Level Aims Grammar Time Materials
elementary school To teach/review colours, shapes, and body parts. none 20 mins Ground sheet.

Find an old sheet (a plastic one is ideal; any light colour will do) and clean it, or spend a few hundred yen at your local 'Home-centre' and buy a new one. Draw outlines of 15cm circles and/or squares in equidistant columns, 10 cms. apart, across the sheet. Paint these the colours you wish to teach/review. You will also need a large spinner, divided into quadrants denoting right and left legs, and right and left hands. Within these quadrants, paint circles/squares in the colours you have on the sheet. Draw the limbs under their written names; this is a learning activity, not a test.

Split your class into four groups (more than four players at a time is a little unmanageable), and have one player from each group step to the edge of the sheet. The JTE spins first (you next, and then onto the groups), and the first players have to place their corresponding body parts on the indicated part, colour, and shape. Repeat through the order, until one player falls over, makes an error, or cannot comply. That player is then replaced with a new member from his/her team. If many players fall, they are all replaced. Keep the teams' interest high by rotating the spinner around the groups, and having one member from each spin up the next direction. The entire group must then call out the shape, colour, and body part in unison. E.g., "Green, Left Hand Square". When all the players from one team have taken part, that team is 'out'. Play continues until only one group remains. They are declared the 'Champions', and rewarded as befitting.

Only one limb may occupy a square or circle at one time, and once placed there, must stay there until directed by the spinning team to be moved. Lifting a limb constitutes an error, and the player is 'out' and must be replaced. If any part of a player's body other than their hands and feet touch the sheet, that player is 'out'. Players must move their hands or feet to a new shape even though they are currently occupying one of the designated colour. If all six shapes of one colour are occupied, the spinning group must spin again until a new shape/colour is indicated.

Hints and cautions:

* If you tell your elementary school English teachers (if you have them) about this game, they will probably buy the sheet and have the children draw and colour the shapes as part of the learning exercise. This will also give them time to teach the students what the game is about (by playing it). Don't worry it loses none of its appeal, even after they've played it 100 times.

+ As this becomes a full contact game, it is probably best (and safest) if the ALT doesn't join the students on the mat. Save self participation for groups of trusted, intimate friends.

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