Skip to main content

Home  ES  JHS  HS  Articles  Blogs  Forum  Links  NonTextbook  Volunteers  Warmups  Shoutbox  SUBMISSIONS   

Go: ES Topics

 General GameKing & Servant

SUBMITTED BY: Karmen Hvalec / Joyce Le

BORROWED FROM / INSPIRED BY: Adapted from a Japanese version

EDITED BY: Kelsey Weeks

DATE ADDED: Mar 18, 2008


  Small Classes (1-15 Students)ÒLarge Classes (16-39 Students)ÓHuge Classes (40+ Students)Ô


35-50 min.

1 votes: 5-star

If you're going to give this activity

a low-rating, please post a useful

comment to help make it better.


BRIEF OUTLINE: In this fun, loud and communicative game students pick chopsticks to decide who gives the orders and who has to follow them.



  • KingAndServant attachment
  • Chopsticks: 1 chopstick per student, you can buy them at 100 yen store. Mark one chopstick per group with K for King and two chopsticks with S for Servant and leave one chopstick empty. To prevent chopsticks from breaking, tape their ends with tape.
  • Envelopes (1 envelope per group, from 100 yen store or use the leftover “Eiken envelopes ” at school)



  1. Write KING & SERVANT on the blackboard with big letters. Act out the difference in meaning between King & Servant with your JTE (the funnier the better)
  2. Introduce new vocabulary by writing it on the blackboard and ask the JTE to write Japanese meaning next to it as you go along for students future reference. I believe in mnemonics and I think acting out all that new vocabulary and goofing around with the JTE really helps introduce the meaning of each new word. Also, the students reaction to the ALT shouting and screaming out loud is priceless! The actions are as follows:
    • shout (ALT shouts)
    • out loud (ALT shouts again in a BIG VOICE, use the difference between low and loud/big voice)
    • scream (ALT screams out loud)
    • count (have JTE count form 1 to 10)
    • draw (draw a picture on the blackboard, difference between "write a letter” and “draw a picture”)
    • ask (tell JTE to ask a question to one of the students
    • turn off/on the lights (tell JTE to go and turn the lights off and on)
  3. Explain how to play the game. Let the actions do the talking for you.
  4. Have the JTE select a chopstick and then choose 2 random students from the front to also pick one, leaving one chopstick for the ALT. The person with the K on the chopstick takes the envelope with actions inside, picks one, reads it and tells the servants what to do. I set it up so the ALT is the KING first. If a student is King first, help them with the reading/meaning, if necessary.
  5. Tell students to make groups, distribute envelopes with the game materials, and let the game begin.



  • You can play this game with any number of students in one group, but it works best in the group of 4.
  • You can decide how many students are Servants:
    • 1 King and everyone else is a Servant 
    • 1 King and only 1 Servant, while others keep time (you can make it a rule in case the servant doesn`t do what he was told within 30 seconds other members can tell him a page in textbook from which he must read out loud, or sing “nani nani” song…)
  • Joyce's Variation:
    •  Split the class into groups and give each group one envelope with 25 cards (write #1-25 on the envelopes) and four playing cards (cheap cards can be found at the 100¥ store). The number of playing cards depend on the number of students per group. The "K" is obviously the king, "J" or "Q" are safe, and the lowest card ("9" or lower) is the servant/slave.
    • Give each group a handout ('variation worksheet' located in Materials Needed) with all the questions. Remember to replace "ALT, JTE and JHS name" with the appropriate names for your school. As a class, go over each question to ensure understanding and correct pronounciations.
    • Do a role-play with the teacher and two other students, if necessary. Everyone in the group picks a card simultaneously and shows it to each other. The 'King' draws a number from the envelope and reads the question to the servant. The servant must to do what is asked of them.
    • If you have a reward system, make sure to ask students to put the number card aside once it has been taken out of the envelope. The group with the most cards wins. If you dont have a reward system or want your students to have more practice, have them put the number card back into the envelope once the servant finishes the task.



  • In Japan this game is known as 王様ゲーム “Osama ge-mu”.



  • This activity works great! Even students who are usually reluctant to participate are out there shouting and screaming and singing.
  • Before wrapping up the game make sure to ask the students to check under their desks for laminated actions, since the game can get wild.
  • Ask the students not to break the chopsticks (tapping with chopsticks is a stress relief outlet for the kids, as long as they don`t break it I don`t mind them tapping).

If you have an updated attachment, email it to the site: admin (at) epedia (dot) onmicrosoft (dot) com


Template Version: 2.0


This page was last modified on Monday, March 19, 2012 02:43:14 PM