How to get your kids addicted to English – Christmas Avatars!

goldsnowmanHave you ever wondered how those online games get the kids so addicted?

You know, the ones they (not you of course) can never stop playing?

Well a large part of it is just general addiction rules, but a huge, HUGE part of it are what are called “avatars.”

Your “avatar” is just the picture of you in the game.

And the kids go crazy  ( CRAZY!)  to get their avatar to the next level.

Seriously it’s almost like a class A drug the way some kids become so desperate to level up.


Can you you use it in the classroom?  Absolutely!

And recently even the Khan Academy has started giving avatars to motivate kids to learn.

So ….. of course we had to add some to Genki English!

We’ve still not quite got the full “cool” factor yet according to our 7 year old testers, but they are all ready for you to try!

You start from the little baby and work your way up.

santaavatar snowmanavatar

Scarcity, Scarcity, Scarcity!

And the reason they work?  Because you have to work to get them.

You all clicked on the images above didn’t you?

Thinking it would be easy to get them, yeah?

But that would be *too* easy.

And you wouldn’t value them!

See how much more you want them now? 🙂

How to use …..  The short way 

This is a great way to use them as basic counters if you only see your class once more before Christmas …

1) Split the class into two teams,  the Santa team and Snowman team, both start at the baby level.

2) Ask questions based on today’s English.

3) Quickest team to answer gets to level up their avatar!

Ninja Tip:  Really act it up as you do the level up,  drum rolls, sound effects, the works! 🙂

This one isn’t quite as good as the kids don’t have as much work to do to get each one, hence the “I WANT IT!” feeling is slightly reduced!

But it still works crazy good!

How to use them? – The long run

The real magic is if you have a few more lessons before Christmas ….

1) Split the kids into two semi-permanent teams, the Snowman team and Santa team, each team starts on the first baby avatar.

2) After each lesson decide which team did the best.

3) And this team *only* gets to level up to the next level.

See who can get to Gold before Christmas.

Queue lots of cheers and eagerness from the other team in the next lesson!

Ninja Tip: This works amazingly well at keeping the class under control if they know they’ll get leveled down for bad behaviour! 

Where are they???????

And how do you get hold of these amazing avatars?

Well seeing as it’s Christmas, and you’ve been so good as to read down so far,  these links are clickable!

santaavatar snowmanavatar

And do let us   know what you think comments  and it will help us make up the non-seasonal ones next year!

Be genki


P.S.  The last three are Bronze, Silver and Gold levels, just like Pokemon.  Try giving them powers if you like!

P.P.S.  Next year we’ll be developing some non-seasonal ones for all year round use.  So please do give us your kids’  feedback on these ones to help us make the next ones even better!

Richard Graham

I'm on a mission to make education Genki—fun, exciting, and full of life! Genki English has now been researched by Harvard University and licensed by the British Council around the world. The results have been magical! Now I'm here to help you teach amazing lessons, with all the materials prepared for you, and to double your teaching income so you can sustainably help many more students in the future!

10 Responses to “How to get your kids addicted to English – Christmas Avatars!”

  1. Martin (mjwenzel)

    Great! Another thing to implement that might have better results than our current system.

  2. Nook Nook

    This is a great idea for Genki English!
    I have used various ideas derived from games in my lessons. Including the level-up mechanic.
    For example, every child gets a simple folder type book when they sign up to my class. I show them examples of extravagant top level books that are personalised and filled with various cool games and other things that (secretly) involve learning English. They also see the other students’ books.
    I have a card system that I give out during class for accomplishments such as doing homework, helping others, or other in-class activities. The cards have different points on them – 1, 5, 10, 20 and some others like Skip, +2, +4, Wild, and Pass. Giving out points is very quick and the students are trained not to play with them during class time. After class the students can use their points for shopping, all in English of course. During shopping they can buy various things that level up their books. The can buy things like English game cards, games, English posters, stickers, pockets – very popular to add to their books so they can put things like cards in them. I’m always adding new stuff.
    It’s also great for getting our school name around because their friends see the books outside our school and they want to get in on all the fun!
    I have heard some criticism for using systems like this – that the excitement and rewards should come from the learning itself but when done as part of the learning and in a very controlled manner it shows fast results!
    I look forward to see how Genki English handles this sort of things.

  3. Craig

    These are GREAT! Fantastic idea that I can really see motivating students.
    I had the thought of making the two teams, then giving them points throughout a class for various things. Answering questions, asking questions (in English, of course), bringing their completed homework (worksheet), and other things (that I’ve not come up with yet), then as a team reaches a certain number of points, they level up.

  4. Craig

    Just wanted to clarify the previous post…
    Points would be tallied up at the end of class to see if they made it to the next level. So this would ideally take several classes for them to reach Gold.

  5. Gadula

    Fantastic 🙂 I’m about to print them all:) cheers Richard 🙂 Greetings from Poland! Merry CHristmas to all of You Guys! Genki Teachers :D:D:D

  6. Margit

    I think this idea is brilliant.
    I’m not going to be able to use them for Christmas, but I am thrilled and can’T wait for the non seasonal ones.

    Please let us know when the first set would be done.

    Counting , as there are 8, each week one to hand out it takes at least 8 longest 16 weeks to get to the top. Very perfect. Still needs some planning. This will be the perfect addition to passports.

  7. Andrew

    So many of your resources resonate brilliance. This is another to add to the list. Used this with my students in a team game. Had levels lined up across the board. They wanted the gold avatar every time! well done and thanks. Andrew (Fukuoka)

  8. Julia

    You’re absolutely wright Richard! These small things like palm trees, rockets, ladders if even simply drawn on the board do a really big work: they let kids see their success and motivate their learning much more than other reasons.
    Thank you for your Christmas presents and for your great job SO MUCH!

  9. Jaynie

    This is a super idea and I think it will work wonders with my boys!
    I agree with Margit in that I wont be able to use these this year but look forward to seeing the non seasonal versions.And of course trying these next winter.
    Thank you always for everything.
    Merry Christmas to you and everyone online at Genki English.

  10. Volle Emmanuelle


    Where can we see some examples of your lapbooks?


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