• Human Bingo

    In human bingo, each student is assigned a number, animal, etc and becomes a square in a bingo game. When all students in a group have been "crossed out", that team wins. You can use this game to practice various vocabulary sets, such as numbers, colors, animals, fruit, etc.

  • Hungry Monster - A "How are you?" Game

    This is a quick little game for very young students that can be played every time you visit the class. It's a game where students get to run away from a monster (you) so they'll always be having an exciting time.

  • Icebreakers

    I was looking for ideas to break past that tension and self-consciousness a group of students has the first time they have an English class and I found a page for English speaking kindergarten icebreakers.

    I think some of these would translate well to elementary or junior high level English lessons in Japanese schools. I haven't read them all, I got as far as #4 (Name Puzzles) and that suited me fine.

  • Karuta (A.K.A. Snap)

    Karuta is a Japanese game similar to snap. It's a fun way to test listening recognition for vocabulary sets and students love this game. The bonus is that every Japanese student knows karuta so you barely have to explain the rules.

  • Keyword Game

    This is straight out of the elementary school textbook. Place an eraser in the middle then beat your partner to snatch it away and get a point.

  • Make 100 Game

    The goal for the students playing this game is the find their partner. The goal of this game from the teacher's perspective is that the students are practicing listening and understanding numbers between 1 and 100 (or 99 to be precise).

  • Make a Snake

    The make a snake game makes use of "paper scissors rock/janken" (which students love!) and has them walking around practicing simple English question and answer dialogue. Works in many different elementary lessons.

  • Make Name Tags

    Hand out card to everyone so they can either make name tags, business cards or name plates that fold into a triangular shape and sit on each student's desk.

  • Maze Game

    Perfect for the turn left, go straight (directions) English lesson, the maze game is a popular activity. Arrange the desks and have students directing other students through the maze to find their goal.

  • Me Too! Challenge - I like ~.

    Students are challenged with guessing what their speaking partner likes and matching it with something they like too. This activity is for studying "I like ~."

  • Memory - Match the Cards Game

    Memory is a match the cards game I'm sure we all played as kids. As a child, I played with playing card but in an elementary English class, vocabulary card sets work better. If you have them, this game can be used to drill vocabulary.

  • My Name is [Someone Else's Name]

    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 _______".

  • Newspaper Twister

    Newspaper twister gets kindergarten or young elementary students playing twister with numbers. Younger students have a blast getting tangled up and it is a good activity not only for English, but also to build balance and motor skills.

  • Number Fingers 1 - 100

    This activity has students pairing up to say different numbers then confirm them by showing the numerals with their fingers. A simple activity where students teach each other.

  • Number Shiritori

    This is a great way for students to practice their fluency using numbers. It's the type of game that once students learn how to play it, you just have to say "Let's play number shiritori!" and students can get started by themselves.

  • Oshiri Moji (Butt Letters)

    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.

  • Parachute Game

    The parachute game is a fun and less morbid interpretation of hangman. The mechanics of the game are very similar to hangman - students have a set number of guesses to get the answer but there are a few different ways you can play the parachute game in an elementary class.

  • Pre-Lined Writing Practice Worksheets

    Here are some free-to-download, pre-lined writing sheets with either one or two per A4 sheet.

  • Relay Bingo

    Instead of just listening, students must run to get the numbers from you before returning to tell their groups. This adds physical action and speaking to the old classic English number lesson game.

  • Row Racing

    Row racing uses the rows of desk as groups and the element of competition to bring some excitement to new vocabulary or dialogue practice.