Mr. Wolf

Level Aims Grammar Time Materials
elementary school To teach how to ask the time, and basic replies. "What's the time", telling the time 20-30 mins A large area in which to run around; maybe a large toy clock.

First, introduce the students to the question, "What's the time Mr. Wolf?", by having them practice, shouting in chorus with and without you. Next, demonstrate the hours of the day, either with your arms, or with an easily visible toy clock. Practice, "It's 1 o'clock, 3 o'clock..." etc., as well as 'Lunch-time' and 'Dinner-time'.

To play, the students ask the question, "What's the time Mr. Wolf?" and the 'Wolf' (initially the ALT) replies with either a real time (i.e., 1 o'clock) or an eating time, "It's lunch time!" If the 'Wolf' replies, "It's 5 o'clock", s/he must turn their back and count to that number as fast as they can. The students begin from 'Home', which is at least 20 meters away from the 'Wolf', and during the 'Free' time when the 'Wolf' is counting, move nearer to the 'Wolf' and try to tag him/her. When the count finishes, the 'Wolf' turns around and tries to catch sight of any students who are moving. Students seen moving must return to 'Home' and start again.

If any of the students should succeed in tagging the 'Wolf', all the students must run as fast as they can to 'Home', while the 'Wolf' must try to catch as many of them as possible. Simply tagging students is sufficient. If they are caught, they become 'Wolves' also, and join the ALT. The ordinary students ask their question, and the 'Wolves' debate their answer in a tight circle before turning and answering as one. Obviously, larger numbers (e.g., 10 o'clock) are preferable at the start of a round, and smaller ones as the students get closer and closer.

If the 'Wolves' decide it's 'Dinner/Lunch-time', they must reply, "It's LUNCH time!!" or "It's DINNER time!!", before chasing the ordinary students and trying to catch them. The game continues until all the students have been turned into wolves, at which time it's definitely 'Break-time'!

Hints and cautions:

* If students have trouble pronouncing 'Wolf', change the name to 'Mountain Gorilla'

* Most elementary schools have a large toy clock handy, which they use to teach the time in Japanese. It can, of course, be equally handy in teaching the time in English, so ask for it.

+ It is much easier, and eminently quicker, to explain this game by demonstrating it with a few students and teachers. Most teachers have a rudimentary level of English, certainly enough to enable them to participate in this activity.

+ Indicate that tagging a student is sufficient to render them caught by a wolf. If you engage in literally catching the students, some of your young wolves will execute flying tackles, such as would make a rugby player proud, and tears will follow. The students get very involved in these activities, so it's often necessary to protect them from themselves.

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