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Here is a great idea sent in by a Genki English viewer. Try it out and
let us know what you think!
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Get the children to put their chairs into a circle and then sit down. One child, one seat.
As the teacher you stand in the middle.
Say to them "If you are wearing ??????, change seats" or "Anyone who is wearing ???? change seats"
The children wearing the item of clothing you mentioned should then get up and change places with another child who is also wearing that same particular item of clothing.
Remind the children that they cannot start to change seats until after the words "change seats" are spoken, and that only the people who are wearing the item are allowed to move, the rest remain seated where they are.
Repeat the process a couple of times until the children understand what they are doing and when they have to sit in another persons chair.
Then when you think they have got it, repeat the statement one more time and then quietly sit down in a vacant chair, leaving one child standing.
That child then has to make a similar statement and then he/she should try and sit in a vacant seat leaving another child standing.
If the children have difficulty with the sentence or clothing words you could write them on the blackboard so that they can read them and therefore not stand in the middle looking lost or embarrassed.
Other suggested statements are:
If you are a boy/girl student/teacher etc
If you have long/short/black/blond hair / brown / blue eyes / a brother etc
If you live in Japan/an apartment etc
If you like.....
If you want.....
If you can....
If your birthday is in....
If you are in the ? grade
If your name is....
as well as others.
WARNING. this can be a dangerous game if several students rush to the same vacant chair or if students pull chairs away from classmates before they sit down.
That aside, the kids love this game.
(this game is known as "fruit basket" in Japan. If you decide to play it, just make sure the Japanese teachers don't translate everything you say, as they often have been told they have to! - Richard )
Here's a very short video of the game. There isn't much going on, but you can see the general layout of the classroom.
The teacher, and then all the kids, asked the middle student a question at the beginning, which is a very good technique.
You'll also notice the student comes out with a Japanese "katakana" pronunciation of "fruit basket". This is something that really needs fixing. If it happens in your class, in any game really, you can simply do some pronunciation practice with the class before going on to the next round. Then from the second round if anyone uses "katakana" pronunciation it doesn't count! As usual you have to balance this with making sure you don't de-motivate the kids. But this is something that comes with experience and practice, and you'll soon realise where to draw the line.
If you have a great idea please share it with everyone by submitting it to this page!
Or check out the main Genki English Games Page
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