Lesson 3-1 The First lesson - Learning the 12 Months with Eigo Noto 英語ノート...

Jun 08 2009 3 Comments by The ENB

A new Eigo Noto 英語ノート lesson: Months, Birthdays and Teaching Ordinals

The kids were still quite hot since the weather will start getting warmer and warmer in Japan. We taught them...last lesson. Do you remember? Also, the rainy season is coming soon but for now it is the swimming season in Japanese Elementary schools. Our Grade 6 classes had "pool" (swimming) today for their 1st and 2nd periods so that always leaves them tired and a little lethargic for their English lessons. Oh well...

Eigo Note Book 2 Lesson 3-1 - Page 16 - When is your birthday? - 12 Months: January to December



Turn on-off the fan please! Eigo Noto numbers in tens

After our greetings and review of their numbers, in 10's, and also also a review of 11 to 20, we did the number songs and dances in the Grade 5 textbook just to wake up the kids a little bit.

After, we introduced the new chapter and went straight into the CD and had the kids listen to the 12 months one by one to get used to the sounds while we placed the flashcards on the board. We did a lot of repeating for this lesson and also did another version of the Calendar Song from a different CD.

Flashcards on the board

All in all, I think there were ten rounds of repeating: three for the introduction, three for the Calendar Song, and three or four more afterwords while we were fixing up their accents on April, and a few other months. To keep the lesson a little soft, we only asked of the kids to remember their own birthday month for today. We then played a chain game having the students say the 12 months in order one by one; just to see who was paying attention and who wasn't.

The teacher's book had an activity called the 'Joining Game' wherin the kids would have to join together certain festivals and calendar events to the appropriate month. You can see a picture of it next to the audio player above; page 16. A nice idea to help keep the kids on their toes, since many of them had to think twice about answering the quiz correctly. Many students couldn't remember which months the events in pictures took place so there had to be a little class discussion with the HRT to confirm when these events actually took place. Checking the answers might be more difficult for the ALT since the teacher's book has the answers in kanji so I left that part for the HRT while I prepared the board for the "answer" flashcards.

Advice to all ALTs: Make sure to remind yourself (in your pre-lesson discussions/meetings) to ask the HRT to do the answers for the above quiz or you might be left with a kind smiling yet naive HRT at the back of the classroom watching you trying to do this by yourself. If you are not familiar with the Japanese events then ask the HRT to tell you more about them. The kids can also try to tell you more if they can.

Also, I had basically prepared three sets of flashcards just for this "Joining Game" activity. One set has the pictures and month's name. The second set has events and pictures only. The third set has, separately, the months only which were used while quizzing the kids.

Eigo Note Book 2 Lesson 3-1 - Page 17 - Let's Listen Quiz and Let's Chant Well, time again for another quiz on the next page and now I get the feeling that these get a little harder as we get into the book. To calm the kids, I gave them a little talk on just worrying about the "keywords" and not to listen for the whole meaning. The listening quiz involves listening to a few short lines of spoken events in 3 different countries and the months they are in. It's a little hard for those students who don't have a good ear for the English accent, and easy enough for those with a little 'eikaiwa' experience. After, they stopped worrying about the whole sentence and focus on the target words the kids eventually calmed down and most of the class heard the answers correctly.

Eigo Noto Calendar flashcards

Lastly, we concluded the period with a little "fun" since the day was quite hard for the kids. We played a little activity called "Butta no shippo" in Japanese in their lunch-groups. It's a game like "Snap" except the cards are laid faced down in cicle. Each student will pick up one card and turn it over quickly in the center of the circle and if it happens to be one of the "target" cards you (the students) must slap the top of the card with just one hand, one by one. The last student to "slap" or place their hand on top is the loser and must then collect all those cards piled underneath. Once all the cards are finished, the student with the most cards is sorry to say, the loser. The point of the game is speed and getting accustommed to the "target" language or in this case the target letters since we used their alphabet game cards for this activity. As you can see in the picture below. Those are the target letters. Can you guess why those letters were chosen?

my Alphabet slap game

After, we ended the lesson singing a new song for the chapter, the Months Chant.

Eigo Note Book 2 Unit 3 Lesson 2 ...is now ready!


Hope your lessons went well!


Eigo Note Book 2 Unit 3 Lesson 2...


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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 )

Responses to 'Learning the 12 Months with Eigo Noto 英語ノート... '

  1. A-sensei says:

    Hi. I am so pleased that I found your site. There are a lot of plans and activities for the classes in detail and so it helps me enormously as I have just started teaching English at Shougakkou.

    My question is about the card game "Butano Shippo" with 12 months. Could you tell me what you did re: the cards? I am wondering if I should prepare a set of 12 months cards for each group or more?

    I am looking forward to your reply! I will most certanly add this site to my favourites!

    Many thanks.

  2. The ENB says:

    Thanks so much for your mail! I really love getting mail...

    Actually I should have been more clear. We used the alphabet cards, one set of big and small letters for each lunch group.

    The kids were told to slap the cards/letters which have the same shaped (big and small) like C and c. The last person or "slowest" hand on top has to keep the cards under the "pile" (those cards that were turned over). I'm sure you know the game, right?

    There was a joke at the end of the game that the kids who got zero did "great", and the kids with 1-5 cards were "good", and the kids with 6-10 cards were "ok" but the kids who got more than 10 cards "need more practice with their ABC's." (I wrote the quoted words on the electronic blackboard before the lesson to "flash" them as comments after the game.)

    (Sometimes I'm just really "up front" and honest with my kids.)

    Hope this helps.

    Don't be shy to email me again if you have any more questions.

  3. A-sensei says:


    Thank you very much for coming back to me!

    This is great! I will try this game in my class.

    I have taken your class ideas to my class and I am getting great responses from the students.


    For example, I had some doubts re: the keyword games with erasers but as you suggest, even the grade 6 kids get really excited! Also, I have decided to ask for any volunteers to do sensei's role - like saying the words or sentences at random then the keyword. Although this is a quite challenging task, I was happy to see that most of the students wanted to do this!

    Anyway, thank you again for your detailed reply.

    I will be accessing to your site regulary as a great resource!

    Oh, I have printed the flashcards for the 12monts. They were great as they match the eigo note.... I had the flashcards but the picutres were of course different....

    Thank you!


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