Sea Animals

To teach students the names of common sea animals in English.


This is a lesson that can be modified to revolve around reviewing vocabulary through Pictionary.


  1. Introduce names of sea animals. Write the pronunciation of more difficult words in katakana (e.g. squid, dolphin). They usually know fish and shark.
  2. Practice pronunciation of the words as a class and individually (one-by-one).
  3. Split the class in half, moving desks so the students have a clear aisle to run down when changing pairs.
  4. Each team has a set of small sea animal picture cards. Use an empty desk or chair for the cards so that students can separate those that have been used once from new cards.
  5. Divide the chalkboard in half. Give the students team names using colored chalk.
  6. Two students from a team come up to the board as a pair. Only the pair at the board may see the picture card. One student draws the picture while their partner calls on other students to guess what the picture is in English. Each pair has one minute. When the students guess correctly they earn a point for their team. The ALT coaches one team, the HRT the other.
  7. When all cards have been drawn, the team to finish first gets an extra point. For round two, the student who drew in round one now calls on students while the other partner draws.
  8. If the two teams are tied at the end of round two, the HRT draws a picture and the ALT calls on students. All students compete. The first team to answer correctly wins the final point.

Having props will help students and classmates get into the presentations.

I suggest laminating the cards.

Originally the students were going to shout out their answers but this was too loud and chaotic. Having the pairs also gives more students a chance to participate.

Sometimes the students will call on the students who are the strongest consistently. Try to encourage them to call on many people.

Some of the combinations of sounds are unique to them and require several repetitions.

Squid, dolphin and turtle were the most difficult to pronounce, but with a little practice they can do it. Use your knowledge of your students' abilities when choosing which words you want to teach.

Lesson Topics
Picture flashcards, katakana pronunciation of English names, two sets of picture cards, enough chalk for all student teams, something for students to separate the cards which have been drawn from those which have not (chairs, baskets, empty desks, etc.)