Sentence Game

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Name of Teacher: James Henderson

Class/Grade/Language Level: Elementary 6th year, (JHS 1-3 as well)

Textbook and specific lesson: "We Can 2!" Unit 4

Goal: Familiarize students with “We have…” and “We don’t have…”, reading/writing practice. Group work

Preparation: ~ five minutes of explaining and making groups.

Class time: As much as needed, but generally 15-30 minutes.

This is an activity that has been extremely successful and popular in my experience.
  • Start of Lesson: To start the lesson, we spend about 10 minutes or so introducing the target grammar or reviewing it.

Introducing and review can be done through demonstration between ALT and JTE and writing the target sentences on the blackboard. Mock small talk for example.

  • Practice/Warm up: Tatte-yoko and hot potato/bomb game are great follow ups to have all the students practice the target grammar. Can take about 10-20 minutes. Flexible.
  • Sentence Game: I have the students get into groups. The number of each group can be flexible, but for sixth grade, four is usually a good number. I then have them all assign themselves numbers between 1-4 (so that each group has one person for the number 1, 2, 3, 4). Then, they put their heads down/cover their eyes.
  • From here, I write one word on the blackboard and call out a number. The students from each group with that number can look at the word, memorize it, and then put their heads back down after it’s erased. Repeat this until you’ve given them words from which they can make a target sentence after unscrambling/discussing in their group.
  • If they figure it out, they have to write it down and bring it to the JTE or ALT. If correct, award their team so many points. And then the subsequent groups to figure it out receive less.
  • There’s lots of room to adapt and change the main activity. For example, bonus points for translating it into Japanese. Or, after so much time, slowly start to write the correct answer on the board.
Additionally, instead of full sentences, I have used this game using vocabulary for younger grades.
Filler: This usually takes up most of a lessons time and so I don’t often have to use filler at the end. But should that happen, “hang man” has been successful. Albeit, not using the hanging man … usually a flower, or a man in a parachute.