Is it Cake? (Let's Try 1 Unit 8)

Students attempt to guess which objects are real and which are cake, inspired by the brilliant Netflix series of the same name.

Inspired by the brilliant(?) hit(?) Netflix show "Is it Cake?", this lesson is an absolutely huge hit with both students and teachers alike! Unit 8's "What's this?" grammar point is extremely flexible, but when I watched that Netflix series, I knew I absolutely must use it to trick my elementary school kids. Enjoy!

The PowerPoint starts off with some basic boring and easy shadow quiz questions, as a way to introduce the grammar point and make it clear what we're doing. These aren't meant to challenge students, only to make it clear what the grammar is. Once you do a couple of them, and the grammar pattern is established, you move onto the real meat (not meat, it's cake) of the lesson.

When it switches over, you have to be sure to sell your deception with an excellent acting performance. Students won't be able to get the first example (the strawberry), but after one or two, they think that all of them are cake. You are lying to them, and you have to sell it as cake! Just when they're confident, BAM, you throw a real watermelon at them, and their cake confidence is shattered. After that, you'll probably get a handful of cake and not cake answers for both, but always make sure to ask a lot of students what their opinion is. It's no fun if you just take one student's answer and then show them the picture. Make the deception last! There are about 30 of them, but try to finish all of them within about 25 minutes so that you have 5 minutes to explain the final activity and 15 minutes to do it.

Show students the instructions for the final activity in the PowerPoint (written out in Japanese, with furigana). I've fine tuned these to prevent all misunderstandings of the rules, but there's always a few students who forget or don't listen, so you might need to tell them again later. Pass out one card to each student (see attachments; you'll need to make and laminate these beforehand). Students can look at their own card but not show other people. Then they'll get up, walk around the classroom, and find a partner. They'll ask their partner, "What's this?" and show them the front side of their card. Their partner makes a guess, and then they show them the answer. Once they find all of the real cards, they come up to you, tell you the answer, and receive a sticker. The goal of the game is to find all of the real (not cake) objects. Some common points of misunderstanding: there are four real cards and sixteen cake cards, but you'll probably need two sets of them, meaning up to eight students will have an answer. Some students might come up and tell you "dog, dog, avocado, hamburger," where two of their answers are the same instead of the four different cards. This is no good. They also might tell you the names of their classmates who had the cards instead of the object on the card. This is also no good. I've included warnings for both of these things in the PowerPoint, but you still might have a few students who don't listen and need to be told again when they come to answer.

I've included a lesson plan written in English and Japanese, so your Japanese homeroom teachers can read it and know exactly what the plan is.

The font used in this is UDデジタル教科書. It should be on all of your school computers, but I don't have it on my personal computer at home. I prefer it because it has the handwritten lowercase "a" as well as other handwriting differences, but doesn't look like garbage like Comic Sans. If you don't have it, there might be some formatting discrepancies.

Credit to the respective copyright holders for use of the characters' pictures.
Credit to the various content creators on YouTube and elsewhere for their cakes.

Small files
  • Lets Try 1 Unit 8 Lesson Plan.docx (20 KB)
  • Medium files (requires an account to download) -
  • Lets Try 1 Unit 8 Cards.docx (19.2 MB)
  • Lets Try 1 Unit 8 (Cake Quiz).pptx (23.5 MB)
  • Lets Try 1 Unit 8 (Card Activity).pptx (22.9 MB)
  • 97
    Submitted by sui892001 March 23, 2023 Estimated time: 45 minutes
    1. robertsbp March 23, 2023

      This is really fun!!! I can really see the kiddos having fun with this. Thanks!

    2. hashiryuta31 April 11, 2023

      This is an interesting activity. I'll make sure to use this in my class. Thank you very much.

    3. 2bfrank September 12, 2023

      This absolutely made my day! Such a great idea.

    4. ratclass October 18, 2023

      omg you are so awesome!

    5. mich888 January 10, 2024

      Cool game! This is very helpful. Thanks!

    6. altmoe06 January 23, 2024

      Thanks for saving me! i'm really having a hard time making this unit interesting for the kids. Thank you so much!

    7. ChetBorneo January 25, 2024

      I did this today with my 3rd year elem students and they absolutely loved it. Thanks so much.

    8. yellowbird January 26, 2024

      hello! this is amazing, i was wondering if you had cards for the first powerpoint too? or if it would be okay, may I make some?

    9. cascadiatoosaka March 1, 2024

      This is amazing, thank you

    10. sui892001 March 14, 2024

      @yellowbird Sorry for the late reply. I don't have cards for the first part since the kids already know the answers to those, but if you want to tweak the activity and use those as cards too, by all means go ahead. For the cards I usually just screen cap the PowerPoint and put them in a table in Word since the formatting in Word is an absolute pain to work with. >.>

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