Game in Japanese

The Hammer Game!

Target Grade:1-6
Target English: vocab
Preparation: An inflatable (or sponge) hammer

This game is based on the English TV game "Mallet's Mallet". It basically involves you hitting the students over the head with a hammer. The big point being that it's an INFLATABLE hammer!! Very fun game (and much requested)

You teach today's set of words and maybe review some previous lessons and then......

1. Split the class down the middle into two groups, the kids on the left are the left group and the kids on the right are the right group!

2. The left group form a single file line down the left hand side of the room.

3. The right group form a single line file down the right hand side of the room.

4. The front person from each group come and stand facing each other in front of the teacher.

5. One student says an English word (any word is OK, for example "banana")

6. The other student says another English word.

7. You keep going backwards and forwards like this until.....

8. ...if they repeat a word (i.e. one of the pair have already said it) then the person who said the repeated word gets a hit on the head and sits down in their seat. The other person, the winner, rejoins the back of their queue and will eventually get another go.

9. Similarly if they speak Japanese, or pause or hesitate then they get a bash on the head and have to sit down, and their opponent gets back in line.

10. The next two people come to the front

11. Repeat from 5 ......

12. ....until all the members from one of the teams is sat down. This team is the loser and the other team is the winner!

This is a really good game as all the kids get to have a go.
The "musn't repeat" thing is only for that pair, they can say words that were used by previous pairs.
If you run out of time then count the number of people still stood up. The team with the most people stood up is the winner (obviously make sure the teams are equal at the start!)
Inflatable hammers can be obtained in Japan from 100 Yen stores.
I used to have a hammer that squeaked when I squeezed it, so first the kids got a "squeak" and then a bash on the head. It really adds to the atmosphere!!!!!!

Hammer Game in Video

Here's the game in video from the original 1980's TV show. They actually start off with a word from the host to get them started, You'll also see just how shy the kids are, so imagine what's it's like for 2nd language learners. Hence why confidence building is the biggest part of this job!

Readers' Comments

Very fun for the kids.  I used a small hammer that squeaked but just me sort of hitting the students was funny to all.  I also broke the vocabulary they could use into categories for my san-nensei ( 3rd grade) kids, like "drinks," "fruits," vegetables," "musical instruments," etc.  By the end of the day the first and second year students were begging for the Hammer Game.- Emily Hofer


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