Lesson 3-4 The Fourth lesson - Reviewing 11-20: Keyword Games and Snakes and Ladders...

Jun 29 2009 0 Comments by The ENB

Review 11-20: The Keyword Game and Snakes and Ladders:

Lucky for us we have a few games scheduled for this lesson like the Snakes and Ladders Game, the Keyword Game and a review of the Pyramid Game. The weather is still getting warmer and the rainy or monsoon season plays its role disrupting the kids' 'pool' (swimming class) schedule although the sunny days still prevail and most days the pool is declared open.

Safety is one the main concerns in Japan and inevitably 'pool' always gets cancelled at the sign of rain or cloudy weather. Lightning plays a role in that and I believe there have been some cases in which a bolt has struck near or in a public elementary school in Japan.

But back to the lesson, the kids were still anxious to play some games indoors during the rains so a review practice for the numbers 11-20 was first on the scedule. After reviewing the chants and repeating the numbers especially the odd 11,12,13, and 15, we got into a game I like to call 'Dabong.' (Everyone stands up and is chosen in random or in order to say the next number on a roll from 11 to 20.)



The kids would say "Dabong!" when someone slips up or cannot remember the next number in English. It's a little hard for some kids and I'm sure the peer pressure to perform plays a role but Japan's current system for English Class in Elementary Schools does not have manditory tests or grading and some of these quiz type games are the only ways in which to check on the kids' performances and levels. It's nice to see though that more and more kids have been raising their levels in this program. I guess that has something to do with having a textbook which the kids did not have in the past. It may give them a little more to think about as far as how serious they are in the class. They were prepped up on the English Study issues last year as a prelude to the program starting this year and new well in advance a knew textbook was on the way.

gamesGoing into the first Let's Play portion, we get into the pyramid game as a review game and it is still good with kids. It's a janken game and you shoud check my last post for more details on the game. Well, it was still very enjoyable for the kids, and in those rainy day lessons it is still the kind of game the kids are hoping to play. It was nice to see the kids are getting used to saying 'I win' and 'You win' in the games.

number games

Remember to keep an eye and an ear on the kids (if you are an ALT reading this) so they don't blurt out the numbers in Japanese. Kids usually get lost in the excitement and they just need a soft reminder although if they persist by all means give them a yellow card like I mentioned in my last post. This time I decided to let the kids know I heard more than a few of them speaking Japanese in the last lesson so I put on a quick demonstration of the 'Don't do this...' before the game started. They got the message loud and clear.


The excitement usually rises during the game and the students do need a little bit of calming down so the Key Number Game can come in handy here. So, we played that a few times and usually the key words are those odd accent numbers the kids have trouble memorizing like 11, 12, 13 and 15. And also 20 since it sounds almost the same as 12.

gamesNow it comes time for the Snakes and Ladders game. Now, I have had experience with this game in the classroon before with Grade 6'ers, and your introduction always remains to be the most important thing as you intruduce this lesson. The more preparation and pre-class discussion you and the Homeroom Teacher get done, the better off you and the students will be. Basically, it comes down to your Intro, Demo, and Recap. So, include all the key points and you'll be fine. Some things to keep in mind are that the students sometimes think that landing in the middle of a ladder means go up, they will count the spaces as they go up a ladder, they will go up a snake's tale, they will go down a ladder, they will want land on goal perfectly to win the game. On the latter I always tell the kids just play to pass or land on goal because I want you to play this game with your partner as many times as you can and wasting time on one move doesn't seem constructive. All in all, lay down your rules clearly, then show them again in a demo with a confident student, and then recap the rules again. With Grade 5 students its good to be clear so don't forget to ask the kids if they have any questions and 'Where's your game-piece or erasor?'


Seems like a lot of hard work, and it is. To keep this lesson effective you've got to play the Snakes and Ladders game and then play the "What Kanji do you like?" as well to finish off the chapter. Keeping things short, you can basically tell the kids "We are going to finish off the lesson doing the activity on page 21." At this point, when I'm pressed for time I ask the kids to read the Japanese captions at the top of the page in unison so everyone gets the point quickly, and it focuses their attention on the new task/activity. games

Then I quiz the kids by telling them to ask me (after a little repeating practice) "What kanji do you like?" But I tell the kids, here is a hint and show them the number of strokes it takes to make my favorite "kanji" As you can see in the picture of the board, its the number in the smaller box with the kanji character on the right that has a four-squared box in a kid of u-shaped box with a line on top.

Whew! Kanji is really hard to describe in English isn't it? By the way, it is a bit of a gamble to ask the kids "Do you like kanji?" as an intro to this game. I made the mistake of doing this and got about two hands up from the whole class. So, it took a bit of coaxing to reset their mindset, and a mention of "Let's have some fun with kanji, then!" and turned the activity into a quiz game like my demonstration. Otherwise to save on class time, it was kept as a simple interview game to gather the favorite kanji of four to six friends and and put them in the bigger box on the right. (Yes, that's my funny drawing of the teacher on the board...)



As I mentioned in my ending comments in my last post I was hoping to see the kids acquire the numbers 11-20 in this lesson. Well, there were still a few there not at a 100% but those students were trying and I guess at this age that's the most important thing. Playing ESL review games for learning to memorize target language such as numbers may really help in the long run.

Stay tuned for the next lesson.

Eigo Note Book 1 (Unit) Lesson 4 First lesson is now ready...


Book 1 Archives

About the author

The ENB writes for eigonoteblog.com whenever possible. The ENB's favorite school lunch is curry and rice. ( Short and spicy since we don't want to annoy anyone ;D )

Leave a Reply