Let's Pokemon GO!

Students use directional vocabulary to collect Pokemon

Game Explanation:

This game is based off the 6th grade lesson 4. Students work in pairs to make their way around the school to collect Pokémon. Each group will get one ping pong ball (poke ball) and one paper (Pokedex). The Pokedex should contain a simple map of the school (I asked my Vice principle for a floor plan and then traced it and made a simple copy) and a list of Pokémon (see Pokedex file). One student will hold the Pokedex and give English directional commands to the other (such as turn right, go straight, etc), until they find a Pokémon (marked on the map with a star). At these locations students will find a tape line on the ground and three plastic cups. One of the cups has a paper Pokémon attached to it, the second one has Pokémon seals/stickers (Made using the glossy seal paper found at Daiso, just print out the Pokémon seal attachment onto seal paper and cut out the individual stickers) in it, and the last one is for garbage. Upon finding the Pokémon, the student being directed has to stand behind the line and throw the Pokeball into the Pokémon cup. If they get the ball in, they receive a seal which they then stick to their Pokedex, over the blacked out image of the Pokémon. The pairs will then change roles and continue onto the next Pokémon. Also make sure to tell the students to put the garbage from the seal in the garbage cup, otherwise you’ll have paper flying all over the place. The students will continue wandering the school until they have collected all the Pokémon. I usually put the last Pokémon (Pikachu) in the classroom, so that the students have to return to the room at the end.

How I broke down my lesson:

First I taught the new directional vocabulary, found in the text book. Make sure the students really know and can say the words. You can use any vocabulary review game to test their understanding. I just had the students stand at their desks and move / gesture to act out the commands (So `turn right` would just be a 90 degree turn et their desks etc..). We then did a quick part of the activity on pages 14-15 of the textbook. I would give instructions and then ask `where am I? ` and students would try to correctly give me the locations. Now it’s time to play Pokémon GO. First using a lot of gestures I would explain that in the school there are many Pokémon, and that we are going to go collect them all. Once the name comes out most students get the idea. I then would have the HRT help me demonstrate how the commands are given and what to do at the Pokémon stops. After that I would have the students break into pairs and then send them off.

  1. First make sure to tell the students to put the garbage from the sticker into the garbage cup. (On my first day I had little paper squares flying around the school and I had to clean them up).
  2. This game definitely leans more towards the fun side of English lessons rather than the academic, so you have to be wary of students who will just follow the map and run around the school collecting the Pokémon. Make sure you emphasize they have to use English. Also I did this as a first lesson for the directional vocabulary, so some of the students weren`t comfortable using the vocabulary yet, which is why I think I ran into some issues with students not using English. As a way to combat this you and your HRT could play the roles of 「Team Rocket」and wander the halls checking up on students and stealing stickers if you hear English, that way students have to return to a previously attained sticker and get it again. In addition to this you could also be 「Team Rocket」 and ask students random English questions and if they can`t answer you can steal a sticker (you could even add Jan ken into this to stimulate a Pokémon battle if you wanted).
  3. Could be adapted to fit JHS where instead of providing stars on a school map, you could write English directions to each Pokémon cup, and have the students mark the locations on the map once they have found them.
Lesson Topics
Junior High
Pokemon Seals, PokeStop cups, ping pong balls, Pokedex