• Guilty! The YĆ«zai Game

    Guilty is a spin-off of the old board game Clue, with elements of the Nintendo Switch game Fakin' It. Students prepare their own cards then play a game based on bluffing your way through an alibi. It's a bit of a long game with student preparation time but it's so much fun.

  • Have/Has Play/Plays - Listening Grammar Game

    When you get to the "have vs has" lesson with your 1st grade junior high school students, here is a nice game to give them lots of chances to think about which word is the appropriate one to use with each pronoun (I, He, She, They, etc).

  • Help a Friend Game

    This activity gives students the chance to use "Are you ~?" in a real use situation. It's a fun activity where students get to hear the problems another student has and creatively provide a solution.

  • Help the ALT Discussion Activity

    In this activity, students decide how they are going to help the ALT. They discuss it and answers are written down. Great for a review warm-up focusing on using "I will...".

  • Him/Her Grammar Warm-up Game

    Try this version of the translate game to review or practice using him/her with junior high 1st graders (from the Sunshine 1 textbook Program 7-2).

  • Hot Potato - Pass the Eraser Game

    The students have a set time, say 30 seconds, to say something and pass the eraser back and forward in pairs. When the timer runs down, the student left holding the eraser loses. No preparation needed for this junior high warm up activity.

  • How Many Pens Do You Have?

    This game, just like the "What do you have?" game, is about using your poker face. It's very interesting to find out which students in your classes can look their classmates in the eye and lie with a straight face.

  • Human Alphabet

    Don't try this activity if you value class time. This is a bit of a P.R. stunt for English and a chance to get the students outside and running around. Perfect on a nice spring day and it does help students remember the shapes of the alphabet.

  • 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.

  • Itty-Bitty Translate Challenge

    This warm up has students reviewing recently studied grammar in a very focused way. One student provides the Japanese and the next, the English. Play it out in a quick-fire way and students get caught up and can really enjoy reviewing grammar this way.

  • Janken Losers (have to...)

    Janken losers have to jump, jump, jump! This activity may or may not be favorably received by your students, depending on their disposition. It'd work better with more active, happy students.

  • 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.

  • Last Letter First Letter (Shiritori)

    Last letter first letter, more commonly known here as shiritori, is a game I am sure we have all played at some point and it makes a great warm up game for junior high classes.

  • Parachute Team Challenge

    The parachute team challenge is a junior high English class warm up game but can also be used in elementary schools. The winner of each round remove a point from another team and the game ends when one team has no points left.

  • Past Tense - Got up/ Wanted/ Lived

    This is a basic walking and talking activity using new English past tense for first graders in junior high. Download the excel spreadsheet and print out cards for the activity.

  • Quiz - What do you call...

    This activity for your junior high school 3rd graders lets the students use the "We call her Alex." grammar to quiz each other on famous things and places. Group work makes the prep easy for everyone!

  • Reading Pictures (this, that)

    This activity uses images to help students practice using this (to specify something near) and that (to specify something some distance away). Because students draw the images themselves, they have a greater sense of ownership of the activity. Plus, it's just a bit of (quiet, creative) fun!

  • 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.

  • Similar Pronunciation Listening Challenge

    The Japanese language has fewer sounds (phonics) than the English language. So while some of the sounds are the same, there are a few that are new and a few that are hard for the Japanese ear to pick up. This game challenges students to listen for the difference in words that sound very similar.

  • Student Name Bingo

    This activity can be used with basically any question answer dialog that students encounter in junior high English. The downside of this activity is that you're not really creating a real-use scenario. The upside is that you can do this any time and the mechanics encourage students to talk to many different people.