Page in Japanese The "How are you?" Lesson
Target English: How are you? + replies (emotions)
Grade Level: Kindergarten to Junior High school 1
The Song, Karaoke Version, Pronunciation Guide, Interactive Quiz, Worksheet
& Teaching Guide Video are in the
Teachers Set, the Download Pack.
Or sign up for the Daily Blog and get the "How are you?" MP3
and worksheets for free!:
Or see how to teach it in the
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Click the pictures, hear them spoken!
Yep, these pictures look weird. But when we tested them they got the biggest response from the kids all over. Try them and you'll be amazed!
To save you time, these pictures are also available in the printed Picture Card Pack
"How are you?"
by Richard Graham
Hello, how are you?
Hello, how are you?
Hello, how are you?
Hello, how are you?
This song has become famous around the world, but the description below is the one I originally put on the website the day after I first wrote the song.
I was thinking the other day that there must be a way for my kids to practice
at home what they learn in class. Then it hit me - songs!! Get a melody
going round and round in their heads and they'll never forget it!
The problem is that most English songs have too difficult and often not
very useful lyrics. So I decided to write a song for each of my English
games, using only the language used in class! This is the first "How
are you?"! It's a perfect accompaniment to the "Gokiburi Game" and works amazingly well! I was stunned to see how well the kids reacted
to it! Try it and see!
1. Teach the phrase "How are you?" and the
various replies. It's very important to have actions with
the song. It becomes easier to remember, and physical
movement improves the memorisation of the words! The
replies and movements are
"I'm hungry" (they pat their tummies)
"I'm tired", (they go to sleep!)
"I'm cold", (they shiver)
"I'm sad" (they pull a sad face)
"I'm happy" (a big, smily face!)
"I'm great", (they throw their arms in the
"I'm good" (thumbs up!)
"I'm OK!" (either the western or Japanese OK
When you teach the song, it's always good to keep the
actual recording till near the end, this way they don't
get bored. Maybe first off sing the song line by line,
then get them to sing (and do the actions). Then you can
start the recorded version. Maybe do this two times. You
can get more out of it by then making them pair up with
the person next to them. The people facing the corridor
sing the first line "Hello, how are you?" and
the people facing the opposite way sing the next
"hello, how are you?" and so on. This works
really well. You can even do this as a competition,
getting them to be louder than the other team!
In the verses I sing "I'm hungry" etc. and then there is an "echo"
of it. At first, just get the kids to sing the echo part. But when they
get good, you can split the class. Have one side sing the main vocal and
the other the "echo" they can then join up for the chorus!
In future lessons you can play the song once and the kids
should remember it! It's a really quick review! When you
have done several songs (for several different English
topics) then try playing one at the beginning of each
lesson as an alternative to the Warm
Once you've done the song (and it's firmly stuck in your head!) it's time
to practice the English with a game.
My favourite game to use with this song is the "How are you? Monster
This is a variation of the traditional "
What time is it, Mr Wolf?" game. This time it's used for practising " How are you?" and introducing adjectives. It's also one of my favourite games at the moment! So have a run through
the song, then once the kids have got a grasp of the words, let's try the game....
1. The kids all line up at one end side of the gym.
2. Explain that this side of the gym is the "safe" side. But
the kids really want to get across to the other side, where there is a
sweet shop which today has a half price special offer ( this gets the kids
3. But, in between the kids and the sweet shop is a monster! At first
the teacher is the monster. Ask the kids to guess what your favourite food
is. They'll shout out some foods ( nice practice!), then you say that your
favourite food is human! ( Even bigger reaction from the kids!)
4. Tell them that they can only cross to the sweet shop if the monster
is in a good mood and isn't hungry. Ask them how they can check on the
mood of the monster. After a moment a few kids will say "Ask him/her
"How are you?""
5. All together the kids ask the monster "How are you?"
6. Do a few "I'm sorry?"s to get the kids to shout in big loud
voices ( so that all the kids join in, not just the super genki ones!)
7. The monster says an answer, e.g. "I'm OK".
8. The kids repeat the answer ( important practice!) and move forward one
step ( no jumping allowed!).
