Magical Tsuno Power

Level Aims Grammar Time Materials
elementary school to junior high school To consolidate and increase students' vocabularies. any 10 mins Large, colourful flash-cards (use pictures for elementary S/s).

This activity is used as an extension of flash cards. After practicing the new words with the cards (usually groups of words such as insects, fruit, occupations, gerunds, etc.), have the teams take turns trying to guess the object of which you are thinking. When working with junior high school students, turning the class rows into teams is easiest, while elementary classes seem to respond best to a class divided into 1/2 or 1/4s. junior high school students should be encouraged to ask complete sentences, such as "Are you swimming?" or "Are you playing the piano?", which contain the target word or phrase. While elementary students are certainly capable of this, one needs to be selective of the class in which it is used so as to cater for slower learners, or kids who don't spend their freetime in Juku (cram school).

With each incorrect guess the turn reverts to the next (or other) team. The turn of asking the question also rotates within the teams, so that the same student isn't doing all the work. The turn continues until the correct guess is made, and points are awarded to the team that made it. Keeping a running score on the blackboard helps maintain a competitive edge. The next round commences with a new (or not) target.

The level of student involvement in this game depends largely on how you sell it. Act out the part of sending 'ESP' thought waves to the students; they all know the TV game show of the same name, so they quickly get the idea. Scores can be 'massaged' by announcing a double bonus point, or by giving hints to struggling students. Usually this will be unnecessary, as their friends will give them the answers, but be flexible and bend the rules whenever the need arises. Try and manipulate a drawn result, or one with extremely close scores. Remember, the aim of this activity is to encourage the kids to enjoy recalling the target material and building their language memory.

Teaching Tip

After one time through 'flash-cards', make the students READ them. On the next pass, cover the cards with a blank (turn one back to front) and 'flash' them briefly at the students (1/4 of a second or less). Classes that could barely repeat after the AET will suddenly be shouting the words at 1/2 second intervals.

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