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author: Jordan Svien
This is a race game to help teach greetings, including "please" and "thank you". All you need are flashcards and a large, soft 100 yen die.
1. Make two sets of eight flashcards based on whatever set of greetings you wish to teach, including "please" and "thank you" as the last two. For example, you could use "Hello!", "Good-bye!", "Good Morning!", "Good night!", "How are you?", and "I'm happy!" in addition to "please" and "thank you".
2. Omitting "please" and "thank you", assign a number value to each of the greetings. For example, one will be "hello", while five will be "how are you?"
3.Divide the class into two teams and have them line up on opposite sides of the room, spreading out to fill up empty space (a large gym is best). Assign one teacher to each team to stand at the back with your flashcards. You stand in the front center with your die.
4. Have the first kids from each team come to the center, and then throw the die into the air. When it stops, the kids run as fast as they can to their teachers across the room, shouting out "please, please, please!" The teachers then give the card that corresponds to the number rolled on the dice. For example, if it was one, the teacher gives the "hello!" card to the student.
5. The kids then run over to their team members and exchange greetings one by one. Both the runner and the team member must say the greeting, making it important for the kids who aren't running to pay attention. After they greet everyone on their team, they run to you at the front of the room for one more greeting exchange.
6. Having done that, tell them to "go!", and they run back to their teacher yelling "thank you, thank you!" to return their card. Finally they run back to the starting line. The first team to complete all this gets a point! The runners then go to the back of their team's line, and the next kids come forward.
It's important that the teachers know which numbers correspond to which cards! Also, if the kids forget to say "please" or "thank you, they can't advance, so tell the teachers to neither give nor receive cards without first hearing the magic words.
For younger grades, just yelling "good morning!" or "hello!" back and forth is good practice. For older grades, make it more tricky with "how are you?", where their team members have to answer the question instead of just repeat the same thing back. An even trickier scenario is to use a "how are you?" answer as one of the numbers, such as "I'm happy!" In that case, the team members must initiate the greeting while the runner answers.
Or you could try using any of the Question + Answer themes. say having 1 as "How are you?", 2 as "How old are you?", 3 as "Do you have any pets?", 4 as "What's your name?", 5 as "When is your birthday?", 6 as "Where do you live?"
I hope you are able to find this game useful! It is quite simple practice, but the kids learn they need to say "please" and "thank you" in order to win.
Best of luck,
by Jordan Svien
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