2 Classes

Making English Classroom Signs

This is a fun activity that any grade could do (including elementary school 6th or precocious younger grades). I did it as an “introduction to the dictionary” for my JHS 1st graders.

First, I gave them a blanked-out map of the school, and the worksheet. My OTE gave me the map of the school when I originally arrived so I’m not entirely sure where it came from, but someone at your school should have one.

Dinner Party Poster

  1. Have the students move into groups of 2-4.
  2. In the small groups, students decide 3 people they would like to invite to dinner, the meal that will be served, and 3 topics of conversation they can have.  Then, complete the poster with the appropriate information.
  3. Students will write 30 second to 1 minute skits about their dinner party, including examples of formal language included in the One World book.
  4. Student groups perform their skit in front of the class.

10 Chairs — Unequal Distribution of Wealth

This is an economics lesson in English.  I have done it twice in Japan with H.S. grade 2 students in a “Comparative Culture” class (it is an elective social studies class taught in English). It fits into our unit on Global Inequalities.

The lesson is quite popular in American classrooms.  A thorough description can be found on many websites.  Here are a few links to the lesson plan:

“~ed” vs. “~ing” (Feelings/emotions)

While marking some speeches that the 3nensei wrote about their school trip to Tokyo, I noticed a lot of the same mistakes being repeated and repeated… so much so that I decided to make note of it and ask the 3nensei teacher if we could dedicate a lesson to discuss this once 2nd semester started up.

The common mistakes are misusing “~ed” and “~ing” when discribing states of feeling. For example, I often saw: “It was very excited”, “I was surprising!”, “I was very exciting!”

Let's Talk


  • The class has covered the relevant language included in the dialogue
  • The students have two sessions to complete this activity.


  1. Preparation − Rewrite the dialogue in the “We’re Talking” lesson that you are teaching, leaving out parts of the text that you want to target. Add or remove parts of the text to make it more interesting/authentic.

Personal Opinions


Make groups of 5 or 6 students and give each group one topic.

Divide them into “for” or “against” sides. Make sure they are evenly spread so all topics are covered.

Students have to write four supporting statements as a group, then they each memorize their chosen statement.



They present the statements in “for” and “against” groups and others evaluate their presentations.

Sixth Grade Introductions


Spend one class completing a handout about the information students will include in their introduction.  Use grammar points they have learned the year before.  An example is:

  1. Hello, my name is (             ). 
  2. I like (     ). 
  3. I want to go to (       ). 
  4. I want to be a (        ). 
  5. Nice to meet you.


The First Class

Vacation Plan

First, go to JR Central or any travel agency and pick up around 9-10 travel pamphlets.  Take a look at the pamphlets to make sure they have enough information and pictures for things to see and eat.

Break students up into groups of 4-5 students.  Assign a country to each group and give them their pamphlets. Explain that they will make a travel plan for the country that they are given.  They must write sentences for what they will eat, see, do, and buy.

My History

This worksheet is a beefed-up version of the My History project from the 2nd grade One World book. Students write their own histories and draw some pictures of their experiences. Page 17 of One World has a simple version with some grammar points. Use the worksheet to make a clear example.

Paper Facebook Profiles

  1. ALT/JTE explain what a social networking site is, and show ALT’s own SNS profile as an example.
  2. ALT/JTE review the vocabulary on the worksheet.
  3. Students write their own profiles and ALT/JTE help students when necessary.
  4. Students exchange profiles and write comments on their friends’ profiles (like the facebook wall or myspace comment).

If X, then Y (a la Rube Goldberg)

The lesson uses the Rube Goldberg idea of an extremely complicated machine which does something really simple (for a great example, which you could even show your kids, see the music video for “This Too Shall Pass” by OK Go). You can also read up on Rube Goldberg machines on wikipedia.

The lesson time is divided into an introduction, a creative brainstorming process, a presentation prep time, and presentation time.

Halloween Monster Maker

This activity can follow up a previous Halloween lesson or be used after a short introduction.

Give out the two character worksheets; show students your own example of a finished worksheet. For 2nd and 3rd years, explain and test comprehension of the monster maker rules and the adjectives list. Elaborate on the character profile section by writing an example on the blackboard.

Encourage students to be as creative or rigid as they like. i.e. Two heads and four arms is ok. Cutting out mouths or eyes.

My Original Country!

A lesson devised to build upon the suggesting finished activity for Eigo Noto 2‘s “I want to go to Italy.” topic, in which students learn to express desires, and reasons for having them.

Rather than choosing an existing country to visit—as suggested by the textbook—students work in groups to imagine a new country, name it, design its flag and map, and reasons for visiting their country in the process.

International Video and Poster Making Project

Make a 15 minute video with 10 ALTs from 10 different countries. Ask each person to speak for 1-2 minutes about the most popular/famous food, places, sports, music, animals, people, etc. in their respective countries.

Find pictures of the famous things each ALT talks about in the video and print them out. Print out a picture of each ALT. Make a description sheet for each country with the ALTs name and a list of all the pictures.