Counting 1-10

Teaching numbers 1-10


Write the numbers 1–10 on the board. Often western 2s and 7s (and sometimes 4s) are written differently from the standard Japanese style. Have a brief discussion with the kids about it. Have volunteers come to the board and write the offending number the Japanese way.

Practice counting aloud both forward and backward and at random.

Next, circulate the room and have students take turns standing and telling you the number. Be sure to ask them numbers out of order.

Ask your HRT to help divide the room into three teams. As s/he divides the students, divide the board into 3 sections. Using the three separate colored chalk, write the numbers 1-10 in each section. Write them in random order and differently in each section. Be sure they are on the bottom half of the board where students can easily reach them. On the floor, at a reasonable distance from the board, draw color coordinated lines in chalk on the floor to indicate the start line for each team.

Each team is named according to color (ex/ Blue Team, Yellow Team, etc.). Students take turns racing each other to touch the number called by the ALT . Ask the HRT to help keep track of who is first and keep score.


The game is challenging because students are used to counting in order and may not know numbers out of order. I usually combine numbers with other shorter lessons like colors or fruits. It is also good practice to use number review in combination with other lessons. Students love to correct your writing tendencies. Chalk comes off the floor easily, so don't be afraid to write on the floor. 1–4 are the easiest. Use your discrepancy as to whom you ask the harder numbers of. You may only ask 1-5 in the first round then 6-10 in a second round for more points. Please decide how you would like to play according to your students' English ability levels. Refer to Shapes lesson for one example.

Lesson Topics
3 pieces of different colored chalk