Fruit Basket

Level Aims Grammar Time Materials
elementary school To review known nouns, and consolidate new ones. none 15 mins Flash cards and miniature copies

Using large flash-cards (28cm x 40cm is a good size), check that students know the target nouns and teach unknown ones if necessary. Go through the cards one at a time, but do not fix them to the board yet. Go through a second time, but this time reveal and conceal the card as quickly as possible; some blank cardboard is useful for this, or simply flip the cards over. Once the students are fairly confident of the names, put all the cards on the board in plan sight for a ready reference.

If it hasn't already been done, remove the tables to the side/back of the room and arrange the chairs in a circle or semi-circle. There needs to be one less chair than there are students, unless you are going to compete as well. If you do, take care not to tread on someone! Deal the miniature cards out to the students, telling them not to show the card to anyone as it's a secret. Reinforce this with gestures such as clutching the card to your chest with both hands to help get the idea across. Try asking what 'secret' is in Japanese ("Secret wa, Nihongo de nan desu ka" (it's 'himitsu')). Then, either choose a student to begin the activity, or begin it yourself by calling out the name of one the fruits shown on the board. The students with these cards must jump to their feet and race to change seats, as must the 'caller' from the center. The student left without a seat becomes the 'caller', and the game continues. If the 'caller' calls out, "Fruit basket", everyone must change seats. Changing with the person next to you is forbidden (zen, zen, dame!). This activity can be used to teach the names of fruit, vegetables, kitchen objects, insects, etc., etc.. With the latter two, the 'all-in' cry could be changed to "Kitchen", and "Insect Nest" respectively.

Teaching Tip

When visiting elementary schools, wear easily washable, stretch resistant clothing. You may well be required to sit on the floor or ride a unicycle, and clothes are often pulled and tugged at in a bid to get your attention. Take your sports wear. You might be wise to ask to change into it after performing your self-intro. and greeting.

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