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Go: JHS GrammarThick As Thieves

SUBMITTED BY: Benjamin Brannan


GRAMMAR: 'How many' question

EXAMPLE: How many bananas do you have?

DATE ADDED: Jun 26, 2013

Large Classes (16-39 Students)ÓHuge Classes (40+ Students)Ô


20 min.

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OUTLINE: Students begin with a certain number of things, and must janken to steal them back! (Designed as a review game for Sunshine Program 4, reviewing I have, how many, and plurality.)




  1. First, it's a good idea to practice plurality: banana, bananas, apple, apples, etc, focusing on the S, Z, and IZ sounds. I used flashcards I'd made
  2. Put both large copies of the worksheet on the board. Tell students to choose eight items from each category ("Choose 8 fruits. Choose 8 sports things. Choose 8 school things.") Demonstrate using a light pencil mark through each circle to indicate what you have--do NOT color the circle in, as there will be a lot of erasing. Students can choose any combination that equals eight per category: five bananas, three melons, and zero apples; two bananas, two melons,and four apples; etc. 
  3. Then, demonstrate with the teacher twice. Students must walk around with a pencil and eraser. Janken when you meet. Have the following conversation:
    •   Loser: I have (number) (item)(s). How many (item)(s) do you want?
             Winner: I want (number) (item)(s).
             Loser: Ok!
      The loser must then erase however many items from his sheet. The winner gets to 'check off' that many items instead.
  4. The goal is to get five of each item, although it's difficult to do so! If you have two apples but the other person wants three, he can only ask for two. This is pretty obvious, and the students understand you can't ask for more than they have, so don't worry too much. Still, throw in an example like this in your demonstration.
  5. This game can be played for a long time, they really enjoy 'stealing' things.
  6. At the end of the game, have them sit down and ask, "How many?" Count all your items and write the total in the box beside the dialog. Have students do the same. Then, find the student with the highest number--he or she is the winner!
  7. If there is extra time, have them write three "I have" sentences based on the fruit/sports/school items they have on their sheet.



  • Start the class with a warm up reviewing elementary school grammar! Play 'hangman' using "Do you have (A/B/C/~)?" Instead of drawing a picture, draw a cake and a big-toothed Pacman. Every incorrect guess results in erasing part of the cake. Obviously, use words from the worksheet to tie everything together nicely.
  • If you have time and materials, make double-sided flash cards. An easy way is to print out two per A4, cut in half, and put them back to back. Laminate it, leaving plastic around the edge to keep the cards together. That way you get 4 cards out of one laminate sheet. (My cards were banana, bananas, apple, apples, ball, balls, racket, rackets, eraser, erasers, ruler, rulers).
  • If you do use flashcards, after practicing each card, ask them "How many ~ ?" for each card.
  • If you follow these teaching suggestions, it should be enough to last an entire 50 minute lesson! Most of this is review from ES, so they should be confident.


  • This relies heavily on participation from the JTE. I didn't use any Japanese at all throughout the lesson, but your JTE must know how to play.


  • Every class thoroughly enjoyed this game and understood it quickly. Several times, they asked me to stop explaining and just let them play! It also helps to have two A3 sized copies of this worksheet for the demonstration. Remember to practice the dialogue a lot, show a couple demonstrations, and maybe even play with a volunteer to ensure understanding.

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This page was last modified on Wednesday, June 26, 2013 01:36:19 PM