Passive voice? Sure, no problem!

The kids will use passive voice naturally!

① I use a video of a colleague saying that he is coming to Japan. He also says that he can't understand Japanese at all, but he wants to know about the food in Japan, places to visit, or any japanese traditional toys or games. He is asking directly to my students to send him back a video message suggesting any of these things.

② I play the video few times, and ask my students if they understand my colleague's message. If they understand I go to the next step. I explain them that the goal of the lesson is to send a video back to him, suggesting any of these topics.

③ I divide the board in three parts (Food, Places, and toys or games). Then, I tell my students to think about japanese dishes (including sweats and snacks). After few seconds I ask them for some ideas, and I write them down on the blackboard. Same thing with the other topics.

④ Since my colleague cannot speak Japanese, they have to send a video explaining everything from scratch. I don't want them to say "Oden is delicious!". Yes, I know it is, but my colleague doesn't know what Oden is!

⑤ I ask them to choose one item of any of the three topics, and find a picture on Google. Don't spend more than 3 min here. Push a little bit to students that need a little help. If they can choose, just suggest something.

⑥ Once everyone has the picture, I do a simple demonstration using the TV. I put a pic of Okonomiyaki, and I talk about it. "Okonomiyaki is a dish from Osaka. It is a cabbage pancake (I say this because I want my students to describe the dish to a foreigner that has never seen Okonomiyaki, and it is easy to have an idea of the dish). I change the pic and put Soba. "Now, what about this? What is it?" The kids will say of course Soba. I push until someone say japanese noodles. Believe me, someone will say it!

⑦ Here I let them practice with that information in pairs. While pointing at the picture, they talk about it. This takes no more than 2 minutes.

⑧ Level up! Now I go back to my okonomiyaki. "Okonomiyaki is a dish from Osaka. it's a cabbage pancake. Okonomiyaki is eaten by many people in Japan." After saying this, I check that they understand the meaning. I also do the same thing with a place and a toy or game. I only use the pp of visit, play, and eat in this lesson. "Mt. Fuji is visited by many people every year." "kendama is played by japanese kids." "Oden is eaten in winter."

⑨ Now, kids have to add this information to the item they chose. I rotate the pairs, and they practice 2 or 3 times. After that, I choose 1 or 2 students to check if they are doing it properly.

⑩ Now you are free to add more information. I ask my students to mention the place where they can eat that dish. For those that chose a place, where is that place and how to get there (train, car, bus)"you can go by_". I also tell them to talk about the place it self. What can you do there? You can see, you can eat __, you can buy____.

⑪ I practice a couple of time, and finally they can record the video. If you have the chance to have a second hour, it will be the best. They can practice a little longer and feel more comfortable. To make it real, I ask my student to say hello and my colleague's name. Then the video. They do this in pairs. One is taking their partner's video and the other is talking while pointing at the picture.

I love teaching this lesson, because kids can feel free talking about the things they like. Try it, and let me know how it went.

Submitted by Fernand January 29, 2024 Estimated time: 50 min
  1. AVGKF January 31, 2024

    Woah, this sounds great and well planned out! Thank you for sharing!
    Obviously after removing your colleague's video, would you mind posting the powerpoint? Having the groundwork would help a lot.

  2. Fernand January 31, 2024

    @avgkf thank you. I wish I could upload videos here. I could show how my students speak (with their faces blurred of course). What exactly do you want to see?

  3. AVGKF January 31, 2024

    Hi Fernand, my mistake! I misunderstood. I thought there was a presentation with rules, directions, and explanations! Ignore me!

  4. Josephg99 February 1, 2024

    The powerpoint you use during this activity minus your colleagues video would help build a skeleton for some of us to make a lesson around.

    Personally I'm terrible at coming up with ideas and making them but having a jumping off point and a clear goal for the activity really helps a lot. So i appreciate your creativity!

  5. Fernand February 1, 2024

    My pleasure @Josephg99. I just use the video of my colleague and the pictures I use for my demo. I don't write anything for them. I just want them to focus in listening and speaking. Also, my goal as an ALT is to end the Era of boring English classes where students only write things that are not useful. at least in my schools. I want them to be able to express themselves with easy phrases in English.

  6. Fernand February 1, 2024

    @avgkf No problem. I hope you can do this lesson.

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