Go Fish!

Cultural education through the introduction of a children's card game; Review of basic numbers; Introduction of the phrase "Do you have~?"


  • Review numbers 1-10 and introduce the names of face cards (Ace, Jack, Queen, King)
  • Demonstrate the key phrase “Do you have~” by interacting with the homeroom teacher.
    • Ask him/her to pick a card from the deck and show the class. Make sure he/she doesn’t show you.
    • Ask him/her “Do you have a ________________?”(card name/number)
    • The HRT will answer no until you have guessed correctly, in which case the HRT should answer “Yes!” Have students join in with saying “no” or yes.”
    • Check for comprehension of the key phrase.
    • Have students practice saying “Do you have~?”


  • Make groups of 4 to 5 students and give each group a deck of cards.
  • Each student is dealt 5 cards. The remaining cards may be left in a pile or spread out to become the “ocean.”
  • After determining the order of play (janken works well), the player whose turn it is asks one person in the group for a card using the phrase “Do you have a ~?”
    • Ex: “Taro, do you have a three?”
  • If the answer is yes, he or she must give the card to the student who asked. If the answer is no, he or she says “No” and/or “Go fish!” The student who asked must then take a card from the “ocean.”
  • If a student gets 2 of a kind (alternatively, 4 of a kind may be used), he or she places the cards face-up in front of him/her.
  • The game is over when a student runs out of cards, or if all cards are gone from the “ocean,” in which case the student with the most pairs is the winner.
  • *Games vary in length, but can easily be repeated once or twice to fill an entire class period.


  • To practice using the phrase outside the game, ask students if they have things.
  • Ex:
    • Do you have a pencil?
    • Do you have a skirt? (bound to make students laugh if you ask a boy)
    • Do you have a bag?
    • Do you have an elephant?
  • Throw some crazy things in there to keep the students on their toes!

* This is a good time to teach students "playing cards" or "cards," as opposed to "Trump" (トランプ). : : : * Please note that in Japan, the ace card is known as "one," the jack as "11," the queen as "12," and the king as "13." You can leave this as is, but it may be better to teach the students the English names. Many students may already known them. * Make sure to have one set of cards for every 4 to 5 students. More students than that per deck makes the activity difficult to do. If this is not possible, please have the students deal fewer cards. * Cards can easily be purchased at 100yen shops. * It helps to demonstrate the game first with a few students in the front of the class. * This lesson can theoretically be replaced with any content. You don't have to use playing cards/numbers. You can make your own custom cards with other vocabulary if you wish!

Lesson Topics
1 deck of playing cards for each group of 4~5 students