Culture · Elementary School Education · 英語ノート① · Japanese Language · Teaching

英語ノート① Lesson 1 – 3 : 世界のこんにちは

First week back from Golden Week has been a bit rough. It usually is because I am so used to staying up late and sleeping a good portion of the day, but this time I was going back to work after having a fever of 102-104 for four days. Not to mention that I survived on a few glassed of fruit juice for a week. Let’s just say that my body lost a lot of muscle and energy during the break. I still have a pretty bad cough, but it is kind of going away as time goes on. Jun said I managed to sleep without coughing more than a few times last night – this is amazing as he hasn’t been able to sleep well due to my coughing.

Anyway, one more week is done, after tomorrow’s elementary school classes, and I am glad it is the weekend. In 5th grade, students finished off their first lesson in 英語ノート! Next week, we move onto lesson 2. So, here is how the last day of lesson 1 went down.

pages used for the lesson

Greet with students
Play 【Classroom of Babel】

Kids are always demanding this game, so I decided to play it one last time with a slight change. Instead of trying to find people that greet them in the same language, students now had to find one person from each of the countries represented to make a group. This ended up being a group of eight as I decided to just group the “Hello” people in the same group. Kids really seemed to enjoy this…and of course wanted to play again. Will be sure to keep these cards around for when I have extra time at the end of lessons.

Chant 【Hello Chant】

I put the pictures of Ken and Mai on the board and had the students tell me who they were. This quickly triggered their brains into remembering the chant and I had them sing it to me once acapella before I put the lyrics on the board. We then sang it one more time together and then a few more times with the CD. For a final go, I had students pair off and decide who would be Ken and who would be Mai. We talked about what is important when greeting someone (smile, eye-contact, shaking hands) and then had them use these important points while singing. If students forgot to shake hands with their partner, I had them do the song over again until everyone was shaking hands. This was a good opportunity to remind students what we talked about last week about respecting other country’s ways of greeting. If someone in Japan did not bow when greeting someone for the first time, it is considered rude (students nod in agreement) so it is important for them to shake hands when they greet someone in English.

Let’s Listen pg. 8

This listening activity was very very easy for the students, but it was a good moral booster in this regard. However, I had to remind the students that Eigo Noto once again made the mistake of introducing the kids as Suzuki Ken vs Ken Suzuki. The kids got a real kick out of the voices on the CD – especially Ken’s voice. I enjoy impersonating the voices because they are so ridiculous and it makes the kids laugh.

Play 【Name Card Exchange】

my name cards

This is what the kids had been looking forward to all class. Each student had 8 name cards that they decorated and wrote their names on. The goal is to greet with 8 different people and exchange name cards. To add a little more excitement, and to encourage students to talk with people outside of their circle of friends, I added a special point system. If a boy greets with another boy, they get 1 point for the name card exchange. If a boy greets with a girl, they get 2 points for the name card exchange. If a student greets with the ALT or JTE, they get 3 points (but I did not tell them about the ALT and JTE points until after everyone exchanged cards). On page 9 of their book, there is an area for how many cards they collected, but I had students change this to points.

some of my students' cards

Students glue their cards to their books (make sure students do so in a manner where they can see whose card it is!)
Nao likes makason!

This was really exciting for the kids as they got to keep their friends’ cards. While students were gluing the cards to their books, I walked around and stamped each student’s book.

Shiori likes basketball

Review and say good-bye with students

With this, our adventure in lesson 1 of Eigo Noto is complete. So far so good!

I had an interesting conversation with some of the teachers I work with about the differences in foreign language classes in America and in Japan. I am not sure about everyone else, but in my Spanish classes we all took on Spanish names and were called these names during class. In Japan, I have yet to hear about an English class where the student use English names. Wonder why this is?


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