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Go: JHS GrammarThinking Janken


SUBMITTED BY: Raymond Corrigan



GRAMMAR: NH's Let's Chat 2

EXAMPLE: A: Do you like sushi? B: Do I like sushi? Oh, yes I do. (Uh... let:s see) 

DATE ADDED: Feb 02, 2010


    Small Classes (1-15 Students)ÒLarge Classes (16-39 Students)Ó


05-15 min.

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BRIEF OUTLINE:  Students substitute the Janken chant for conversation filler words to answer yes/no questions.



  1. In Thinking Janken, Janken represents 'thinking' about a yes/no question, so answering students use thinking words while playing. Students DON`T say "Rock, Scissors, paper!"  The timing is an unspoken count of 1, 2, 3.
  2. Practice the pronounciation of the thinking words: OhUhLet's see. Teach how to naturally drag out these words in a conversation: "Uuuhhhhhh".
  3. Demonstrate the activity with the JTE.  Once the class catches on, play nine practice rounds of Janken with the whole class.  The first three times the class says "Oh".  The next three times, they say "Uh".  And, for the last three times, they practice saying "Let`s see".
  4. Then, have the students make pairs and interview each other.  Any question is okay.  The dialogue goes like this:
    • A: "Do you like natto?"
    • B: "Do I like natto?"
  5. A and B play Janken.  If B wins or draws he answers "Yes, I do". If B loses he answers "No, I don`t.
  6. Once complete, they switch roles and repeat.
  7. Play until the class becomes bored.




  • For advanced classes, add another step.  When student A and B tie in Janken they must keep playing until somebody wins. The whole time B must say thinking words.  This can result in very long thinking times!



  • Encourage the students to make up silly questions: "Do you like eating dogs?" 



  • Japanese Janken has a spoken four count: 1.) saisho, 2.) gu, 3.) janken, 4.) poi.  However, Thinking Janken has an unspoken count of three.  A three count seems to be easiest.
  • Walk around the room to make sure students aren`t letting the Janken affect their pronounciation.
  • This game is designed to have students counting in their heads while using the 'thinking words'. The goal is to have students use these words intuitively while thinking about something else. So, you might want to spend a couple of minutes practicing this step.

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This page was last modified on Wednesday, March 28, 2012 01:41:20 PM