Who am I?

Level Aims Grammar Time Materials
junior high school first and second year Review exercise "Did you... yesterday?" / any 15 mins Game cards and worksheets

The following is an easy-to-explain, easy-to-enjoy activity that can be used with a variety of grammar points. Divide the class into groups of 6 and give each group 20-30 game cards. The groups divide these up between their members. Tell the students that they are going off to battle students from other groups, and that they must try to win as many cards as possible for theirs.

Each student is also supplied with an 'identity sheet' from which they choose their 'secret identity'. To win a card, one student must challenge another. The 2 combatants use Janken, and the winner asks a question ("Did you listen to music yesterday?" etc.). The loser answers ("Yes, I did"; "No, I didn't"), and then they repeat the process again until one student is able to identify the other. If a student guesses correctly s/he receives 1 card from the loser. The winning group is the one with the most cards. A brief demonstration between the AET and JTE is adequate explanation.

An alternative to this is to have the students begin without assigning them to groups, but instead assigning them a secret identity by randomly handing out name cards. Then have the students find their group by discovering other students of the same name, using the same question format. The question and targets can be varied to suit the needs of the grammar point. E.g., "Do you like ?"

Hints and cautions:

*Game cards can be anything from pictures of continuous verbs, to days of the week or months of the year. Use pictures of baseball players or TV talents if you have them, but remind the S/s that the pictures they're battling for aren't as important as the correct use of the grammar.

Teaching Tip

When S/s answer incorrectly, encourage self-correction by repeating the question and stressing the problem area ("Do, do, do, do you like Natto?"), or by repeating their answer up to the error. For answers of the ilk, "I am an orange" to questions such as, "What kind of food do you like?", try translating their answer into Japanese (or have the JTE do it). Don't answer questions for them unless all else fails. Encourage their friends to help if they are obviously floundering; teaching others is a great way to reinforce learning and broaden understanding.

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