Picture Sentence Matching

A game to practice the "Question words + to-infinitive" grammar (for ex. "how to" or "where to").

Submitted by ThatOneALT

August 28, 2020

Estimated time: 40 - 50 minutes


  • Picture powerpoint (provided or make your own)
  • White boards, pens, and erasers for each group (or equivalent items)

How to Play

Each slide has a picture and four sentences about the picture. The students have to choose which sentence they think matches the picture the most. The students that chose the sentence chosen by the most people get a point.

  1. Split the class into pairs or groups depending on the size of the class. Give each group a whiteboard, pen, and eraser to use.
  2. Use the first picture slide as an example, and ask the students which sentence they think matches the picture the most. Most students should choose C (I know what to buy). Since this is an example, the groups don't have to use the whiteboards yet. Ask them what C means in Japanese to check the meaning.
  3. Give each group that chose C (assuming it was the most selected sentence) a point and explain that they only get a point if their sentence was chosen by the most people.
  4. From the next slide onward, the students have to write the sentence and the letter on their whiteboard. I gave my class 1 minute and 30 seconds to read all the sentences, choose one, and write it on their whiteboard. Of course, how much time to give is up to you.
  5. After time is up, have each team raise their whiteboard so you can check which sentences were chosen. For each unique sentence, have one of the groups that chose it read the sentence and translate it into Japanese. For example, if groups 1-3 chose sentence A and groups 4 & 5 chose sentence D, have a student from either group 1, 2, or 3, read A and translate it. Then, have a student from either group 4 or 5 read D and translate it. This is to check meaning / comprehension.
  6. After checking the meaning, give all the groups that chose the most popular sentence a point. So, in the above example, groups 1-3 get a point, but groups 4 & 5 do not. The students should erase what they wrote and pass the whiteboard to the next person.
  7. Continue until satisfied.

Other Remarks

  • This game can be changed to match different grammars. You'd just need to change the pictures and sentences.
  • If the students have already learned the grammar before your lesson, you should review the grammar before starting the game.
  • Picture Question Guessing.pptx (3.99 MB)
  • 3
    1. UonumaRobert August 28, 2020

      Interesting. This would pair well with that warm up game where you give a topic such as 'fruits' and the groups make a list of fruits for 30 seconds then every group shows their list but they only get points for the unique words.

    2. cjc634 January 22, 2022

      This worked perfectly in a team-teaching class with a JTE who likes being involved and provides Japanese support on an as-needed basis. In addition to the points system above, I gave students a bonus point if they could make a follow-up sentence showing that they understood what was asked. E.g. if they chose C, they would say "I need chili sauce." or if B then "At the supermarket." That way groups in the minority could still get points.

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