There are a few things you can do when teaching the "My name is _______" lesson at elementary school in Japan, like creating name cards/ tags, etc but many require paper and take a bit of time. Here is a quick little game to play that requires nothing except the students and that they can say "My name is _______".

In this activity, students introduce themselves as someone else and, especially younger students, they have a hilarious time doing it.

Basic Info

Time: 5 minutes
Level: Elementary grade 1 - 6
Works with: Studying "My name is ___"
Class size: Medium to large

You will need:

  • nothing


  1. Practice saying "My name is _______" before getting everyone into a circle.

Lesson Description

  1. Make a circle, everyone standing.
  2. You start the game by saying "My name is Haruto." or one of the student's names from the circle then sit down.
  3. Haruto then says "My name is Kumiko." or another person still standing in the circle (not his own name).
  4. This continues until the last person is left. The last person should say the name of the first person to sit down. On the first round, this is you. On successive rounds, it might be a student and therefor the last person will have to remember.


  • Make sure you know a student’s name before you start.
  • If you play more than once in a row, be sure you know names of students still standing.


  • Not really a variation but if you play with older elementary students, they tend to find it embarrassing to go cross gender. So make them. Boys must say a girl’s name and girls must say a boy's name.
  • This game is similar in concept to a variation of count around the circle with pointing.


  • The cross gender variation above can either be very funny and the students laugh a lot or the students get sullen and boys not wanting to say a girl's name can make the game take a while. This doesn't happen too much though.
  • The ending can be somewhat anti-climactic so end with a round of applause.


These days, I don't really play this game very often. Too clunky and clumsy and as mentioned, has a big anti-climax. Instead, I'd recommend the biribiri game. (Biribiri is the Japanese sound you make when you get electrocuted.) So much more fun and you can still end with everyone saying who they became, with less of the stigma of choosing someone's name.

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