Game in Japanese

Bargaining Game!

Target Grade:2-6
Target English: numbers, "How much"

Most Japanese seem to be unaware of the skill of "bargaining". In Asian holiday destinations they always seem to be overcharged because they're afraid of the local bargaining practices, where you gradually beat the seller down from an astronomical to a sensible price. This game introduces this vital skill and is good practice of numbers.


1. Introduce bargaining and where you use it (we don't want them arguing in UK supermarkets or anything)

2. Introduce "How much?"

3. Practice bargaining with the kids. If you are really persistent they'll love it!

4. Make sure they understand that "buyers" want a low price and "sellers" want a high price.

The Game

1. Split the class into two halves (left and right side of the class is usually good)

2. One side is then the selling side and one is the buying side.

3. The sellers (individually) have to go and find a "buyer" and sell them something (pens, books etc are usually good, let the kids choose!)

4. The usual conversation is something like
Seller: "Hello. Nice pen!!!"
Buyer: "How much?"
Buyer :"No! 2"
Seller "No! 9!"
etc. etc.

5. Give them a time limit of about 3/4 minutes (I usually count down the last ten seconds to add to the tension)

6. Afterwards sit them down and find out who did the best, and who did the worst!

7. Redo the game this time with the kids changing roles, i.e. the buyers become sellers and vice versa.

The price range should be fixed in a range from around 1 to 10. This makes sure they all know the numbers in English, and makes comparing who got the best price a lot easier. Make sure there are equal numbers of kids on each side - if you have an odd number then involve the teacher.
The time limit is important, without it there is no tension!
Tell them to be pushy, but watch they don't start hitting each other!!

Readers' Feedback

Once again, you saved the day, this game hit the nail right on the head! Thanks Richard
- Gavin

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