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The following is a key to the activities in this section.

Preparation Levels

  • Easy: Need to make very few materials, such as only flashcards.
  • Moderate: Need to make some materials, such as a set of small cards for each group, single worksheets, and so on.
  • Difficult: Need to make many materials, such as multiple sets of small cards per group, small cards that can only be used for a certain activity, different versions of worksheets, or non-worksheet/card materials.

Note 1: 5th and 6th grade students may have small cards as part of their textbooks, which they can cut for use in activities, reducing the work ALTs must do but also reducing the amount of time spent learning English.

Note 2: Once you have prepared materials for an activity, they can be used over and over again. Durable materials may require more effort in the short-term, but less effort overall.


Some general materials are going to be:

  •  Flashcards
  • Small vocabulary cards
  • Worksheets

Note 1: The amount of materials you make are going to be limited by your time, your budget, and the school’s budget. Try to ask and see how much money you have to spend on laminating sheets or color copies.

Note 2: Card games, which require many sets of small vocabulary cards, are especially useful for higher levels and question and answer targets, such as likes, wants, haves, family, and countries.

Grade Targets

  • Low: 1st and 2nd years (低学年) or younger Special Education (特別支援: tokubetsu shien) classes.
  • Middle: 3rd and 4th years (中学年) or older Special Education classes.
  • High: 5th and 6th years (高学年)
  • All: All grade levels

Note 1: Activities can be made more difficult for higher levels or easier for lower levels, or can be adapted for junior high students or adults as well. The grade targets listed here are only a guide.

Note 2: Lower levels may or may not be able to use communicative English well. A long practice game may serve the same purpose in this case.

Note 3: More competitive games, such as Soccer, are probably not best for lower levels, where the children can be sensitive to losing, embarrassment, or not knowing words.

Note 4: Lower levels need activities with more movement, while higher levels are able to focus in activities with more mental exercise.