9. Repeat from 5.
10. But if the answer is "I'm hungry!!", the kids have to run
back to their safe wall! Any kid who is tagged on the way back becomes
a monster for the next round!
11. Play again!
This game works a treat and is one of those magic games that the kids play
long after the lesson has finished.
The adjective parts come in from the second round. This time you ask the
kids if they want a big monster ( mime a big monster) or a small monster
( mime a small monster). The kids have to shout out which they would like.
As you are introducing the vocab in context it's a very effective way of
teaching. For the second round ask if they'd like a fast monster ( again
mime being fast) or a slow monster ( do a "slow motion" mime),
and finally for the final round ask them if they'd like a cute monster
or a scary monster!! This is a great lead into the adjectives theme for a future lesson.
In the second round there is more than one monster, so I usually get the
kids to answer in turn ( just make sure they don't let anyone reach the
I've also tried this game with parents and they also love it, but this
time instead of racing to get the half price sweet shop I tell them they
are trying to get to a free bar!!
or you could try the "Gokiburi Game" or How are you? 2 Game to add in more vocab.
For a future follow up lesson, have a look at " Excuse me, are you..."
How are you?
Gumby has made this great video of how to make an 8 page book out of one piece of paper!
And being such a nice person she's also done a ready made print out for
you to try!
What do you think? ?Would you like to see this for more themes?
The worksheets with the 9 pictures of Aygo or Mr Monkey are great activities. The teacher shouts out a number and then one of the lyrics from the song (the lyrics are printed inside the CD booklet). For example, "Aygo number 3 is Happy!". The kids would then make Aygo number 3 into a happy Aygo by drawing a happy face on him! This activity practises the expressions used in "How are you?", as well as numbers and is a good way for the kids to develop their imagination and drawing skills!
The song is available here to download for free in MP3
format (if you don't know what that means, then ask a
computer teacher, I'm sure they'll help you!). But please
remember that the song is Copyright. You can use the
songs in your class or for your own use, but please don't
make multiple copies!
Get it for free!
Or sign up for the Daily Blog and get the "How are you?" MP3 and worksheets for free!:
Or buy it in the Teacher's Set or Download Pack.
If you can't use MP3s, then why not buy the Teacher's Set? You'll find the full quality stereo version of the "How are you?" song along with the karaoke version, and a special CDROM section where kids can hear the words spoken as many times as they like as well as games and animations!
Anyway, Enjoy!! (and good luck in trying to get the song
out of your head after you've heard it a few times!!
We used this song in a private English school in Japan as the "hello
song" every morning with kids of all ages. We had two year olds singing
along and learning the actions quickly...it was pretty neat to watch and
by Deirdre Dooey
I found this song really excellent! The children, who were completely new
to English (I live in Austria) learned the vocabulary instantly.
First of all, my little ones (grades 1-3) love the song. Sometimes
if I catch them in the halls and ask them "How are you?" they
automatically break into song.
As for one activity, I made a worksheet with a picture for each of the
emotions in the song, similar to the country worksheet you suggest for
" Where are you from?" activities. I hand out cards to each kid and that becomes
their answer to the question "How are you?" Then they go
around and ask each other "Hello, how are you?" Whatever the
other person answers, they get to cross it off of their list. Once
they have crossed every emotion off of their list, they can sit down.
However, kids can still interview the kids sitting down in order to finish
their sheet. It's a bit of a controlled activity, but it gets them
practicing the question and answer pattern, as some kids mistakenly believe
that the appropriate response to "Hello, how are you?" is "Hello,
how are you?"
Hello , I am Zebo an English teacher from Tajikistan, I used this song
and actions and my 5th grade students love it very much.Thank you very
much. I like this site very much and take a lot new ideas and things from
this site.If only we could download all the songs there only a few to download.
I also love to use songs in my classroom.
( Thanks for the feedback Zebo, you can now download all the songs in the
download pack! - Richard)
I looked all around and couldn't find any flashcards suitable for babies.
they shouldn't be frightened by flashcards... yours are cute. thank you
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