Each group tries to complete the English word challenge you give them by writing words that fulfill the requirements you set. For example - Six words ending in "e".

Basic Info

Time: 10 - 20 minutes
Level: Junior high grade 1 - 3 (see warnings)
Works with: Writing practice, spelling
Class size: Medium to large

You will need:

  • Cardboard (for challenge cards)
  • Challenge ideas
  • Blackboard/whiteboard


  1. Cut cards into hand sized squares, or about that size.
  2. Create a list of challenges. (See below for examples)
  3. Write the challenges on the cards. You may want to do it in Japanese (or ask the JTE to do it for you). If in Japanese, you may also want to write it in English (possibly for yourself).

Lesson Description

  1. Students get into groups.
  2. The first student from each group comes and gets a card from you. To make it easy, have one pile for each group, challenges shuffled.
  3. Students then take turns coming to the blackboard and writing the words needed to complete the challenge. One word per student. (Don't want to use the blackboard? See variations below.)
  4. When the group has completed the challenge, they bring the card back to you. You check their answers and give them the card to take to the JTE, who then awards points to each team for 1st, 2nd, etc.


  • Examples of challenges may include:
    • Write five days of the week.
    • Write in letters five numbers between 10 and 20.
    • Write seven words ending in "y".
    • Write ten words starting with "c".
    • Write five words ending in "e".
    • Write ten words playing shiritori. The first word must start with "g".
  • Help out slower teams or slower students.
  • Let teams help the writer, if you want.


  • For a stronger class you could try writing the challenges in English.
  • Instead of writing on the blackboard, student could write on paper, but this may mean weaker students get left out a bit more. Coming to the board means all students have to write. However, making the students pass the pen for each completed challenge solves this.


  • First graders may not be confident writing yet so save this game till later in the year.
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