Game in Japanese

String Game!

Target Grade:2-6
Target English: Vocab review!
Preparation: Pieces of string of various lengths

This is a very popular game!
First of all you need to review lots of vocab. I fill the blackboard with picture cards


1. Split the class into groups of 4 or 5 people.

2. Tell them tojanken within the group to select who will be the first person, the second, third etc.

3. The "first person" from each group stands up and takes a piece of string from your hand.

4. The person with the longest piece gets to play the game.

5. That kid then comes to the front.


6. The student then winds the string around their finger. But they can only wind the string when they are saying outloud any English words they know (e.g. words from the board, or anything they might know such as the numbers, good morning etc.)

7. When they are not talking they can't wind the string. They only wind when they are speaking English.

8. When they get to the end their team gets a point. The kids return the string to the teacher.

9. The second in line kid from each group stands up and each takes a piece of string.

10. Continue from step 5.



For the string I use brightly coloured shoe laces (most schools have them). I have four that are just one lace long, 3 that are 2 strings tied together, one that is 3 laces long and one that is four laces long. That way its easy to compare who has the longest string!

For elementary school kids it's fine for them to just say any words they know. But for higher levels you should assign a topic they have to talk about, e.g. self introduction, your favourite animals or the current economic situation in South America.

The kids learn to cheat by watching what colour is the longest. But if you have each end of the long ones a different colour you can change which end is at the top and hence confuse them!


Another good idea is to play the Criss Cross game and have the last three kids come to the front to play the String Game! This time all 3 of them have to speak, but some people will have short strings which is quite fun!


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