# Hi Friends 2 Race to 100

Hi Friends 2 starts out with a wildly disjointed unit which begins with counting, using “How many…?”.  From there the unit shifts focus to the alphabet and lower-case letters and the “Do you have a …?” structure.

To impose some order on this mess, I try to keep the focus on counting and numbers to 100.  Drilling numbers gets dull quickly though, so I’ve come up with a little challenge to spice up the task.

The Race to 100 team challenge is really quite simple.  Students sit in a circle and pass a baton or ball while saying a number.  The first student starts at 1, the next student says 2, and so on, passing the baton until they’ve arrived at 100.  Using a stopwatch, time how long it takes each class to make it to 100, and make it a competition.

I’ve prepared a scorecard for keeping track of class times.  If you only have one group of 6th graders, try breaking up the class into smaller groups and running them off against each other.  It’s a good team building exercise.  I usually run off two or three attempts at the beginning of class, then transition to an easy game using the alphabet cards in the text.

Give it a try and share your results in the IRC chat!

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# Hi Friends 1 Lesson 1 “Hello!”

The kids are back and classes will be starting sooner than you know it!  Are your ducks in a row?

Hi Friends 1 Lesson 1 is all about greetings and introductions.  Here’s how I plan to attack it.

(1) Introduction
Write names on books (in English)
Make English nametags (if necessary)
Let’s Listen 1, write the names of the characters in English
Play game using “My name is~”

(2) Flags of the World (Flag cards can be found here)
Let’s Listen 2 (International Greetings)
International Greetings Janken Game

(3) Review International Greetings

(4) Review International Greetings
Let’s Listen 3
“My name is ~” “Nice to meet you.” Card Swap Janken

For the business cards, I have prepared a template for students to use.

One A4 sheet makes 8 cards, which can be colored and embellished as desired. Don’t forget to make some for yourself too!

# Teaching in Japan Chat

In celebration of the end of the school year and in anticipation of the next,

Hiconic Image is proud to present the Teaching in Japan Chat Room.

All you need to do to participate is enter a chat nickname, no password necessary.

Join the chat to share thoughts and ideas, ask questions, or just blow off

You can connect through HiconicImage at the link above,

or if you prefer to use your own chat client, point it to

irc.geekshed.net  #teachinginjapan

English or Japanese, either one is welcome!

# ABC Practice for Big and Small

The days are slowly getting longer, and time is getting shorter for Japanese students.  Graduation is less than two months away, and a new crop of first graders start in April.  What better timing for some ABC practice?

Junior High English lessons begin at ABC and slowly ramp up.  Students who can clearly and confidently print the alphabet will be able to proceed quickly to more interesting fare while others are churning through drills.

New elementary school students also benefit from early and frequent alphabet practice.  The sooner children can recognize and write the alphabet the more effective phonics practice becomes.  From there its a small step to basic English reading skills, and then the sky’s the limit!

Here are worksheets for lowercase and uppercase letters.  A double sided print (uppercase on one side, lower on the other) is environmentally friendly and an excellent quiet activity for older students.  Going through the letters slowly and emphasizing proper stroke order is a very good lesson for younger students.  It’s never too early to start and never too late to improve!

# Happy New Year!

Happy New Year to everyone! We are back and getting ready for the 3rd and final term of this school year.

Hi Friends 1 and 2 present us with much the same content as Eigo Note did, so we will be doing pretty much the same lessons as we have done in years past.

Hi Friends 1 brings us the “I study Japanese” theme, followed by the “What would you like?” theme.
For the “I study Japanese” theme, I use these sets of cards.
First, Days of the Week

Next, School Subjects

I finish with this up with a group project, planning an original time schedule.

As a group, students assume the role of teachers and decide what subjects to teach and when to teach them.

Once the schedule has been decided, they then complete the time schedule worksheet, taking turns filling in the days and the classes.

Additional rules may be needed to avoid things like six straight hours of P.E.  I limit subjects to at most twice a day, and require that all

subjects are taught at least twice a week.

Weekends are for things like sports practice, homework, piano lessons, shopping and so forth.

Students also need to come up with a name for their school, an English name of course!

When everything is complete, the groups present their original schedules to the class.

Here’s the worksheet, I recommend one B4 size for the group, but smaller individual worksheets could

work better if students prefer not to share.

# Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year!

Hiconic users, here’s hoping your Christmas was happy and your New Year is bright. Thanks for visiting, hope you found some useful tidbits to freshen up your classes in 2012. We will be taking a short break, but will be back in 2013 with tips, hints, and tools to breathe some life into Hi Friends 1 and 2.

So, all you teachers out there, enjoy your holidays and rest up. The kids will be back before you know it!

# Let’s make a Christmas Tree!

Just a week until Christmas!  Here’s a fun cutting and coloring activity for elementary students.  Review colors and shapes, give simple instructions in English, and make your very own Christmas tree!  This is a great way to round out the term.  Try it!

If cut and paste activities aren’t quite what you’re looking for, why not make a Christmas card in English?  Fold in half longways, then fold again to make a book-style Christmas card.  Students can color in the letters, write their names, draw Christmas-y pictures, and write a Christmas greeting in English!

Have a great winter break, see you in 2013!

# The Color Wheel … simple color names and simple color theory

Everyone enjoys colors, and elementary school students are no exception.  Teaching the colors can be done with drills and flashcards, but why not seize the opportunity to break from routine and do a little hands on learning?

Lesson 5 in Hi Friends 1 brings us a rather poorly executed framework for practicing the “What … do you like?” structure.  The theme appears to be shapes and colors and t-shirts. I have decided to break the lesson up into sections; first shapes, next colors, finally returning to the “What … do you like?” grammar and interview activity.

This Color Wheel worksheet is what I use when teaching colors, students color and write the names of the colors, I talk a little about color theory, and we play a game or two.  The kids enjoy it, and it helps to brighten up these dark November days.  Try it for yourself!

# Happy Halloween! Let’s make a Jack o’ Lantern!

Happy Halloween to everyone!  Halloween activities are more or less de rigeur in ESL and EFL classrooms these days, and can take many forms.  Scary monsters, Halloween videos, Trick or Treat,  I’ve tried them all.  This year, I have whipped up a fun Jack o’Lantern project that dovetails neatly with the Shapes flashcard set I posted recently.

This activity requires two prints, the shapes and old Jack.  The shapes are for coloring and cutting, students can mix and match to make their own original Jack o’ Lantern.  Pretty self explanatory, really.  Enjoy!

# Make your own Picture Dictionaries!

Sometimes our students have trouble retaining new vocabulary,  especially when the time between lesson is a week or more.  In order to combat this and to give learners something to refer back to,  I have prepared a “Picture Dictionary” worksheet to use in conjunction with our many fine flashcards.

The worksheet consists of eight blank squares with spaces underneath.  Students draw the object on the flashcard in the square, then write the name of that object in the space underneath.  Simple, right?  Double checked for spelling, the worksheet becomes a resource for future lessons, especially those involving writing.

I have been using this worksheet along with the Shapes Flashcards from the previous post to good effect in my elementary school classrooms.  It’s especially nice for classes that don’t do well with more energetic activities.  Give it a try!