points, like marbles, fake money coins, etc. Clock or timer set to 10 minutes. Division of Labour for ALT and JTE: This activity can work with only the Jet or JTL teaching, but is most effective when done by both. The JET is responsible for the creation and lamination of the game board, as well as bringing in game pieces and tokens for point use. They would be responsible for teaching the JTL the instructions of the game. The JTL would bring in a TV with a computer that has timer program so the students can actively see the 10 minutes pass. The JTL could also just use a school timer. Both the JET and JTL would be responsible for showing an example of how to play, so the children can mirror. Suggestions and Advice: Try to make sure to have colorful materials and something the students are interested in. Characters from popular shows work well as game board pieces and tokens, as well as maybe adding interesting characters to the sheet. One can also add lying to the game to get more interesting. Have the students receive a reward for successfully lying, and punishment if they get caught.



=1 Start!



What time do you eat dinner?

What time do you get up? I get up at …!



What time do you go to school? I go to school at …!

I go home at …!

What time do you...? I … at …






THE JET PROGRAMME ENGLISH IN ELEMENTARY SCHOOL TEACHING MATERIALS COLLECTION 2013 English in Elementary School Introduction Introduction An inc...

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