Evolution (AKA. The Gokiburi Game)

Objective
To practice using any grammar point or vocabulary.

Evolution, or "Shinka" in Japanese, is a popular game that your kids may already know. It can be used with any grammar point or vocabulary. The goal of the game is to reach the final stage of evolution.

  1. Begin by placing four or five flashcards on the board.
    Animals work very well.
    Traditionally the first animal is a gokiburi, or cockroach, and the last is a human. Students may choose the order. Imagine a cheetah coming before a turtle on the evolutionary scale.
    Challenge: Supra-evolution level is God, or kami-sama.
  2. Students must find another animal like them and make a pair.
    Easier: students may make pairs with any other animal.
  3. In pairs, students take turns practicing the conversation of the day.
    Challenge: Add review material as well.
  4. When the conversation has finished, students janken. The winner evolves into the next animal.
    Challenge:  The loser devolves into the previous animal.
  5. Repeat steps 2-4 until the student becomes fully evolved.
    Challenge: When a student reaches human level, they must converse and janken with the teacher in order to become kami-sama. Kami-sama may help other students.
    Double-Challenge: If a student loses janken with the teacher, they devolve all the way to gokiburi. Ouch.
Lesson Topics
Duration
Elementary
1,
2,
3,
4,
5,
6
Junior High
1,
2,
3
Resources
Four or five flashcards, a board