1-5 Minutes (Warm-up)


  1. Draw dashes on the board corresponding to the number of letters in the target word.
  2. The students have to work out the word by guessing one letter at a time. Students can be selected however you like.
  3. For each incorrect guess a part of the hanged man is drawn, with the 10th miss causing the students to lose.

You can put the students in teams against each other or have them all against the teacher.

Jellyfish Song


This lesson is a result of discussion at Job Training 2012. Special thanks to Laura Jourdain, Jennifer Nishizaki, Matt Pedler, Jimmy Nguyen, Jessica Dovey.

Appropriate for lower level elementary, or perhaps nakayoshi, depending on what they like.

It may be appropriate for a lesson including body parts or directions such as up, down, left, right, in, out. (Similar to the Hockey Pockey)

The Post-Game How Many Technique


This is a technique that you can use at the end of a game such as the Life Game or Rock Paper Scissors Numbers to determine who got the most (or least) amount.

  1. Have students count their cards or ohajiki. ("How many cards? 1, 2, 3..")
  2. Tell everyone to stand up.
  3. Starting with zero, ask students who got [zero] cards to sit down.
  4. Keep moving up until there are only one or two students standing.
  5. These students are the winners.

Keyword Game: Level Up!


I have been playing the keyword game with my students for years and it was getting far too repetitive so I decided to mix it up a bit.

Students play in pairs, left-hand side students are one team, and the right-hand side students are the other team. After playing each round, I count how many winners from the left side, and how many from the right. I give one point to the team with most winners that round. It can continue for as many rounds as there are vocab to learn but I don’t usually play it for that long.