Strange Patient

This a simple guessing game that has students playing the role of a patient who kind of has an idea of what sickness they have, and the doctor is trying to guess whether or not they are lying.

Archived from Englipedia.
Originally submitted by Brenton Gettmann on Feb 10, 2011.


  • Explain to students that this is a guessing game and they shouldn't show the people around them their worksheet. Go over each sickness with the students and have them write the Japanese equivalent in the brackets on the worksheet.
  • Have students select a secret sickness (本当の病気) that will be their actual sickness.
  • Have students make partners and janken to decide who goes first.
  • The janken winner will be A and the loser will be B. (These roles will change after A has finished their first guess of B's sickness)
  • Student A asks, "What's wrong?" and Student B replies by telling the doctor a fake (うその病気) sickness or their actual selected sickness. The idea is for the patient to try and trick the doctor into guessing their sickness incorrectly. For example, Student B chose 'headache' as their real sickness on their worksheet, but they tell the doctor, "I have a cold." The doctor then has to try to see through the lie, which might be the truth in order to diagnose the patient.
  • The doctor (Student A) then has to guess whether or not the patient (Student B) is telling the truth or not by responding with the name of the sickness that they believe B has selected on their worksheet. For example, "I think you have a cold." If Student A guesses correctly they get a point, but if they guess wrong, the roles switch and the intial janken loser (Student B) becomes the doctor (Student A) and vise-versa.
  • After they have guessed their partner's sickness, you can have students switch partners in the class or simply select a new sickness and play again.
  • See who got the most points in the class.


  • Do a demonstration of this in the front of the class with the JTE and really sell the idea that you are trying to trick your partner, so they should use gestures to sell their sicknesses.
Submitted by Englipedia Archive November 13, 2019 Estimated time: 10-20 min

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