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Janken - Rock, Paper, Scissors!

As performed at the Tokyo International Bookfair!

Theme English version of "Janken" (Rock, Paper, Scissors) + Motivation! Level Kindergarten to Junior High school 1
Games Gokiburi Game, Leapfrog Game
Paid for Stuff Song - Animated Mini Lesson - Karaoke - Pronunciation Guide
- Computer Game - Worksheet - in the Teacher's Set

This lesson is in the new curriculum Level

Click the pictures, hear them spoken!
To save you time, you can buy these cards in the Picture Card Pack

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Bonus Materials...

A4 Flashcards
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Mini Cards
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Rock Paper Scissors


Lesson Plan

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(give to class teacher)

Islands Game
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Owners Club Members can click on the pictures above to print them out

Rock, Paper, Scissors!
by Richard Graham

Rock, paper, scissors.
(Rock, paper, scissors)
1,2 3, (1,2,3)
Rock, paper, scissors.
(Rock, paper, scissors)
1,2 3, (1,2,3)

Are you ready? (Yeah)
Are you ready? (Yeah)
Are you ready? (Yeah)
Are you ready? (Yeah)

Repeat Chorus

@In the classroom or at home ........

This is now the most popular Genki English song (it's even more popular than "Left & Right" ) and last year I taught it to over 10,000 kids! With practice (see the teaching guide video below) you can teach it really quickly. The song is fantastic as a first lesson as the kids are so motivated by learning something in English that they do everyday.

Once kids know the game of "Rock, Paper, Scissors" there are loads of great games you can play. So try this hip-hop version to get them used to playing the game in English! It really works a treat, especially the "Are you ready?" bit in the middle!

First the teacher says the line, then the kids repeat.

When you say "rock", make your hand into a fist...

...hold it out flat for "paper" and ...

...use two fingers to form "scissors". ..

On the final "3", everyone puts out their favourite. Scissors cut paper, paper covers rock and rock blunts scissors. Who's the winner? It doesn't matter, losing just means you get another chance to try again! Try using this song with the "Gokiburi" or "Leapfrog" games from the website.

Most of you probably know that people in Japan are a lot more fanatical about Rock, Paper, Scissors, and one problem is deciding which English version to translate it to. For example some people use "stone" or change the order, basically there is no set pattern. So when I wrote the song I interviewed loads and loads of people and this version just came out as the most popular. I've also seen this version used in "Friends" several times, so if it's good enough for Jennifer Aniston, it's good enough for me!

In Video

Here's the first 10 minutes of my standard demo class. Hopefully you'll get some ideas and see how good even beginner students can be with a little motivation and music thrown in there.

It's of a small school where I taught all the grades together. They have had a few lessons before, but the Rock, Paper, Scissors song was their first time.

It starts off part way through my warm up,
Then Genki English Rule 1: Think you can and you can!
Then intro of Rock, Paper, Scissors i.e. each word twice and then once through the mini-lesson.
As you can see the kids pretty much got it just from this.
Then Genki English Rule 2: Losing just means "try again!"
Then another couple of goes through the song very fast.
Then the song itself.

Altogether it's 10 minutes. You'll see how much Japanese I use and how much emphasis is put on motivation talk. These were really good kids, but their speed was about the same as most good classes.


It's probably best to play this game by using your hands (have a look at the software on CD4 to see how). But if you want an activity to calm the kids down a bit, try this "Rock, Paper, Scissors" dice. The kids say "Rock, Paper, Scissors. 1 2 3!" and throw their own dice and see who wins! It is a bit different from the normal version as now everything is random.

On the CD....

On the CD there is the music (if you put it into a normal CD player), and the software section (if you put it in a suitable PC or Mac). As with the other songs there is a fun pronunciation section for learning the words, a mini-lesson to learn the song "a cappella" and a groovy one or two player quiz.

The "Rock, Paper, Scissors" song can be found on CD vol. IV !

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