Level Aims Grammar Time Materials
elementary school to junior high school first year To improve the students' listening abilities, and reinforce vocabulary. any 15 mins About 8 - 10 packs of picture cards, or 4 copies of 30cm x 30cm picture cards.

Have students form groups of 4, with one or two desks joined together in the middle of each group. Have S/s stand around these desks, and distribute 1 pack of cards to each group. Tell them to spread the cards over their desks face up. Tell the students to put their hands on their heads before you begin the game. Repeat this preliminary attitude requirement before each turn. Play is simply a matter of the ALT calling out the name of the target card. This can be done in a sentence, or simply call out the noun, depending on the students' level. E.g., for 1st yrs. practicing continuous tense (i.e., -ing) use a sentence like, "Ichiro is running fast" or "Namie Amuro is swimming". Occasionally toss in a bogus sentence like, "Kanda Uno is playing ...... the violin", where no picture of a violin exists. This makes it more difficult, and thus more interesting for the students. It also helps increase their skill listening to sentences, rather than just listening for key words.

When playing with elementary school students, use large (30cm x 30cm), colourful if possible, pictures of animals, fruit, and objects. Place them face-up in the center of the room on the floor (you'll need to move all the furniture to the edges of the room, or play in the gym), and divide the class into groups which are located at equidistant points around the cards. When the ALT says the noun, one student from each team must run and pick up a card from the set. Having several copies of each card makes for less clashes of heads, but always have fewer than there are groups. Totally airborne students are not unusual in this activity.

Teaching Tip

Discourage immediate translation of your questions by JTEs. They have learnt the skill, but their students never will if they aren't permitted to try! JTEs often indulge in this activity, because they think that the student's performance reflects on them. Try having a quiet word that you are not there to judge, but to help teach. Point out that translation of the question by another student is a valid learning exercise and that the JTE ought to encourage this when slower students are struggling.

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