Students play a new variation of janken but instead of winning with paper, scissors or rock; they win by doing some simple math the quickest.

Basic Info

Time: 2 - 5 minutes
Level: Elementary, Grade 5, 6
Works with: Hi friends 1 Lesson 3: How many ~?
Class size: Small to Large

You will need:

  • nothing


  1. Students walk around the class and find a friend, say hello.
  2. In pairs, they do the fist shaking action of janken (a.k.a. paper, scissors, rock) while saying:
    "How (shake) / many (shake) / fingers? (shake and go)"
  3. On "fingers", each student puts out between 1 and 5 fingers (not zero) on the fist they were shaking. It's then a race to see who can count the total number of fingers between the two of them and say the number first.


  • Demonstrate this game with the teacher first. Clearly show counting out the fingers so students understand what exactly is happening.
  • Play the game for a short time. This will keep it fun and make sure students are still excited to play it later as a review activity.
  • After playing the game, ask some students some real "How many ~?" questions and have a few students ask you or the HRT a few questions too.


  • To practice higher numbers, simply write "+ 10" on the blackboard. Students must now add 10 to their answer - so when 6 fingers are showing, the answer is 16.
  • + 20, + 30, etc.
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