Activity

I Command You (PowerPoint Game)

A fun action and writing game where groups of students race to perform the teacher's commands and then write sentences about what has occurred.

THINGS YOU'LL NEED

  • White boards, markers, and erasers for each group
    • ALTERNATIVE: If you don't have white boards, you could prepare paper or have students write in a notebook
  • One piece of origami paper for each group
  • OPTIONAL:
    • A piece of paper and pen for keeping track of which student was the fastest for each command
    • Some scrap paper for each team to write their own commands at the end

DIRECTIONS TL;DR

  1. Change the names in the PowerPoint to the ALT's (and JTE's if they are participating).
  2. Follow the PowerPoint.
    • Make groups.
    • Have one person per group perform the command. (Ex. Tell me your name. / Make me an origami animal.)
    • Fastest student earns their team 2 points, 2nd and 3rd place get 1 point.
    • After three commands, have the students write [who] [did what] [to who].
      • Give one point to each team who writes the sentence correctly within the time limit.
    • If you finish all the commands, let the students write their own and continue the game without the PowerPoint.

DETAILED DIRECTIONS

BEFORE CLASS

  • Change the JTE and ALT names in the PowerPoint from "Ms. Tamura" and "Ms. Sarah".
    • HINT: Ctrl-F offers a shortcut for replacing text.
    • CAUTION: The names need to be replaced in 1. every command 2. the correct answers for each command
  • Change "Gunma-Chan" to your prefecture's/city's mascot character (or something else entirely).

DURING CLASS (SET-UP)

  1. Go through the PowerPoint directions with the students. (But don't make the groups yet.)

    • Once they understand the gist, learning by doing works best.
  2. When you reach the "Let's Start!" slide, make groups of 4 to 5 students.

    • One student from every group will be performing each command, so I recommend 6-7 groups at most.
  3. Have students use rock, paper, scissors to decide who will perform the command first. Have the chosen one raise their hand in each group. Explain that the student doing the action will rotate after every command.

    • While the students are deciding, draw a scoreboard and designate group numbers/names.

DURING CLASS (GAME PLAY - GIVING COMMANDS)

  1. On the "Examples" slide for each round, read each example and have the students tell you what it means in Japanese. Confirm that they know what each of the verbs mean.

    • There are 3 rounds with 3 commands each: (give, show, tell), (read, draw, bring), (make, find, sing).
  2. Read each command twice. The students will react as quickly as they can.

    • For the first command of the first round (Show me page 47.), not every group will fully understand yet. Give them a few seconds, one or two groups should move and then the rest will slowly follow. Give them hints if needed.
  3. Tell each student what place they finished and have the first place student write their name on your record paper.

  4. Award points.

    • I called out the place (i.e. first, second, third) and had the students yell out their group number to award the correct group with the correct number of points.

DURING CLASS (GAME PLAY - WRITING)

  1. (Especially during the first round:) Remind the students how to write an SVOO sentence.

  2. Go over the past tense for the verbs.

    • I had the students yell out their past tense forms.
    • Remind the students that incorrect tense = no points.
  3. For each sentence, show them the slide with the verb and object on it.

    • I recommend setting a timer. (Start with 1 min 30 sec and reduce if the class is doing well.)
  4. Have groups show you their boards and give them a point if they are correct.

DURING CLASS (GAME PLAY - WRITING NEW COMMANDS)

  1. Pass out one paper to each group and have them write their group number/name on it.
  2. Explain that each group will write one command (must be doable).
  3. Collect all the commands.
  4. Continue the game with the new commands.

TIPS/VARIATIONS

  • Tell students to be careful during the "bring your chair command!" Or change the command if you are worried.
  • Don't always stand in the same place or the teams near you will always be first. I started running away sometimes too!
  • "me" in the commands refers to the person speaking, which in this PowerPoint means the ALT. You can change "me" to a name to avoid confusion if need be!
  • Some of the commands are harder than others, so I handed out bonus points occasionally.
    • Ex. A bonus point for the best/funniest drawing of Gunma-Chan or the most well-made origami (since the fastest were usually very bad)
  • Sometimes the students wouldn't follow the command perfectly so I would either tell them what they are doing wrong or ask the rest of the class what they think.
    • Ex. The origami animal command: Some weren't animals or didn't look like animals, so I would ask them what animal they made and then if it seemed like they BS'd it too far then I asked the rest of the class. (Keep it light! Make it funny!)
    • Ex. The 'read some English' command: make sure your students read to you! (Some just tried speaking.)
Files:
Medium files (requires an account to download) -
  • I Command You Game.pptx (1.44 MB)
  • 30
    Submitted by 4sarah1212 December 13, 2022 Estimated time: 40 - 50 minutes / all period
    Inspired by Do As I Say
    1. onighost December 14, 2022

      Great ppt! Can't wait to give this a try!

    2. gwenct35 December 26, 2022

      My students loved this game! Thanks so much!

    3. monadotme October 23, 2023

      very nice! I will make visuals to aid it ;) Thanks

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