Every year there is a day of school where the parents are invited to come in an watch how classes are run. They are often held on Saturdays, but I was spared that inconvenience this year with a Wednesday lesson. This time around I was at my smallest school, Kaminishi, and it was to be all of the students. In terms of numbers this is better than the usual 2 or 4 students I have per class because more bodies gives more opportunity for fun games, however actually finding a game that students grade 1 to 6 will all enjoy can be a challenge. Of course, with all of their parents there I wanted to make sure I did a good job too. For the subject matter I went with fruits because students of all ages at least know some.
After reviewing a plethora of fruits, the first game we played was ‘Fruit Basket’. This is a simple one that a lot of students like and is great because it can easily be applied to any number of subjects. Basically, everyone sits on chairs in a circle, then I distribute two or three fruit cards to each person so that when the ‘it’ in the middle picks one, those in possession need to jump up and find another seat. Obviously, the student who fails to do so is the next ‘it’. After a few rounds, I have them say two or three different cards to get more bodies moving. Finally, the most exciting part of the game comes by saying ”Fruit Basket!”, which means everyone has to find a new seat. This is a great game to practicing speaking and listening comprehension of different vocabulary words.
Takumi at the helm. What might he say I wonder…
The second game we played was ‘Balloon Volleyball’ which was a new one I had tailored for the lesson. After doing a little bit of practice with phrases like ”I like _____” and ”It’s a ______” where they filled in the blank with one of the fruits, we applied them to volleyball. The rules played the same, except before hitting the balloon they needed to use one of those phrases and then swap in a fruit. To encourage use of fruits beyond apples & bananas, I banned using the same ones in succession. This game too went quite well though I made a few adjustments along the way to keep it challenging.