"What is this?" Folding Cards

By the end of the activity the students will be able to ask, "What is this?" and reply, "It's a..."

This activity is for the grammar point, “What is this?” in the first year of One World.

After introducing the question, “What is this?” and teaching the response, challange the students to guess what some cards you have made are.

For example,

Awesome ALT: “What is this?”

Genki Student A: “It’s a watermelon!”

Awesome ALT: “No, it’s not a watermelon.  It’s a…”

“… frog!”

Whole Genki Class: “Heeeeee~!”

Awesome ALT: “OK, one more, what is this?”

Genki Student B: “It’s ice!”

Awesome ALT: “How many times do I have to tell you, Genki Student B… It’s called ice CREAM!”

Genki Student B: “Ohh, sorry, sorry. hige sori.  It is ice cream.”

Awesome ALT: “Bu~ Bu~, It’s not ice cream. It’s…”

“… a rocket!”

Whole Genki Class, “Su~ge!”

Then it is the students’ turns.

Pass out a B4 or larger piece of paper to each student.  Teach them how to fold the paper. (First fold in half lengthways, then fold one of the halves back out to the edge. That way half the paper is hidden and can be pulled to reveal what it truly is.)

You can use this activity as a chance for students to use dictionaries to look up words, or go around and help them get the right word.  The end goal is to have every student go to the front, show their paper and ask, “What is this?” “No, it’s not a pen. It’s a sword.” If you can, have them take the sheet home to color it.

You can also store and use this for bunkasai.


This lesson idea was first told to me by Linda Dardick a few years back. I have used it in each school I have been at and it has always been well received by students.

Junior High
pre-made images, paper for students