TV last week in Japan was plastered floor to ceiling with zombie and horror movies. Β  (Β Including horrible 18 rated ones at 2 in the afternoon, not the best thing when you flip on the TV over lunch!)

It’s because August is Β “ghost story telling season”, designed, so they say, to give you chills to cool down the hot, hot summer days. Β And I guess it also links in, in some strange way, to the obon holidays where people pay respects to their ancestors.

Zombie Phonics?

Anyway, it got me thinking about using the “zombie” as a keyword for “z” in the Genki Phonics course.

As we’re getting more and more younger children using the phonics and more and more kids who aren’t as desensitized as the kids in Japan (you should see the kids books here!) is it better to take the zombie out?

That only leaves us with “New Zealand” and “zucchini” as keywords for “z”.

But after seeing even just the ads for the horrible movies on TV this last week, I’m thinking I’d much prefer a class without any of the horror and gore.

What do you think?

Richard Graham

Hello, I'm Richard Graham. When I was a kid I found school to be sooooo boring... So I transformed my way of teaching. I listened to what the kids were really wanting to say and taught it in ways they really wanted to learn. The results were magical. Now I help teachers just like you teach amazing lessons and double your incomes!

5 Responses to “Zombies in Phonics”

  1. Margit

    I must have missed those. I didn’t see any.

    Well, about the zombie phonics: My students are getting into it easily without any big deals for horror images etc.
    But if you would like to leave it out how about “zig zag” . It’s easier to gesture than NZ or Zucchini.

  2. Micki

    I’m OK with zombie in the classroom. As it becomes part of the Japanese pop culture, it also becomes a nice learning point. And kids like a little gore and horror. It’s just like vampire — there are horrific nasty ones, and then there are the sanitized versions for kids, and a whole rainbow of vampires in between.

    If you are looking for other z words, though, how about zero? Or zipper? Rather difficult combinations for Japanese mouths to say, but perhaps valuable for all that.

  3. DeenaZ English

    Most kids love horrific creatures, parents and teachers less. As a someone who is teaching and managing a small private school, I think I would opt for the words ‘zero’ or ‘zebra’. Richard, do you have short, very simple phonetic-based texts to go with the phonics system of sounds and letters? Short texts relating to the letters already learned really wraps up your method nicely and gets the kids reading pretty immediately.

  4. richard

    Thanks everyone, keep the comments coming!

    RE: Short texts, yes indeed that’s what we’re working on now instead of individual words in the workbook. The trick is how to introduce the “funky words” without freaking people out!

  5. Nena

    I don’t mind the word zombie, besides it was already introduced in the Halloween theme…some of my kids still remember and used to laugh at the idea of “zombie zucchini”. Other words “zoo” and “zookeeper”.
    Can’t wait to see the new phonics books!
    Have you ever seen the web site reading a-z or the sister site
    Keep up the good work!

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