Hi Friends 1 Lesson 2 “How are you?”

Hi Friends 1 Lesson 2 is a scant two pages, covering a topic most students already have a fairly good handle on.  The “How are you?  I’m fine thank you.” call and response is fairly entrenched in most Japanese learners of English.  I like to take this opportunity to break students out of the “I’m fine thank you” habit and teach them some other expressions and feelings.


To that end, I have created a set of feelings flash cards that can be found here.

Also, to make a more meaty lesson, there is an interview worksheet available here.


Even with the extra material, this lesson really only requires one class period to complete.  I have some supplemental materials that I use at this time which I will post in a few days.

Simply put, the plan for this lesson is:

1- Greeting

2- present vocabulary (cards)

3- Listening in book (page 8)

4- present Interview task

5- do Interview activity, glue finished interview sheets on p.9

6- Finish


Pretty smooth, don’t you think?

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
Make business cards

(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!

HiFriends 1 name card 名刺票

Getting Back to School with Shapes

Getting back into the groove after a long summer break can be difficult for teachers as well as students. Sometimes a few easy and fun lessons are necessary before plowing back into our English textbooks. I like to use the first couple of lessons to talk about the places everyone went and things they did (in English, of course), taking the opportunity to teach “Where did you go?” and “I went to…” along with some other simple past verbs like “ate”, “saw”, and “played”.

This generally works quite well for older students, but can be a bit too much for the first and second graders. Thinking about simple yet useful things to do with my little kids, it occurred to me that I have never taught shapes! A glaring oversight on my part, yet easily corrected with a set of simple Shape Flashcards!


How are you? Feelings Flashcards

An excellent way to start your English lesson is with the simple task of asking “How are you?”. Not only is it an easy icebreaker, it helps to emphasize that “English Time Starts Now”.

I like to run through these flashcards once or twice, and then have the students ask each other “How are you?”. It can be done as a janken (rock paper scissors) game or as a “Chain Reaction” where one student is asked “How are you?” and must then reply and ask the student immediately behind or in front of them. This continues in order until everyone has asked and responded. Be sure to include the teacher as well!

“How are you?” is also one of the first things I teach the new first grade students. It is a good way to introduce your method of using flashcards and offers many possibilities for simple, interactive and fun classroom activities.

Needless to say, by the time “How are you?” shows up in the Hi Friends 1 textbook, students are generally very good at asking and responding. To add an element of interest and challenge, I use this worksheet in conjunction with these flashcards for a fun writing activity.

Sports Sports Sports Sports

Sports. Kids like to play sports and like to talk about sports. Sports vocabulary can be used in a variety of ways in the ESL/EFL classroom. In particular sports vocabulary lends itself very well to teaching “I like…” and “I can…” expressions (as well as “I don’t like…” and “I can’t…” ;-)).

It just so happens that “I like…” is the subject of Hi Friends 1 Unit 4, while “I can…” is the subject of Hi Friends 2 Unit 3. While these expressions can be used to discuss a variety of things, using sports can help get the ball rolling. This set of flashcards doesn’t cover all the bases, but presents a broad enough range to encourage further discussion.

I’ve opted to use “soccer” because in Japan (where I teach) and in the US (where I’m from) that’s the term we use. I’ve also intentionally left out American Football because very few places outside the US have an interest in the game, plus it’s just a mouthful to say. If your favorite sport is missing, leave a comment and if there’s enough interest I’ll make up a flashcard for it!

When teaching “I like…” foods and fruit are also great conversation starters. Animals work well also. Mix it up and have fun!

Update: Had a bit of a think and decided to make up a football card as well. No reason not to!

Countries and Flags for Hi Friends 1

Hi Friends 1 starts out with the same sort of international greetings topic that Eigo Note did.  When teaching international greetings, I like to use the big world map and flashcards of the flags of the countries mentioned.  I’ve been using the flashcards from Mark’s English School in Nagano Prefecture.

Flag Flashcards from MES-english

Hi Friends chose to include Finland, which wasn’t included in the pdfs from MES, so I whipped up a Finnish Flag Flashcard.  Enjoy!


Yummy Food Flashcards

Those of you using the Eigo Note 1 may find these cards useful for the international foods and “I want … ” themes in Lesson 6.  These images are admittedly a bit more directed at Japanese learners, but offer opportunities to practice the ” A is/are from B” structure and restaurant roleplays.  Not too tough, but varied enough to provide grist for the grammar mill!  Enjoy!

Eigo Note 1 Clothing Flashcards

Those of you working with the Eigo Note in Japan are probably about to this point, the clothing and shopping unit. I have gone back and cleaned up the clothing flashcards, and added a new image. Can you spot it?

Harvest Time, Back to School Fruit

Fruit is a great introductory lesson theme, and allows for lots of activity possibilities.  From simply learning vocaulary to more complex shopping or cooking activities, these Fruit flashcards will be a handy addition to your collection.

new older animals

I’ve taken some time and cleaned up the images from the Older Animals post.  They should look much nicer when printed out.