Say 21 and lose (ES, JHS)

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Name of Teacher: Cody Jones

Class/Grade/Language Level: ES/JHS

Textbook and specific lesson: none

Goal: warm-up; energizer; practice English numbers

Preparation: none

Class time: 10 minutes

I’m pretty sure that this is a fairly common game in Japan. At the very least, my elementary school third graders and above usually know the rules to the game by the time I explain it to them. It’s good for practicing numbers, and the “goal” can be changed from 21 to whatever other number depending on what the students are studying that day. Rules:

1. Students, in pairs, janken.

2. The winner says up to 3 numbers. They can say “one, two, three”, or “one, two”, or just leave it at “one”.

3. Their partner continues where they left off, saying up to three numbers.

4. Students trade turns like this, eventually reaching 21, or whatever other goal has been set.

5. Whoever says “21” loses.

I often play this game using normal numbers, counting by tens, and dates (first, second, third… say thirty-first and lose). Simple game with no setup required whatsoever.