Japanese Version

Genki English Newsletter

 February 2002

Welcome to February, and this month we have for you two brand new games, Valentine's ideas, a cool game for the Winter Olympics, and two major new articles. Enjoy!

NEW GAME: Playing Card Time Game

This is a great game idea sent in by Genki English reader Neil Maher.

Level: 3rd and 4th grade Elementary
Resources: A deck of cards (2 decks if you have a class bigger than 15 students)
This game is for getting the kids asking each other "What time is it?" and answering "It's...o'clock" and "It's...thirty".

1. First teach the kids "What time is it?" and the answers "It's...o'clock" and "It's...thirty".

2. Break the class into small groups of 3 or 4. Give each group about 15 cards with at least 2 "face cards" (king, queen, jack) and put them face down on the desk

3. Kid A asks Kid B "What time is it?". Kid B pulls a card from the deck. If it is a number card (such as 4 of diamonds) Kid B answers "It's 4 o'clock". Then Kid B asks Kid C "What time is it?" and so on.

4. If Kid B pulls a face card from the deck he then pulls other cards until he gets a number card (say 4 of diamonds). Then he answers "It's 4 thirty". Then Kid B asks Kid C "What time is it?". The face cards mean the half hour times.

Once they get the idea of the game you can wander from group to group checking on them. The kids police themselves and there is no cheating. The stronger students tend to help the weaker ones as well. The game revolves around the tension of not knowing what card the student is going to pull. For some reason they all think that "it'scthirty" is more difficult than o'clock" but they all want to pull a face card! This game is also good for checking on their pronunciation of thirty (so often confused with thirteen).
This game has been officially classed by my 3rd and 4th graders as being good fun and they keep asking to play it.

Neil has also sent in his Giant Snakes and Ladders game, which you can find on the website:

These two games are only in English at the moment, but I'll get the translations done soon, keep checking the website!

If you have any original, effective games ideas then write them up, take some pictures and if they're as good as this, we might be able to put them on the website! Fame and glory await!!

Valentine's Ideas

Beside my birthday, February also sees Valentine's Day. This can be fun to teach as different countries celebrate it in different ways. For example in the UK both boys and girls give presents to people they like, but in Japan it's only girls that give to boys - and sometimes even if they don't really like them!! (Boys give girls presents on March 14th, "White Day")

On the website there is a cool talking "Making a Valentine's Card" page, that should interest your students. It's good to illustrate cultural points, and to give them some practice in words such as "cut", "fold" and "colour"!


The "Yes/No" fortune telling game is also fun for older kids at Valentines!


2002 Winter Olympics

The 2002 Salt Lake City Winter Olympics start soon. Theming lessons to events like the Olympics is a great way to introduce some culture about the host country, or indeed the participating countries. For normal language lessons, it's also great for a little bit of added enthusiasm! One of my favourite games to play is the Ski Game, which I created when the Nagano Olympics was on 4 years ago. Have a go, it's good fun!!


A few more articles

There are also two big new articles on Genki English this month. One is written by Christy Hamlett Cook from Gunma Prefectural Education Center, and is a report on Elementary School English in Gunma, Japan. The report is based on a survey taken by ALTs in the prefecture, and is very interesting reading!


The other article is a complete introduction to Elementary School English for Japanese Teachers. It was written by myself, and was originally published by Oxford University Press last year. I've now put it on the website for you to print out and show to your teachers. It goes through many of the problems and worries that teachers face about Elementary School English including Team Teaching, deciding what English to teach, using songs and games, and most importantly lots of confidence building!


That's it!

OK, that's it for this month! Hope you enjoy new ideas! The discussion board ( http://genkienglish.net/discussion.mv ) has had some good questions on there recently, so have a look at that as well.

If you have any friends who you think would be interested in the ideas in this newsletter, then please forward it on to them!

Be genki,


Richard J. Graham  B.Sc. AMInstP
Primary School English Games, Songs and Activities 
Email: richard@genkienglish.net


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Previous Newsletters: 

January 2002
December 2001
November 2001
October 2001Newsletter
September 2001 Newsletter
June 2001 Newsletter
May 2001 Newsletter Part Two!
May 2001 Newsletter Part One
April 2001 Newsletter
March  2001 Newsletter
February 2001 Newsletter
January 2001 Newsletter
December 2000 Newsletter!
November 2000 Newsletter
September/October 2000 Newsletter
August/September 2000 Newsletter

July/August 2000 Newsletter
June/July 2000 Newsletter
May/June 2000 Newsletter
April/May 2000 Newsletter
March/April 2000 Newsletter
February/March 2000 Newsletter
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