The Life Game (Inochi Game)

By Jessica Dovey, 15 July, 2016
Lesson Topics
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Junior High
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High School
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To practice using any grammar point or vocabulary.
a stack of paper strips, mini flashcards

Every student starts this game with three colored strips of paper (ohajiki are ok), plus one mini flashcard (they are in the back of the textbook, or you could make your own.) The goal of the life game is to use English to get as many lives as possible, while avoiding death. 

  1. Students find a partner and converse using the grammar point.
  2. Each student must use the mini-card they are holding in conversation. For example, here is a conversation in which students are holding mini cards relating to subjects:

    A-san: Hello! What's your favorite subject?
    B-san: I like [math]. What's your favorite subject?
    A-san: I like [English].

  3. Students janken.
    The loser must give a life (the colored strips of paper) to the winner.
    Challenge: Practice using, "Life please, " "Here you are," and "Thank you."
  4.  Students exchange cards. This way they are always practicing a new vocabulary.
  5. Repeat steps 1-4.
  6. If a student runs out of life, they must come to the teacher and ask for, "One more, please." Please don't allow the children to "die." In the case of communication, making a mistake (or losing) does not mean failure. It means try again!

When finished, use the post-game how many technique to figure out the winner.


This game is very similar to the Rock Paper Scissors Numbers game. 

If you trust your kids, you could use color rubber bands instead of paper strips.



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