Go Fish!

Level Aims Grammar Time Materials
elementary school junior high school first year To familiarize S/s with: this game, vocabulary, asking simple questions. "Do you have ___ ?" 45 mins Picture, letter or number cards (about 30 matching pairs) for every 4 students; master sheet showing all items in game

Divide the class into groups of four. Have them push their desks together to form a large playing area. They should deal out 4 cards to each student, and place the rest in the middle. While this is happening, attach the master sheet to the board with magnets. This is for the students to use as a reference, but it should only contain pictures of the items, not their names. Instruct the students to 'Jan-ken' to decide who will start. The first student (let's call him Hiro) asks any one of the other three students, "Kazuko, do you have a star?" If Kazuko has a star she says, "Yes, I do", and hands it to Hiro who then places his pair on the table. Hiro is then able to ask another student a question.

If Kazuko doesn't have a star, she replies, "No I don't. I don't have a star. Go fish, Hiro", and Hiro can take a card from the pile in the middle. It is then the turn of the student on Hiro's left to ask another student in the group for a card. The students continue to ask questions and find cards (in English) until all the pairs are found. The student with the most pairs wins.

To see a variation on this activity, take a look at Go Fish 2.

Hints and cautions:

* This activity needs a few sessions practicing question forms and answers to set up. However, once the S/s have the basic vocabulary down they set to with a will.

+ This activity will not work without preparation, both for the students and the teachers.

+ Students enjoy using the phrase, "Go fish", perhaps because it's so off-the-wall. More probably, however, they are interpreting it to mean the Japanese equivalent of, "Get stuffed!" or some similar imperative. Make sure you explain the meaing, or get the JTE to do so.

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