The ABCs is one of the first English lessons for 1st graders in Japanese junior high schools. Because school starts around the beginning of April, it's spring and it's a great time to run around outside while it's not too cold and not too hot.

Basic Info

Time: 10 - 20 minutes
Level: Junior high grade 1
Works with: ABCs
Class size: Small to large

Video Demonstration

You will need:

  • You will probably need to check with the class teacher if it is ok to take the class outside.
  • An open field/grounds, preferable one where everyone can gather at a raised vantage point to watch the runner.
  • One card (small pieces of paper) for each student with one letter written on each card (or you can just tell it to them).

Lesson Description

  1. Get the class on the side of the open area that you will use.
  2. Give one student a card with a letter written on it.
  3. That student should then run around on the field, outlining the shape of the letter on the card.
  4. When (s)he is finished, the student should signal to the rest of the class who are watching.
  5. The students watching should call out what they think the letter is. If they can't get it, try one more time.
  6. If it's correct, the next student goes and the previous student joins the crowd.


  • Use either all upper or lower case to avoid confusion.
  • You should be the first runner so everyone can see how it is done.
  • Make sure everyone knows to give the signal that they have finished.


  • This might be tough with certain classes, as not everyone will be enthusiastic about running around. You can either run with the unenthusiastic kids, or just let them slide.
  • If you get everyone to run, it can take quite a while. It might be wise to ask the class teacher how long you can go for, and limit it to that amount of time.
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