These activities are suitable for introducing or reviewing the English question "Where are you from?". Put all of them together and there is enough material to fill an entire lesson. They are aimed at 5th and 6th grade Elementary classes and 1st grade Junior High classes.
- A world map (preferably in English)
- A4-sized flag flashcards of the countries you wish to teach
- Small karuta cards of the countries you wish to teach
A good way to introduce the topic is to stage a quick country quiz. Put the world map on the board. Tell the students you will give them 3 hints in English and they must guess which country you're talking about. If they know the English name for the country all the better, but Japanese is ok too. For example:
You could split the class into teams and work out a points system if you have the time. After each correct guess, give the class the English name and have them repeat after you.
Once the students are comfortable with the meaning and pronunciation of "Where are you from?" and "I'm from _____", have them practise it with a quick and simple janken game.
- Hand out the country karuta cards, one per student. Make sure they keep their card concealed.
- Students must mill around the class and find a partner.
- They play janken. The winner asks the question "Where are you from?", the loser replies "I'm from ____". The winner receives one point and the loser receives none (they can either keep track in their head or write their score on a bit of paper).
- This continues until the time is up, after which you ask them how many points they have. The student with the highest points is the winner!
To practise pronunciation of the target phrase and to review the country names and flags, karuta is a perfect activity. The kids shout out "Where are you from?" and the teacher replies "I'm from _____". For instructions, see the karuta article.