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SUBMITTED BY: Roger Parker

BORROWED FROM / INSPIRED BY: A classic Japanese game


DATE ADDED: Apr 04, 2008


  Small Classes (1-15 Students)ÒLarge Classes (16-39 Students)ÓHuge Classes (40+ Students)ÔBad/Misbehaved ClassesÕHandicapped ClassesÖ


05-15 min.


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BRIEF OUTLINE: Shiritori is the name of a popular Japanese game, whereas one person says a word and the next person must say a word that starts with the last letter of the word before it: dog, gate, each, hand, etc.



  • English textbook (optional)



  1. Each row in the classroom is a group.
  2. The students have 2 minutes to write as many vocabulary words on the board, using the last letter of the previous word to create the next word: pencil --> lion --> notebook, etc.
  3. After the time has expired, the group with the most correctly spelled words wins.



  • For lower-level classes, let them use their textbooks.
  • If textbooks are used in the first two rounds, don't allow them for the third.
  • Group with the longest word receives bonus points.
  • Restrict words to 4-letter words and up.



  • Most of my students understood right away when I used the example, dog --> good --> dog and crossing out 'dog', and then using my finger and saying "one time only."



  • Students may try to write English expressions they have learned, "Thank you" or "Excuse me."  Whether you allow this is up to the teachers, but keep in mind, Shiritori in Japanese is played using one-worded words.

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