This has to be the most fun I've had in an elementary English class, ever. A super fun way to help younger students get familiar with the shapes of the alphabet and get them moving their bodies at the same time.

When the teacher first said, "Let's do oshiri moji!" I thought it was going to be an incredibly inappropriate version of back writing. Oshiri translates as bottom/bum/buttocks and moji translates as letter/character. I wrote it off as another quirk of Japan, like the infamous kancho.

To my relief and subsequent delight, it was actually a gesture game where you move your butt around as if writing the letter out in mid-air.

Basic Info

Time: 10 mins
Level: Elementary grade 1 ~ 4
Works with: ABCs
Class size: medium to large

You will need:

  • nothing (although the students will need to see the alphabet)


This game works on a telephone game mechanic where the message is passed (and often distorted) down the line.

  1. Groups stand in lines. (Lines go from the front to the back of the class.)
  2. Everyone turns to face the back.
  3. The first students in each line come to the teacher and get assigned a letter.
  4. They return, tap the next student in line on the shoulder and show them the letter by tracing it out in the air with their tailbone (yes, they use their butt).
  5. Step 4 is repeated until the message gets to the end of the line and the final students say what letter they saw.


  • Make sure students understand this is a silent game. The letter should not be confirmed verbally, otherwise others will hear and there will be no need to pass on the message with butt-gestures.


  • This game is a lot of fun and apparently is often used with 1st and 2nd graders when they are learning hiragana and I'm 90% sure there will be no issues but still, I recommend running this one by the home room teacher before you try it and letting them do the explanations and demonstrations.


This game is a lot of fun even with students as old as 4th graders. The key to the students having fun is for them to see the teacher doing it without shame.

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