If you’re just starting a new term, new class or even school year, here are a couple of articles I wrote last year that may help with some ideas:

First lesson of the year, if you speak the lingo
First Lesson when you don’t speak the lingo
First Lesson in Junior High School

If you have to do a self introduction type lesson then a great idea is the True or False Intro Game.

1. Tell the kids your name is David/Victoria Beckham.
2. Altogether the kids vote true or false.
3. Tell them your name is something else, they vote again.
4. Finally tell them your real name and they vote again.
5. Do the same thing with hobbies ( I have a black belt in Judo etc.), favourite foods, where you are from ( Mars?) etc. etc.

It’s especially good for lower level groups as long as you do have at least one thing to introduce that is a little out of the ordinary!

Richard Graham

Hello, I'm Richard Graham. And when I was a kid I found school to be sooooo boring... So I transformed my way of teaching. I listened to what the kids were really wanting to say and taught it in ways they really wanted to learn. The results were magical. So I'm sharing it all with you now...

10 Responses to “First Lessons”

  1. Ben Phillis

    I have found that a good JHS self-introduction, particularly for 2nd and third grade, is to simply write a list of my personal answers. In groups, the students have to find the questions.
    Because they are in groups I have the chance to walk about within the classroom and speak to them in smaller numbers. I have found their confidence is a little better like this. While this is going on, the Japanese teacher can also be talking to different groups, correcting their grammar and so on.
    Towards the end, with maybe ten or fifteen minutes to spare, and when I have spoken to each group, I call a halt and work as a whole class.
    If the group gives a correct answer they get a point for their team. Here I can explain some of the more difficult questions and interesting answers.
    I also encourange, if a group has finished early, to think of their own questions. I usually get “Do you have a girlfriend?” and “Do you like Japanese food”, but occasionally I am suprised by some quite inventive students.

    Example questions for the worksheet:
    24 (age)
    England
    I have two brothers
    Pizza
    Both of them are teachers (What is your parent’s job, a tricky one!)

    Good luck, and have fun. The kids will love you!

  2. banana

    try this…

    write 6 (or more) numbers on the board. Ss try to guess (In English or native language) the meaning of the numbers.

    e.g. 27 (shoe size) 175 (height in cm) 5 (members of the family) 29 (age) 70 (weight in kilograms) 4 (years in Japan or wherever)

    try it, Ss are quickly interested in the guessing game, and learn a little about their new teacher.

  3. somia

    i found that to smile at the faces of grade one students is more important than any thing else here in palestine

  4. Joanne Wong

    Dear Richard,

    I would like to have your advise as I’m not sure which package should i buy. I would like to teach English to my daughter (2 years old)and at the same time, if possible I would like to conduct an English class.

    Hope to hear from you soon.
    Thank you.
    Joanne (Malaysia)

  5. richard

    Hi Joanne,

    The Teacher’s Set sounds like the best option, you can use it in class and also at home! My niece loved it when she was 2!

    There’s a choice between the CD or Download version and to be honest I only ever use the Download Version, it’s so much easier to use without having to juggle lots of CDs!

  6. Agu

    Dear Richard,

    I discover your web page by random and it was the best thing it happened to me , you are an excelent teacher and I`ve learned so much from you.I found your songs really entertaining and absolutelu helpful in the class!

  7. yonica

    i like the way you teach i like it. it is very useful for me and for my small school. thanks a lot.God bless you and be with.

  8. Jonah

    Hi! I got many teaching ideas from your site. Your resources can help teachers even in far countries like the Philippines! It’s cool to innovate your class lesson using these resources. 🙂

  9. Nasrin

    Dear Richard,

    I found your web page by random , you are an excelent teacher and I`ve learned and got many teaching ideas from you.Thanks alot.

  10. maria-vanegas

    I think you are an excellent teacher. I love your ideas. Thank you for sharing them with us.
    May God bless you.
    María Vanegas from Ecuador, South America

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